Saturday, January 4, 2014
Time to "Empower The PATIENT"! IFAA Shall Move Mountains of Obstacles to "Clear" Paths for the Patient!!!
Saturday, December 21, 2013
It's Time for A Chance To Touch Others Lives, even through Autoimmune Illnesses, You CAN make A Difference!
As I am deciding as I do each year at this time what I shall decide to try and "change", do more of, less of, try new, stop the old... in other words... what some call my "Resolutions" for 2014, I actually don't like the term "resolutions". Simply said, more often than not, it is a "cliche'" and those things usually don't get accomplished. I'm not saying "we" just make them for lip service, but it has become this tradition to make your New Years Resolutions. Whether it be to eat healthier, quit smoking or other bad habits, visit family more, exercise more, get stress under control, and the list of those things we want to try and do or not do, to make our "New Year" a fresh beginning. As we press forward quickly into the 2014 year, and I do mean QUICKLY; as most of us, I also am reflecting upon 2013. I managed to get my 2nd prose and poetry book published! That was a great achievement! Yet, I am somewhat disappointed as myself because I did not get as far on my "life's battle with AA illnesses" as I wanted to. Last year 2012, I had made a promise to myself to have it ready for the last look overs and edits; then have it ready to publish in February 2014. At that time, the task seemed very possible. I was thrilled to have made myself a goal in date form. So, I put my eyes on the road of writing, yet got wrecked and knocked off that driven path several times over the course of 2013.
As I had begin to say in another blog post, that I still have not "published", I had been writing about our little neighborhood and town in general. Usually right at the first of December, every house on my street has some Christmas lights and decorations, including us. It is like we almost have an unspoken tradition on the block that we all put something up for the holiday, even if it is just lights. We have icicle lights that look amazing on the front of our tiny home. I had decorated my two beautiful planters last year with wrapped "presents", Xmas Flowers in silk, and had lights around those also. I had little sacks that I put the tiny battery operated tea lights in, in every window in the front, and always turned them on all night about the last two weeks before Christmas. A door decoration, our tree with our at that time 10 "sleigh bells" we order each year as a tradition from our very 1st Christmas together, little decorations that I hang up above each doorway in the house, cup towels decorated for the holidays, and my Christmas Bedspread set that is just beautiful with these "golden colored" sheets I use with it. At one time Jim and I even made a new Christmas puzzle together to hang up. It seems we either got bored with those (I have like 40 we put together, put on a backer board, and I have them hung up in the house. I have three "logs" that I had gotten from a huge limb that fell several years ago from one of our trees. I took the saw and cut off a fairly thick section about 14 to 16 inches long or so. Then I take Xmas flowers, ribbon, tiny decorations, cotton for snow etc, and decorate all three of them. One for each room we are in the most. Kitchen, Office and Living Room.
But, as of this morning, one neighbor has his lights up. Not one other home is lit up, including ours. As I began to reflect over the past couple of months in our own little world, there are MANY, MANY of us who just almost "missed" the fact that holidays are here! From the horrible things happening in our nation; destructive storms and weather, to wildfires, droughts, floods, crops destroyed by bugs. People are still hurting from job loss, homes being foreclosed on, trying to just feed a family, money is tight for a huge amount of our nation and around the world. I had a conversation with a close friend of mine. She had told me her husband, who has been with a company for 11 years, had his Christmas bonus cut down to ONLY 10% of what it always was!!!! This company is NOT hurting by any means. It had the financial ability to treat its employees right. Yet, one bad apple in the bunch, with greed as green as a gourd in a "management" position, took away from those who have worked for it, so he made himself look good. Thus his "bonus" is quite "stuffed", and the others that have been loyal employees for years, are facing Christmas, with children, and no idea until the last moment, they are not going to have the bonus they are expecting. GREED! It is all over this world!
As I look around at my sparsely decorated home, and see that we are certainly not alone, it instills in me, that we must open our eyes, and open our hearts to make a difference in this nation in the coming years.
Whether we are advocating for a medical and health causes, government cause, specific health problems, domestic violence, and all of the other 100's of Charitable causes we contribute to, we are giving of ourselves to make a difference in the quality of life for others. To me, giving of yourself, through being a volunteer for an organization you truly believe in, is one of the kindest, compassionate, and self less things you can do.
With "one" person's voice, we can "change" the world! One leads to two, two lead to 10, and from there it grows, shapes, expands and becoming a beautiful thing.
We can all give a bit of cash here they and yonder, but to give of your time, of your heart, and do it freely without an provocation but because you want to make a difference in the lives of those who suffer and who will suffer without OUR voices uniting together!
So, as we reflect on what is truly precious in our holidays activities, or as you think about some of those "New Years Resolutions" give thought to giving of "your time" as a volunteer online to something, someone, any cause that touches your heart and soul! Within those moments that you give of yourself freely, you shall find a peace that does pass beyond all you could ever understand....
Hopeful for a better year in 2014.... Rhia
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Surviving Our Own "Impossible" Schedules with Autoimmune Arthritic Illnesses
All of us, and I mean those that are "chronically ill", as well as those "healthy as horses" - tend to try and live up to our own "no way, no how" over the top expectations; especially during this time of year. Annually, when Thanksgiving gets here... We are constantly pressing ourselves to do more, buy more, be more, have bigger, better, larger parties, more guests, a "prettier tree", more goodies, a "luxurious dinner", fit for queens and kings. We want to give our children a "Wow" of a holiday season! We love seeing their eyes sparkle Christmas morning! :) I know I did! I'm sure all of you did and do also!
Yet, what about the "we" in all of this "We Wish You A Merry Xmas"? When I say "we", I mean US, those of us "we's" that are extremely fatigued from autoimmune arthritic illnesses. I just got through sending an email reminding a dear friend of mine to "take care of herself". She suffers from the misery of RA, and a cross of other AAI also. So, I knew she was busy, with home, and with her volunteer work, where she is a "co-founder" and an active volunteer. When you are kind of a "co-chief", cook and bottle washer, no matter what type of "work" it is, it is WORK! Even as a volunteer I can attest that I am "trying" so much more with my volunteer work, than I probably have in many years! As much as I push myself on writing my books, I don't think I do that as much as I am doing in order to try and give a piece of me to help others. When you are involved with a fantastic group of folks, that ultimately share your exact feelings and goals, it does make you want to "be all you can be" and "do all you can do"... And that is NEVER a "bad thing".
I am so grateful to have another "pathway" to guide me into the realms of where I can make a difference for others that live with the horrendous illnesses, that seem to creep upon us when we least expect them to.
Yet, we also still in some capacity have our personal "holidays" chores. Whether you are younger, with a job, children, spouse, or even if you are a bit older, kids gone, and just the two of you, or like Mom on her own, there is always something that needs to be done during the holiday season, and for the end of the year.
I am already feeling the "stress" of my own expectations. I have a "mental" list, and it should be more like a WRITTEN on paper list before I forget half of it, of the "To-Do's" I need "to do". Let's see, my Christmas letter is still not finished, my tree or any decorations are not up. I have another batch of fruitcakes to make; along with cookies and fudge (if I date attempt it again this year). Before the holiday, I have a pain pump that will have to be filled, medications that need to be refilled, my Mom sounds like with her own issues with severe shoulder pain probably needs to get into our orthopedic doctor, and my husband is still waiting on the MRI results from his own severe shoulder pain, that they think maybe his neck. I have to get myself in order for a trip to OK, IF the weather allows and we decide to spend Xmas day there, rather than at home. I have my blog here to keep up, as well as doing my volunteer work for IFAA and I need to get a blog post written for Systemically Connected, which is IFAA's official blog.
I need to buy stamps so I can put them on these cards, and actually still have a couple of cards that need addresses. Never fails... either someone moves, or I lose an address... and then I am scrambling to get what I need to send my cards out.
I did get my cards out to the "Troops" and made the deadline, ahead of time thank goodness. Then of course there are those "errands", if you are buying gifts, that in itself is a headache. We are not really doing that much as far as "gifts" this year. Our finances as they maybe, have taken a "hit" between all of my doctor and dentists bills this year. Plus we still face whatever my co-pay may be on the hernia surgery, and we had to pay some on Jim's MRI, which are not cheap. After my other older I-Mac decided to go "feet up" on us unexpectedly, this new one was not an expense we were expecting. Same with our old vacuum cleaner. Another one of those not anticipated "out of your pocket" expenses. My old one "threw a belt" LOL... but the issue with that was "good luck" finding a belt locally for the stupid thing. I could have just ordered one, but in all honesty that "purple monster" as we called the old vacuum, was SO HEAVY, I just could NOT push it around anymore. Needless to say, I came in with a MUCH lighter brand new Bissell, that will almost suck the carpets right off the floor! :) In fact, with a couple of my older rugs that are just runners, and I did not pay nearly as much on, are losing their backing... it is just coming off of them because they are just getting old and ready to be replaced. Always something... oil in the car needs to be changed, the house taxes are in, thus a reminder those will come due shortly!
Then the "Happy New Year 2014" rings in with a new rush of a New Year and all of those "tasks" that also "ring" in annually. Taxes to pay, house insurance and car insurance to probably come time to renew. Taxes, which I do my Mom's Income Tax forms and filing, and all of the other 100 items that come in like a flash of lightening through the black ink darkness of a clear night's sky.
Alas, it is my time to begin thinking about my own personal "Agenda" for 2014. Call it a "Resolution List" if you wish, but I have one each year with some things that are probably pretty standard for all of us.
Well since I just posted on FB! I shall add it here to finish this post off and post it for everyone! You shall see what I've been doing since very early this morning ;)
Okay!!! One MORE project out of my hair;) I should not say that at all. I just finished getting my "annual Christmas letter" finished, printed and put in my Christmas cards! ;) LOL! I always "say" every year, Oh, I am going to "skip it" or make it shorter, and of course, that NEVER happens. It became a tradition many years ago by a cousin of mine in TN. She is older than me, so when I was younger, I remembered Cathryn's letter every year in her Christmas Cards. I loved it so much, that after I got up and was sending my own cards, I began the "tradition". I don't think I've missed any honestly. Not even through out surgeries, illnesses, etc... I've been fortunate enough to be able to get it done. :):) Anyway, I finished it, and I feel awesome to have them ready for stamps, and the post office!!! LOL! Of course, I have NOT put up ONE decoration yet. But, with Jim's shoulder/neck thing, and my stupid "hernia" thing... and now my Mom is having massive pain with her right shoulder - which I think is also her neck. I've got to get her into a doctor. She has an appt with our PCP tomorrow, but I know he won't be able to do anything, but send her to an orthopedic specialist. Then we are going to have to have out if it is her shoulder, or her neck. Mine was both! So, I know that will be a hard row to hoe with her. She is NOT a "hospital person".... I saw that when she was there just overnight with her heart monitor incident. Then with the wrist surgery, I thought I would NEVER get her to get it repaired. It took me months and months to get her to go and have it done. She uses "me" as an excuse... LOL!!! And that has to stop.... just because I have "illness issues" does not mean she can just "wait" and not have it fixed... We just have to work all of us around one another... talk about a mess... my surgery is scheduled for the 30th for the hernia... which means I will probably not be able to do much but be on the computer or sofa for weeks... esp. no carrying or lifting, well heck, how the devil am I supposed to survive if I can't do what I need to do??? ;) We always manage... but with Jim and his own neck..shoulder issues, it won't be as easy as usual... anyway we maybe all looking for "nurses" at our homes.... HAHAHAHA!!! I wish all a good rest of the afternoon... it is still COLD and nasty outside here... so I am headed to get stuff all ground up to make another batch of fruitcakes... well I hope... I am already exhausted. I got up at 3:30 this morning... and have not stopped since....