Showing posts with label AAI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AAI. Show all posts

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Medicare, Disabilities, Chronic Illnesses, Chronic Pain... and going through the "hoops" to get the help we need...

Morning gals and guys... or guys and gals, however you want to put it. I realize I've been almost "quiet" the past couple of days, which is not like me.

I've been doing several things, from continuing on my spring/summer "cleaning"... believe me when I get into one of these moods, if it is not "nailed down" it may just get thrown away, given away, or whatever... but it will not stay in this house for sure.

I do this about 2 - 3 times a year. I guess we all have a certain "time" that we decide it is time to "junk away"... I am not a "hoarder" by no means. But, I do believe in hanging on to some items, knowing there will come a time, I will decide I need a certain item.

So, like many, I have a "guide" I go by. If I have not needed it, thought about it, worn it, looked at it... for OVER a year or a bit more... then it's time to either get rid of it, or decide to use it in whatever way I intended.

I don't like to be one of those who hangs onto every plastic butter bowl, or every coffee can, or old towels, sheets, or even clothes. Usually on my clothes, I have a few tops I wear around the house daily. They are probably not really fit to run to town in, but okay enough for around the house. Then I have some I wear for everyday errands. Those I wear to run errands in, to the market, to Wally World... and when they get to the place, they are looking kind of "not all that great", I use those around the house, and by then it is more than time to "chunk" away the other old house tops. You can bet by then, they are stained, probably are beginning to have a few tiny holes in them and so on.

As far as my "dressy"... more go to the Casino, out to eat, or something else ... that I feel I need to dress up for... again, I go through them a couple of times a year. If I have not put it on, thought about it, even remotely considered doing anything in it, then usually it goes to Good Will, if it is still in good shape. I try my best NOT to have LOTS of stuff, that is totally NOT going to be worn here in my closets. Thus, a couple of times a year during the season changes is a great opportunity to take them and let someone else get some use out of them. I do the same with magazines, books, and the like. If I can "reuse", then I do... if I can give it to others to recycle, reuse, etc... I do... If none of those sound feasible, then usually it goes over to "Soul's Harbor"... which is a store, that everyone does the same. Whether clothes, furniture, dishes, you name it... and you don't really want to throw it out, then we take them there. You can get a receipt for a tax write off, but I don't even worry over that. I always tell them, if you can sell it, or whatever... great, if you cannot... the get rid of it however you do....

Okay, so I've been in the middle of all of that stuff, along with getting rid of 2 old computers, an old desk, some speakers, and just some "general" stuff that rather than let me hauled off in the trash... we have a couple of people that come around and pick up some items, especially if there is any metal in them... they sell it to one of our "steel" businesses here. That way those thing get recycled, the guys can get a few bucks out of them, and that means less waste in our landfills for sure.

I know my family gets tickled at me. I can find some real "odd" uses for some stuff, but when I finish, they are totally amazed. A few years back, we had a pretty good sized tree limb come down. IT was pretty straight, and fairly thick. It was also long enough, in my head, I could see it cut into about 18 inch long pieces, and make flower arrangements with them. So, we cut them in a couple of different lengths. I went around my house and found some of my silk flowers, then went to our "Dollar Tree" and picked up a few more, and 'voila', I had three beautiful flower arrangements, at that time for Christmas!!!

I had one for my table, one of the office and one for the living room! Between some left over ribbon, and lace, a few silk flowers, some floral wire... and a bit of imagination, they appeared to be something you may buy at one of these "DIY" sales, where people sell their items they make. Then I got the idea, I would change them for the different holidays. So I had some flowers and things for Valentine's Day, Memorial Day, Easter... Thanksgiving, and one year even St. Patrick's Day! I found some "green silk flowers" and I had some white ones, and with a bit of green and white ribbon, that made a cute centerpiece on a table or on the desk, or sitting in the living room.

OF course, here I go again, taking the "back way" around what I wanted to write about in the beginning of this.

I read an article this morning about an extremely "lucrative" (for the crooks) scam that took place all over this nation, in regard to "false claims" from Medicare. This is such a horrid thing, ANY PHYSICIAN is NOT a true doctor, if they are ripping off their patients. That is called greed, and any one in the medical profession and others are no professional if they take advantage of something as "fragile" as Medicare is. It just burns me to NO END, that the very people that NEED to be seen by physicians, that cannot AFFORD for our Medicare system to go "belly up" are the ones that suffer from this unspeakable crime. Even though they took down the largest fraud ring ever in this, I am sure there are others out there doing it also... and it appears that Medicare has tightened up and is paying more attention to these kind of schemes. Florida of course is a huge one, but there were several states including Texas involved in this.

Due to migraines, chronic pain, fatigue an  ALL THAT GOES along with disabilities also, NEED there disability (Medicare) also to help keep their health hopefully in check. I know of course some of you are not thrilled about the idea of those on disability... but I PAIN into my Social Security and Medicare for over 25 years before I had to file for my disability. So, I don't feel that I've taken advantage of anyone or anything. I just could not work anymore due to all of my health issues, and I've had to accept the fact, they are NOT MY FAULT! The Lupus, Sjogren's, RA, and so on... "just happened"... I've done nothing as far as I know to cause them....


IT took me a long time to understand, I am not to blame... I didn't go and do something within my life, as far as I know to "cause" me to become ill. You would be surprised though how many of us want to blame ourselves for it,

No chronic illness and/or chronic pain issue is FUN! They are all serious, and they change your entire life and your quality of life in many instances is truly sunken into the depths of the unknown... losing friends, spouses, family... to those horrid diseases, that we have little or no control over.

All we can do is take one step in front of the other, one moment at a time... and continue to hold on to what we can do, have, and hope for in the future.....

I've not disappeared at all... just been extremely busy... for one, fighting of two flares, making changes around my home, as you see above, and trying to fit some of the pieces of me, that seemed to have gotten lost in all of the drama... of daily life....


http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/Medicare/52207


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"Autoimmune Epilepsy"? - Stiffness Onset, feeling severe fatigue, headache? What is it?

I had an "episode" last Friday. It is something I had experienced perhaps 2 or 3 times in my life that I can recall. But, never like I did this time. It was early, and I was getting out of my computer chair, and began to yawn.... but then my entire body became "stiff"... like every muscle "locked down" and the more I tried to stretch out, the worse it seemed to be stiff. 

I had originally posted my "episode" on Facebook. I've got to get out of the habit of posting there, when I have LOTS to say. I need to post here first, then put only a "bit" on Facebook with a link to my blog.... thus here is the post and more about this "Autoimmune Epilepsy" information I have came into as I did some research... And of course, I am "under the weather"... or not feeling well at all. I've got some kind of stomach mess going I guess. I was having issues yesterday with this very strange "yawning" episode ordeal. It's been a long time since I've had it happen. I would yawn and it was like all of my "muscles" in my body would almost "lock" as I tried to stretch. I can't really explain it, but I guess the feeling would almost be like someone having a "seizure" and all of the muscles get "stiff" and rigid all at once. That is kind of the "feeling" I have with this. I've had it happen before but it as has a long time ago. I already was very fatigued and had a very nauseated stomach early yesterday morning. In fact I took medication for the nausea before it got bad and got on the sofa. And I also ran a low grade fever, like around 99.7 to about 99.9 yesterday all day long, had a severe headache, and my neck muscles are so sore I can barely stand to touch them. Of course every morning when I first get up, I really can't tell how I feel. My feet always hurt so badly, I can't hardly stand to walk on them until I have been up and around for a few hours. Anyway, I think my butt might be back on the sofa today. I am still not feeling "great" at all. Probably a flare, I am going to say. Unless the fever was to get higher than what it had been yesterday, any lower grade fever usually goes with one. And even a low grade fever will make me feel like hell, and give me a bad headache. Anyway, I am still pissed because between the pharmacy and my new insurance they still have my scripts screwed up. I am not sure if either of them know what the hell they are doing. Plus I am already getting letters from the stupid insurance co. wanting my doctor to say "why" I am on one medication rather than what "they" suggest... well in the first place the 3 they suggested are NSAIDS of which I CANNOT TAKE - due to my heart and my stomach, plus what I am on is a muscle relaxer, so why the hell they think a stupid NSAID should be what I am on is beyond my thinking. I can already see it will be hell getting all of this through and over with until I get a fill on ALL of my meds and see what they are going to bitch about, and how many they are going to have the doctors freaking send a form on. It just gripes my butt they feel they know "more" than your doctor!

Anyway, the other funny thing that happened last night! We were watching a movie and all of a sudden my pup, Bubba started barking. Within about 10 seconds we started hearing all of this loud popping, banging, and I could see "colors" through my blinds outside. We ran out the door thinking something was very wrong, and there were fireworks going off left, right and center, right what looked like the middle of our town. We live just a stone's throw away from the main part of town. This went on for about 7 minutes or more. And it began to appear it was on purpose and professional. Lots of dollars of fireworks were going up in the air and it was definitely awesome... except for the smoke trail it left when it was all over with. About that time, the phone rings and I told Jim I bet it is my Mother! Sure enough he answered it and she was all in a tizzy thinking this was happening just a block from her house! LOL!!! Then it dawned on me that I remembered reading something about the City having a parade etc for our High School Football team. They won state here about 3 or so weeks ago, so the city was going to honor them. Sure enough I grabbed the newspaper, and I was right. That was going on right around that time, and I guess was the "finale'" when the parade and so forth was over. OMG, though every neighbor was out, all of Mom's neighbors were all thinking something horrible was happening. But, I don't think they could actually see the fireworks like we could. They are just a bit farther from the main street where it was taking place, plus the trees over there are so tall, I think most of them were only seeing the smoky trail it was making as they went off. Anyway, Jim got her settled down and told her, I had read where they were having that last night, so that is what was happening.... so far no terrorists were shooting off fireworks in our town...LOL... guess not really funny since Lord knows where those freaking nut cases are and what they might do. I think Jim put up the "front page" of the magazine from France the other day and I told him that may not be a great idea.... you never know when those totally insane people might be and what they might do if they find anything to try and pin on any Americans. We all know they absolutely hate us... and we would be "extinct" if they had their way.... just insanity.... so if I am not online much today, it is because I am on the sofa. I just still feel really "off"... everyone else take care and have a good Sunday....(here is a bit more on the subject of the parade and my Mom and her ordeal out if it....

 This just had to be posted... it is funny, but it is also a realization of age, the quickness of times that things change in this world, and how the elderly get so ether corn
And if either of my KIDS tell on me for telling this story about my Mom, I will beat your butts... LOL... but Saturday night they had a parade here in town for our High School Football Team. They won state this year, and they were celebrating 5 State Championship Wins that we have had since 1975... well there had been a couple of articles in our daily paper here about it, and I knew they were going to do the parade. But, I don't think they mentioned anywhere I could find that they were going to put on a "huge fireworks" display as soon as it got dark right after the parade. So Jim and I were watching a movie, and the dogs "heard" something first, and one of them barked a bit. Then we turned the movie volume down and sure enough you could hear this loud "popping" noise almost like gun fire at first. But, we both went outside and saw all of these fireworks going off near down town. We weren't but about 4 or 5 city blocks away, so we could see it over the trees, and it went on for at least 10 minutes or so. We still didn't really know why they had went off, but what did dawn on us, is that it was done "professionally". or the city would have never allowed it to happen. Well, about the time the last one went off my phone rang and I told Jim, I bet it is my Mom... now it still had not really dawned on me about the parade, so neither one of us really knew why they were going off, but it appeared it was done "on purpose", not some accident etc... sure enough my Mom was in a panic... she asked Jim if we heard it and he went in to telling her yes, we did, and yes we saw all the smoke afterward, and about that time then it did dawn on me about the Parade for our Football Team. Sure enough I grabbed the newspaper so I knew that is what it was, even though they had not mentioned the fireworks. As Jim tried to tell Mom what the deal was, she got almost pissed and said why would they fire "fireworks" off right by her house?? And we were puzzled... she thought due to the smoke and the way it came over town and she never saw the fireworks at all. She thought they were doing it right around the corner from her where our old hospital building is.... LOL!!!! Jim was trying to tell her no, they were down in town around the old building and where people who used to work at Ennis Business Forms parked on the "parking lot" right at main street... well she wanted to argue so he just said "okay" and all is fine... and I was indisposed at the moment in the bathroom, so I would talk to her the next day. Well, I go over yesterday, and she said did you see where they were trying to clean all that mess up in front of the old hospital from that fireworks mess??? I almost wanted to tell her to shut up about it, but I explained NO!!!!! it was down by the old Ennis Bus. Forms parking lot, and we saw all of it. What was in that parking lot of the old hospital is a huge dumpster full of junk they have taken out of the old building there, and were using a small bull dozer to dump it into that dumpster... it had NOTHING to do with the parade or fireworks what so ever... and if she had been that way all week last week, she would have seen them cleaning up a bunch of stuff they were hauling out of that building... In fact I had told her twice last week I saw them cleaning out some stuff and wondered if someone finally bought that property... the building is in such an old state and the code violations so many, they really can't "repair" it, it would be cheaper to tear it down, and then rebuild it, because of the shape it is in... anyway, she was still so pissed about the fireworks, and then it was even more funny. I got home, pulled out the newspaper from last Tuesday, and on the FRONT PAGE... a HUGE ARTICLE about the PARADE ON SATURDAY NIGHT for the State Win in Football... but I didn't see anything about the fireworks... so that was kind of an error because with as many elderly people that we have here and especially living relatively close to down town, I am sure many that really don't follow our football team. So with the world in the shape it is in and all of the stuff going on, I do feel they should have definitely put something in about the fireworks and made sure that people knew it was going to happen... like I said we really was not sure at first, until I recalled something about a parade in the paper, and that is when I put it all together... but Mom was still just pissed about it all... she HATES FOOTBALL anyway.... so for her it made no sense at all.... IT was so funny!!!! Just because she was so adamant that I was nuts and it was right by her....LOL!!! and as I said MY KIDS BETTER NOT TELL HER I PUT THIS ON FB!!! 

Now I realize I posted a bit about this a day or two ago... but I didn't get the entire thing in there, thus I wanted to "repost" it with all of the "good stuff" in it.... anyone who knew my Mom would totally "get" why this was so freaking funny... I mean she is getting up in age, and I know there are often things she just does not "get" anymore... and maybe never had honestly. But, when I went back over there yesterday and she was still going on and on about how they should have "never" done that... and how horrible it was and so forth, I just had to post the entire conversations.... so take this multiply it by about 100 times and think of all of the "things" in life, her, like many older citizens just don't get... computers, "automated teller machines", debit cards, washing a car at the car wash, driving in the dark, you name it.... it really at times is almost sad that she is so "frightened" of so much in life.... here this year in August comes her 80th Birthday... seems impossible, yet there is still so much that just either scares her because she has not been exposed to it, or she fears learning anything new, she absolutely does not even know what kind of batteries go in her TV remote, and if I finally get her to write them down. and understand it. Then there is no way she can figure out how to put them in the proper direction.

It just seems so terribly wrong to know she struggles with these things, and without someone right here to help her, there would be a great deal that just would totally be things she never could do herself, or my other fear is her getting taken advantage of, if something needs repair at her house... I have to continually warn her to throw away "junk" mail - stuff like "insurance" for your water pipes, or people calling her all the time about trying to "sell" her something, or get her to change over her "electrical" carrier... they just target and prey on the elderly people knowing so many of them either don't understand or they have no one to "watch out" for them.... it is a totally crazy and insane world we live in. Even myself, especially with some emails, for the most part I can detect a "spam" or some "trap" email that can reek havoc with my computer, etc... yet these "spammers" and others that send out these emails get smarter, more aggressive, yet sloppier all the time. But when you get something and it may refer to one of your credit cards, or a company you may do business with, they can almost make you truly believe it is a "for real" email that is totally critical... so if those of us who "know" and are wise enough to "smell a rat" per se', yet can almost be fooled, then people that aren't as educated, or have not grown up with all we face in the daily realms through this walk of life... then someone has to try and look out for them... I feel for those that don't have anyone... we hear all the time how people get "cheated" out of sometimes their life savings by these bullies out there....

Thursday, October 2, 2014

WAAD 2014 (World Autoimmune ARthritis Day) October 12th!!!!


MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Be sure to get the word out about World Arthritis Day 2014! We need to get everyone on board when it comes to these horrendous diseases. I have read and told about 4 or 5 "new" ideas on Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, and other autoimmune illnesses (arthritic and regular autoimmune)... and I am delving into a very interesting one that I talked with all of all people, a friend and my doggie's doctor just yesterday. I mentioned it in my post from early this morning. Once I have enough information on the situation, I will certainly post some links, probably on my blog and then I will make sure a link is here also. Some of us maybe "ill" from something our physicians nor us may have ever given thought to.... and the idea that my "vet" may have the answers to so many unanswered questions on my health problems, would be just awesome to me... you never know until you dig around, ask questions, and delve into sometimes what seems like may not make sense... with AI illnesses NOTHING makes sense... Stay tuned!!!!!





Did you know that October 12th is World Arthritis Day? On World Arthritis Day, people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders from around the world join together to make their voices heard. You can be involved! Learn more about World Arthritis Day and its hosts, Eular - European League Against Rheumatism, here: http://www.worldarthritisday.org!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Trying to find My Way Back - to What A "Normal" Autoimmune Diseased Life Should Be...


I began this as a post on Facebook early this morning, Sept. 2, 2014. Yet, after writing on it for about a half hour or more, getting up to check on the dog, and my head pounding... it dawned on me, "Get your other stuff caught up... i.e. make some sugar free jello, make the chocolate fudge cake for the weekend, getting the "stuffed peppers" I bought the stuff to make on the day when it was supposed to be cooling down; thus this morning seemed to be the best morning. I had thought about going out to wash my car. I thought if I did maybe rather than continue to "test" and tease us, it would actually rain. Well, so far I was wrong, as it all has done lately. It seems the weather has made many of us hurt terribly. Physicians (some physicians) want to tell us we are full of bull when we say that the "weather" doesn't effect our lives as far as our pain, joints, headaches, and so forth. I know beyond a doubt that from the barometric pressure, to "cool fronts', the humidity, rain, sleet, snow, thunderstorms, you name it, many will more definitely have an effect on chronic pain illnesses, joint issues, and many of the "2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on, disease that follow right along with the primary diagnosis. I had been concerned lately over "Shingles". I have seen way too many of my online friends, as well as close kin folks and friend that have had a breakout of shingles. I found articles stating people that have never had them, have well over 2 to 1 (50%) chance of having shingles if you have an autoimmune illness. I've been concerned over my illnesses because I feel I can't quite find a place of "remission" in any of them. I am on the medications, I am trying to do everything I can correctly, rest, eat well (ah, that one is hard with the teeth issues I have)           This next paragraph or paragraphs if you would like to say below are what I began on Facebook. I copied what I had already typed on and then decided I am going to "stick" to my word. I am going to post the bulk of the post here, then just put a small snippet in FB, with a link back to it here in my Blog. Blogger has made some changes, some good, giving you more options and other than just add chaos & confusion. I was hoping FM would slow down a bit and give people time to catch up. Sure many of us are "hooked" on line 24/7/365. But, all too often we don't have time to sit around and figure out the "new" things on FB, Blogger, and the numerous other sites we "belong" to. It reminds me of all of the stores I frequent here in my home town. About the time you learn how to use your markets check out debit system,  they bring in one that is "better, bigger, more secure" and also confuses the hell out of me. Then you run over to your pharmacy, same thing, now they handle the entire way you check out totally different. Now try to go shopping two or three department stores! Everyone one of them, either has a new "card" for you to sign up and and get 20% discount. Yes, the first time, and then after that, all you get an email box full of junk from them daily. Then they have all of these mark-downs with an "extra 20% off" at the register, and you either have your calculator out, they might be nice and have a "chart" up on the rack telling you what the cost will be after the "extra" is taken off at the register. Anyway, when you are already dealing in trying to keep your sanity with a brain fog that seems to only be getting worse each week; the lists that have now become the lists of lists you need to take care of and LORD forbid I not forget something for someone, a doctors appointment, or even something as trivial as getting "change for the coke machine, or picking up a drink, some kind of soda that if I don't, no one else would think about how thirsty I get when I am having to drive anywhere, and in fact I cannot walk through a huge store like a Wally World's, unless I stop by a front counter and pick up a drink to sip on while I shop.                                                                                                                 

I've been telling this now for awhile to my family and friends. Not only had my physical  issues change, I seem to have slowed down to a crawl at times. My brain cannot function, I feel it takes me forever to get ready, then I look down and there is always something else that needed to be done, or I forgot to put on "the list" .... heck even times I do well to remember the name of a room, or the name of what is in that room! Store names, my own phone number, it seems that may "brain fog" add          


I thought I would post this on FB at first, then changed my mind. I is a combination of several days posts, I began days ago. I changed my mind and want to put it here first, then really tell about these feelings I have on my blog; then share them that way. I will put this on my blog, but it has been on my mind now since I went to Winstar last weekend with my Mom. As most of you know, due to all of my extensive sharing, I LOST ALL of my Teeth to Sjögren's within a year. It sounds almost impossible, and I know from everything I've read and been told, that they "damage" that could not been seen probably had been going on since I was first diagnosed with Lupus, Sjögren's, Raynauds, RA... and who knows what else. That was back in about 2009-10 when the very first real "blood work" was done, and the doctor took ALL of my years of symptoms seriously to put them together. When he did, I was sent immediately to a Rheumatologist. This gentleman, a Rheumatologist no doubt for many, many years, still even used "gold injections" on occasion on patients. But, he was far from a dummy, and further he end  around the corner there in his office to have blood drawn, urine and he did even a more extensive workup on me. But even that first day, just by an examination of my toes, fingers, wrists, thumbs, feet... he "felt" and the saw the damage. He also saw that I had Raynaud's immediately, and I had an "hyper-extension of many of my joints, almost like being double jointed. Even after that first visit, I was so upset that it had probably been going on for years and years.. my Xrays showed my toes and finger joints being bad already, so none of this happened over night, and not one doctor until my new PCP at the time, could ever put ALL of my symptoms together. It was somewhat almost a relief, yet it also very scary also, No telling what had really come of "damage" not detected since it might have been years this was going on, yet no one could explain the severe migraines, the extreme tiredness, the not being able to "multi-task" as I once could, having just about every joint either already been injected or had surgery or even been totally replaced before the age of 50! No one could truly explain how someone, like myself, a very fit woman, (walked, ate properly, exercised daily, kept my weight down, and yet I had a heart attack at 40 years old and another at 50! Nothing made sense, yet no doctor could put it all together either.. what made my new PCP at the time think "autoimmune issues" I don't know... Maybe a conversation I had with him about me thinking I had "Lupus". Anyway something finally "clicked"... thus here I am today, far into the realms of autoimmune illnesses... and the latest issues the Sjögren's... so here I am now 54 (since Feb 15th) ! battling a battle I thought I would never have... losing my teeth and having dentures... and won't hold until the "mini implants can go in, which will be another 60 days or more. I am not going to lie They are a pain in the butt, or mouth I guess. They seem odd, too much "junk" in your mouth, a pain to have to clean, then put in each morning, then have to brush them, clean my mouth and put them in, then out they come at night... you cannot sleep in them. And eating in them for now is almost impossible. Even my "bite" pattern is completely different, which I am thrilled about, because they are "pretty and I wanted pretty teeth all my life, just never realized they would have to be "fake" and not my real ones. But, I honestly felt like once I got these new teeth in they would "fill in" where I had lost many teeth, which in turn would fill out my lips more, my bottom cheeks and lines around my mouth. I was hoping to "see" a bit different maybe even more youthful (by a few years) me.... but guess what? Nope.... did not make that change nearly as much as that as I had so hoped it would. I just was so disappointed, because I did not realize with the scars from the accident years ago, and the two small scars from my fall right around my mouth. I keep thinking, well, like any other woman, there has to be a way to "tighten" up that skin, or "bleach" out those darkened scars. I even went so far as to  begin looking today and am going to research some of these new facial creams out on the market to see which ones really work, and which ones charge a fortune, yet do nothing. I come more and more to realize I must take even better care of my skin. I have always pretty well used the proper things on my face and skin, lotions, I always take my makeup off at night, allow my skin to breathe and so forth. But, I pray quitting smoking will also reduce some of those lines around mouth. I see elderly women who probably smoked all their lives, and they have all of these deep seeded wrinkles around their mouth, and I always said I never wanted to do look that. But, dammit, when the teeth are out, I somewhat do and it upsets and embarrasses me to have anyone see what it truly looks like. I know we all age, some of us more gracefully than others... and depending on how well we have taken care of our bodies, minds and spirits makes a huge difference in the way you look as you age.

So does having these illnesses like Lupus, RA, Sjogren's age us faster? In all ways, in some ways.... what do you think????? I want to know how you feel about the subject and how many of you really take great care of the hair, skin, nails, including your face? If so, how and do you feel it is making a difference??