Showing posts with label Platinum Ambassador. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Platinum Ambassador. Show all posts

Saturday, March 12, 2016

YOU TOO Can be a Virtual Advocate during the AF Summit on the Hill 2016!!!! YOU ARE IMPORTANT!!!!!

Arthritis Foundation Summit Begins Monday in DC! YOU TOO can be a "Virtual Advocate"!!!!




http://www.arthritis.org/about-us/news-and-updates/arthritis-foundations-advocacy-summit-fights-for-awareness-and-cure.php


Advocate 101: Join the Movement


What is an Advocate?

Advocates help improve the lives of people living with arthritis. The key to success in changing government policies and funding is through grassroots advocacy and our advocates are the Arthritis Foundation's chief resource for making positive changes in Washington. Click here to join the movement!

What does an Advocate do?

Advocates make their opinions and personal stories known. By signing up, you'll receive Action Alerts in your inbox when important arthritis-related issues are debated on Capitol Hill.   In 5 minutes or less, you'll be able to write your elected officials and tell them their constituents care about arthritis and how it impacts our communities....(see the URL for more information...   




Sponors for the 2016 AF Summit!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

#RA Blog Week WEGO Day 4 - 5 things I have learned About Myself since Diagnosed with RA

Another great subject to ponder! What 5 things I have learned having Rheumatoid Arthritis?


I am sure MANY and/OR ALL of us, could state many, many more than 5 things we have learned over the course of days after you are diagnosed with RA.

I've learned that even through all of the fatigue, all of the complications, medications, turmoil, the "loss" of what a normal life had been before RA was for me, that I am MUCH STRONGER, and I can DEAL mentally and emotionally with ALL things than I used to think I could.

I can "handle" helping my Mom, running errands at times, shopping, and all of the usual things we all need or must do in a day, week, month or as the years go by.

I also have had to "deal" with a new normal. I've not been sure if I could truly deal with all that having any chronic illness and/or chronic pain when I was diagnosed. I cannot DO all as I used to be able to. I've had to give up many things I loved so much. Going on an all day shopping spree, and maybe just window shopping, but I was able to go, and then come home to get ready and go dancing, or out to eat with friends.

I no longer CAN do those things, but I have found out that I can live with NOT doing some things, yet I've learned new things that now can occupy me, like advocacy, activism, and being an Ambassador. I learned how good I am at being in the realms of helping others go through what I may have or are going through too.

I've learned that there are BILLIONS of places online to get information, do research, and find out any and everything you want to learn about your health issues. But, I have learned to "watch" carefully some of what I see. NOT ALL of the information out there in Cyber Space is true.

I have to learn how to give myself injections. I also have had to learn "where" and "where not" the lab people can "stick" me to draw blood. My veins are tiny, and have lots of "valves" in them (something else I learned) thus I have about 3 places that they need to use (if they will listen) or I have to be stuck several times before they can "hit" the spot.

I've learned how to improvise, and find different ways to open a jar lid, or a can. I've had to make sure I take enough reusable bags into the market, so they are not too heavy for me to carry. I've learned to "ask" for help, which is so difficult for me to do. I just dislike having to ask anyone to "help" me, yet I have learned at times someone else has to do it, because for one reason or the other I can't.

I could go on and on about what I have learned, think about, and also cherishing each and every moment of those that I love and hold dearly. Time is truly precious. This week for me has proved that 50 times over for sure.

http://www.radiabetes.com/leading-prompts-for-rablog-week-as-of-august-18-2015/

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Arthritis Foundation Being an Ambassador & Just how incredible of a Foundation it is.

I've talked a great deal here on my blog, as well as on Facebook, in emails to friends and family, along with spreading the word here in my hometown, and even in our local newspaper, I've had a couple of articles published.

I know at times when we think "non-profit", charity organization, or other ways they are often referred to, it gives the idea that they "collect money through donations" and use those to help others, possibly for some research, and so forth.

Actually, that is not all that the Arthritis Foundation does at all. They are an incredible Foundation, created by some fantastic people, that have changed the face of arthritis throughout the world. They bring "patients" and "caretakers", even our youngest of patients the kids with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and have them involved in the annual "Summit on the Hill" each March on Capitol Hill in D.C. in order to have more funds, more awareness, and more support through Caucus' and those Representatives that can help to make research, awareness, and also others types of assistance available for patients, families and caretakers.

They are a true leader when it comes to "arthritis". Whether it be Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Juvenile RA, and/or the complications of those to a standstill. They feel that anyone that has to suffer from these horrid diseases, that can't get the medications and care they need in order to have a normal life, as being totally not acceptable in any shape or form.

They are warriors in the battle of these horrid illnesses and diseases. They have made an impact through not only the Federal Levels of government, but also in our States legislation to chance things so that "we" as patients can have affordable medications, access to the proper care, making sure that "generic" medications are virtually the same as the original name brands.

Not only do they hold the annual Summit each year and see each and every Senator/staff and/or Representatives, they have also changed things that were very wrong with insurance coverage for people with these illnesses, and helped to stop the "insurance" companies from telling the doctors what or what they cannot give to their own patients.

They have also along with the Department of Defense started a program years back, where our women and men that come out of duty home, all too often to suffer from some type of arthritis and/or autoimmune illness, have a "face and name" in that respect. There are studies about why so often a "well" soldier comes in from a stent of duty, only to realize they have been "taken down" by some type of arthritic ailment. The chances of that grows higher each year, with troops coming home to be in much more pain and suffering than to be in the wars.

The "AF" Arthritis Foundation provides dozens of opportunities for those who wish to become a "voice" by being able to become an Ambassador, help with other volunteer efforts, write letters and emails to your representatives, attend different events, such as the "Jingle Bell Run" and the latest which is the annual "Walk for Arthritis".

Over and above all of those, they also have events for those kids with Juvenile RA. They have week long camps, are also there at times to speak to the Congress, and help in some many ways when it comes to fighting for a cure for these diseases.

So, whether you are able to give a few hours of your time to help out, send out emails, hand out information to others in your community, do a local fundraiser, get the word out like this through blog postings, social media, your local government, newspapers,attend a "Town Hall Meeting", or however you can give of your time, all of those things and so much more are crucial to "solve the mysteries" of these life altering diseases.

Please go to:



                      and be a "Champion of YES!"

I will post more about my own "Ambassador" role, and in fact I was made a "Platinum Ambassador for 2014! Which is another one of those incredible honors bestowed on those that give of themselves and of their time to make a difference for "every one"!

 Below explains more in detail of just how crucial it is to be a "Champion of Yes!

 

Champion of Yes.
Our Voice Resonates Loud and Clear
All-In
We are all driven by a passion and commitment to work that goes beyond the call of duty.
Expert
We continually strengthen our longstanding track record of leadership, and apply our authority to initiatives that are escalating technological, medical and scientific advancements every day.
Bold
We are tenaciously and aggressively attacking arthritis and its effects, with a loud voice and loyal persistence that will never back down.
Ever Present
We are here for the long haul —when, where and how people need us — maintaining relevance in every field and facet that affects arthritis.
Brave
Together, in the face of darkness, we possess an optimistic outlook and winning spirit that courageously leads us.
arthritis.org
Arthritis is a thief. People with arthritis know this full well. It steals everyday joys and long- term dreams. It isolates and ostracizes.
It is painful. It induces a spirit of No.

As people close to the Arthritis Foundation, we know that it doesn’t have to be this way. We are in a unique place of authority and action, with the purpose of finding a cure, but also fighting for the everyday victories.
We Exist to Conquer Arthritis
The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community.
Plan for Yes
We chart the course for the arthritis community, helping families develop personalized plans for saying Yes — day after day.

 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sharing More About My Pathway to being An Autoimmune "Voice" Activist, doing Advocacy & being An Ambassador for AI's - A Long Journey...

I am WAITING "patiently". I am supposed to get a huge "suprise" goody box from the Arthritis Foundation. Since I was not able to attend the Summit, they are sending me my "Platinum Ambassador" certificate, along with some other things from the Summit!!! Hopefully another reusable bag, so I can "advertise" plus maybe a T-Shirt smile emoticon I hope. We got them last year, so maybe that will be with some of the rest of it... I will take a picture after I get it so everyone can see what kinds of things I got.... I am still so totally bummed about not getting to go to DC I pray and pray, I will get another chance in the future! :):) I certainly hope so... being in DC for me, is the ultimate "advocacy" way to get your message across... I did last year in 2014... and even though I didn't get to go physically this past time, my heart, soul and spirit were there and I was "tweeting", blogging and posting everything I could to help spread the word!

I will have more and better pics in a bit.. my battery on my camera needs charging. But, here is a portion of the awesome box I received yesterday from The Grassroots Manager at the Arthritis Foundation!!!! Even though I did not make it to DC this year and be awarded my plaque in person, I hope next year to go one way or the other... I was so surprised and honored to receive this!
  • I am going to post a photo a bit later of ALL of my incredible things I received from the Arthritis Foundation. I was so thrilled when it came yesterday afternoon! I received my "Official Plaque" for being a 20014 "Platinum Ambassador", a new T-Shirt from the new Summit, several buttons I can wear, a "stress" ball, an awesome "reusable" bag!! This one has zipper pockets, and is lined very well in heavy plastic, with the whole logo on it from the summit. It is really awesome! I also got the brand new 2015 Ambassador "Too; lit", which is so nice. I have it downloaded onto my computer, but this one is so cool. It is in a beautiful bound booklet, with all of the "colorful" logos etc used this year for the Summit. By the way, it is "green" this year and so it my new T-Shirt! I am just so happy I received it with a beautiful note written by the "grassroots manager" who is just a real sweetheart! Laura has been almost like a "mentor" to me in so many wonderful ways. Also, last year along the way, we became "friends". I learned a great deal about her on more of a personal level and we shared things back and forth over the year about the Arthritis Foundation, but also what we had going on more about our own lives. I have truly been blessed to have her kind of take me under her wing. She was the person that helped to get me home, in the last years Summit of 2014, when Jim had the severe and very bad car accident at the last of the Summit. Her and Chris Nieto will always remain extremely special to me on many, many ways. I thank the Lord for them each day, and all of the help. compassion, support, and so much more they gave to me during that "trying time". Those times when life can all of a sudden within a breaths space throw a curve ball at you 90 MPH, & hit you right in the gut with full force. I am so indebted to both of them, plus the Arthritis Foundation; along with several others that gave me the support I needed when literally my knees buckled under the weight of way too much "life tragedy" when I least expected it. Pam Gill from the Central AF also was a huge help, and so many of the advocates, and my "family here on FB" were here day after day during those trying times when he was in the hospital for over 3 months. I never thought our lives would ever see anything
    "normal" again. As I said before, and we continue to see it, a "new normal" whatever that might be in our lives now. Denise Tekell you have also been here to listen, encourage, support, & be such a very dear, dear friend even though you are going through a very difficult time in your own life. I admire you so very much, for the strength you show, for your tenacity to find your way through such again a time when life seems to be so turned upside down for you and your family. Yet, you always have a smile on your face, no matter the amount of pain, and of fatigue, & all kinds of health issues you are dealing with, you have a kind word for us no matter what life is also pitching at you also, at a pace so fast, sometimes we find ourselves almost unable to "dodge" it. So many of you here have lifted myself and Jim up in thought, positive light and prayers. I hope EACH and everyone of you (and you know who you are) always KNOW and TRUST we are so blessed and so very grateful to have you on our fighting side of life, when it decides to deem a rapid punch when you least expect it. As I finish up "HOPEFULLY" over a YEAR of the NIGHTMARE from the Sjogren's and Losing ALL OF MY TEETH to that horrid disease, and Hope for these "mini titanium pins" will continue to help give me the added support I so desperately need in order to hold these bottom dentures in place, only to now fight another battle of a "new pain" - well it is not so "new" but much worse than it had been in my lower back, hips and legs. I am still not so sure my hips are also a part of the problem. In fact I am going to call my orthopedic surgeon and make an appointment to see him hopefully ASAP and see about having my hips injected again very soon. So, once again I face a "new frontier" in this battle of autoimmune illnesses. They can cut you down much faster than you can get up all too often... more later...
  • I am sure (Jim and I in fact talked about this yesterday) that at times people probably wonder If I have lost my mind.... Well, I didn't have a whole lot to lose, since over the years many things have certainly waxed and waned me in life. At one time, before I got into the "advocacy" work, and before I got "chronically ill"... my "voice" in my writing and some volunteer work was for "battered and abused" women (men kids etc)... but mainly women. Due to a couple of events that happened to me as a teenager, that I never spoke of here in this town at all, along with the living hell of an extremely abusive marriage that I stayed in WAY TOO LONG, before I finally decided to leave the entire state of TX behind... and find "peace" somewhere else.. which at first I thought was Lancaster CA, then things happened, I had to move back to TX, and again put up with the mental, emotional and physical abuse of someone who was "supposed to love me".... I had a knee operated on... and when it was well enough, I moved to Seattle WA... there of which I thought I had found my "life"... and I did in many ways. I loved my job there, and I was basically more "healthy" that I had been in years and years. Then I was struck down with yet some more abuse, that I got out of very quickly. It was not long until I began to I am sure now have the sign and symptoms of what I now know is the Lupus, RA, Sjogrens and so forth ... so due to life's changing path, just as a river can change course my life led me back here, to where I grew up... and at first I was angry... I was ANGRY AND MAD AS HELL! To be quite honest. That was the last thing I wanted to do. But I did miss my Mom and kids... thus coming back was a good thing... As far as the "abuser" he wound up in jail for a long time right after me moving back. So, that kept him out of my life... and after that, he has left me, (us) alone for the most part. Thank goodness. Back before I moved to Seattle, due to mainly "hiding" to keep from being abused (I was 40 at the time) many thought I was the one insane, on drugs, etc... no one was ever told the truth at that time... i hid it, kept it inside because I knew no one would believe me then. They would assume and did, that I was the one with "the problem". Later it all came out, and when that happened it stopped many years of gossip, pain, and others thinking I was nuts. Anyway, My advocacy, writing, poetry and so forth for many years had always been about the abuse, how to get out, how to get help, and so on... then it took a new twist after I became so chronically ill. During my "research" of what all of these "diseases" were doing to my body, I saw much that "called me into" the activist work. I wanted to TELL THE ENTIRE WORLD that I, THAT WE... all of us NEEDED ASSISTANCE.. we needed a cure, a reason why, MORE RESEARCH, more of everything, and I so wanted to be a part of that change.... thus my own illness led me to this road of being an Ambassador... and the challenge of trying to "make a difference"... but when the ordeal with Jim happened a year ago, things truly changed again... what many DO NOT SEE, are the days, times, moments, sometimes a week or two, that I DO FALL APART... I do want to just say to hell with it and quit... I don't want to make another step, see another doctor, take another pill, and at times I am truly SICK OF BEING SICK FOR ONE... AND #2 i am SICK OF ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT BEING SICK!! So, I like you try to hold onto one moment, one hour, one day, one month... and step forward sometimes to an abyss of the unknown... and allow "faith" to lead me where I need to go... Even now, I know in my heart, if I ever intend of being SERIOUS about WRITING my BOOK, I am going to have to "cut back" on some of my other advocacy work... as much as I never wanted to even think that, much less have to honestly deal with it. I am under way too much "pressure and stress"... I've always been a "yes" person... someone asks me to "help" and of course I am always willing and ready to step up to the plate and do whatever it takes... but between my own "all terrain" keeper of our domain, in other words, taking care of the WHOLE HOME, all of it... and then so much with Mom, that she honestly cannot do on her own... and my own illness, I am still way too overloaded to find the time to write, to blog, and to do the other things I feel that are also my "calling"....So, as much as I don't want to, I am going to have to back out of some of the activism for now. I can always pick it back up later.... but for now, I feel my work on my book, our home, and Mom's things... as well as my own health has to take precedence over some of the other things I have been participating in... So, as in the next couple of days, I make that decision of what to "hold onto" for now, and what to "bow out of" for now... pray I am making the right decisions and I am doing what "His" Will is, not just my own... so this is a perfect "holiday" to "roll away the stone"... and find out what is "truly meant for me to do over the next year or so"... I pray and hope for guidance, because Lord knows I may mess it up on my own.... Hugs back and much love.





Monday, January 26, 2015

New Year - New Revelations - New "lease" on Life, still all wrapped up in an Autoimmune Illness World and How to make dreams come true...

I have under my own terms "swore off" procrastinating about the writing of my 3rd and in fact 4th book. I had a very good email come in this morning from "Create A Space" that had an article about how to "put off" the writing of a book. We can make up a thousand and one excuses, especially if you a chronically ill, or like myself chronically ill, dealing with some symptoms that can really make daily life a challenge. To top that off, now I am kind of the "whole deal" of being a care taker for myself and for Jim. Even though within a short couple of months it will be a year since that fateful car accident, that sent me reeling through a "time space" that still I am not so sure of how I got through it all.

Honestly, I am not sure I truly have resolved all of it in my own head, heart, and soul. I question my own illnesses, and as of late, have developed more symptoms, that truly have started to concern me. I am not so sure that they are from the autoimmune illnesses, I am already diagnosed with. I have this "gut" feeling... that my "gut" feeling (n pun intended), along with the nausea, the extreme fatigue, all of the lower back pain, leg pain, of which even woke up me at 4 am this morning, and sent me rushing to get some medication, and then even though I really wanted to get up early, I remained on my sofa bed until about 7:40 a.m. That had not been my normal behavior for the many months that followed Jim's car accident. I rarely slept. Some days I wished I could go "find" those nights and use them to further the writing of my books.

I am trying to properly place myself where I desperately need to be in order to get this book written by the end of the year. Yet, if I don't heed the advice that I read just this morning by a group of very good writers, I will continue to "put off" the book and never get it written.

So, over the next few months, I will definitely keep my blog "fresh". I won't allow myself not to publish things and write events and so forth here. You, my audience is extremely important to me. So, the last thing I want to do is lose you due to me not posting and keeping current information here, because eventually my heart tells me some of you will be the "audience" that helps my 3rd book to take off enough that I can give a good portion of those proceeds to a couple of very important charity/non-profit organizations that I feel are crucial to the findings about everything autoimmune. From the very beginnings, to the fight going on admist researchers, grant money, patient and clinical trials, standing up to our Congress both state and national to get them involved in such a crucial matter to all of us here in the USA, and the incredible work of those in many of these non-profits who are no longer just "charity" organizations.

They are SO MUCH MORE than "charity" types of businesses. They are the very operatives that go in "fighting" for us as patients, as caretakers, as family members dealing with these illnesses, and to get the funding needed to battle, and win the raging war over how the ruthless diseases destroy so many lives. Whether through loss of jobs, family problems, endless medication and doctor bills, fighting with insurance companies, pharmacies, and the list is endless of the daily ordeals we go through to try and "get well"... or at least feel better, find remission, and a state of "no more disease" to have to contend with.

I promise to do my very best to keep this blog fresh, full of new posts and information while I dig much deeper inside of my own heart, brain and soul to complete this 3rd book. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, I WILL accomplish that.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Arthritis Foundation - 2015 Annual Summit on the Hill in Washingon D.C.!!!!

Registration is open for our annual advocacy summit! Join Arthritis Foundation staff & other advocates on Capitol Hill to meet with legislators & tell Congress that ignoring arthritis is unacceptable & more needs to be done for people with arthritis! Registration is free. Details here: http://www.arthritis.org/advocate/advocacy-summit/

 

I am so TOTALLY THRILLED to be going back to Washington D.C. on March 24th through the 26th for the "Annual Summit on the Hill" - Time is already flying by so quickly. Thank Goodness I already have a pair of awesome boots to walk in... they are so comfortable and have a lower heel on them than my others! Plus I have a brand new longer jacket that should be very warm for the days there...LOL.. my luck, last year I felt I was not as well prepared for the cold, rainy, snow filled weather. So this year I made sure to try and be more prepared. I even had to buy another pair of gloves! I lost one of my green ones somewhere between the Capitol and the Hotel on our last day there. I loved those, but I have a new pair of red ones that are awesome also. Plus I am more aware of what to wear when, and the entire routine! This is going to be an astronomical year I feel in my bones for a headway forward into the places of lessening flares, possibly preventing flares, putting more of us into a remission, or help the spread of these diseases... I think as all of the leaders in the non-profit world of Arthritis, including RA and JRA, along with strides made in other autoimmune related illnesses, we shall see greatness.... I urge you to sign up to be an "e-advocate", because YOUR VOICE matters!!!! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Learning" - New Words for Today - and My thoughts about a Certain Quote I stumbled upon...

Okay, time to learn words for the day! 

1)  decumbiture

The time at which a sick person takes to his bed, or during which he is confined to it by disease.

In astrology, the figure of the heavens erected for the time of a person's first taking to his bed from illness. Prognostics of recovery or death were derived from this figure.

The word 'decumbiture' comes from a Latin word meaning 'to lie down'.


2)  libertine
MEANING:
noun: A person who is morally unrestrained.
adjective: Unrestrained by conventions or morality.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin libertinus (freedman), from liber (free). Ultimately from the Indo-European root leudh- (to mount up or grow), which also gave us liberty, livery, and deliver. Earliest documented use: 1384.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue. -Ethan Allen, revolutionary (21 Jan 1738-1789)

and now my own "thoughts" about the Thought for Today....

I find the "Thought for the Day" quite interesting. Being that it came from the 1700's, and at the time of course we were not "barbaric" at all, but we also were not out of the woods as far as having a good grip on large corporations, large manufacturing, or items that would make us appear to be very far on the other side of science and learning. We have always been a great deal ahead in some countries as far as our "learning curves" compared to places such as some places in Africa, or down in South America. Yet, look at "Stonehenge" and the "Inca's" and the "housing" or tiers that they "built" or the pyramids... all of those things were designed by "a learned and scientific" society. I believe that those people that built Stonehenge, or the Inca's, and many other people like the Egyptians believed in miracles, yet they also had knowledge behind them also. So, it just seemed very interesting even in the early 1700's that Ethan Allen saw that those who are more attuned into "miraculous" happenings seemed to be less "educated" than some. I guess there are two sides to the coin when it comes to scientific beliefs, knowledge, and the other side of the coin, believing more in a miracle than in it being based with some kind of real explanation. What may seem a miracle to some, can often be explained away as it being a specific answer, rather than it being spiritual or something that happens where knowledge nor science can explain it. Yet, when you look up at the heavens, can "science and knowledge" truly "explain" all that we see and know up there? Some would certainly agree that "all" things can be given explanation to, and not be done like a magical force. Yet, I think as our constant, every changing world is today, more and more even those with the most knowledge can see that some things that happen just cannot have a concrete reasoning behind them. Thus, there are other forces at work in our world that cannot be seen, touched, or felt. But, are here, and logic must fly out the window... I am sure I am not making much sense at this moment, even though I know what I am trying to say... even in the entire jurisdiction of the medical world, there are items that are just not explainable by modern medicine. We see this with physicians and in our medical domain all the time. Doctors at times admit they may not truly have a plausible "why" or "why not".

When you start to delve into our issues with chronic illnesses, chronic pain, and how many things we still have to school ourselves on, it is an endless and boundless "land" on which we stand. Even as many researchers, teams, advocates, non-profits, doctors, students, and schooling as we have to offer up the best explanations as to why some of us, especially female in gender, fall into the role of living with "autoimmune illnesses". I've often wondered "why" it is more of a "female" set of disorders, syndromes and illnesses, that do not effect the male population nearly as it does our women.
I've also pondered upon the reasons as to why my life's journey didn't take me further into the places of medicine. The medical field has been a fascination of mine since I was about 12 or 13 years old. I've told the tale often about living next door and growing up with a neighbor who was a nurse for our hospital forever and a day as it seemed. Our next door neighbor was the very BEST NURSE in her time on this planet. She is almost a "lost" soul now. I am NOT knocking nurses at all. There are many out there that do the job, BECAUSE THEY CARE! But, much like Teachers these days, between the worry of red tape paperwork, the number of horrid illnesses out there they must be so careful about, and now things even worse due to diseases out there we have no "medications" for... antibiotic resistant infections, like Ebola, and even forms of TB, Pneumonia, and others. It is a frightening era in nursing and the medical field for those that deal one on one with patients, body fluids, and everything that they could have just a tiny "mishap" and be one of those in the hospital, rather than working there.

Yet, this lady took me under her wing. She was a 2nd Mom to me all my life, from about the time I was 6 or 7, until I graduated and married at 17, she had me so engrossed in the passions of medicine and nursing that I had plans for many years to do just that. I wanted to go to school to be a nurse. This woman (I will call her Dee Ann) had 2 sons, and then decided to go to nursing school. At the time being an LVN was a good position. RN's of course were more of the "leaders" and supervisors, but being an LVN appealed to me because when I was old enough to become a "Candy Striper" I got "hands on" experience of watching babies be born, "autoclaving and sterilizing instruments", watching surgeries, caring for the newborns, and even making Christmas "stockings" that babies born on Christmas Day got to go home in a "stocking" Dee Ann and I made. She taught me how to sew, how to crochet, how to do just about everything at the hospital that she did. At the time, I was probably the only girl racking up hours and many hours at that as an "aide"... more like an advocate, or volunteer. But, I would spend my entire Summer Days 8 hours or more if they let me right beside Dee Ann, learning everything there was to becoming the very best nurse possible. There were no "disposable" instruments. Everything was sterilized, washed, and then packed in certain ways depending on what those instruments were for (an in what type of surgery and so forth), then wrapped in special wrapping and put into a very large "vat-like" autoclave. They were then in there, and steamed for a certain amount of time to completely finish the sterilizing process. Then they were labeled by date and what type of pack it was. I got to change diapers, take the newborns to their Mom's, hold them, feed them, watch them be born, and even would watch through the window of the Operating Room when they were performing surgery. Those were some of the best years of my younger life.
Why I had the notion to decide and marry so young, I don't know. Love is love... but hind sight is 20-20 as they say. I still at the age of almost 55 years old, "kick myself in the butt" at times wondering why I didn't go ahead to nursing school. Even married, I could have went. Then when I was working in the business office at a hospital for 6 years, again I had the opportunity to go to nursing school all paid for, and I passed the test and could have went. But, I had two kids in school at the time, and being away from a full time job for 2 years to go to school full time, was a bit of a daunting situation for me. Even my 2nd marriage was full of ups and downs, in the later years more downs than ups. I felt I had to "support" my kids and home first, thus I decided NOT to go to nursing school. Even after passing the test number 1 at the college there, and was a front runner, I declined. It was one of the most difficult decisions I ever made in my life. I did go to college at night for several years, completely a degree in accounting. Yet, accounting was just not in my mind as the passion I felt for the medical field.
And it still holds true today. If things were different, and I was not chronically ill, and now a bit OLD to decide to go off to college and become a nurse, I would go in a heart beat.

Alas, life takes us on many journey's. Often we may not understand the reasons why until later in our lives. Then there are times we never quite figure out why or why not in what we consider this daily walk of the "game of life"... all too often now it seems it is a game all right, but I feel as if I am on the losing team.

I can "see" the many "curves" in my river of flooded waters and then at times, just a trickle of water over the rocky bottoms of my life. I can blame it on love, on family, on Dad NOT pushing me enough, on the "time" in life when most women didn't think about college, and then on seeing that now I am chronically ill and probably would not be able to be the nurse I would want to be.

Any and all of the excuses in the Universe have never allowed me not to feel a bit bitter about not fulfilling that dream of destiny I had for myself and for the many I feel I could have helped.

I realize now, more than ever, I can "fulfill" a portion of that dream. All of my wide array of medical knowledge, and the years I've put in, along with what I have done to "self educate" and learn about my own illnesses has given me a light to the path of advocacy, of activism, and to help other through my own journey. I've been able to do some things that I helped to kind of fulfill a portion of that dream of "helping others".

As I ponder over all the things that flow and swirl around in my brain, I still live with the idea that many times I've put off something, thinking, well I still have time... to do this, that or the other... or things will be different or better... yet life is very short... as young people we so often can't see that... and as our years pass by so swiftly, we begin to live with "regrets" of why or why not, of how we did or did not, of all the things in life we now know are "missed opportunities". Of course I don't and will never "regret" the wonderful times in my life, and the things I have been able to do, accomplish and say that I did, like publish two books, and hopefully a 3rd this year... but still as mere humans there are so many things we "miss the boat" on... and when you become chronically ill, or arrive at this crossroads in your life where you can recall those times, it can be a mixture of happiness and also sadness for what you "might have" accomplished... never take a moment for granted... they all fly by so quickly.....





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Arthritis Foundation and Our "Victory" from the 2014 Summit!

I am so elated to know my "voice" was in part what made the "Summit" on Capitol Hill a Success Story for Us as Patients, Caregivers and more, along with such an Amazing Success for the Arthritis Foundation!!!!!



It is with pride that I talk about my own personal story and share it through the Arthritis Foundation. I know in my heart they truly care about us as patients. I am so pleased to be able to help out. I am also so proud to be in a very "elite" group which is the "Platinum Ambassador's" for AF!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It is Official - I am a "Platinum Ambassador" for the Arthritis Foundation!!!

I was just totally on Cloud Nine yesterday afternoon! I received an email from someone I've became quite good friends with over the last about 9 months or so. She emailed to tell me that I had qualified for the "Platinum" Ambassador Activist, which is an elite group of Advocates!

I had tried to spend lots of time this past nine months or so, putting myself into the throws of Advocacy, Activism, Ambassadorship, .... volunteering to keep me mine as clear of "brain fog" as possible! Plus I also used my "voice" and Advocacy work to help me not think about the horrid event on March 26th 2014.

It has been a very long way to get this far from Jim's wreck, and have some type of "normalcy" to our lives. We still have a great deal more to go, and our "normal" will never be what we considered a "normal day" again. But, through the pain, tears, the smiles, and frowns, and all that has been in between. Each day has been one step, one moment, one hour, one day, at a time.

Yet, we are blessed that as bad as it really is, it could have been much worse. He can walk, with a cane. Not for very long right now. But, as time goes by, we do have hope still that much of the pain, the stiffness, the ability to be "whole" again.

So, through the "window" pane of activism, and my role of becoming an Ambassador for the Arthritis Foundation (now to find out I made Platinum) feels like an honored victory for myself, and my family.

My Mom and Jim are so very proud of me. They have witnessed all I've done to be as an Advocacy and Voice!

So, that means in March, I get to go back to Washington D.C.!!!!! The Annual Summit will be there again next March, and I'll have my "warm, fuzzy, walking boots ready! Last year I sure wished I had taken them, so this time they WILL BE with me!!!

So, that gives me another realm of my "voice" I will work on throughout 2015! There are lots of new things in store from the Arthritis Foundation, and I am elated to be a part of such a worthy organization.


I will keep you informed of course as time goes on. My blog will be a huge part of my voice, and now I have something else to put into my book, that I hope to finish up by the end of 2015!

http://www.arthritisfoundation.org

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