Showing posts with label Winstar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winstar. Show all posts

Sunday, April 26, 2015

#HAWMC WEGO Health's Writer's Challenge "How to "Smile" & Try and Feel Better Even Though Things are NOT as They Seem! How to Handle a "Bad Day"

I will attest, WEGO Health and the bunch, you have came up this entire month with some incredible "prompts"!


This is truly a great one also. 5 Tips to overcome" a Bad Day"!

I would venture to say (I guess at the moment I speak for myself), having chronic illnesses and Chronic Pain is almost something "negative" we live with daily. Of course some days are worse than others. We have our "memorable days". Those that we wished we could bottle up, and be able to open and have a sense of remembering them in touch, sight, smell, feel and thought! Of course all of us have those great memories. The idea of truly being able to capture them "hook, line and sinker" as the old saying goes could make them even more capable of giving over to the times when things feel like you are on top of the ever shaking mountain, and could conquer the world.

For me, I usually know very quickly, if I am going to have "one of those days." When I arise from bed, and everything hurts, I realize I have 3 or 4 doctors appointments, things my Mom needs done in that next few days, it is not sunny outside, OR it is HUMID and MUGGY; which brings on even more pain, that is when I feel like crawling under my bed, with my "granny blanket" as I call my favorite blanket with the silk on the edges, and hide for at least 24 hours, maybe more.

So, when things start off like that, I head to Facebook first, to find something "positive", "
funny, strange, thoughtful or whatever some friends have posted, that make me smile because they just have that ability. For instance, I have a dear friend who has a very busy
Fibromyalgia group. She seems to always know, when I need something to smile about. So, often times when it feels like I am "drenched from the fog of a lousy day" she has sent a "bundle of virtual flowers" and a small note to say "I totally get it and I understand". So, my first tip for "one of those days" is to "look" for something positive. If you have a FB page with friends who tend to find either positive things, pretty cards, or something funny to post, go and see if they have posted something. Usually if you scroll through the new posts, you will find one that just "fits" to make things feel a bit better. My next thing is that rather than allow all of that "garbage" to float around in my mind, I write down a list of what has to be done! Whether it is for just that one day, or for the next few very busy ones ahead, by writing them down on a list (I suggest literal paper and your favorite pen) rather than typing them out, making that list helps to put things into perspective. I feel I can better handle it all. I kind of purged it out of my thoughts by writing it on paper with my favorite pen (by the way, no one touches my favorite pen)! So, my 2nd way to make it a bit better is to write a list of what needs to be done, so you can kind of rid your mind of all of the stuff that is floating around almost eating at you.

My next thing I try to do, is take a look at the local weather. As silly as that sounds, once I have down a list of what needs to be done etc, then I want to know what to expect if I am having to go out and have things to take care of outside the house, the weather sometimes really makes a difference. Right now it is "thunderstorm, hail, high wind and possible tornado" time in Texas. So, if there is a 90 percent chance of thunderstorms, that are probably involving hail and high winds, then I decide what things I can do here at home done, and avoid going out in terrible weather. I know the day is only going to be worse, if I am fearing my new vehicle being hailed on, or going somewhere and having blinding, drenching rain, lightening and thunder all around. So, my 3rd thing to make for a better day is to KNOW what to expect weather wise. The weather makes such a difference "physically speaking" also. If I am already hurting, stiff, and feel lousy, then I see the weather has a high humidity, a barometric pressure that is nuts one way or the other, then I can "expect" the pain and stiffness, and "blame it on the weather" or at least partially know for sure, it is NOT helping.

Writing seems to be my way of truly ridding myself of the gunk in life that causes me great grief. So, my 4th idea is usually to write in my blog about all that is really eating at me, or post on Facebook, and ask my friends to keep me in their thoughts that day. Sometimes I just write and not post it. I hold onto it for a bit, to see if I really want to just rain pain down on everyone else. At times a post where I am griping, whining, fussing, and just letting it all out, is perfect for my Facebook page. When I can tell that others are also having a crappy day, pain wise or whatever, empathy goes a long way. Now, when I say empathy, I mean those people that REALLY understand what you are going through. Not the "acquaintances" that don't get it, because they are either not chronically ill, or have chronic pain. But, those friends who are often in the trenches of hell in illness, right along beside you. Or if you see there are other dear friends that are really having one of those days also, then I try and send a post to help lift them up. That empathy, can work both ways. If you are able to put aside your stuff for a bit, and tell someone else you totally understand, and you wished you could fix it, make it go away, or be better you would. Sending a little picture of something cute, or pretty, flowers, kids, beautiful scenery, anything that is positive and just can cut through that bad stuff for a moment, always helps to make me see, "I am NOT the only one having a heck of a day". So, writing and then also uplifting someone else can help me to put my own stuff into a better perspective.

Sometimes for me, since I love to bake, if things are really horrible, and I want to jump off the Earth, I go and bake something wonderful. Getting everything out of my face and out of my mind, and baking does that for me, can turn a bad day into "okay, I can deal". Then there are times, that I will just think to myself, pain or not, fatigue or not, do something constructive. I in fact have been having one of "those days" now for about 2 WEEKS! So, yesterday, as bad as I felt, I cleaned my house. I "swiffered" my hardwood floors, then I mopped them with my hardwood floor cleaner that smells like lemons. I got out my duster, sprayed some lemon dusting spray" on it, and went over pictures on the wall, around base boards, under the bed where all of those dust bunnies hide, and over some of my furniture etc. I am not talking a huge spring clean, but one where you can do just enough, that gives you a sense of you accomplished something in spite of the junk, and take a smell of just how "clean" and fresh your home smells. That lemon smell, or any type of citrus, just makes everything to me smell like a fresh spring and summer day. Plus, I could visibly "see" that my effort paid off. Things looked neater, cleaner, and I moved around stiffness, pain and all, which helped to take my mind off the pain, the stiffness and I got some exercise with it also.


Those are 5 that come to mind at first. Sometimes I just have to get out, and go walk. I may spend a half hour trapesing up and down my long driveway, ranting and raving to myself, about how life had just wronged me that day. Again, any way I can "purge" my mind of "the stuff the binds me" helps to turn a bad outlook around. Some days I take a drive to where my Dad is buried. He has been gone now 10 years, which seems impossible, but I go out there, and in all of the quiet, peace, the sea of colors with flowers everywhere, and I can quietly "talk" to Dad, there comes some peace of mind.  I may take new flowers to put out on his grave and my Grandparents. I enjoy doing that, so it helps to turn the day around also. When things are just ALL out of sorts, and I am dropping stuff, spilling, stuff, hurting badly, and everything I touch seems to turn into a huge mess, I give up, go set on the sofa with my two pups, one on each side, and chill to watch a movie. Having them beside me, and getting my thoughts off of all of the bad stuff, also puts me in a place of, "Okay now I can handle some of this stuff". Maybe I have some kind of small treat. A cookie I love, or a bite or two of a cake, pie, or something I've baked. Others I may go outside, hopefully with my gardening gloves and literally just pull the weeds, and stray grass from around my flowers. That helps to take my mind off of things.

The very best thing I can do, when it's possible, it try and just get completely away for a day or overnight. If I've had some really busy weeks, things have just been too hectic, too full of illness, doctors, medications, fighting with insurance, and there seems to be no end, then I get my Mom, and we go for at least a day visit, usually to the Casino in Oklahoma. We usually have "complimentary" rooms for a night or two. So, if time permits an overnight stay. As I had said before, being able to just totally get out of the house, of out of town, and away from all of the stuff that can just put you into overload, as soon as I pull into that Casino parking lot, and enter the doors, everything else seems so small in comparison. We are not much as far as gamblers, and usually play the "penny" slots, and my Mom likes the 25 cent slots. But, it is the people, we watch others and see how excited they are, or when you here the cheer from one of the tables, and know someone just did well, or just to relax and eat at one of their great eating places, and walk, walk and walk. The one we go to usually is now once again I believe considered the "largest casino in the world". I can attest to the fact, that a lap or two around the entire casino area in itself, not including the three huge hotels, and then the smaller one they call "The Inn", can give you all the exercise you need for a day or so. Plus there are no clocks, no windows, and with all of the sounds, lights, people, music and noises, everything else pales in comparison. I leave there still kind of in a "trance" almost. Even though it is only a day or one overnight trip, it can smooth the "edges" off of life's rigid times.

It will be interesting to read how others rid themselves of a bad day! I know WEGO Health keeps me busy, and they help to take my mind off of the "bad days" also.




















Sunday, April 12, 2015

#HAWMC - "A Day of Rest" Writers Challenge for Sunday 12, 2015

Good question actually! I say that because I am not sure how I honestly "recharge". In fact sometimes it feels like hours, days, weeks, months, and possibly longer before there comes a "day" or a bit of time to be able to not have either health issues, doctor appointments, medications to be filled, procedures to be done... there are sometimes what seems like weeks of constantly running around about this, that or the other when you have chronic health problems, like Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, Heart Issues an so forth. Then I deal with my husbands issues after the accident a year ago, and same thing. His are mostly related to the accident, but he still has to be seen by doctors, take certain medications, and has issues about health of his own we must battle.

I also must for the most part, take care of my Mom too. She will be 80 years old in August. That totally seems impossible. Yet, I can tell over this past 18 months, that she is much more "feeble", "forgetful", almost "frightened" over everything. For example, then I will move on, she desperately needed a new television. She was still watching an old analog TV, with one of those "converter" boxes from an outside old antenna that had been up there probably at least 50 years or more. So, when that "converter box" bit the dust so to speak two weeks ago, I explained it was a waste of money to put into a converter box, when the television could go at any moment. So, I did the research, found a HDTV that was the size she needed and a new inside digital antenna that should bring in enough channels for her. In fact she has more channels now than with the old one. I get it set up, get everything programmed in. She only now has to deal with ONE remote. And it was simple. The on/off button - red. The up/down channel buttons for stations. And the up down buttons for volume. It could not be any simpler than that. I did notice the TV seemed to be not as loud as it really needed to, so I even went and bought an inexpensive set of speakers, put those on it last week, and 'Voila the sound is great. Well, when I had asked her about the TV and the difference in the colors, and how much brighter and crisper everything was, basically I could tell she rarely turns it on. Now this is a woman that watched TV late at night, and during the day off and on a great deal. So, I could tell by her answer something was amiss. She could not "remember" how to get the channels up and down, or turn up the volume (so honestly she never even heard it at full volume), and basically I could tell she was not watching it much. This is what I am talking about. As "simplified" as I had made it. Even simpler than the other old way, with two remotes etc. She is too "scared" to touch the remote. She is too frightened to try to get the volume up and down, and said she did not "remember" how I told her to do it!? Then why had she sat there (and I had been over several times since putting the new one in). that she was not sure how to operate the remote and ask me to show her again? Those types of things are what truly add so much more "stress" to an already stress filled daily life of dealing with my own house hold, illnesses, etc.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. I have a couple of things I do to try and "wind down", when things get too much for me. Sometimes it maybe just going in and baking a cake, or something sweet. I had mentioned I did like to bake, so that sometimes takes my mind off of all of the "gunk" in happens to fall upon my shoulders. Other times I may go outside, tend to my flowers coming up, take a walk for awhile around my long driveway. That is how I exercise during all of the pretty months of the year. I walk daily outside circling my driveway "so many times" that equal the amount of miles I want to walk daily. I may listen to my I-Pod and let "Matchbox 20" help to melt the stress away, or even as nuts as this may sound, I  "talk things out to myself", when I walk, or if I am driving around running errands. I know some probably understand and others think I am crazy. But, just being able to "voice" the stress and strain that is truly on my mind, and listen to it my own self, helps to take away that ever spinning bunch of stuff that seems to fill my mind daily. Other times it maybe "sofa" time with the pups. As I had mentioned in the post about them, a movie with each one beside me, can also let me unwind from the stress of a bad day.

Other times, I may "splurge" especially on some Sundays. We allow ourselves to run down to the "no-no" shop as I call it (the donut shop) and pick up of course all of those things we should not eat. But, sometimes once or twice a month, that bit of "extra splurge" kind of also helps to feel like you have "treated yourself."

The very MAIN thing I love to do when ALL of the "rat race" of bills, illness, medications, bills, doctors, cleaning, cooking, laundry, and more just push me to the :overload" button, then I take my Mom, and we go for either the day or usually we spend a "free" night at the Casino in OK. It is the Winstar, and once you step into the noise, the lights, no windows, no clocks, the sea of people to watch, the pick of foods... all of that suddenly takes and melts away all of the "horror" of our usual days in life. I can't think of anything as grand as getting completely away from this small town, away from the house, away from phones, mail, bills, and all the encompass having chronic illnesses and chronic pain;; as going to where none of that matters for a few hours.

It is "freedom" for me. It is "no worries" other than which "penny slot" machine I want to play next. Vacations are awesome, yet with all of the things that you need daily, it is difficult to really go on a true "vacation" without still worrying about medications and so forth. But, going for an overnight trip or just an all day, get up very early and leave on a Sunday morning. Zoom through Dallas when it is a rare occasion of no traffic, stop at our "favorite" stopping off place for a small breakfast, of all places "McDonalds", then heading up the road just another few miles to the Oklahoma State Line, and immediately seeing that huge Casino just another mile or two away. It has, and probably will always be the very best way for me to "leave it all behind" for a day or overnight, and recharge my batteries, so I can come home and feel some of that stress has been melted away. Also, the next best thing is "planning the next trip"! Usually we try and go once every couple of months. But, that depends on the weather, how we are feeling, and so on. It has been a "day off" long overdo right now. I am much MORE than needing that trip away. If our "tornado season" weather could give us a break this month, I hope to be up there "watching those reels spin" my troubles away.


Rhia Steele 04/12/2015



Wego Health Writer's Challenge Month

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Realms of My Own Happiness #HAWMC

Check out my true happiness and happy moments below!  #HAWMC


Happiness for each and everyone in this nation, and on the planet for that matter, can vary from person to person, from day to day, and even from moment to moment under some circumstances.

It is a very interesting question that can lead to you learning a great deal about a person by what truly brings out those "giddy" feelings of being totally "in bliss"; in a complete and whole state of all being fine in your little corner of the world.

For me, of course there are different things or ideas that bring me that feeling of "glory", of wanting to smile at the world, and hold onto that "key" situation, moment, happening that brought so much joyful glee to my soul.

If I had to pick one thing, it would be having a true inner feeling of accomplishment. I mean having one of those days, weeks, and so forth that I feel I am totally finished with certain things, that I have completed the "list of tasks" that I set out to do, say for that day or week. Within that time frame, for instance, I started out with an extremely huge amount of items that really needed to be done. Whether it means, a blog post I've really wanted to write, and write well that is also received well, I've taken care of a number of things that needed to be completed at home; such as possibly baking a special cake and it turns out perfect, errands that go by quickly, allowing me to free up some time, having ALL of my household "honey do" lists (when I say lists I mean our own at home along with my Mom's usual list), and all goes as planned, no accidental trip ups, nothing else to go wrong, plans that have been made being completed, and all seems in a place of peace. That would include my own advocacy work also. It in itself gives me those feelings of happiness in the fact again, I've "conquered" the battle ahead, forged through, and completed it. I see also that others have benefited from my own ideas, and I've also been able to spread my own happiness with others. When I find that state of mind, that state of feeling whole and complete, accomplished, with major and minor items, than I am in harmony with myself. I then can justify a "day off" to the Casino with a "daughter and Mom" overnight stay. Or I can justify that I've done a great job, having freed up time to make a trip over to another town, our county seat, and shopping, possibly grabbing lunch, and finding a huge bargain on an item of clothing that I needed, or had been wanting. So, the means is the end result for me, happiness.

When I can take a look backward in a certain day, week or weeks, and watch what my jobs, errands, cooking cleaning, blogging, writing, doing my activist work all come together in a neat package that I feel I could tie a ribbon around and say,
"Wow"! I really did get so much done, had a pretty "stress less" time doing all of it, and I've given others a reason to also say, "Thank you", "Job well done", or I (we) appreciate your good attitude and accomplishment.

Although there are other things such as being able to play my drums for a short while, getting out of the house and going for a "girls night out" with Mom to the Winstar in OK, being asked to participate in something special, such as the "WEGO Activist Writer's Challenge Month", or any type of event or happening that involves me more into my activist, advocate and Ambassador dealings also gives me a sense of accomplishment, thus happiness is always the end result.

Rhia Steele
April 2nd, 2015


p.s. When I speak of accomplishment; along with the completion of a long list of things to be done, I also mean being able to not take to be concerned over my health. I am at least for a small while, free of many of the main symptoms of my illnesses have calmed and quieted down long enough for me to do those things, which brings me bliss in with all I set out to do and get done...

#HAWMC

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??