Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blogging. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hoping a better 2018! Lupus flare, RA flare, Flu virus, Chronic Pain severity, epidemic, wishing for a better year than since 2014 wanting to get back to writing, blogging and advocacy work

Putting "hopefully" my writing, posting, advocacy and writing areas of my life back in the forefront. The past two years, really more like since late 2014, seem to have been a nightmare. 


I've had good things happen, but losing two of my fur-babies, my Mom getting ill so quickly and passing away in 6 months, losing my Mom's "baby" sister, losing my marriage and not sure why yet, having a pain pump replaced, having a fractured hip and spending Christmas 2016 in the hospital and inpatient rehab, the a very complicated neck surgery in April 2017 that took me months to just get out of a hard collar with, and now my Lupus and RA are really giving me heck... much more but those are a few of the "highlights" that really put my several years previously in a spot where I felt I would NEVER be able to get back to my advocacy, activism, writing, blogging, posting... and the things I want and love to do... And I am still going through stuff health wise, my neck is really hurting again, and has been, but my shoulder as I say below, that has already had a complicated replacement began acting up, right after the last neck surgery. We have changed RA medications trying to get the RA flares under control, and my lower back and legs really beginning to bother me again...


I am not sure if the ridiculous weather we are having is a huge factor, but generally the WEATHER has always had a huge impact on me, when it comes to chronic pain, and migraines.... way before I could ever get a physician to "agree" with me, I KNEW the weather effected my severe migraines when they were so bad for over 20 years of my early life. 

Now all doctors and health professionals agree that the weather, temperature, humidity, erratic weather, cold one day, hot the next, all of those things and the barametric pressure have sometimes severe effects on many illnesses, especially chronic pain...

I ASK that each of you the "follow me" here, on my daily newspaper, through Facebook, Twitter or wherever to keep me in your thoughts and prayers as the year progresses. I REALLY want to get back to those things such as my writing and blogging... more on the advocacy side, but even sitting here at the computer puts me in such pain at times, there are days it hurts to sit, stand, walk, lie, no matter what I do, it is severe on some days, and here lately MORE days than not....

BELOW is a POST from my Facebook page, where I had been commenting to a friend of mine who is going though some frightening issues with her liver, and her Diabetes. So, as I posted this, I wanted to "add" it here also... my numbers honestly here on my blog have fallen so much, and I know the holidays effects that, but also me not able to post as much, put up as much relevant information as I usually do... I desperately need to update the look and feel... I know it's getting outdated, and it is a matter of having the time to do those things, and those are what I really want to be able to work on....

I APPRECIATE those like yourself, that give back the feeling that "I matter"... I try my best to let others know I do appreciate each one of you that take time to even give a "thumbs up" I realize not all of us have time, or feel like Posting, but I always know someone "cares" by just a heart, a thumbs up, or a "face".... you too I realize have been through so much. I have to "say something" about a "comment" I read the other day. Some one made a comment that Facebook is NOT THE PLACE to "post your personal problems"????? WHY would we "want to connect here at all" if we were not looking for others either like ourselves that "need that extra push up" every once in a while, or to "see" we are NOT alone in this come and when I "post" personal issues, which health is very personal I think, 

I am NOT looking for an answer or someone to totally agree with me, or what, it is MY way, like my blogging and writing (partially)... the social media is a way to connect for many reasons, but since I have "no really close family or friends physically that I can "see" ) my son and daughter are about the only "close family" I have left, and my daughter is 8 hours away and we talk probably at least 3 or 4 times a week, but she cannot just "drop her kids, family and husband" to run 8 hours up here, and although my son lives close by, he has his own things also, he has been fighting with "FM" now for a long while, so he is trying to re-educate himself, by some short classes, where he can do certain jobs, that the ones he used to do, due to the FM he no longer can do, lots of very hard physical labor... even though he is 37, age as many of us know with some of these horrid illnesses, syndromes, chronic pain issues and so forth, AGE has nothing to do with it.... so he sends me messages, and if I NEED him, he could be with me quickly, and we keep up with each other, 

BUT he also knows ME, I really 'don't want" the feeling that I have to have someone doing everything for me. I LIKE doing all that I CAN DO myself... and it is hard for me to even ask for help, because all the years I did everything, from hanging ceiling fans, to painting, any kind of home improvement just about, the lawn, and so many things I've loved to do, I KNOW that even since my cervical neck surgery last April, I have "overdone" some stuff. I PRAY my neck is not messed up again, or my right shoulder, that ever since the neck surgery, it is the RIGHT ONE that has already been totally replaced by a "reverse total shoulder replacement" about 6 years ago, I think, but it has given me hell ever since the last neck surgery... of course I realize 'some things" I had been doing I've had to "stop" and either let my son do it, or my neighbors help some, or I just let it go, knowing it can wait, other than an emergency thing at the house, some things that I just could NOT stand to "let go" I've had to and I am STILL learning to "let them go"... but being alone with the pups now, I do as many things as I feel like, or that I can do, if possible.... yet trying to learn to say "no" I can't, or sit down and say I just hurt too badly today, etc... those are very hard things for many of us to do... not in our "genetic makeup" 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Trying to Move Past the "bad" of 2016 & look ahead to a Hopeful 2017... (Resolutions?, Revelations, Lessons from life's past, reaching within the depths of my soul to make sense, out of a "senseless" world and all that we must endure)

"Trying to Move Past the "bad" of 2016 & look ahead to a Hopeful 2017... (Resolutions?, Revelations, Lessons from life's past, reaching within the depths of my soul to make sense, out of a "senseless" world and all that we must endure) "

Alas the "title of this post" is a great deal longer than usual. I felt in order to bring the message to all of you I needed to try and title this so everyone will know how crucial this post is, and just how I've had to pull every ounce of whatever bit of faith I have to bring you the truest feelings of this past couple of years.

Life deems to bring us many things that we cannot possibly "see" the good out of it, whether it is loss of a loved one, a fur baby, chronic illnesses and pain, watching others suffer, when so often whatever is happening seems useless and a waste of what little time we have here on this Earth. I never said or pretended to understand why so many horrible events happen to those that are good, gracious, loving, nurturing, and are decent people. Yet, others that are horrible, frightening, terrible to their own kind, are not decent, not caring, and often tear others down, rather than build them up.

Most people find themselves trying to put a list of "New Years Resolutions" together at the beginning of each year. Other similar words, "revelations, settle, make a pledge to do something a different way, such a quit smoking, work out more, eat healthier, we pledge to ourselves to do some things in a manner more positive, than hold onto our old ways, that may not have been the best way to do things...

thus rather than resolutions, I try and use a different term, such as "throwing out the old, torn and tattered ways, and beginning a new way with new "material" and a hopeful heart. I also know many of us "keep" some of those "resolutions", and some find themselves settling back into their old ways, which brings a guilt to our heart, thus too many "difficult" changes within a short amount of time, leaves us to NOT be able to keep them all. We get upset, feel so useless, see others making their goals, while maybe we cannot keep our own.

Below are a  few synonyms that could be used to mean "Resolutions":

intention, resolve, decision, intent, aim, plan;
   They have became a "tradition" like black eyed peas at midnight for good luck in the coming year, we have many traditions, we keep or try to keep during holidays and so forth, like mistletoe, the Christmas tree, sending cards for holidays, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and so forth.

I guess I would say that I shall "pledge" or commit to a few things that I feel I need to change and have a fresh start for the new year.

As always all too often we have "unexpected" roadblocks, happenings, events, whether it be family, illnesses, accidents, jobs, and so on, that change that path of good intentions we set up for ourselves at the 1st of the year.

For me my good intentions tend to get put aside for family, or for the chronic illness and pain I suffer with, that in a moment I can go from feeling great to being in the hospital... having surgery etc. None of us can truly "predict" the exact things that will happen from one moment to the next.


So, as I, along with many of you try to "have the promises" to ourselves duly noted and ready to start anew, remember WE ARE HUMAN! We will have issues come up that causes us not to be able to keep some of the very things we so want to do, change, stop, start and so forth...

As I write this tonight December 31,2016 from my hospital bed, hoping to be out of here and home very soon, again, never did I think 3 weeks ago I would fall, fracture my hip in 2 places, have other complications arise, and spend both Christmas and New Years in a hospital.

Try to keep yours a list of things that are not too complicated, or just write down a few, lie 4 or 5, rather than 10, 20 or more, and be proud of the progress you make even if you don't complete them all. If you get "some" of them done, or just a piece of several that you are working towards a goal on, give yourself a "well done" and push forward, knowing even a baby step, is a definite positive for the New year and YOU!

A piece of me feels as if I am blocking out all that we went through with Mom, then losing her in June so suddenly. Then the ordeal of paperwork, and all that happens even after the funeral is over.

Then I've went from one issue such as both ankles severely twisted, to sinusitis, to pneumonia, to Lupus flares, then to take such a horrible fall. and break my right hip in two places... to wind up being in the Rehab on Christmas, and maybe for awhile after the 1st of the year.

I just know that things have to get better. I am so terribly tired of being ill in one way or the other. I tried so hard to NOT allow this to happen to me. I knew my chances of a fall could lead to a break of a bone or joint. That is one of the very last things I wanted r needed. But, when I hit that hardwood floor two weeks ago the coming Tuesday, I knew it was not good.

I wanted to believe that it was bruised badly, yet when I could not drag it on the floor without screaming out in pain, I knew then it was bad.

I've been in a turmoil over the state our nation is in. Now with the "person" that is to be our new President, totally terrifies the hell out of me. I cannot fathom him having enough tact with out own Congress, much less any other nation.

I am having to almost "hide" my feelings this season. Here I see many families, together, excited about kids, Christmas, and this very special time of the year, yet I feel left in a "dark fog" wondering once again why I feel "punished", why did I have to take a fall as I did, and break a hip. And what are the chances that I wind up having another surgery if this hip does not work without an entire replacement since the osteoporosis could cause issues.

Frankly, this is one of the very 1st times I've been this worried about my own health issues. I watched my Grandmother and my Mom be able especially my Grandmother take care of themselves for YEARS alone. Now, I fear everything, from just getting out of the bed to going home. I've always been so bound and determined to do my stuff myself. Now, between the Lupus, the RA, the Osteoporosis, and now a broken hip, that I will lose some of my independence, which that thought bothers me badly.

Then to have one of my fur kids pass away suddenly night before last in my arms, here in the Rehab, just seemed to put the entire last almost 3 years into a world of such hurt, for myself, and also my kids; I keep trying to "hold onto" what little faith I have to sustain me, and try to over the sinking into sand, peeking upward, and asking for another half ounce of courage, strength and ability to try to "understand" the reasons I may NOT understand, not now, but someday I shall know the why's of this life, and the grief it brings to us within a matter of moments.




Friday, March 11, 2016

Dealing with Eldery Parents who have Alzheimer's or Dementia, when you, yourself are dealing with Chronic Pain and Illness...

 posted this on my FB page, and I will put it here also... I will be doing some work on my blog, my book, my new newspaper I have began, as well as some other things around my home, and some thinking about life... and how to deal with some really tough issues.... I maybe "away" from FB for a couple of days. 


There are some things I really need to get to working on as far as this new newspaper I am staring. I can customize is a great deal and it could really help me with my blog, as well as with my books , and my next book...plus lots of my advocacy work...getting information out there that would really benefit many people and help make what I want to happen possible ( I Hope)...I have also had some new ideas for my 3rd book unfold in my mind over this past couple of weeks, and although I jotted some of it down, I would like to start writing on it, in the beginnings of the book itself.... There are also some "personal matters" that honestly came up this morning, mainly to do with all of this mess with my Mother, and at this moment I am totally at my wits end, I have no clue where to go or what to do, other than leave her alone, and allow her to figure out "all is NOT RIGHT in her world".... she really hurt me earlier... calls me well before she is usually even out of bed, wanting to know "why I had not called or been by"...

well for one I was there two days in a row, just yesterday for one, and besides she is usually never even out of bed until after noon time... anyway, she asked me what I was doing, and then she told me I was a "blabber mouth", and I should NOT be telling my own kids what is going on... well I tried to tell her the kids are NOT stupid, and they "hear and see" and then she says they are never here nor never call so how do they know anything? So, I hung up... well I called back about 30 minutes later, and began to tell her to NEVER call me a "blabber mouth" again... that it for one hurt my feelings, and for two was NOT the truth, so then she began to tell me that losing her credit cards, not being able to work her stove, put her car in gear, not pay a bill correctly, not take her meds correctly, not know why the alarm clock blinked etc "meant nothing" and why do I even "care"... it is in the past... 

and when I said MOM jut yesterday I WENT TO GET YOUR MEDS AND GO TO THE STORE BECAUSE YOU DID NOT FEEL LIKE IT... so it not in the PAST it is right now... and she made some snide remark oh well, when we get there or if we do, we will handle it then... well WE ARE THERE! And she cannot continue to live alone, and if I tell the doctors about the car incident and and a couple of other things, they will tell her she cannot drive NOT live alone! As I told her and "building you a room" takes more than a few days.... she began to tell me I was full of crap, and nothing was wrong with her.... so I hung up with Okay, I will not "bother" you again, I am NOT calling, I will NOT come over there, and "if" you need me, then call, otherwise, I refuse to be hurt and used like a doormat and then laughed at when I told her that her calling me a "blabber mouth" hurt my feelings... and she said "she never even called me this morning"..... 

so, I have LOTS of things I want to do and get done, and I honestly right now am so totally sick and tired of this crap.... that she may wind up in a nursing home, if she does not want to listen to me.... I don't know what else to do.... but I need to get some rest myself, and do some thinking about several things... so if you do not see me here much, I am okay, just "out of touch" for a few days....

Friday, January 29, 2016

#TheRealRD Rheumatoid Arthritis Rare Remission - Daily Pain and Suffering

#TheRealRD #7 - Remission is Rare and Daily Suffering Is NOT!


As I read over the 7 ideas that the #TheRealRD asked for bloggers to blog about for RA Awareness Day, which is on February 2nd, and also happens to be Groundhog Day, and was my Dads Birthday, yet he passed away 10 years ago.

Ive come to know and understand the true chances of myself, and thousands of others out there like me, who suffer from this Autoimmune Illness, have MUCH pain, sometimes daily, and we KNOW all too often no amount of medications our Rheumatologists give us, the pain, the stiffness, the swelling, the lack of use of that particular part of your body like your hands and wrists become a severe problem. Take someone like myself that is a published author, and avid blogger, trying to set at the computer daily, for often hours at a time, if you intend on keeping a blog up to date, and writing a 3rd book, I must be at the computer.

Yet, daily pain keeps me from making my goals, that I had set even two years ago. So, when I saw this opportunity to write a blog post in honor of February 2nd, RA Awareness Day, by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RFP), I am thrilled for the opportunity.

Honestly, and I am sure many of us could write about all seven of the topics. I have been through so many different medications and combinations, that either did not work, or caused severe other health problems, mainly all types of infections. I feel we do NOT have nearly enough research funds to get to the root of this hideous life altering disease. I also know so MANY others may not know that RA can effect all different types of organs in the body, from the heart, causing the heart attack number to DOUBLE for those with RA. It effects the joints, and usually many joints. Feet, toes, fingers, wrists, thumbs, the spine, the liver, lungs... It is a systemic disease, of which can harm any and/or various other vital organs of the body.

The daily pain is what many do not often understand though. Those who do not know the treatments, may not realize just because we are on medications, that does not mean, that all that often the pain subsides. I spoke with a member of my Rheumatologist staff two weeks ago, and when I explained to her the amount of pain I live with was high on the 1 to 10 score, she looked at me and said that is NOT Acceptable! No one should live most of their daily lives in that much pain!

After speaking with her it dawned on me that I DO accept an unacceptable amount of pain most days of my life. I have gotten to the place I think this is just how it is, I WILL have to just LEARN to ACCEPT that on a scale from 1 to 10, pain at an average of 4 will have to do, which is so WRONG! A level daily of 4 for most people not used to chronic pain would be excruciating! And it is not right for me to have to deal with ongoing pain of that magnitude day in and day out, yet what do I, or WE do about it?

I have a great Pain Management Doctor, who has implanted my pain pump, and will up the dosage as I need it, plus he gives me oral medication for breakthrough pain. Yet, I feel that is part of the problem. I have TOO MUCH breakthrough pain, on almost a daily basis.

MANY of US as Chronic Pain Patients, whether from RA, Lupus, other bone and joint problems, spine and back issues, severe nerve pain in different regions of the body, for many reasons, from diabetic nerve pain, to nerve pain and other types of chronic pain, that even our doctors do not know WHY it is there or sometimes even HOW to treat it properly - we are told that WE MUST LEARN TO COPE with a CERTAIN AMOUNT OF PAIN! It is not that I do not agree with that, I do. NO MEDICATION will take away ALL of the pain. YET, with the proper treatments, diagnosis, sometimes surgeries, some combination of medications, certain types of exercise, some diet changes, and some natural types of therapy pain can be diminished much better. IT IS FINDING that right combination of all of those or part of those things that can give us that type of relief, BUT it make take weeks, months, even years to get that all adjusted and working. There is NO ONE treatment, or magic pill, to just take and chronic pain subside for good.

All too often I feel that RA is a very misunderstood disease. Even though we have LOADS of information about medications, ads on the television, and in magazines, I feel that as a society those that are not patients, caretakers, or close to someone with this horrid disease do not fully understand what it can do. It as not as simple as taking an NSAID over the counter, or even taking one medication that is a prescription. At times, some of us DO fine the correct medication, or combination of medications and find relief. Yet, those that do, are far and few between.

I have been through an entire gamut of all types of medications for RA and Lupus. In fact, I just saw my NP from my Rheumatologists office 2 weeks ago. As we spoke about my pain, the daily swelling, stiffness, I am losing more of my grip in both hands, the weakness, losing the ability to do everyday things, buttoning a shirt, or even zipping a zipper... I have watched my body especially my hands, wrists, fingers, thumbs are very bad, feet, ankles and now my spine begin to degenerate even more than ever before due to RA.  She made a remark that upset me when she said, that I had tried all kinds of medications and none of them seem to work. What upset me about it so much, it was like she was blaming ME for medications not working! Some of them caused too high of infections in me. I had double pneumonia at least twice, then had cellulitis in both thighs, that then turned into double abscesses, that took 4 or 5  MONTHS to get well. I had to make a weekly trip 35 miles ONE WAY for weeks and weeks to a Wound Care Specialist in order to HEAL those abscesses! It delayed me in having a cervical neck surgery I needed badly, as well as my internal pain pump had a permanent motor stall, and I needed surgery to replace it! But not one surgeon would touch me until those abscesses were basically well, and I was free of infection.

So I spent months without most of my RA medications, plus a couple of months without my pain pump working, and suffered endless weeks of having to have wounds the size of a silver dollar and as deep as half my thumb getting debrided until they finally got well. Our pain is NOT just as simple as from a joint. It is not as simple as taking one pill. There are so many medications, yet like myself, daily, I am in pain. Especially for the 1st few hours of the morning. As joints start to be effected MORE by this disease, then the pain can become almost unbearable, and at times, even in my lumbar spine, I have enough degeneration from this hideous illness, that it hurts so badly, I cannot even sit to type, to write, or often not be able to have the quality of life I so want to have.

Honestly, I cannot recall unless maybe a very rare occurrence that I have read or heard one person tell me, I am in remission, and I have finally no pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I do not believe the cases are out there, and if they are, very, very rarely do they happen.

When I saw the article about raising awareness on February 2nd by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation, and that I could participate, and tell my feelings on 1 of 7 subjects, I wanted to tell my feelings, and story, because awareness is something we so desperately need so much more of.

#TheRealRD

You too can learn so much more at ...

www.rheum4us.org








Thursday, August 6, 2015

Trying something new - A "daily" Online "Paper" about Autoimmune Illnesses, Writing, Chronic Pain, Family, Coping, Surgeries & more

https://paper.li/ravishingrhia/1438808814#

Autoimmune Arthritic Systemic Life Daily – Rhia

 

A "Daily online Newspaper"  I am "Customizing"  for my own interests, advocacy, activism,Ambassadors, Illnesses, Family and Coping...


This is new for me.. not sure if I will keep it.. it depends upon time, and all in between. I don't want to begin yet another "tool" since I really need to put my efforts into finishing my 3rd book and my blog, advocacy etc. But I thought for the moment I might give this a try.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

WEGO Writer's Challenge! "You have made it!!!! 30 days and 30 posts! #HAWMC

Wow! What a fast month this has been. I realize I post on my blog daily most everyday of my life. Unless I am sick, having surgery, or out with myself or family at the doctor's I keep my blog very current. Often times more than once or twice in a day. Depending on what I am finding online, there maybe several posts in a days time.


This has been a wonderful and thrilling April 2015! thank you WEGO Health for the chance to be in this "writer's challenge" and I hope to be able to do it "annually" for as long as you offer it. The prompts were fantastic and it really gave me a much broader sense of what to write about. Sometimes as an author and writer, and blogger, I feel I get "stuck" saying the same things over and over again.

So, having another party give me the "prompts" helped to open my mind and heart up to write about some things I may not have thought about. So, I commend all of you for the hard work, for the "tweets" for all of the other writers, bloggers, and authors out there that I have gotten to know over this past month. That is another awesome thing about the Writer's Challenge. I've been able to "meet" new people, and see what they say about some of their own battles with all types of health problems. I thoroughly have enjoyed all of what I've read and I have learned so much from each of you. That in itself is such a wonderful blessing.

Oddly enough, now that we have become an "online" world, where "everything" can be known within a few short clicks on the keyboard, makes our world seem to be a much smaller place than it used to be. So, I may make friends with someone right here in the North Texas area, or maybe someone in Australia. I love being able to know people from other states, and countries. To see how their health care is, how far ahead some are from us, especially the UK, when it comes to Autoimmune Illnesses. They seem to be several steps above us, with new medications, research, clinical trials and more.

It is difficult to pick any one thing about the "prompts" or the entire Writer's Challenge that I could say I was not that crazy about. I felt that you did an incredible job of really making us dig deeper, and really think about different things when it comes to our own health issues.

I loved ALL of the prompts. Of course there were a few I liked more than others. I have to say the "acronym" was one of the biggest challenges. I liked it, but it was one that I guess may have been down on the scale of being a favorite. Yet, I learned things from it also, so it maybe a "less favorite" but I did partially enjoy the challenge.

The product review for me is somewhat a difficult one. I feel that I may not really understand exactly what you guys and gals were looking for. I tend to write and blog more about medications, research, new clinical trials, and so on. So, it took me awhile to decide whether the "favorite" products should be something more on the "medicinal" side, like prescriptions, or more like things we buy over and beyond the physicians, medications and so forth. For instance what I use on my mouth, corners of my mouth, my skin due to the Lupus, discolorations and so forth. Some I am sure have other types of devices that may use, such as a "zipper pull" or something to help get things off of tall shelves, and so forth. I am sure many have types of gels they use for sore muscles and so forth. So, I tend to go into the "mini implanted titanium rods" that hold my dentures on the bottom very tight. After losing all of my teeth within a year to Sjogren's, those have been lifesavers for me.

I would love to see even more types of "prompts" possibly on a more personal level. You already have given us quite a number of those that required us to open up more about our battles with health problems. But, I could see maybe a prompt next year that asks us to open up and tell some of the even more hardships, and things we go through that we may not write or speak about much.

Other than that, hats off to everyone! From all of the gang, of gal and guys at WEGO Health, to everyone who participated in the Writer's Challenge for this year, I commend all on their awesome posts, and what they said and chose to say that truly gave me new insight to myself and other illnesses, medications and how many of us are so "near" one another with our stories.

I loved many of the prompts. The "word cloud" was new to me and I really enjoyed it. The "Hindsight is 20/20" I truly liked. Stress Awareness, "telling someone "off" when they hurt your feelings", and the "travel" prompt was great also. It is difficult to pick one over the other because all of them were enjoyable. 

 I will be so excited to see what you "prompt" us with for next year! "If I am here, able, and still kicking, I look forward to participating in April 2016!!

I do hope and pray that by the time we do this again in 2016, my 3rd book will be completely written and published!!! By the way, that is another thing doing this has helped me with... material to use in my book. It also has given me some very good ideas about what to say, how to say it, and gotten me in the habit of the daily writing. I hope to take that even further, so I can finally finish my 3rd book (my own autobiographical journey) through the madness of chronic illness, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, and all in between!

Again, I am just elated, yet a bit sad that it is over!

#HAWMC



Again WEGO Health, I've had a blast with these this month! I appreciate ALL everyone does for us as patients! You guys and gals rock!  Rhia

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Hobbies - #HAWMC - Wego Writers Challenge - April 21, 2015 (this is actually a day early for Wednesday the 22nd.

Over the years I've had many different types of "hobbies". I've always been on the "creative side", thus anything with an artistic or creative flare really suits me.

I learned how to crochet and do counted cross-stitch when I was in my early teens. I love to read books. I love to do all types of flower arrangements. You never know what I may come dragging in the house! From a piece of an old log, that I used to put flowers, ribbons and greenery on. I have 3 of them. I've done Christmas themes with them. I've also done Easter themes, and even one year did a "Shamrock Green" for St. Patty's day. I usually have some type of wicker broom, weather, or even some different very straight types of limbs from trees, that I've made sure are dried, wired those together, and put all types of decor on them. I always have one of those hanging on our front door.

I have oil painted, and was told years ago, I definitely had an "eye" for it. I've played the piano since I was about 7 years old, love to just mess around on the drums, keyboard, and even "write" lyrics and come up with the music for them. Of course writing is one of my all time, best loved, hobbies. It began also when I was quite young, and has been something I've done all my life, through every winding road, on a bus headed for Seattle, a plane headed for Washington DC or Vegas, on road trips, and I've been known to "scratch" down a few words to a poem on a piece of paper or a receipt while sitting at a red light.

I have a "huge" hobby, than really probably is not really considered one. But, it began as kind of a "hobby" for me. Then out of what I felt was necessity, being into research about all types of medical problems, from medications, to illnesses, to research over so many things that effect us on a physical level, along with usually a mental level also. Thus, as a hobby it began, yet now it is not only a hobby, that I absolutely love; it has helped me attain I feel some doctors that I trust, given me direction or suggestions when I need them, and also possibly helped some of my physicians to better understand my health issues at times, more than they do. After all, doctors as a whole, are all too often swamped with other patients, calls, pharmaceutical representatives, prescriptions, and the other 1,001 things they must do in the course of a week. So, I have watched a couple of my specialists truly be almost relieved that I do "have some understanding" of my conditions, so they can then decide of a course of action to take when it comes to treating me.

I am someone who loves to bake! I just absolutely love just about everything "sweet"! So, I am almost in "hobby heaven" when I am in the kitchen preparing for some awesome new recipe, for a new pie, cake, cookies, you name it. I love doing it.

I enjoy "people watching" at times. Not to be nosy, or like I want to say anything to them etc. But at times I find it very interesting the items people buy, whether at the market, large stores like "Wally World" or shopping malls. You can truly learn a great deal about someone by what they may have in their grocery cart,  or what kind of clothing they try on in a department store. Perhaps you are out for a stroll, or you are enjoying the outdoors. It is interesting to see what people are doing when they are outside. Are they exercising, playing with their kids, just having some quiet time, listening for nature in all of its glory. No matter where you are, where you go, people can be so totally amazing to watch.

I do like doing some like gardening. I have LOADS of "house plants". If I counted, I would say at least 80, maybe more. Believe me in the winter when they all have to be brought in, our small home looks like "jungle fever" has hit it. I love to be able to take a small plant, and after a bit of love, food and care, it can grow into something so beautiful. I used to love to mow, rake, do heavier gardening types of things, but now with my health issues, some of those things I am no longer able to do as well, if at all.

I am a "giant" DIY person... (do it yourself). Nothing thrills me more than to be able to "repair something", or fix something. My Mom never ceases to be amazed at all I can "do", "fix"... repair. The DIY is "almost" as good as me saving a HUGE amount on groceries, clothes or whatever it maybe. I NEVER and I mean NEVER EVER pay or will pay full price for anything. I am an avid coupon clipper and shopper. I've saved anywhere from 24% all the way up to 85% on certain things along the way. I watch for those "clearance" markdowns, with an additional amount off, and then all of the coupons I can use also. So, for me, "saving" a great amount of off something I really need or want, is a hobby for me. The MORE I save. the happier I am. Don't get me wrong, I am not the "Queen of Coupon-o-holics. I a not one of these buy 50 newspapers, or dumpster dive for them in recycle bins, but I do get mine of out my own newspaper, and then I frequently print MANY coupons. I also NEVER only in a very rare situation pay for "shipping". I always do and about 98% of the time, I do not pay any shipping. So, that is yet another almost hobby for me.

If I sat here and gave some "foggy brain thought" a bit more, I am sure I could come up with several more things I so enjoy doing and consider them hobbies.

A piece of why I do advocacy and activist, and volunteer work, is because they are kind of a hobby to me. Yet, I don't want to sound condescending when I say that. I guess what I really mean is from my first experiences of blogging, and getting into Facebook, then later finding out how much I would love to be a "voice" for others when it comes to illnesses, pain, and even other things in life... kind of back then, were a hobby of sorts. Since then it has turned into much more than a hobby. I feel it is truly a part of my life daily.





Sunday, January 11, 2015

Finding a starting point or possibly a stopping point... OR maybe there is no point at all... All in a day of Autoimmune Illness

I've been able to allow words to just pour out of my soul on Facebook, and here in the past week or so. Yet, when I put myself back in "alignment" to begin working on my book, again I lose all of the hope I've had to begin...

It is not that I haven't began... Gosh I've probably written enough for 2 or 3 books. Between here, Facebook, and other places I post in detail all types of my own personal experiences with these hideous illnesses and maladies, to the some times irreparable dealings of some medications, and the problems they can cause... and moreover what is so very frightening I have came to the conclusion that there is something else physically going on with me, that the doctors, tests, lab work, and so forth have not been able to pinpoint yet.

As I've said now for awhile, either there is much more to my health issues that need to be looked at. I realize that many of the symptoms of any of the autoimmune illnesses can really be "overlapping" in nature. It is a defining moment in any life when a physician can give you a "real name" for a certain symptom, or chronic illness. At times the answers are truly vague at best... and the chances of getting a proper diagnosis at the very first trip you make.

So, now the question is, how do I go about trying to find if there is something else wrong, if so what doctor do I consult, and what will happen if there is another AI involved, like MS, MG (myasthenia gravis), and so on? More than likely, unless it is MS, they have came up with some great meds for it, BUT some of them are already things I am taking, or they are so new and so expensive, my insurance would probably turn the noses up and drowned in the rain, if I was prescribed one. You can believe, if it can happen, or will happen, or has happened ... then it has been with me.

I am seriously debating where I go this year on my blog... and if I want to continue to grow my audience then it is imperative that I work it and work well. I don't want to lose who I have and of course I want those that are already coming here to be excited about the new year and what I am going to say... and how I am going to say it.....

So, bear with me, as I take my own heart felt words, and pour them out in different ways. I am trying to experiment on my blog, so I can have a better understanding of writing my 3rd book.

More often that not, (and I just had an idea today, that I think I am actually very seriously considering) it is bad enough for the "same of stuff, day after day, to step into your path of consciousness. Those types of things tend to cause a huge road block  for those of us who already suffer from massive brain fogs at times anyway. Then to try and work around all of it, and have something come out that maybe worth another persons time to read is a monumental task.... so right now, I only know to crawl up the side of this mountain and begin the book.                                                               

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Random Acts of Kindness Day October 21 and also additions to my blog

For one, October 21st has been named "Random Acts of Kindness" Day.... and as I said on Facebook... I try my best to always thank people, tell them to have a blessed day, to give them the respect and appreciation they deserve. To stand there and have to check out people on some days, I know has to be almost torture... People tend to not be in such a great mood when their money is flying out the door with everything so expensive ... thus sometimes that person behind the cash register gets the brunt of others frustrations...

So, try to make someone's day and it can be anything, big or small....

Also I have been working on my blog now for a few weeks... I've changed some things around, added some stuff, put stuff in a different place and I have also added lots to pages... the one "About Me" I wrote quite a bit on today. So, as you go through my blog, be sure you check out the other pages... I've added some to the "News" page, and some to the Illness and Medications pages... and I will continue to advance and add more and more as the days go...

I really want to make my blog SHINE and people really want to come here, so I have to get it really going well, so people will want to read it.

I will be posting less and less on FB and more here as you have seen me do...

That way there will be a link on FB to the blog.... and you can come here to read all about the news, information, medications, and so forth that is happening to me...

Be Well, and may your week be wonderful in many ways... Rhia

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Talk About News to Make You Shout! You must read this and be sure to go to all of the links!!!!


I was so blown over by this announcement from the Lupus Research Foundation I had to rub my eyes, blink and look again to make sure I saw what I saw Correctly!!! This is such phenomenal news I was just taken aback.

And further not only do we owe the NIH hats off to this incredible research opportunity, but everyone below along with all of the researchers individually, those folks that are on board for activism, Ambassadorship, Volunteers... everyone who tries their very best to stand up and say that what we have now as far as help for these illnesses are simply NOT acceptable, as the Arthritis Foundation puts it. Hats off to all that have been and will go back to the "Hill" in D.C. to open up and tell their stories, or the stories of those loved ones hit by the horrific illnesses. People like myself that try their best to live a "normal" life when there is never any sense of "normal" when you have a chronic illness/pain and especially when it comes to an autoimmune type of illness. I am so thrilled to put this on my blog and share it with my readers!!!! Be sure you go to ALL of the links and see what is being said about this incredible Undertaking... the FIRST EVER of ITS KIND to do something to stomp Lupus and RA, along with many other AI Illnesses into the ground.... Again I am just totally almost speechless.

AMP Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus:

The partners

http://www.arthritis.org/
Government

  • NIH
Industry

  • AbbVie
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Merck
  • Pfizer
  • Sanofi
  • Takeda
Non-Profit Organizations

  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Foundation for the NIH
  • Lupus Foundation of America
  • Lupus Research Institute/Alliance for Lupus Research
  • Rheumatology Research Foundation


http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2014/9_24.asp

 

 

 

http://www.rheumatology.org/ 

 

 

I will be posting more about this tomorrow and also more "Kudo's" to everyone participating om this historic event for RA and Lupus!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Post - My Letter to Congress in Regard to Arthritis, Autoimmune Illnesses, Medicare, Advantage Plans, Medicaid & Just How We Lack All We need to have a "Quality of Life"

I just completed this email below. I've been working on it for what seems like weeks. Due to ALL of the doctors visits, Jim going to Rehab twice weekly, my visits with my dentist to get my dentures (which I am already having "flare" issues I think with the Lupus, Sjogren's and RA) & numerous other things that have had to be taken care of, I've had to write this in between all of that. Finally, this morning around 1:30am I woke up needing a drink of water. Not realizing my foot was so "asleep" I got up and immediately went to the floor, with a very "twisted" left ankle, that left me in tears. I tried to go back to bed, but there was no use. So, at 4 am I got up, and decided to finish the email, and try and get some things done on the computer and on line that have had to be put on the back burner due to all else going on.

I am sharing the email with you. I am also sending it to my own House Representative, and to several others in the Federal Government that I feel can and may try to do something to help not just myself but ALL of us. Here is the email. My hopes are that YOU will write your own and also email it. The Arthritis Foundation sent out a newsletter about 10 days ago asking for us to all send in our stories to the email address that will be listed below this one I sent....

Good Afternoon to All In Congressional Representatives,

First of All, I want to thank, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) recently who announced a bi-partisan initiative, called the “21st Century Cures: A Call to Action”. This will certainly help to shed some new light on chronic illnesses, and especially those new diseases and illnesses, that at this time, like many types of Arthritis, (Rheumatoid, Osteoarthritis & Juvenile to name a few), that have NO cure at the time, little known about “why” those who all of a sudden get the diseases, why others may not, what medications we need in the future to either put these illnesses into remission, OR CURE them…. even STOP them before they ever do the severe damage they do to all of us suffering daily dealing with ALL of this issues these horrid illnesses bring into our lives. I hope many of our other Congressional members will stand beside HECC Chairman Mr. Fred Upton and Representative Diana DeGette and help to make this “Call to Action” a huge success for the thousands and hundreds of thousands suffering from various forms of Arthritis and Autoimmune Illnesses.

I am an “Arthritis Patient", that suffers from several various forms of autoimmune arthritis, as well as osteoarthritis. My list of diseases, illnesses and syndromes; Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Sjögren’s, Pernicious Anemia, along with many issues brought on by thee illnesses, such as a heart attack at 40, severe pain, swelling stiffness that all have consumed my quality of life at times so much, that I feel the diseases rule my daily living. At the age of 15 I had my 1st knee surgery. At that time, they knew little about Juvenile Arthritis (JA), and the experts really did not know much about RA, and all of the other arthritic and autoimmune illnesses here in our nation. So, I went for years from one physician to another, trying to find out why all of my joints were “falling apart”… by the time I was 40, I had already had a left elbow repaired, a left shoulder repaired both knees had surgery at least twice back them, plus all of the other “symptoms” that most doctors at the time “blew off” especially when it came to women. They for the most part thought if I woman complained about aches and pains, she was either nuts, a hypochondriac, was having “female” issues, or was depressed. That was the huge one. The answer from most doctors to a woman with “mysterious” health issues was to determine they are depressed and fill you full of anti-depressants that did nothing for the “physical issues” that overwhelmed you. Still I would hear, even with the severe migraine headaches I had, the weakness, & still other signs and symptoms that should have never been looked over, but taken seriously.

In 2009 I FINALLY began to get some “answers” that made sense. I was not nuts, depressed, making it up, had female issues etc…. I had an “autoimmune issues or issues” that were ruining not only my joints, but also causing he severe fatigue, all of the joints and surgeries I was having… including both knees completely replaced and my right shoulder had to be replaced, along with a 4 level cervical surgery, for degenerated disc disease, and now my thumbs, fingers, toes, and ankles are “eaten up” by RA.

I’ve jumped through hoops and hoops for a very long while over my medications for these diseases. When you have a serious illness, and medications come out that may “halt” or at least give you a huge percentage of reprieve, so your quality of life comes back & your doctor feels the medication is necessary, there should be NO ONE at an insurance company, or throughout Medicare to tell your doctor differently. These ridiculous amounts of forms, paperwork, having to be put through 4 or more medications that DO NOT work before the ONE that does can even be considered, makes for a patient becoming worse by the day, paperwork and red tape costing precious doctors time, insurance people who have no clue what the entire thing is all about, and it is a vicious cycle of “stuff” in order to finally either get the medication you NEED OR be turned down, which really is asinine. I have been through I cannot tell you how many “pre-authorizations”, sending medical records, my doctor having to fill out forms which they should not have to, talking for literally hours on the phone trying to get to ONE PERSON who can “fix” the problem… and on the computer sending emails, sending messages, and as I said, all the while suffering from these horrid diseases that each day wreck my joints and my body a bit more each day. Any type of “autoimmune arthritis” such as RA, effects NOT JUST the joints. They are “ systemic” in nature & can effect the heart, lungs, kidneys, your hearing, your eyesight, your memory, your blood, your stomach, intestines, and so on. Just about every part of the body can be effected by any type of autoimmune illness, and can reek havoc in just a short time without proper care.

One of my horrors with one of these “Autoimmune Arthritic” diseases is Sjögrens. This is just one that they do not know nearly enough about. The doctors know it effects the mucous  membranes, which we have all over our bodies. Our mouth, which is how saliva is formed. It keeps our eyes moist, our intestines, and many “linings” in our organs have these types of member in them. Without them, organs like the inside of the mouth, dries out so badly, you cannot even speak, swallow, and the worse cause horrendous “dental caries” and other issues! Yet, I was not informed of just how quickly and how badly my teeth might be effected. I brushed daily, tried my best to chew sugarless gum, sipped on green tea all day long, and used the special toothpastes and all of the “remedies” for dry mouth. Yet, about a year ago, all of a sudden one evening we were eating dinner, and an entire back of a molar just fell off in my mouth! Within the course of 3 weeks I had 3 more teeth with break off at the gum line, or a half of a tooth break off. Then suddenly almost every tooth had either a large cavity in it, OR would crumble off on the edges, and I knew I had to get assistance quickly because I was losing all of my teeth, and in a time frame that was not going to allow me to wait even a month or two.

So, I began trying to find an “Oral Surgeon” and/or an Oral Surgeon/Maxillary surgeon that would take my Medicare Advantage Plan “Humana Insurance”. Well, I have yet to find ONE dentist, oral surgeon, and so forth that will take my insurance, EVEN THOUGH this problem is caused from a physical ILLNESS, NOT just regular dental caries. This is a serious matter, that I spent weeks and weeks calling dental offices, and researching online, first of all, WHAT I truly needed done, and a Dental Doctor that could do the procedure, and try to help me get some of it paid for by my Medicare Advantage Plan. I literally spent days and days sending emails, making phone calls, sending messages to dentists offices, all to no avail. In other words, (unless you have had to price these types of dentures called “mini implants”) I was going to have to cough up anywhere from $8,000.00 to some the charge $16,000.00! Now these are the dentists that have been through enough “training” to do certain types of “oral surgeries”, not the Physician Dentists, the true Oral and Maxillary Surgeons MD. I am sure when you look at the fact they usually put you under complete anesthetic in an operating room, and have several nurses and so on assisting them, they charge I would say $25,000.00 and UP! By the time you pay his services, a anesthesia doctor, all of the charges for an “outpatient” stay at a day surgery or hospital setting, I know from the extensive surgeries I’ve had due to all of these horrid, life altering chronic illnesses, it certainly would be a great deal more than $8,000.00. And “they” MAY be able to get my Medicare Advantage Plan to “pay”… with some pushing, pulling, red tape, & lots of time before I could have anything done, BUT the insurance ONLY PAYS 60% of any type of “dental” procedure no matter if the problem has been caused by an Illness! So, that means by the time you added up all of those “extra’s” involved where I would have to travel back and forth from Dallas many times to get it all done (so far I have had about 5 appointments to do all of this, and still have another at least 3 to go)… thus you are looking at the cost of gas, parking, and what if something happened after hours or a weekend? Like a dry socket, of which I had one, and also the start of an infection. But, I am within 5 minutes of my dentist/oral surgeon, thus I can be in there and getting care within an hour or two. And I am sure if something happened over the weekend that called for attention, he would go to the office and see me. Now, as it is, after an almost “deadly” car accident that my husband (who more or less has been my “caretaker” now for almost 10 years) last March. An 18-wheel tractor trailer “ran over” him from the back. Aa of now he is barely able to walk, much less drive anywhere. So, I have only myself to depend upon. My 2 children live 8 or more hours away, and my Mom, who I am “watching after” and helping out at times, can barely drive to the grocery store and back home that is about 10 blocks or less, thus there is NO way I could have been going to Dallas, being “put under” and driving myself home.

This part of my story only touches the “iceberg” of what I’ve had to endure. Lupus, RA, Sjögren’s, Raynaud’s, Osteoarthritis, Migraines, two heart attacks, one at the age of 40 (now they think the Lupus may have caused them, but that was years ago before I was diagnosed), plus all of the complications that go along with these illnesses. They can “attack” just about any part of the body, from the brain, to kidneys, to your heart and lungs, blood vessels, skin, and that list just goes on and on. As I have come to find out also, once they “finally diagnose” you, more than likely you have “several AI’s, causing the problems. (AI- Autoimmune diseases). We NEED HELP! WE NEED more RESEARCH, TRAINED PHYSICIANS ON THESE ILLNESSES, including DENTISTS, MORE MEDICATIONS, TO BE DIAGNOSED EARLY BEFORE all of your body is falling apart from them. We need to find out what causes these chronic illnesses, whether heredity, or caused by something later in life. The number of people (WOMEN rank MUCH HIGHER in getting any of these than men), grows each day. Some of us, like myself, may have been ill for many years, 10 years, or more BEFORE they finally get a doctor who takes the time to sit down, and put together the pieces of the puzzle of someone with one or more of these illnesses. But, doctors are overwhelmed, underpaid, and just do not have the time, even as specialists, like Rheumatologists, to really EXAMINE a patient, and there past medical issues to find out their patient is ill with a disease that could have been there for a decade or more, By the time mine were found out, I had already had both knees replaced (after several arthroscopic surgeries), an elbow surgery, arthroscopic surgery on both shoulders, my right one now replaced completely. I have osteoporosis, and mine is “severe” in range. I have the bones of someone 80 plus years old.

This past 6 weeks have been especially an extremely fought time for me. Due to the Sjogren’s literally eating away from the inside out, and no one knowing it until it was too late, I have had to endure having two sets of 5 at a time teeth pulled, much of it difficult due to the teeth being so brittle, thus difficult to excise, then after going through a couple of times trying to make sure the complete regular dentures will fit right for now, I went through a couple of visits for that. I finally got my “new teeth” just this past week on August 12th, 2014. Yet, I still had 11 teeth that had to be pulled all at once, then my gums were sutured shut, after my dentist had to do some “filing” to my bone so the dentures will fit properly, and then my gums were sutured closed in the front, top and bottom. I did then immediately get my dentures put is, but of course with extremely swollen gums, suturing and a great deal of bruising due to all of the local anesthetic being put in the syringes, then the extracting in itself, my gums developed some very sore spots, and even several mouth ulcers. Those I get with Sjogren’s to my dismay. I HAVE to be able to wear these teeth, since I have none of my own now. And I cannot have them “modified” to be held in with the “mini implants” until the bone is completely healed from where all of the teeth were extracted first. This process could take 90 to maybe even 120 days. My problem is trying to have my own mouth accept them, due to the issues of ulcers, and other problems I develop in my mouth due to the Sjogren’s. Then even at that there is already over $4,000.00 paid all of my pocket to get this far with the dentures. Then in another 90-120 days, there will be another $1200.00 (what was “left off accidentally the original treatment plan to pull all of the 11 teeth left) that we were not expecting, then another over $3,000.00 just to have those four “mini-implant posts” put into place in my gums, then the dentures modified to fit properly on those posts. If I could wear the dentures as they are now, I may not have to incur the last $3,000.00 plus BUT I can already see since I am suffering from ulcers, (probably a bad flare of the Lupus, Sjogren’s, and RA) from all of the trauma to getting this far with the dentures, and all of the other very stressful things going on in my life at the present, it has brought a bad flaring up of the autoimmune illness. When this happens, I can have everything from those types of very painful mouth issues, severe Lupus Headaches, severe fatigue, swelling of my joints, the “mylar rash” on my face, & numerous other symptoms that are from these illnesses. It is shameful the amount of time, the loss of quality of life I have sufferer and continue to suffer, the lack of enough research, medication, doctors, and other medical items that may help to put these illnesses in permanent remission, or not get them at all, then I have to fight “tooth and nail” (no pun intended) to get my Medicare Advantage Plan to pay a dime, especially when it comes to anything to do with the huge burden of expense of all that I have endured with my mouth, and the Sjogren’s that causes it. I want to see this change, for myself, and also for many others, some I have met recently that are going through the same situation that I am. Most of them like myself, really taking on a very heavy financial burden because they cannot get Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan to cover any of this even though it is a “medical” problem, not dental per se. For some $9,880.00 plus (because I already had several teeth that rotted down to the gum and had to be pulled before the procedure of getting my mouth ready for the dentures) may not think that is a great sum some of money. BUT, someone living on Social Security Disability, and the spouse (my husband) that had been my “caretaker” for the most part, then he was in a severe, almost life taking vehicle accident on March 26th, 2014 and spent almost 4 months in the hospital, with many complicated injuries including his spinal cord. Thus now he had massive health needs, puts even more of a burden on my life and on his that I an barely begin to tell about. He was hit from behind by an 18 wheel tractor trailer that day, and rushed to Baylor Emergency in Dallas, where he was operated on for basically a “broken back”, 7 broken ribs, and the list of injuries goes on and on. So, us trying to take care of one another is a daily struggle. Again we begin all over to try and find proper physicians for him through the system, and much like I have come to find out, many doctors are refusing to take any Medicaid patient, and now even worse, are refusing to take Medicare patients, due to not getting paid properly, and in a reasonable time length.

I would like to see for one Medicare or these Medicare Advantage plans cover MORE on something such as Sjogren’s, that is not “dental” in nature, but caused by a physical illness. I would also ask that rather than put up a road block, where the patient cannot get through to anyone at Medicare to explain the problems, or be able to get our doctors and dentists to be able to help get these types of things paid for just as any other type of chronic illness. I cannot express enough the huge amount of emotional, physical, mental, and financial anguish I have been through, and still have more to go just to be able to eat. But, my teeth are what can sustain my life, and without them, I am at risk for all types of other physical and emotional issues.

I realize we have many people in our nation, and around the globe in need of all types of medical attention. Yet, in a great nation such as the United States, our people should not have to bear such a hardship, and not have anywhere to turn to get any type of financial assistance with something so critical as your teeth. I did NOT cause this, the disease did.

I ask you to see if there is a way to change this system, give help to get things like this paid for or at least a good portion paid for by Medicare and/or a Medicare Advantage Plan. I ask you to get the funds out there to get more specialists, so we have enough doctors to are qualified and trained, that have went through a major study of these life altering illnesses, and can give us back our quality of life, and find these illnesses and have the ability to treat them before 5, 10, of more years go by and the damage has already been done.

I feel I do my part by voting, by participating as a volunteer, activist, and Ambassador for several organizations that are trying to change the face of Arthritis, Autoimmune Diseases, and all of the other medical problems that come with them, I sign petitions, I send letters, make calls, and send emails. I am somewhat limited to do what I can medically and monetarily, but in the ways I can try to stand up and make a difference, I give it my all. Now, I ask you do to the same. Stand up for all of us that want our quality of life back, to be able to do the simple things in life like eat, do a hobby, work in a garden, or whatever you may want to do, by giving the way with funds, research and voting for bills that will reduce the terrible burden off of those like myself.

Thank you for your time and for listening. I hope my “one” voice can help to make a difference.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

3rd Time A Charm!! -

 It is still not exactly as I want it BUT you can now "comment" right from the front page, where it is "no comments" just click there and a new window where you can comment will open up. Comment there and any other comments will also be in that window. I may still go back to having them right under the post. I feel people are more inclined to "leave a comment", and read any that are there.

 

I am hoping this does help clear some of the mess up. Google really did a number on Blogger when they made the "Circles" and the Google plus 1, etc. Not that they are a bad thing, but it did for some of us cause a nightmare with our blogs. 


I am also seeing a "drop" in people coming in. I realize that is my own fault, with everyone as crazy as it had been. For about 6 weeks, about 4 days of each one has been spent either at therapy, at a doctors office, at the dentist, or something to do with one of us and medical mess. I am hoping that is beginning to calm down a bit. Jim "completes" out of the home therapy tomorrow... so that takes care of 2 trips each week to Waxahachie. It seems like not that much, but it just wrecks the afternoon and evening. By the time you get out, get out of the traffic and get home to straighten out dogs, house, and put things away, it is a hurried dinner of whatever and then all we want to do is sit down and freaking relax. I see my Rheumy next week! Thank Goodness... and I will post at the bottom of this a link to my FB page where I put one pic up of my new beautiful teeth! ;) I will get some when I am dressed and have makeup on next week. But for now my mouth is still swollen, so my face in places is a bit puffy especially my top lip and around my nose.... More very SOON, I promise... I have LOTS of exciting new stuff... some I can tell... others, well it will be awhile, but I still have eons of stuff to catch you up on.... Hugs, Rhia



I FINALLY figured out what the issue was on the "comments" part of my blog. That is where you can put your comments right under my posts. It is ready to go now :) Let me know if you have any problems!


Rhia

I am still having problems on the "main page", but if you go to the "page" of that particular post, then you will see where you can "comment"/. click that and a window will pop open where you can post comments. I know blogger is making a bunch of changes, which has screwed up a lot of what I thought was working. That is why I have thought about going to Word Press. But, then that means a learning curve to figure out Word Press also.... always something...  If this is still not making sense, send me an email at rhia@ravishingrhia.com or redstangblonde@yahoo.com and I will explain fuller.... I want you all to be able to comment! That is my reason for this in part, is so I can HEAR FROM all of YOU!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

... More on the "State" of Medical Care in Our "State" (s)...

... cont from post on FB...  

...is honestly someone I would be frightened frankly to see or to take anyone to that did not know much about medication and the medical field themselves. The woman is pure dangerous. She is just a bomb waiting to go off. I realize that trying to find reputable physicians that want to take Medicaid in ANY state is not easy. When I was in Seattle, I had went into to try and find an orthopedic doctor to help me with the same shoulder that NOW is completely replaced. They at that time were a bit different about Medicaid in WA state. I had no trouble at all, getting on it... but once on... no problems getting meds... and so happened the PCP that Jim had been seeing took the State Medicaid there so, that part was great. But, when it came to finding ANY type of specialist, that was insane. Just like here, either there is none OR if they have one they "no longer" take Medicaid, or not the "program" one you picked (it works much like a Medicare Advantage Plan does I come to find out) where like myself I can choose to have plain Medicare and find a "supplement" to help with co-pays etc... and the 20% I will owe. OR you can pick a "Medicare Advantage Plan as I did" and any of the doctors that take it, I pay 40.00 for a specialist, they see me, and anything they do "in their office" Humana pays for and my part is the $40.00 or $15.900 for your PCP. But, just as now this M'caid "Advantage plan" the idiots put Jim on, most doctors are either in the Dallas area OR up way past Dallas towards Plano, past Garland Or almost all the way to the OK/TX border! What happened rather than like the woman that helped me in Seattle find the "program" that fit my location better, the caseworker brought the paperwork into Jim, did not even tell him about the differences, asked him to pick a plan and sign. She never told him a thing about the differences, thus because he was at that time still ill enough he was unable to really "know AND READ" what all it said... he gets put on this one "Advantage" plan as I like to call it, that does not really cover much of our area or any around us! She rushed him, would not let him keep the paperwork till I could get there and help figure it out... thus he got the shaft so to put it, when it comes to these "specialists" he needs to see for future care such as a Neurologist, a Cardiologist, a GI doctor, an Eye Specialist... for some reason the eye doctor there that examined his eyes and did a new script, said it seemed something indicated to him, that Jim should be checked for Glaucoma... now he has been before... but this could be the results of the accident... because as we are coming very quickly to find out this "Spinal Cord Injury" can have an effect on just about EVERY PART OF THE BODY! One way or the other it effects just about everything. Heart, Lungs, Brain, Liver, GI Tract, Legs Arms, the entire "autonomic" and parasympathetic nervous system... which is also then divided into several other "branches". But I am speaking more of the fact that some of our nervous system makes things such as our lungs, heart, liver and so on work... then the autonomic is of us making our legs, arms, head and so on ... So there are MANY thing medically he might face, (not unlike us with our own Chronic Illnesses and Pain do) in the future. So, (Much like us( we have to try our best to be "prepared" by having a certain number of specialists already that we are established with, just in case one of these issues come up. Eyes is a huge one for us. I am on Plaquenil, which can cause macular degeneration and basically if not c found in time can cause blindness. Thus I have to see my Eye specialist every year for a couple of special tests to make sure I do not have any of that coming on... so trying to find all of these "specialists" that WILL take this type of "Medical Insurance" along with see him as a new patient, is as mind boggling as Anthony said as my own Blog, is "Bloggling" minded.. or something in that respect... again I am posting this on my blog, and will leave a link so you can come and finish reading there and please feel free to comment Rhia

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Some Updates on the Wreck, Jim's Progress, My own Illness, with the pneumonia, teeth etc. and life

As you can tell, we are still reeling in many ways from everything over the past several months. Jim is home, and he is doing quite well. Honestly, much better than I, Him and I think even his doctors thought he would by now. He still is suffering from some abdominal pain, but more when he eats, and all of that pushes against those ribs. He had about 19 broken, at least on in two places. So, as he drinks water during the day, eats and so on, it seems due to the "lack" of nerve feeling, and then the "SOMEWHAT" odd places he right now has no feeling, the pain is better, but he is still dealing with some, especially when he is very tired, or after outpatient Rehab a couple of times a week.

Anyway, it seems I have been able to kind of "open up" for the first time in a very long time today and "hear" my own "voice" again... as far as my writing goes. Honestly, I truly felt I had lost all of it this time. For many reasons... first of all, my mind was not here, just the shock of the wreck, the plight of my own fall, my teeth, or lack of them, a continuous flare, not knowing where Jim would be, whether he would even walk again was a huge question right after all of the damage, the surgery, and everything there... more spinal cord damage was there, than initially thought... so there were many things holding me back from being able to truly "write" what I was concerned about. I even was ashamed of myself about feeling not up to truly doing my volunteer and advocacy work, which I love. But, I realized that will and is coming back now... it was just everything going on that those things were temporary. I am already putting a foot forward, baby steps, in trying to get myself settled back in my duties of volunteering, advocacy, and ambassador things.

but, since there have been a few more updates over the past week or so, I thought after posting to Facebook, I would also post here... I HAVE t get myself back into my blogging. It is so very important to me... and I feel my blog will continue to be somewhat the same, but I feel I will be adding more things in the realms of spinal cord injuries, rehab, and I will be adding more information about things such as Baclofen, which they use for SCI's and MS also. I have also been dealing with more other realms of medical issues, that also will tie into the autoimmune illnesses too. So, if you see me taking a bit of a different track, know I am "adding in" not taking away at all.

So, I will "paste" a couple of my FB posts below from today. They have updated information that some of you maybe interested in.... much more to come (this has not taken all of my will power yet)... even though it such made a dent in it this time.....


Facebook posts below from today and yesterday.....

Hello all..I've been trying to get here to update everyone on Jim's homecoming and first f/u with his back surgeon, and then my situation. But it seems too much to do, too little time to do it, and feel like hell... all three make for some frustration. The back surgeon was VERY pleased with Jim's recovery process! In fact, I think he was almost overwhelmed at that fact, that since they have NOT gotten Jim's wheelchair out to us yet, that he walked the entire way all day on Thursday with his cane!!!! :):) The wheelchair is actually just for LONGER walks, like through a huge store, or to the doctors where like Baylor it is a nightmare sometimes to walk to where your doctor is, etc. He is going over to Rehab twice weekly in Waxahachie, then doing his other exercises etc, walking here at home. He has now began to have some spasticity issues, which usually show up about 8 to 10 weeks after a spinal cord injury. So, we had asked about Baclofen, and he said absolutely. He thought he might already have been put on it, while in Rehab. But the symptoms of it did not really begin until about a day or so before he was to come home. So, we were not sure at the time if that was what it was or not. But, it is and just like someone with MS... it should help immensely. From there we had to go have my pain pump refilled. Which now they can do in their office, thus not the nightmare of outpatient at the hospital, much quicker and much LESS expensive. My lung X-ray last week on Thursday came back and appears the pneumonia is gone, even though I am still wheezing, and rattling. But. they thought it was more of an asthma development, and put me on another inhaler, and I am already on Singular, plus a huge 60mg dose for 5 days of Prednisone once again. But the next day, of course never happens while you are AT the doctor, I got up to about 4 massive ulcers on the bottom of my mouth and something in my throat that hurts like hell. I have a tooth (more than one) that HAVE to be pulled, but no way he could work in my mouth as it was, thus I am trying to get some of it healed up for Monday, so I can get the ball on the roll. I am thinking having these rotten teeth, what few I have left, could be also causing me to have the other issues, almost like a constant flare. Also, I still have not gotten to have my 2nd round of Rituxan due to the pneumonia, thus one ankle the right one swells up horribly, and the pain is back in my fingers, thumbs, toes, ankles and feet with a vengeance .... but I also run the risk of having further mouth infection, if I am on it, when having 5 teeth at a time pulled, and going through all of that, and trying to not have a flare, BUT moreover NOT getting dry sockets and infections. So, I am in between a rock and a hard place. The pump is filled through September, yet my pain over the past week has been terrible. I think just ALL going on, and as I said I seem to be in a constant flare... anyway, so between the two of us, lots going on. We kind of have to grin about it, because it seems both of us are dealing somewhat with the same issues now when it comes to our physical bodies.... We saw the Xray of the surgery, right after it was done that night. He has a set of 7 fusion bars, so he beats me by 4...LOL! funny but not, talk about looking odd though... I know when I saw mine, it was like WOW, that looks like something I would work on the house with, nuts, bolts, screws and bars. So, for all of you that have been with us through every step of the way, I again and Jim too, appreciates every one of you.... we also both ask for your continued thoughts, well wishes and prayers. We have a long way to go for both of us.... but as I told him yesterday, from what I watched about 6 weeks ago when he was at the hospital, versus what I see now at home.... I now see much of the "normal" parts of Jim more and more each day! :):) He is still in pain, but he is determined to be able to walk without the cane, which may or may not happen. But even if the cane stays, honestly he is a walking miracle. Between the both of us and all we've been through, my pain doctor was almost in tears. He did not know how badly things had been since he was me earlier in the year for my pump refill. And I had forgot to mention I had fallen that same night of Jim's surgery also... We are truly blessed, but I admit these last few weeks, sometimes I have to truly "hunt" for those blessings... the pneumonia and all of my own weakness, pain, my mouth, the ulcers, my throat, a huge swollen ankle.... I have to make myself STOP every once in a while, and truly THINK just what a blessing we do have.


AWESOME NEWS!!! OUR LAWYER FILED SUIT AGAINST THE 18 WHEELER COMPANY THAT RAN OVER JIM. It was official yesterday! And THEY LOCATED THE CAR! We thought it may have already been crushed, BUT the company that bought it from the auction, still HAS IT! So even better! OUR PICS were GREAT BUT NOW they have their own Professional inspector that can see it up close and personal!!!!!! :):) This is truly incredible news....

I so appreciate all of the "Thumbs up" and support.... as things began, you really do not think in the "monetary" terms of something such as this. But, now as we see the bills coming in, we think about having to buy the car, time lost for his work, time and money on Rehab, traveling, doctors, medications, pain and suffering, the issues of me "losing" my care taker in many ways, modifications to the house, you name it... now this part begins to set in.... and even though I am NOT ONE for believing in "suing" as some do... under these circumstances, I truly believe if all is as we have seen and heard, this company should be responsible for ALL of it. They have refused to even speak to our insurance company or our lawyer. Even turned away certified letters, or even allowing the lawyers to speak .... they have told "lies" as far as we know about the happenings of that event... as far as even having the driver of the 18 wheeler say he was NOT in a wreck, and he was not driving that truck that day. It was also picked up and towed away by guess who? Their own company, very quickly, even before the investigation got underway after the accident... thus they are refusing to cooperate in any fashion at all. That tells me... they are hiding something, or they would be out telling the story as "they" saw it.... as far as the two (without a driver's license due to NO INSURANCE anyway) in that Tahoe they are already out of the scene. They also would not cooperate at all, and basically "disappeared" along with the so called "witness" that just happened to walk out on his porch about the time our car went sailing under the Tahoe, (due to the 18 wheeler shoving the car under it)... anyway, that person suddenly disappeared also. My insurance refused to pay them a dime... and closed that part of this weeks ago. So, the portion now is the 18 wheeler tractor trailer business who owns the vehicle... As I said I do NOT believe in suing ... and honestly, probably may honestly think about having a "side suit" in for my own losses due to losing Jim as my caretaker. It has caused my own health, mental and emotional status harm... and our lawyer is the one who even mentioned it. He said that it may take longer to try and get that all in order and settled, but we should think about it due to my own pain and suffering, health issues, and the fact that now we may both be facing totally disability... and "no" outside caretaker. My Mom sure can't... bless her heart, she is doing more than she should right now at home I think because she hates to ask me... yet she should allow me to do some of what she is trying to do before she winds up accidentally hurting herself. Thus, it is up to the both of us, possibly later on some in home health care... and like I told Jim, I don't know where my own health issues may take me... I may face being on a cane, etc... in the future... the progression of the Lupus, Sjogren's, RA..... etc. has been extremely bad in the past 6 months.... so we both maybe having to use assistance to walk etc... anyway, just another "piece of the pie" of life... when things like this happen. You don't want to face these parts, but there comes a time you have to.... it sucks... but it is one of those "necessary evils"...


Question for those of you on "daily prednisone"? What dose do you take if you are on a daily dose of it? I have been on a maintenance dose of 2.5 daily, which honestly I cut down, it is supposed to be 5 mg. daily.... but the doctor told me as long as I was feeling okay, the lower the better... BUT when the doctor put me on the 60 mg tablets (2 20's daily) for 5 days... the swelling in my ankle is almost gone, and I've noticed some of the fatigue better, and anywhere I have any type of inflammation going on, even with the "asthma" issue, that is so much better. BUT we know that another "necessary" evil, is this "wonder drug", prednisone, or the "corticosteroids" .... they do magic... but they also can freaking wreck your body at larger doses for an extended time if taken. So, now I face another dilemma... do I ask to have an "increase" of like 10 mg daily.. or so ... I fear I will blow up like a balloon and have MORE issues caused from the prednisone... gosh this crap sucks.