Showing posts with label illness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label illness. Show all posts

Monday, November 30, 2020

All of the ANGELS AMONG US...

 We have so many angels that walk among us! I am so grateful for their love, hope, caring and giving of themselves freely...

I pray we remember to be Giving thanks for All they do each day to try and keep us healthy each day...

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Keith Urban Lyrics, and trying to hold myself together after... 2 years today since Mom passed away, and the loneliness of the loss of her, Dad, Tazzy, Bub's and my love..

Yes, today and yesterday have been difficult for me. Yesterday, things, several things really hit me, right in the gut, literally. By the time I got home from Wally World, I was physically sick to my stomach, and felt horrid all day long. It was so bad, I never ate anything for dinner at all. I fed the pups, and they "knew" "Mommie" was not feeling well. 

They cuddled up with me on the sofa, and would not leave my side. of course today is the 2 year anniversary of my Mom passing away. In my mind, I've played over and over what our doctor we saw, usually had our appts on the same day, used to tell her. He would say that she was going to "outlive" him and I... not that he meant that "badly"... because of course with my health issues, he knew that it was a true statement, but he wanted my Mom to pull herself out of where she would "think she was too old for this, that or the other, so it was his way of telling her at the time "health wise" Mom was much more "healthy" than many of us. Yet, although she was, never did he even believe how quickly she went downhill when the Lewy Body Dementia hit.

 I had seen signs for a while, before she really got so bad. Here and there, being forgetful, losing things, not recalling events, yet of course at 80 years old, heck at 40, 50 and 60 years old many of us are "forgetful"... I blame the "world" we live in for the stress and strain, the toll our minds and bodies take these past 25 years or so... things used to be so much simpler, it seemed the "burdens" we have now, were not as they were back then. 

From the selfish ways many of us have abused our water, land and air, to technology that in ways is wonderful, yet in ways, it has caused families to not spend "time" together... kids and parents on their phones, the computers, playing games, you name it, we tend to "have something else more, better, important, than a family meal together, or a quiet night without a TV, phone, or computer. I realize that NOT everyone has given up what family time is, and it seems that some have tended to "go back" to that time... when everyone was at the dinner table, no TV, no phones, just dinner, and asking one another how their days were. I had those all my younger life... and until my kids were well into being teenagers, for the most part we also spent nights together, around the dinner table, talking to each other, and caring. I know that has carried on to my daughter and her family. Of course we are "busy" but for the most part, her children, husband and her spend their dinner time together, sharing in one another's lives. There is so much that I think about when i think of my Mom... 

Mom never "gave me crap" about tattoo's, belly rings, tongue rings... she may have not agreed, but, she knew that I had my own personal reasons for all of it, and she was never one to put me down for making those choices. Mom spoke her mind though... anyone that knew her, knew that what came out of her mouth, was her personal thoughts, and she expressed them. Not that it was always "in a proper place" or said in a "proper way" but it was Mom, and you had to accept that part of her. So often, she was overly concerned about my health and me. Sometimes to the point I think she worried herself way too much. 

But, she knew the pain and suffering I endured, mentally, physically and emotionally, and many times she told me, she could never "brave" what I went through daily. Yet, I always told her, that she need not worry, I am a survivor, and what is, what happens, why it happens, I don't know but I do know it serves a purpose. She was so proud of me... when I went to college and worked full time, and took care of my home and family, she was my greatest fan! She urged me to oil paint, and especially all of my poetry and writing. When I published my first two books, she cried tears of joy, for she always knew I had something very special, that gave me the words to write, and how much I touched the hearts of those around me. She was always the one to encourage me, whatever it was, she knew I could do it. LOL, so often she told me I should have went to medical school. I would have been such an asset to many as a doctor, or in research. 

When I got to go to Washington DC with the Arthritis Foundation, that was a moment that she also cherished with me. My walls around my desk are covered in the awards, the recognition, the paper clippings when I had an article in our local paper. The Proclamations for Lupus, for RA, signed by our Mayor and some signed by our Governor. Mom was my best friend, after I was alone, she became the one that stood with me, that talked to me, that helped me carry on, even though I was in such a mess after being separated. She understood, because after Dad passed away, Mom was very frightened of what might happen. Coming back to TX was a ver difficult thing for me, I never wanted to leave Seattle, but she needed me, so I came back here to help her. I miss her every day, and even though Dad passed away n 2005, I still miss him. 

Often thinking to myself, that we would be fishing today if he were here. Or I would be visiting, or we may be going to the casino tomorrow if she were here.... all of the things and many many more that I so miss... from the little things to the small things, after the loss of my parents, losing my Pug Tazzy, and then losing Bub's after I broke my hip.... losses that cut right to my core, and then Jim no longer here... my world on some days seems so upside down..... So, Mom, I hope you know how much I miss you and Dad, and there are days it is s struggle... but I put ne foot in front of the other and try to----- carry on

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day! to All! I wish everyone a Day of Reflection, of Love of Yourself, and of someone else, if there is another love in your life...

As the "day of Valentine's comes Around, no matter Well, Sick, or Somewhere in the Middle, we either have a Love of Our Life, Or Maybe wishing for that love or find ourselves in a place of not being sure. 

Whether anyone is "separate" from you and you find love there, "ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LOVE YOURSELF FIRST"!

We all too often especially those of us with Chronic Illnesses and Pain think we are "not lovable", but that is just not true. Love can come in so many, many different ways... yet to find you love yourself, shall bring love to your life, whether friends, family, or that special someone, you are truly Special.

I wish each of you a very special Valentine's Day! 

And thank each of you for coming to my blog and "supporting" me by reading my blog, and hopefully learning something at times also....


Monday, November 2, 2015

Not totally "getting" Life & where it leads, where you follow, who is put in your life, who "walks out", & trying to Cope....

I didn't post this on my Facebook page... and I probably should.... because the way things are in my life now, Honestly, I do NOT give a damned who thinks what.... I lived MOST of my Life "stressed" over "who said what", and "what someone else thought" and the entire thing is ridiculous.... I honestly never cared if those that were "jealous" were... I never felt I had anything to be jealous over... I worked, tried to raise my two kids, had a "modest" home in a small town, and there was not a thing for anyone to ever think I had that was worth being hateful, spiteful, and "green with envy" over.... I had my "Dad's" personality, and I never met a stranger.... I was nice to everyone, did not matter, male or female, yet out of every "boss" I had that were women, they all just could not stand my "way" around people. It was ridiculous, because each and every one of them, had more than I did, one was married to a lawyer, and had a job well over my head, ah but after "firing me" a 6 years employee, that was told my the ER doctor to stay home, a few months later she lost her job... and that happened several times.... their own "greed", "envy" and so much of their "life" spent making me and everyone miserable, yet they got theirs also.... and I never had to do a thing... just go about my own business, and allow what was to happen... happen...

But, I "lost" a dear friend... that I talked about in my last post... I had not seen him in years, and as I have had time over the weekend to think about it, I am still saddened and at a loss .... why him? Why did it take me so long to find out? Why did someone not tell me? There were not a great deal of "people" that knew about him and I... we kept it that way on purpose... we never "hid" our friendship, and I often visited him where his family business was, which was a restaurant in a nearby town, and I lived not far from there back then... So, it was never a completely hidden relationship, but we just preferred the times we spent together listening to our favorite music, and bands, and having a beer, and talking, laughing, without any distractions, without any "gossip", oh but I am sure there was plenty of gossip, I just cared NOT to listen at the time... "we" knew what we had, and that was good enough for us.... there was a respect, we treasured those times, and tried to see one another when we could, but he worked a lot, or he had other people, friends, family, and at the time... neither of us thought about "more"... what we had together, was "more".... I've had time to remember those times that I would "pop" in on a weekend, maybe a Saturday, or drive by and find his truck at home, so I stopped, or even time he was not home, but I was always "welcome" to be there, even if I just needed somewhere to get away, from all of the "crap" of my life back then...

I was and still am "angry" at myself, for not trying to contact him... I should have, I am not sure he even knew I was back in TX, and had been for a long time, just down the road a bit... but I had "my life" and lots of it during the past 13 or so years, have not been the most pleasant, plus, I guess I was "busy" with my own issues and trying to find once again a purpose, other than being SICK! With all of the "illnesses", the autoimmune problems, the surgeries, the scars from knee replacements, a shoulder replacement, finally my "pretty teeth", that were and are not "my teeth" yet they are pretty... just not the way I thought it would be...

So, after much thinking about it all, I am posting this Obituary, and what bit I could find about him... I think it is the very least I can do, for someone who was and had remained near and dear to my heart... and this morning as I listened to Brooks and Dunn, and recalled how much we loved all of their music, and how many nights, we spent dancing to those right there in his living room, I feel I must post what I know  - now.... and I hope to find out more, I would like to know what happened to him....

Ronnie Blackwell
April 19, 1957 - June 10, 2011
Former Corsicana resident, Ronnie Blackwell, 54, left this world June 10, 2011 to be with the Lord and Savior.

He was born April 19, 1957, in Corsicana to William and Corrine Blackwell.

Ronnie graduated Corsicana High School and attended Navarro College. He also served as a member of the Navarro County Peace Officers Association and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Organization. Literally growing up with the restaurant concept, Ronnie devoted many years of his life to continue the legacy of the family-owned business developed by his mother and father. Bill’s Fried Chicken and Cafeteria always remained a large part of his life.

Along with his interests in animal welfare and golfing, Ronnie was a Texas Longhorn fanatic. He devoted much of his time and energy by showing loyalty to support the “Burnt Orange Nation” football program.

He is preceded in death by his father, William “Bill” Blackwell.

Mr. Blackwell is survived by his mother, Corrine Blackwell; two sisters, Carol McCrory and Barbara Cantrell; two brothers, Ricky and Steve Blackwell; in addition to many nephews, nieces, great-nephews and nieces.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 16, 2011, at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Floyd Petersen officiating.

Should friends desire, contributions may be sent to the SPCA of Texas.

Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home, Corsicana.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Feeling totally destroyed, Mad as Hell, and wondering WHY LIFE can be such a torment for some rather than a joy!

I've kept my mouth shut about some of the feelings I have about this entire ordeal of myself, and my Mom being not well, not well at all. I refuse to ask for help, because I know that it will NOT happen, thus I do all on my own, from fixing a lamp, to fixing my plumbing to hanging a new ceiling fan (which that one I have not done yet) I am living now with TWO severely infected places on each thigh, one of which had already been incised over 6 weeks ago and should be well. But, it has taken much longer, I guess just due to my immune system issues... then 2 weeks ago, after hearing a "weird" beeping, during one of our bad weather days, I found out my internal pain pump has a "motor stall" and I had to scramble to Dallas, to my pain docs office to meet a Rep from Medtronic, so they could turn the pump down to a "no flow" basically, and then I went in on Tuesday to see my doctor. Well, it seems on that Sunday before the pump restarted itself again. So, he turned it back to my normal rate of medications, BUT he messed up on my Bolus' that were supposed to be 1.001 every 8 hours and he put .1001, which is a huge difference. I left 2 messages, two days in a row, and I knew Friday the office was closed. So, I just kept taking my oral meds to supplement the difference, and about 9:06 AM Friday morning, the pump had another "motor stall".. so as I was about to call and leave a message that the thing had another motor stall, the nurse called about the bolus, well I stopped her, and told her we had more problems, than a bolus not right, and let her know what happened... this was in the middle of all of the horrible weather, rain, and I was not about to make a trip to Dallas for a 3rd time in a week, not in weather like that... luckily, one of the Medtronic Reps, drove all the way from Dallas, and came to the hospital here and met me to turn down the pump once again to mostly Off, no medication is being given basically, so again I can take the oral meds, and he was to "silence" the alarms, and yes they were until about an hour ago, and now for some reason, just like last Sunday, the "alarm" on the damned thing is going off again..... so I am not sure once again what is happening, because once he turned it to certain settings my own "PTM" that I use to check it and give myself the bolus' is not working. So, I have no clue what the "error message" is that it is giving.... Mom lost over 14 pounds in about 6 weeks, and I am still not having an easy time getting her to eat, and she is always confused about how to take her medication, no matter how many times I explain it, write it down, she even has a 7 day pill holder, but with the addition of a couple of new pills, she never gets it right... so I never know for sure if she is taking her medication, correctly, and when and as I said I have tried everything, from telling and explaining, to writing down the names, doses, and when to take it.... but none of that matters, she cannot get it right.... I have not even been able to go over there this weekend.... with both of these abscesses on my legs, and my pain pump stalled, I need to be close to home, plus the weather still sucks, it is cool, and cloudy, and dripping and I already feel like I have allergy mess like all of us since this rain came in and the weather changed so quickly..... but then the "trial" was supposed to be "next week" for the wreck Jim was in, in March 2014.. what a joke.... I cannot tell you what a freaking mess that entire thing is in, BUT I will tell you "how our lawyer feels" about me being sick..... after he spoke with me late Friday evening, and I told him ALL of what was going on, and he knew a part of it, because I had emailed him, but he did not know about the abscess stuff, because that had not happened yet... and his answer to me was, "Well, you KNOW you STAND TO LOSE a LOT OF MONEY if you do not testify!!!!!!!!! " and my comment back was ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD IS NOT WORTH MY HEALTH and what can I do with money if I DIE!? I am SO SICK OF THIS FREAKING TRIAL CRAP, AND IT IS A BUNCH OF CRAP! I wished i had never even been put into the "mix" of it all.... I stand to gain NOTHING ANYWAY, because, since we are divorcing, that means I am not "with him to help" so HE gains TWICE as much money since he will supposedly have to "hire" someone to take care of him.... and the lawyer gets all of a sudden 40%!!!!!!! I was told 30% in the beginning, which to me was too much, and now I know how he affords that huge, lavish, office on top of one of the largest buildings in Ft. Worth overlooking the entire city etc..... at 40% that does not leave MUCH for the injured party for sure.... I have kept quiet about this mess long enough.... I am SICK - MOM IS SICK, and I cannot even get my own church to put us on the prayer list! And it is funny HOW MUCH I HAVE GIVEN TO SO MANY because I wanted to, all types of help, information, and assistance, and YOU THINK ANYONE HAS ASKED IF I OR MOM NEED HELP??????? NO! So, the lawyer can KEEP his money, as I said if I am in a "Urn" or grave what the hell good is it to me?????? I have never "had money" and I never intended on "getting rich" off of an accident..... so they can take their money and shove it, because I wash my hands of it all..... the audacity of some to do and say what they do.... and furthermore, I want no "I am sorry" or it will get better crap either... I've heard that and it only GETS WORSE!!!!!!! Certainly NOT BETTER..... I do not think ANYONE UNDERSTANDS THE EXTENT of how serious my own health issues are at the moment, nor my Mom's.....

It is lie one day last week, I was looking at a newspaper online, probably from Corsicana. I happened to have seen an obituary about a woman from that area, and her, her husband and their entire family are very well known there. She had passed away, and I was trying to find how to get in touch with one of the sons.... he had helped me years ago, when I was having some really tough issues, and even came and took me out for my birthday in 2001, right after my heart attack. We went over to Waxahachie and ate and then he took me and bought me a box set of Stevie Nicks songs... that I have cherished and still have for years.... there were many times that I "hid" out there, when no one else "believed" what my "then jerk" of a husband was doing to me, and how much I felt threatened.... and him and I became "friends" and it was that, friends... he also had been through a tough divorce, had a "step-daughter" that totally made him almost hate kids, and I always felt I had a "safe haven" when I needed one.... even when he was not home, which he worked a lot, I could go if I needed to and stay..... I can still remember many times we spent listening to Brooks and Dunn, and several songs that totally "touched us" both at that time... and maybe.... just maybe if I had stayed in TX and not left for Seattle, something could have developed between us, but I left, it didn't... I come back and 10 years later, find myself again single....and then the irony hit.... I noticed in his Mom's Obituary it said something about she was "proceeded" in death by a son, and it was his name, I had to stop, blink and again, think gosh no, he was only about 3 years older than me, and even though he had a health issue, he actually had that under control, and was doing well.... but that was 10 years ago.... or a bit more.... actually longer than that, because I left TX, in October 2001 for Seattle.... and I did not return until Dec. 2005 and it is now 2015 so actually more like 13 or more years since our last conversation...... and then I do a search, and I find HIS OBITUARY! He passed away in 2012. I think... and I had no clue, have no idea why, how, if he got sick, or hurt, or what happened... my heart sunk... here was someone who honestly gave me the courage to get up, get out, and change my life, when everyone else thought I was the "one" with problems, and no one believed the other party had issues (until he wound up in prison, and is back again) - not even my own Dad believed me... he thought I was making it all up and I had the "problem"..... so, I was just at a loss, and trying to think of someone who might be able to tell me what happened... and there are a few people I could contact, but I am not sure I even want to "stir" that can of worms from BG....... so life can throw you a horrible curve ball, or MANY curve balls, and you never know when that ONE will be the "end"of your "earthly career"..... I am honestly MAD AS HELL right now - and normally the "hope" keeps me afloat, but at the moment I only see HURT and PAIN ahead, at 55 years old, my life totally sucks!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Thoughts as I ponder my own Health, Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, those that "harm" us, those that have all disregard for human life.. the nation and world in vast and deep trouble...

I put up a couple of new pics earlier on Facebook and I wanted to post them here, and then write about some stuff I've been wanting to write about... lots to do with my own life journey, this river of all too often the "unknown"... we  ... none of us know what the next moment holds... we are not meant to... thus each breath leads to another "surprise" of life... this below is about dealing with illnesses, chronic in nature... Lupus, RA, Heart problems, Sjogrens' the severe pain of them, they tend to try and consume your life, mind, heart and soul... and how then a relationship, although we never know either can literally "suck" the life out of you... before you even know what has happened.... So, I wish each of you, a good life, be safe, love one another every day, every moment... do NOT let a moment pass by that you don't try and make someone else, yourself, or even your "four legged" friends... (I speak of my pups) that you don't love them, and tell them often... 
We never know if we will be shot going down an Interstate, or bombed and terrorized in a church, place to eat, on a job.,, in a market... WE have MANY, MANY Horrible people that spend their life "killing others" and never bat an eye doing it... it is all around, and we hear, read and see is way too much... our NATION and OUR WORLD are in much need of PRAYER, PEACE, AND HARMONY!!! ... YET, too many do not have any regard for human life... I just don't and cannot fathom that they do that in the name of their "god" or whomever they worship.... 
After the SEVERAL what feels like MONTHS the past weeks... I needed to hear something "positive"   I have been so totally frustrated with "life" in general... mainly of course illnesses and medical issues. I am still not "completely convinced about this leg being "not infected... but the surgeon I went to has been practicing for many, many years... so I must have faith that he knows what he is looking at. I learned a few things from him by asking questions, especially about MRSA, and what to look for and so on. I am not sure why that even though this lump was "abscessed" is it not "grow" anything. You would assume it being "infected, which is what I "assume" abscess is, that there would be some type of staph, strep, or something that would grow out of that culture. He took two... because I actually had two pockets of abscess from what he said, one not very deep, but the other quite deep into the thigh. I am still taking extremely good care of it, and not going anywhere without it covered and I am still actually covering it with gauze. For one, with the two pups, and then jumping to see me, especially when I sit down in the evenings on the sofa to watch a = movie with the, they both are pawing at me, or putting their heads on my legs etc.. vying for my attention,.... talk about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!!! That is what I get from Bub's and Tazzy.... they love me in spite of being ill so much, being not able to sit with them every moment of the day LOL, if I have my makeup on or not, no matter how I am dressed... they love me... too bad I never found a "spouse" that was so committed to me... Yes, I did say that...I am so "fed up" at the moment with people that "commit" themselves supposedly 110% and vow to be there no matter what, yet when the tough times roll around, guess what... GONE... on 60 SECONDS! I was totally "committed" to each and every relationship where I said and vowed to do that. But, as we know it takes TWO!!! I could not do "all the work" and the other party not want to work at it at all... and in fact at the moment I am quite livid in the fact, that I've been deceived, lied to, cheated on, and you name it, and I know that even my neighbors who have known me now 8 years must have been "told" I was the problem!!! They barely even "look" at me... and they were here all the time "before" the other party left for Seattle... so I can't help but think someone said things that make them think I "threw" it all away etc... when I never did such... but after trying to work on it for almost 13 YEARS... between my own health, my Mom, and ALL that I need to do... things that I gave up, in order to make a relationship last, I am SICK of GIVING, and someone else doing all of the TAKING!!!! Plus I am TOO OLD and TOO much water has flown under the bridge, that I shall NEVER "beg" anyone to be with me, or stay, and so forth... I am too disgusted with all of it, to even truly have the stamina to "fight" for someone to be here. I am just as well off, even though I am lonely at times, the pups as I said love me, no matter what... and I've vowed to NEVER again get into any "long term" anything... And no one say "Oh, you will feel differently later..." NO! I won't... I am going to spend the time that I "wasted" on committing to someone who just took full advantage of my tenacity... and put all of that COMMTMENT back into getting myself as well as possible, writing my (or may I say finishing") my 3rd book and getting it published, along with more much more energy into my blog... which is doing fairly well... and into my activist and advocacy work... those things are where my true nature, my passion, my love, and what I feel my life is truly about... and no more will I forego those things to try and make someone else happy.. if they cannot be happy themselves, then I certainly can't make them happy .... I am off to post this on my blog... do a few things I've got to catch up on... I spent yesterday outside a great deal... washed and got most of my car waxed... and got some of the dead limbs and trees down that my neighbor "left" rather than take down as he said he would before he built that UGLY HUGE MONSTROUS WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE A GARAGE... it is bigger than my house! So, I've got lots of things I have to do for my home and I am already too vested in it to not finish what I began... so as the next moment, hour, day, week, and hopefully YEARS flow... my hopes are to "do" exactly what I feel my true "calling and purpose" here is.....

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ongoing Lupus, RA, trying to cope with Loss of my Aunt, and all that is so complex when you are fighting a chronic illness/pain issue, dealing with stress, surgeries, and grief

Life can be so awesome one moment, and tragic the next. My Aunt Geri, Moms last living sibling, her younger sister passed away yesterday afternoon after battling a rare form of stomach/intestinal cancer now for a long while. I believe it has been at least 3 years, if I am remembering correctly. She went through lots of chemo therapy, but we knew for one it was not operable, and two the doctors had already said that it was terminal. Yet, for the Grace of God, she lived to see her first Great Grand daughter born, and then some. She lives up in Mesquite, so we don't have any details at the moment. Even though her family, along with my Mom and I knew it was coming, you are never really prepared for something like this. Especially with Mom and her lower back issues, and all we have been through and are still dealing with, plus my own issues with my back, needing surgery, then things getting complicated with me contracting cellulitis, no 3 weeks of antibiotics later and the lump remains on my thigh under the skin. When I saw the doctor Friday, he said if this last round of antibiotics does not show signs of going away this, then I will need to see a surgeon, have the lump removed, and then they can determine exactly what it is. It has now gone from being about the size of a silver dollar, kind of a bit hard, but never feverish, red, and nothing ever burst through the skin, like you would assume cellulitis would. That is kind of the reason why he and myself are baffled as to why it remains. It has now turned into being about the size of a quarter but very hard, sore to the touch, plus I developed another lump on my right leg, that is almost in that same spot, just on top of my right thigh, and almost exactly across from the other one. It is not nearly as large, about the size of a pencil eraser, but sore to the touch, and like the other one pretty hard, and does not move around under the skin. At the very first, before I even knew what it was, it was a bit softer, and it kind of moved around underneath the skin when I would try to check out how large it was. Then of course, I had ran out of Orencia - now I guess it has been about 4 to 5 weeks ago. I had issues getting the insurance to get off their butts.. I needed a new script from the doctor, which they received, so I thought they were going to fill it and send the meds to me as usual. Well, after going another week, no call and no medication, I called them. I found out yes, they had the new script, and even though i had already asked for it to be refilled before they got the new one, they did not fill it. Instead they were waiting on me to call back and ask for it to be shipped. In the meantime the lump formed, all of the other stuff came up with both Mom and myself, so I have not had any Orencia in weeks. I feared my last couple of injections may have been contaminated somehow and caused the cellulitis. I am supposed to be on Xeljanz anyway, did the blood work and labs, then the TB lab test came back indecisive, thus I still have not been able to have the chest X ray ... I was hoping to do that last week, then I came down with the stomach bug, and I am still not completely over something with my stomach. I am still somewhat nauseated, which I contribute to the heat, already being sick, a headache, all of the stress about my Mom, my own things such as the back surgery, and so forth. So, now my fingers on both hands, and in between my fingers are swollen, my knuckles really don't want to work correctly and I am having hell with the RA in both hands and wrists. I have always had some issues with them, but more in both thumbs. I have not been able to get the swelling down, and just trying to open a bottle of coke or anything is so painful, plus my grip is really bad right now... and then my darned keyboard that I love... it is solar, seems to be going out on me, thus this one sucks and does not even allow me to do a hyphen or quotation mark, and It is really irking me to no end...PLEASE continue to keep my Mom, and the family in your thoughts and prayers... as I had posted before, this is Moms last sibling, she has lost both parents, a brother, a sister in law... and most of the family on both my Grandfather and Grandmothers side.. of course we lost Dad in 2005... and am sure that brings up things such as that for Mom anyway... I appreciate each of you... I am thinking about trying to get ready for church. I missed this past two weeks because of being so sick and was going to try and go this morning... but I am still dealing with a bit of stomach issues, and with all going on, I HAVE to go and have my pain pump refilled tomorrow, I have no choice. We waited this time until THE DAY my PTM shows the refill date to be. For some reason it almost falls every time where I have to have it filled too early, for one reason or the other... so it worked out to be on the day this time.... more later...

I appreciate your prayers, and yes mine are with you also... this is just proving to be "another one of those tough years".... I had so hoped that 2015, would bring more Light, Hope and Positive things to our lives. Yet, once again so many of us are trying to cope with all types of chronic illnesses, pain, mental and emotional pain also, the loss of loved ones, and this entire nation in general... I can barely stand to watch or look at the news anymore. It is almost too depressing to see just how horrid people can be. From harming their own family, friends, to those who just do NOT care about humanity... the greed, corruption, the back biting, back stabbing... those that get rich off of our own misfortunes, from lack of care from insurance companies, to the extremely ridiculous prices of medications, even generics now are soaring out of the roof... and people have to almost feel as of they always have to look over their shoulder, whether in a huge city, or a small town... so many as I said above that have no remorse, or regard for human life. Even all of the "election" stuff... it just almost makes me physically sick to my stomach at the thought of just about anyone running for President of our nation next year and anyone of those possibly winning... we are already in a terrible condition, not just nationally, but internationally... countries going bankrupt... people not able to find jobs to support their families... and the amount of ever growing medical issues... our water, air, soil... all polluted with Lord knows what... or whether you will walk out of your local market, or church, or movie theater and be taken down by some "home grown terrorist"... I despise even the sound of that... hard for me to fathom any human especially in this great nation being "home grown to terrorize, and kill others... the insanity grows daily.... we have the weight of our own issues on our shoulders, along with the weight of this entire nation and world, as far as the safety, security, and welfare of all of us.. again thank you all for your continued thoughts and prayers... my Mom and I, along with my kids and family appreciate each of you..

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Life In A "Goldie Locks" Kind of Cinderella Fashion - Then realizing what was back then was a "view" from a childs eyes...

I've done quite a bit of posting, writing, blogging, and more posting today. More than I've done in quite a while for a change. It just seemed like since the weather is making its turn here in my neck of the woods for what sounds like worse for wear, the dreary, rainy, cloudy, soon to be falling sleet and freezing rain shall cometh as the day gets into the late afternoon and evening.

I've put some things up here, on my blog, along with some posts on Facebook, several "Tweets", and some Pinterest postings along with the entire thing also have kind of brightened up my pages on those places that were beginning to feel more staggered, than normal. Of course I go through sometimes even a week or possible almost two weeks, that living daily life, tends to be erratic, errand filled, running hereth, thereth, and yonder... and feeling too worn for wear, when it comes to being online, or even on the computer to write in my book. It comes with the territory of having some of the chronic illnesses I live with. They at times seems to inhabit more of my body, mind and spirit, than just "my own self".

That may sound a bit crazy, and with the amount of issues lately with brain fog, pain, forgetfulness, and sometimes feeling just beyond the point of lazy thus I see at a breaths space, that without my watchful eye, Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, Raynaud's and the rest can slip up behind you when you least expect it and take over your body, heart, and mind much like some alien force that presented itself from a foreign planet.

As I was taking a shower earlier this afternoon, and thinking about my life, it dawned on me how things are so very different now. When I say that I mean more of my own perspective about my life in a very personal sense. When I was growing up in the 60's and 70's... little did I know how much influence my younger years would have on me, when I was 50 and over.

Back then I never gave thought to "money". Of course I knew my family were not "rich" or even very affluent. I always lived on the "other side of town". The North part of my hometown is where the larger homes were built, mostly brick, and were a great deal much more expensive than the small little 2 bedroom, 1 bath room wooden home I lived in. In fact, I was born, raised there, and my Mom after all these years still resides in that exact house. So, it is truly "home" for me.

Mom was about 25 years old when I was born. I get the impression she never really "dated" all that much before her and Dad met. He happened to be almost 13 years OLDER than her. I guess back then, age like that was not all that huge of a factor. Most women in the 50's and 60's were home makers. They took care of the kids, house, cleaning, cooking and so forth. The Dads, Husbands were the "bread winners". They went out into the world and make a living for the family. We always had two vehicles. We usually had a "good" used car for Mom to drive me to school, to the market and errands. Or if we went on vacation we usually went in the car. Dad just about always had a truck. He began with a Chevrolet and the last one Mom traded in after he passed away was also a Chevrolet. Dad bought a brand new pickup about every 5 to 7 years. Mom had worked until I started school. When I began 1st grade she stayed home and Dad as I said was the provider. Dad and Mom were both born and somewhat remember the very "harsh" times of the Depression. Dad of course, much more than Mom. He was born in 1923. He remembered outhouses, no indoor plumbing, wells, hoeing cotton, having a farm, garden, chickens, cows you milked, flour in huge cotton sacks (Mom remembers that also. Her Mom made them underwear out of the flour sack material)!

As the years went by, of course my entire "adult" life was somewhat different than my parents. I worked almost the entire time, from the day I graduated early from High School, until the day I resigned my last job in Seattle due to health issues, I always worked. If I had relied on money coming in from either of my first two husbands, I would have never financially survived. So, things that my Mom never taught me much of, working outside the home, clothes, makeup, and all of the "girlie-girl" things... having your nails done, having your hair cut differently, even having a bit larger home, a new car, 2 kids, rather than like myself an only child, and then allowing my kids to kind of "learn their own way" around the world. I taught them how to take care of themselves. I wanted my daughter to be able to be "her own woman". Never did I want her to have to rely on some guy to take care of her. I never wanted to feel she had to "stay" in an abusive relationship, or put up with someone not treating her like a woman should be treated, due to thinking she "had to" stay. Of course I wanted both of my kids to learn how to stand up on their own two feet. But, all the time I worked and was out of the house, I also needed them to be responsible enough to come home after school (when they were old enough), do their homework and chores, and be there when I came home from work, college or both.

My Dad never wanted me to "play in the band", or try out for any type of extra things in school. He was so strict, he never allowed me to go to football games like the other kids did on Friday night. And by the time he finally DID allow me to do a few things, he would either have to drive me there, pick me up, and was just so very overprotective of me. How I ever learned anything as far as taking care of myself... was either through an innate nature I was born with, or because I had the dearest next door neighbor who took me under her wing, and taught me so much, from crocheting to being a candy striper at the hospital...  all of the things I learned were from her, or from my own trial and error.

I guess I thought life was kind of the way Mom and Dad lived it. He came home from work for dinner (he worked nights for the most part when I was a teenager), and unless he "okayed" me going to my cousins house for the weekend, or her coming over, I was alone with no siblings anywhere near close to my age. I have a half-brother who is 18 years or more older than me. My Dad was 37 when I was born, and my Mom 25 years old. So, I guess they decided that after Mom had a couple of miscarriages after me, that having one child was in their cards.

As I had said in the beginning of this, being "affluent" or having money was something as children we don't think much about. Or back then all of that type of thing was not talked about around me. I raised my kids so much differently. They knew the "value of a dollar" at an early age. I wanted them to be ready when the time came to face the world head on. Not like myself, who was hit right in the face by the time I was 19, had my son, and was paying all the bills myself.

I don't resent that my parents did or did not do things a bit differently. But, I do often wish, they would have given me "eyes" and a "mind" earlier in life to accept so many of the things that life hands us, and if we don't have the understanding, we are not able to deal with it so well.

Dad hated doctors, and hated medications. He just refused with the exception of when he was extremely ill, to see his doctors, and just would not take the medications they gave him. He thought it was all a bunch of bull, and any medication you got on was almost like a sign of weakness. So, when I began to have severe migraines at 17, little did I know just how horrid the next 15 to 20 years of my life would be. From doctor to doctor, from time lost from work, medications that did not work, and Dad never really suffered a "headache" of any kind. So, he could not "get" what a "migraine" was, and why I needed medications for them. He would get almost mad if he knew I was on medication. His Mom back when he was very young, had been ill probably with cancer back then. The only thing they could do in those years was keep someone comfortable, and that usually meant morphine. I those times no one knew that "morphine" was habit forming etc. They knew it helped with pain relief for bad pain, and the doctors gave it out to those that were in bad pain such as cancer. Well, I guess probably my Dad watched his Mom go downhill, and then between the medication and the cancer she was not "lucid" at times. So, he thought that "any" medication could cause you to "lose your mind"... and he definitely did not believe in taking any type of pain medication. So, there were times I just could not even tell him about me being home sick with a severe headache, or the many times I was in the ER with one so bad they had to give me IV medications just to get rid of it.

Even back then, as young as I was, I had joint issues. It began with an accident playing baseball with some of my cousins, and I got used for "2nd base"... and the torn meniscus had to be repaired in that knee. I spent 7 days in the hospital in traction after that surgery at 15. By the time I was 21, I had a 2nd surgery on that knee, and even then I was showing signs of arthritis. Yet, the doctors just didn't put two and two together... to see there was probably much more going on that just a knee injury. After that I began to have various joint problems. Pain, stiffness, severe pain, freezing up, until I had a shoulder, an elbow operated on, and after that, I underwent several more scopes on both shoulders, knees, and then of course replacements of my knees and my right shoulder.

Life for me as a child was days of playing alone outside in the good months, with my dolls, my table and chairs, and as I said, not knowing what really was going on through those years. Even in my teens, I just knew I had an overly strict Dad, that never allowed me to "spread my wings"... he didn't even "encourage" me to go to college... yet I did go and finally got my Associates Degree after years of going at night after work, to get my degree. I am told I am an incredible oil painter, and loved taking those lessons. I took piano for years, and loved that. Even the vacations that my parents took me on, they were nice, and I am glad they took me, but after I was grown I got to go snow skiing, go to Vegas, went to concerts, to Hot Springs, and did many things that my parents never would have tried or done.

We always want to love and "shelter" our kids from the harms of this world. But, if we "shelter them" too much, then they are not prepared for what the world holds later... and all of us know now it just gets worse with each passing year.

My Dad never understood cable TV or Dish, he never understood a cordless phone, or a CD player or DVD player. He certainly did not get a cell phone, computer, or much of anything that was "electronic" in nature at the time all of the digital, cell, and those types of things came out.

I will end this for now, on a note, that I am not upset, nor do I blame my Dad or Mom for where I feel I may have not gotten as far in life as I wanted, when it comes to things I wanted to do, places I wanted to go... and thank goodness I didn't raise my two like that. They "get" the world... but I just hope that people give their kids what they need, that will help them grow into caring, loving, and knowledgeable adults, that can "conquer" anything, and not be scared to do things in life. I felt kind of "shut off" from the real world back then...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How "Serious" Do you Take Your Autoimmune Diseases and Diagnosis?

I had thought about this question last night, for some unknown reason. I knew last night I needed to sit down and write about this ASAP, before the brain fog kicked in and I forgot what I wanted to say or even write about.

Yesterday, was one of those days that I had or needed to play catch-up. I needed to pick a few things up from the market, needed to make a trip over my Mom's, and as the 2 days previously, since I had gotten little to nothing done, I felt I needed to get some stuff done. Last Wednesday I had felt "fine", or well enough to dress, put my makeup on, dressed a bit more decent, and get errands completely. All of what I needed to do, meant running and trying to get everything caught up. So, off to the bank, to the cemetery, to put gas in the car (it is 2.67 here!!!!!!!  YEAH!!).. air up the tires on the car, take some magazines to the library, run into get some prescriptions of mine picked up, then to Wally World, for a few items I can't get anywhere else. I did get it all done, Then I had to come home, put all of that stuff up, get Jim, and take him to drop off some paperwork to a potential pain physician and he also needed to sign a document in front a Notary. So, we also made a 2nd trip to the bank to get that done. From there Jim needed his flu vaccine, so we headed for CVS. Well. that turned into all for naught because in the 1st place his insurance WILL NOT even pay for the flu shot, which has gone up now from about 23.00 a few years back to well over 32.00 this year!!! Yes, I know, I know - everything has gone up but damned... also there are several strains in this vaccine than used to be, but I don't buy all of that, because the pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies are RICH!   Honestly, my belief is that ALL people should be able to get the flu shot at NO COST, if they make below a certain amount of money... NOT allowing those that want the vaccine to get it, just causes more people out there that have the capacity to get sick, and run up a much higher bill that a darned flu vaccine. So, I am not sure I get that 32.00 ordeal. I just saw on the news last night how MUCH MONEY OUR COUNTRY LOSES during flu season, for those especially that DO NOT get the flu shot... and you can believe many of them WOULD had they been able to pay $5.00 for it, or whatever they feel than afford.   

All right, back on the subject that I began this entire blog post about. I have had a couple of "epiphanies" about my own chronic illnesses and chronic pain issues over the past about almost 8 months or so. I always "felt" as if I had accepted the fact that I DID have RA, Lupus, Sjögren's, and so on... along with several what I would call "sub illnesses" that have followed right along with the natural progression of these autoimmune diseases.

As I have come to figure out lately though, I really HAD NOT met these illnesses actually face to face, nor had I truly down deeply that I had not accepted that I am chronically ill, with diseases that at this time have no cures, and even though we have some medications that certainly due help to slow down the progression of some of them. I think the very first time I truly felt I was "ill" was the day my very first tooth just fell out of my mouth coming loose at the tooth/gum line for no good or practical reason. Of course I've tried to be prepared for the day I would begin to have dental issues due to the Sjogren's BUT... never was I prepared for it to happen this soon, nor that fast. From the moment the first tooth fell out, within three weeks 2 more had basically done the same. I was at the dentist more in a month than I had been all my life!!! By the time 6 months rolled around I was missing at least 7 teeth, and I believe at that time in my life, struggling with the teeth, the thought of dentures that I SWORE I WOULD NEVER have... was almost more than I could handle. Little did I know it COULD AND WOULD get worse before things would get "better"... Christmas 2013 was not the most memorable... money was very tight, I seemed to have been ill with one flare after the other, bronchitis and it did not want to go away, and even New Years came and my Birthday fell in February, and the upcoming Arthritis Foundation Summit was coming so soon in March. Yet, I had not been able to get my biologic infusion of the Rituxan (that is AFTER WE FOUGHT to get it paid for, because my insurance refused to pay all of it, thus the infusion clinic had gotten the infusions approved through their private charity program. ) But, I had had way too many issues with infections, bronchitis, & a large dose of step prednidone due to the flares, I was just down and out until the very last right--I at the last moment made a trip to our urgent care center to get some last minute treatment for a Lupus flare that had just had me down and I couldn't go (this was Friday evening and my plane was due to take off MONDAY at 6:00AM). so this was the last straw in the box per se'.

Well, someone much more MIGHTY than myself handling things. By Sunday, I was able to pack, still not feeling like jumping over the moon, but compared to the week before. So come VERY very early Monday morning. Even up until I was getting my luggage out of the car, and checking my bags it has not hit me, that I was headed for Washington DC. Once I was on the plane, settled in and on my way, it hit me, I truly WAS HEADED FOR THE SUMMIT IN D.C.!!!

After the accident on March 26th, 2014 - everything went to hell in a hand basket. I believe the night I first came home from him having that massive back surgery, it hit me square in the face, that I had CHRONIC AUTOIMMUNE ILLNESSES, and I had better get hold of myself, or I would lose it completely.

 So, for the very first time rather than this frivolous thought of "yes, I have autoimmune illnesses" that I take medications for daily. MTX, Plaquenil, and usually a biologic, now we have added Orencia in, it will be here Tuesday and Sulfasalazine. It hit me so hard, that I literally had to sit down on my chair in front of my computer. Here I was, even being a voice, an advocate, blogging about them, Facebook page and posts about them, seeing how many others suffer with these illnesses, yet, I had never really settled into the mere facts of DAMMIT the hell, I have Lupus, RA, and autoimmune illnesses... which mean forever unless someone happens to invent a cure in the next few years. My mind was spinning, my head full of thoughts... how would I survive, how will I ever be able to help Jim, how can I keep on writing my book, my blog, doing my advocacy, my activist, my Ambassador work. Will I still be able to help Mom??? Question after question rattled through my brain... and with each question, the "other side" of my thought process had an answer... and that was YES! The "answer" was much simpler than the questions were. Inside, somewhere, somehow, I knew I would be able to "handle it all"... that may mean a change in all kinds of things, and especially letting go of what "normal" used to be and begin to accept what "normal" will be as the next days, weeks, and months go by. I was more in fear of the "change in normality I believe" than I was the illnesses, or Jim's physical situation after the wreck or any of that. Change is something that is frightening to most of man and woman kind... WE are truly creatures of habit. I realize very often we don't seem to be when we are younger. But, for the most part as we age, we don't do as well with change, uprooting your roots you have put down for so long, chopping them down, and learning a new "normal" is almost impossible for some people.

I could no longer sit there trying to figure it all out in my head at the moment, because so much "unknown" lie ahead... how long will Jim be in the hospital?, and all of his physical, mental and emotional changes, it will take time. So, I "picked myself up", and I got busy with notes of what needed to be done, when, where, how and so forth. I also had a couple of things I HAD TO DO FOR ME! #1 was at the time I needed to get my Rituxan injection. I was well for a change, even though worn to nothing due to all of the drama surrounding the car accident and Jim, but I did one day go and spend about 7 hours getting the first infusion. In two weeks, I was to go back and for the 2nd round. Then I should be good to go for about 5 months.

Little did I know, before two weeks rolled around, about 5 days after the 1st infusion, I began to have the strangest things going on. I "heard" voices, I was almost to the place of hallucinating, I was not sure if I was in my own "home" or not... I could not write, barely type legibly. I was talking to the voices, all around the house and walking the floor. I paced up and down the living room through the office and into the kitchen at least 50 times maybe more. But, I could not put a finger on what was wrong. I felt "sick" in some ways, but again, I was not quite sure how. I was not really coughing, but in ways I felt a bit feverish. Finally, for some strange reason, due to the fact no matter how ill I AM I don't run fever, but I decided to check it anyway. To my surprise I was running almost 103 degree fever!!! Well, that explained the strange voices, and the oddness I was feeling but where all of it was coming from I was not sure. This was a Sunday afternoon, and that meant no doctor would be able to be contacted. I certainly did NOT want to go to the ER, too much hassle, but I did know that we have an Urgent Care Clinic here now, but whether they were open on Sundays was a stretch.

Another thing, I honestly knew I should not be driving alone. I feared having a seizure. Even though I was taking aspirin, the fever was staying fairly high. And they strange things I heard, saw and felt would and could mean I very well with fever that high have one. Thus, the alternative was to call my Mom, Which I really did NOT want to do, but there was really no other way, unless I call 911, which was ridiculous, unless I did either get the fever higher and I felt I needed medical attention extremely. Well, as the story goes on, my Mom takes me, they are open thank goodness, and I have double pneumonia... of which the physician that saw me happens to also be an ER physician at the hospital. Which was good and bad. Because I was so ill, and had all of these autoimmune issues, he felt I needed to be seen by them, and evaluated to make sure I didn't need IV antibiotics... I begged him to try anything else first, but don't send me there. After I told him about Jim, and all that was going on with everything, he reluctantly allowed me to go home with high powered antibiotics, complete sofa rest, for at least 7 days, hydrate, watch mt temp several times a day. AND if I FELT ANY WORSE or could NOT get the fever down, I was to go immediately to the ER! So, I promised I would have my meds filled, go home, and not move off the sofa for at least a week. Basically that is what I did, other than having to take out trash and changing the dogs food, water and paper... I stayed at home, watched movies, took my medication and drank loads of green tea, juice, and ate very light stuff... and it took me almost a MONTH to truly get over it all. I never developed a cough but some people don't with pneumonia. I am sure between being so ill, then going to DC on a load of prednisone, then suddenly the accident happened and I am rushed on a plane before I think I really realized it. I had been in the very cold, snowy, but not dry snow, very wet snow in DC all day long, for 2 days walking in it for hours... and to put icing on the cake all of that happened... then I took the Rituxan, so that make the cherry on the top.

That also slammed me in the gut, with a punch... if I had not had the autoimmune Illnesses I "may" not have gotten that ill. But, it could be that no matter AI or not, I still could have contracted the pneumonia. That was in early April and went on for weeks honestly, As I said above, I was not sure I would ever get over the fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, the feeling like hammered crud every morning... I ached and I was sore... and stiff... but I did ... slowly I recovered and by the Grace of God, I did without going to the hospital which was an excellent thing and a miracle.

So, twice within a month, I had been really slapped hard in the face that I had chronic illnesses, that would NEVER go away.
Lately, the "dreaded" head of the Wolf popped it's head up when I got to thinking about how much medication it takes to keep me well. Then I go to get the flu and pneumonia vaccines, and become suddenly "ill" for no real reason. I cannot really say that is was either one of the vaccines. I've had the flu vaccine now for years, and I had taken a pneumonia injection 5 years ago and I don't having that could possibly cause me to feel as if I did have pneumonia and the flu at the same time. But, that is how these illnesses go. What may happen to you one time, may never happen again. Or something that has never reared it head, suddenly shows up out of the clear blue ocean, leaving you to wonder why the hell it came from.

I've learned as difficult as it is each day of my life, to try and not stress over the "little" things... and try to make best of the good things... also... when these AI illnesses decide to act up, flare, be in commission, or however you want to say they are "active"... to allow my body to "tell me" what it needs. Whether that is rest, or not, whether it is a certain thing to eat, or whatever needs my body, mind and spirit needs at that time, to try and slow down, and allow it to work itself out. Sometimes it may mean just a day of rest and movies. Another time it might mean a full blown flare and a trip to my doctor for a shot and prednisone. Others may put me on the sofa for days, until it is going away. It is never easy to "slow down". Each of us know that life seems to be moving more quickly than we can keep up with when we have a chronic illness, or deal with chronic pain.

The very last moment I had lately of "Hey, stupid, you DO have an autoimmune (bunch) of illnesses, that are REAL, and nothing it "in your mind" and if it is then it needs to be there so I will "listen" to my own body. I was just going through my home room to room, looking at what we need to "finish" the whole house inside and out needed to be completed. We ran out of time and money when remodeling at purchase time, thus we still have thing that really need to be completed. So, I was throwing thing out, knowing some things are just not anything we will use anymore. My "Motto" is if we have not talked about, looked at, worn, used... something in the past 9 months, then out it goes ... and as I gazed around at ALL we need to achieve it truly once again knocked me almost to my knees... I am ILL with diseases that have taken away my ability to "run like the wind" as I did a few years ago.

When did you first have a "reality check" about your autoimmune illnesses or chronic illness/pain issues? Was it as the very first part of a diagnosis, or did it really hit you hard later on, months or even really years later, that they or it is for REAL!!! You weren't living in some kind of night mare...????



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blogging My "Real" Life as an Autoimmune Arthritis "Victim"

Some May find my "Blog" a bit Different, so I want to give more of "me" to you... 

I realize that my blog may be a bit "rough around the edges" at times. I would much rather tell it like it is daily in my life. I prefer not to "sugar coat" daily living with autoimmune arthritis, chronic pain, and health issues that almost control my every waking minute!

So, rather than try to sit here, and find ways to give people a look at what myself and my family go through in reality. Doing that to me, is giving you, as another victim of these horrid illnesses a chance to know it is "okay" to be angry, upset, have bad days, say what you feel, not sugar coat your own reality, not have to try and hide the fact that your life is also just a mess at times because these illnesses overtake every step you make.

When you have a flare, nothing is "nice". Everything "sucks". Life is truly Hell! So, I could write about my medications, or find anything else to sit here and say, but that would not be what I need to give those who are following me a "false sense" of the days when you feel like you've been run over my a train! Times when you are on your sofa, or in bed, wishing you could have a break from pain, fatigue, shingles, mouth ulcers, rashes, stomach issues, kidney problems, medications that cause side effects, and this list goes on and on.

When these Autoimmune Diseases decide to enter your life, nothing, and I mean NOTHING is the same!!! You have to "adjust" your life in all ways. There are things you can't do sometimes. Like go out with the girls shopping, or meet the guys after work for a beer. Family get togethers, may find you smack middle in a horrible flare, or worn down from a new infusion, thus you feel guilty yet you feel like you will just have to sit this one out, (probably more like lay this one out). Your "normal" routine of life is completely turned upside down. Often you wake up with pain, and stiffness, that makes you have to take additional time to get up and get going. You find yourself slower at everything. It once took me about half an hour to get dressed to go somewhere. Now I better start at the very LEAST 2 hours ahead of time. Sometimes more than that, depending how I feel that day. You may not have the strength to do laundry, vacuum, dust, clean the bathroom, and make a fabulous dinner. More than likely if you get a couple of things done, and a meal on the table, that is a "good day". Shopping becomes a living nightmare. If you have a huge market or are going to a large store such as "Wally World" by the time you get in from the parking lot, you feel as if you walked a mile. Then if you are truly shopping with an entire list of things, that means "hours" of going through that humongous store!!! Then if no one is with you, that means taking that entire basket full to your vehicle, loading your purchase into your vehicle, and then trying to put a basket somewhere hoping one of their places for baskets is close!!! Plus, I bet many of you have this happen... I have a "disabled parking" plackard. My orthopedic surgeon wanted me to have one when I went through all of those knee replacements, then just all of the other illnesses, shoulder replacement, neck surgery... so I have one.
If you are not absolutely limping, have a crutch, or in some way look "disabled" boy are there the "looks" that you get from others!!! Thus the business about you do not look "disabled" or sick! Now I am one that uses mine sometimes, and at other times I park in a regular spot. If I am alone, and I am there to buy a large bill of groceries, or I am in a flare, not well, weather truly bad, I use mine. But if my husband's with me, or I am feeling okay etc... and especially if there is only one left, then I just ry to park in a normal spot so someone else can use it.

There are so many ways our lives are different. Some of those differences are just almost too difficult to deal with. Vacations you may miss, your hobbies that you used to love. I have a dear friend who loves sports. She used to play baseball, softball, and loved so many sports, yet RA has damaged her wrist and hand, thus that ended her ever playing ball, or other sports she so loves again. I hear story after story. For me, things such as running, snow skiing, mowing my lawn and doing yard work is out of the question. Bless my neighbors heart, he sees I've bought plants, or need to weed the flower beds, or mow, and he insists on doing all of it, and never wants to take a dime for helping. But I know he and his wife and two kids have a difficult time making ends meet, so I always give him money and tell him it is "for the kids"... LOL Then he will take it. :)

Sometimes we see family and friends all but disappear from our lives. It could be for several reasons. One might be there are those that just don't do well around someone who is "chronically" ill. Not in a bad way, but they can't take watching you in pain and suffering. So, they tend to not be around as much as they may have been. Others are just "busy". Since you have "slowed" down, and they are still in that "run, run run" mode, they don't want to be slowed down due to your illness. It sounds horrible but I know it's true. Others just fear the entire ordeal. Either they "fear" it is contagious (sounds ridiculous, but I had someone ask me if it was), or they fear it will cause them to be in a "mental anguish" if they see you in a state of illness. Some are in disbelief that you are that sick. Some family and friends are in "denial". They feel you are making all of it up. They feel it is just like, okay so your knees hurt, or your wrists hurt, well others have "arthritis" & they are up and doing fine. Some think you are a hypochondriac. And that if you would just stop all of those "harmful medications" and take vitamins, eat "right, exercise,  you would "feel better". Or there are those that every thing they see online or on the Television they think it is what you need! My Mom is bad about that? She doesn't sleep, so she watches those stupid "info-mericals" all night. Then when I go over to her house, she has all of these names of rubs, pills, etc. that should "help me". So, I have to come home, get online, prove to her the stuff is pure "quackery" and let her know none of it will help me, nor anyone else! Bless her heart, she is still in that "zone" due to her age, that every thing she sees, hears, reads, she totally thinks it is the truth! She gets phone calls from sales telemarketers constantly. She used to listen to them6, and believe every word they said. I had to put a "no solicitors" sign on her front door. Again she was constantly bombarded with people trying to "pave her driveway", or "insurance her water pipes", or "save her money on her Electric bill".

Speaking of my Mom. I am here to help her. I am an only child, thus I feel it is my responsibility since my Dad passed away in 2005 from complications of a knee replacement. She was and still is in many ways completely clueless about the world. Even small things like using a "debit" card, or putting gas in her car, calling in a prescription refill & putting it in the "automated system". She would not even learn how to use a DVD player we bought her. Dad did it all. Bill paying, handling money and investments, from putting gas in the car, to mowing the lawn, or taking care of just about any and everything. Which was great, BUT he NEVER taught Mom how to do any of it!!! So, when he passed away, it was total chaos here. We did move here, from Seattle, so we both would be close enough to help her. Of course I was already in need of several surgeries, so my first couple of years here were spent in the operating room and recovering. I helped her until I finally got my total disability rewarded, then it I could finally get to the doctors I needed to get to. At the time though I had not gotten the "autoimmune arthritis" diagnosis. It became apparent as the orthopedic surgeon was in my knees, shoulders, and so forth that this was not some regular "osteoarthritis", there was much more there in damage than it could have done so quickly and so early in my life. It was not long after a couple of surgeries on my shoulder and both knees, that my PCP put it all together and diagnosed the "autoimmune arthritic" illnesses. I began to have all types of symptoms.

Back to Mom now that I've given you a bit of "history" about her. So, I also have to do many things for her. It is not usually a huge issue, but there are days, or even weeks that I am busy enough, or have a flare, that trying to take care of "me", and then trying to take care of the house, and then all of her things going on, becomes almost overwhelming. You would not believe the mess that I had to go through with her insurance and the surgery center to get her surgery bill paid correctly! I spent over 6 months trying to get the to "code" the surgery correctly so the insurance would pay. I was treated like trash, I was spoken to like I was an idiot, I was "lied" to, because for 3 months I was told the "supervisor" had to handle it, and she was "out" with surgery. It was all a bunch of bull. I even went out there face to face and they basically said I was wrong, and I needed to just leave. That was in front of all the people in the waiting area! Well, I knew that the orthopedic surgeon did have his own personal funds in the center. Several of our doctors got together and opened it, with another company's help. So. I went to the "big boys". I wrote a letter explaining ALL of it. I had names, dates, what they said, etc. and I told it all. I took it to my doctor's office. About 2 days later, not only did I get a call from my doctor, I got a call from the head gentleman over the entire center, with a HUGE apology!!!!! They were "grafling" at my feet, trying to make amends for the stupidity and ignorance of their "staff" the worked with filing insurance claims. Plus not only was Mom one of the patients that had the same insurance and they had tried to say they owed money that they didn't owe either. The point of me talking about this, IS because all of that took my time up, and lots of it. Even when I was home, ill and certainly not feeling like talking to those "morons", I did it, because it had to be done.

I realize that I certainly not the ONLY HUMAN on this Earth with some type of chronic illness/pain. I also have come to a real eye opener. That is we have a tremendous amount of our population all over the WORLD suffering from Autoimmune Arthritic Diseases!!! And in bringing those facts into the entire realm of this blog post, they also are subject to losing friends, relatives, not having a care taker, or they are a "care taker" for a family member or even possibly a close friend!

So, how do we "balance" the situations? We NEVER know when a flare or symptoms are going to pop up. We may feel great in the morning and have shingles, fatigue, pain, or any number of problems within hours. So, it is almost impossible to try and "estimate" how much or how little you will have the "physical" ability to do. The ONLY way I can do things, is try to make arrangements ahead of time. But, if somethings happens to me, or I am ill, I try to have an "alternative" plan ready. Fortunately, up until about 6 weeks ago, my husband can "step in" and take Mom to the doctor, or run an errand, or whatever she might need, he can handle it.

Of course as "Rhia's Law" might have it, my husband has been in terrible pain. Between going to a clinic and having a MRI, that shows the pain in his shoulder is coming from his neck. Well, I can certainly relate. Same Story with my last surgery. Almost my entire cervical spine was a mess. I had a 4 level discectomy, fusion and 2 replacement discs. So, I totally understand his situation. But, now my "caretaker" is out of pocket. I've had to basically "buck up" and pull not only My "Weight", but HIS and MOM'S also. Now he is in bed with some type of horrible flu, bronchitis or something. It happened suddenly night before last, and I pray I don't get it. I've disinfected everything in this house 10 times! And I am staying as far away as I can. I fear if I catch what he has, I'll be in the hospital with my immune system as it is. I've already been exposed to more than I care to think about having to be at clinics several times with my husband and Mom.

So, WE (WE - as in ALL of US with AUTOIMMUNE ARTHRITIC DISEASES) can and do have a great many "mountains" to climb. We also know about those deep valley's. They can take you in so quickly and put you right down at the foot of the mountain you just climbed up. Of course we also have "rewards" in the sense of the term when it comes to "us", "we" when the time comes for us to assist those like ourselves into a direction of wellness!!! When we use our voices, social media, writing, blogging, sharing, volunteering; ALL of those things are divine intervention that shall lead to better and quicker diagnosis, much more aggressive and earlier treatments, that then can HALT some or much of the damage these diseases do!!! It is "too late" for me. I have so much "damage" that even though we are trying to aggressively work on it, I already have most of my joints either replaced, and the others will probably have to be, hopefully not, but it is a good possibility I face that in my future.

BUT, until the moment I can no longer type (so I will find a program I can speak into and it will type for me), my heart, my soul, and my mind is set on the GOAL of HELPING others! Standing up with other like minded wonderful people that also share in my heart's goal!!! Through our struggle, and trepidations. we have found STRENGTH today and we stand United in our goals to change the face of Autoimmune Arthritis Diseases forever!

So, this is much of "my life"... day to day... and now the part here at the last is the very best. It is my new opportunity I've found with the IFAA, as an Active Volunteer. I've also been able to be able to give my own story to WEGO when I was invited to be on a panel. My blogging shall also continue to be not only here but on the IFAA's blog site. And with the upcoming WAAD14!!!! there shall be AMAZING THINGS FOR EVERYONE TO GET INTO THE Online CONVENTION in early 2014!!! There will be more upcoming information as we get closer to it! So, I'll post more when I know details... Take care of YOU!!!! Then you can help others....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Just a Couple of Happenings in my World to catch you up on...

YEAH!!!!!! I FINALLY got to finish the project I need to finish!!! My computer crashed out at the very worst moments of my life... I was in the middle of a "graduation project" for becoming an Active Volunteer for IFAA! I was just in the beginnings of working on it, when whatever transformer blew down the street, that took my I-MAC with it! i finally got my new I-MAC in Wednesday, and as I said I think the FEDEX man deliberately waited to bring mine as the very last delivery of the day! He always comes by 3pm. It was like 5pm before he arrived... I thought maybe he crashed his truck or something.. then of course we had to get all of my stuff off of my back up drive and onto my new one. And then settings, mail, you name it, of course, it had to be done. Plus there are SO MANY new features, that I am loving already and more I have to even learn about. So, finally after some Friday, part of yesterday and most of this morning and part of the afternoon, I finished up my research and just emailed it to Tiffany, who was the Founder, and now one of the 4 co-founders of IFAA! I also think I may get to participate in some other activities with another big health advocacy organization! I'll know more this week. PLUS HUGE news!!! I've had a couple of days over the past week almost 500!!!!! people on my blog!!!! I am so thrilled! I am so happy I didn't give up. So, I know it is something that is meant for me to do. I am also going to be a "lead blogger" on another site (one of the Lead bloggers)... there are several... and when that is official I will also post that too.... I finally feel like the work of all the advocacy that I feel it what I am here for is finally coming together! Lots of patience, lots of just waiting until the right moment, the right people, and the right time comes along... I am absolutely exhausted, but I am absolutely thrilled about all of it. 

There are some great things happening and I am honored to share them with all of you. You are the ones that make me keep going. Even when I "see" only a couple of "fans" have been here on one day, those over 400 the next makeup for it! I appreciate every one of you, and my hopes are that each of you will give in a bit off yourself, and comment on some of my posts. It doesn't have to be long and drawn out, but a few quick words about your feelings will always be welcome! As this holiday weekend winds down, and we look ahead just a few weeks until the next BIG TWO are coming soon, I hope everyone is safe, happy, and well. We always hear "take care of yourself", or we catch ourselves saying it, but most of the time, WE think we know better; and for the most part we do know ourselves better, just sometimes we don't "listen" very well!  

I hope to be back on the right track since the new I-MAC has arrived, and we shall see what the surgeon has to say about these darned hernia's tomorrow morning... I'll keep you posted...


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Latest In Clinical Trials

"A Way To Provide Help and Hope for you and for others with AAI illnesses and other AI diseases also "

I received a new "Clinical Trial" email yesterday with the current list of Clinical trials you can search through to find that some may be a fit for your illnesses, along with where those are located, what they involve, and to see if you may qualify for one.

These can lead to helping not only the patients who get involved but sometimes leads to helping many others because someone stepped up to the "plate" and decided to do one of these.

You can either "join" for free, or just do a "search" with key words, and then the closeness to your location in miles or zip code.

Here is the URL:

I recently spoke with a gentleman that happened to have Lupus. We met at a meeting, and when I was telling someone about my own experiences with "prednisone" he asked "Do you have Lupus?" Of course I said yes, along with several other autoimmune arthritic illnesses. We got to speak that evening for a long while and it is amazing the people that seem to be put right into your life just when you least expect it. He had been originally from the Houston TX area. He had participated in a clinical trial and talked with me about it.

He said he had a good experience with the one he participated in. I had wished that someone could have pointed me in the direction of these trials when I was first diagnosed, or barely diagnosed with one of several AI illnesses I have, so I may have been able to STOP or slow down some of the damage that is now too late as far as medication wise now. So, my own experience led me to surgery on several joints, and replacements on three large joints, and a 4 level cervical fusion, discectomy & two artificial discs replaced two of the severely damaged ones.

My own Rheumatologist in fact does research, and also teaches, plus still sees some of his patients. He had talked about a project "one of the clinical trials" that were putting together, and then I found out the place he teaches and does research at in Dallas, is also very well known for all of their clinical trials.

As for myself, before I had found a "great" Rheumatologist (who I thought I might lose in fact to his research and teaching), fortunately I didn't, by the time I really got to know about all of these "trials" I was in a good spot with medications, doctors, tests, labs and so on.

So, rather than let other people get under the radar and not be able to possibly enroll in a clinical trial, I try to make sure and put the URL up when they send me a current list via email. There are absolutely so MANY of them going on, and if you are fairly near a big city, I almost guarantee you can find something that may be of help to you.

Of course there are "trials" on ALL types of illnesses, but when you search for RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, MCTD. UCTD, JA, Still's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis, you certainly will find an entire host of trials for those illnesses.

Of course there are so many other Autoimmune Illnesses such as Multiple Sclerosis, and that list is into the hundred's that I am sure there are plenty of trials to go around for many.

It can be a way as I said of helping your own situation, possibly others also, and make way for hopefully a quicker and accurate diagnosis, more medications, possibly more ways to put these illnesses into remission, stop them before they begin, or possibly CURE those that are now suffering from them.