Showing posts with label sjogrens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sjogrens. Show all posts

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday's Addition of my Newspaper "Life Chronic Pain & Autoimmune Systemic Diseases & Dementia

For All of you that may not know that I also have a Daily Newspaper that contain all types of articles about Chronic Pain, Dementia, RA, other Autoimmune Diseases, Lupus, and everything that pertains to these types of Systemic Illnesses, Chronic Illnesses, Dementia and Chronic Pain Issues.

From articles about medications, and the "trauma" we are in as far as getting our pain and Opioid prescriptions, our doctors, the government involvement in medications, Chronic Pain people and how more and more people are becoming "victims" of these diseases, Sjogren's is another one.

There are articles about Cannabis and how it is helping some Chronic Pain patients, and other alternative types of treatments, from Acupuncture, Yoga, other relaxation treatments, and the latest on research of new and upcoming medications and other things to help ALL of the horrible illnesses and diseases, plus I also put my blog posts there usually. But, there are video's and articles from anywhere like the Arthritis Foundation, to Lupus, and the Alzheimer's and Dementia Non-Profits.

Please stop by daily and check it out. I would really love to have you come by. I update at least once daily, sometimes more than that, so it is always current.


http://news.autoimmunearthriticsystemiclife.com/#

The name of the Newspaper is:

Life Chronic Pain & Autoimmune Systemic Diseases & Dementia®


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WEGO Health Blog Challenge for November 2016 Day - 16 - What kind of suggestions I may give to others who are starting out as "Activists - Advocates - Volunteers

" What Kind of Advice I May have for those who are starting out in the Advocate, Activist Role and are "Rookies" wanting to know a few tips."


Wow, that is a very great question! I wished I had "asked" more questions when I began my ongoing pledge, and began down the road of activism, advocacy and being a volunteer when it comes to just about anything involved in the health field. When it is a chronic health issue and/or chronic pain, there are SO MANY websites, blogs, non-profits, articles and more that can begin you on your journey.

Yet, here are a few things I've learned and "taught myself" along the way.


Try to pick "one or two" illnesses, health needs, healthcare related issues, such as insurance, medications, physicians, and so forth. I am the type of person who wants to "do it all", "be in it all", help everyone, be there to assist everyone I can. I found out very quickly, especially if you, yourself Are "Chronically Ill", or are a Caretaker of someone ill, that you can definitely be in way "over your head" and in burn out quickly if you try and take on too much at once. So, try a few different avenues, such as being an advocate for a certain group, such as Diabetes, Autoimmune Illnesses (RA, Lupus, Sjogren's and so forth), heart diseases in women, children's health, becoming a blogger, posting on Social Media, on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and such. This may help you find your "niche'".

You may prefer to do "drives" such as the "Jingle Bell Run" for the Arthritis foundation, in many major cities across the nation, or one of the other drives, many do walks and runs, women's breast cancer, heart problems, other cancer's. If you are good with people, then you may find helping to raise awareness AND raise MONEY for one of them, could be what you feel good at.

Write! Tell your story! If you are chronically ill, you maybe already on a Facebook group, or one of the Foundations's groups, where you can tell your own story, which often helps to inspire others.

That is the ONE thing that I found out of everything I do in my years of activism, Ambassadorship and Advocacy, is TELLING MY PERSONAL STORY, either on a social media site, or possibly at a group in your town or city, or even in your newspaper. Get your own experiences out there, Those help others to see they are not alone. They have people that DO totally understand, and can support them.

Often now many of the non-profits go to a "Summit" Annually making a trip to Washington DC, in order to tell their stories to CONGRESS! We need Congress on our side for helping with medications getting passed possibly, or funding to get a new medication researched, or raising awareness of just how many people are ill, not working, and are so ill daily they are not able to cope with a job, and YOU are the ones that NEED TO again TELL YOUR STORIES TO CONGRESS!!! Those stories are exactly how we get the government, whether, local, state wide, or National, and make them understand how crucial the help and role the governments play in assisting non-profits, can possibly help others to feel well enough to work, to someday find a cure, or even STOP THE ILLNESSES, BEFORE THEY EVER HAPPEN!

So, above are the few things I've learned about getting involved, remembering you are not a "super-activist" so you can't do it all at once, then find your niche, and off you go in search of all of the help and awareness you can get in the activism direction your heart desires.


WEGO HEALTH

 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

CNN Stigmatizses Chronic Pain Patients in National Pain Report by Paul Gileno

FOR ALL of us that are Chronic Pain Patients, Caretakers, family members of those who suffer from so many different types of Chronic Pain, many of us daily, and without our medications, along with other ways we "fight" against this epidemic, seeing that the CDC and the government is NOT on our side is frightening and down right wrong!

Those that do not understand chronic pain, from so many different types of illnesses, have no clue what happens to our "daily quality" of life. We would not be able to function normally, from taking care of our families, children, working, doing our shopping, going out to eat on a Friday evening, or even sitting with the family at home enjoying a movie. Chronic Pain without medications and treatments put each of us in a place of "NO life"... we would be sofa or bed ridden, we would not be able to cook, clean, do our yard work, shop, take our children to school or participate in the many, many activities that people that do not know what this type of nagging, gnawing, type of horrendous pain is like.

Many of us understand "acute" pain, from a broken bone, broken rib, from surgery, from an accident, which after a few days or week or so, that pain is gone once that heals. But, those of us with Diabetic Neuropathy, severe spinal pain and sciatic nerve pain, pain from the many Autoimmune Illnesses such as RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, Autoimmune arthritic types of pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, pain from so many different types of problems that does NOT go away, that it stays with us throughout the rest of our lives... THAT IS THE SOMETIMES INTRACTABLE pain I am speaking of.

It always floors me when someone says, "You don't look ill?" Well, I, like most, do not like to go out in public looking like "death warmed over" as the saying goes. We "try" to put on our "best face"... to try and move through the pain, so we can appear to be "normal, even though our lives, our physical, mental and emotional states are far from normal. There is cancer pain, which in all ways is chronic, when it becomes "incurable". There are problems with bladders that can cause horrid pain, and it also an autoimmune illness. Up until I was "diagnosed" formally with RA, Lupus, Sjogren's, Raynaud's, and so forth, I had Migraines, and those were enough to cause me to have to after 25 or more years fighting them, had to quit working. They were so often and so severe, that I missed way too much work due to those. Then came my joints "falling apart" before I was even 35 years old... "arthritis" and people say how can someone so "young" have that had of arthritis that "eats away" at the joints. Well, we now know that infants can have RA, Juvenile RA, and some of them as young as 9 months old! So imagine, an infant so young, and the parents realizing that this hell of a disease shall effect their child or children for the rest of their lives.

I have always said, for anyone especially those in Congress, in the CDC, and so forth, that would like to "walk a week or two" in my or many others shoes with these illnesses would be screaming out for anything to relieve the pain!

So, the article below is just one example of how we still do not have ENOUGH EDUCATION IN OUR GOVERNMENT, in our NATION and around the World about ALL of these diseases that bring on severe, chronic, daily pain!







http://nationalpainreport.com/opinion-cnn-stigmatizes-pain-patients-8830432.html

Friday, October 30, 2015

Another Update - Pain Pump "motor stall" again this AM, a;long with BOTH left and right lumps appear to be abscesses - AI. Lupus, Sjogren's, horrible weather and also HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!

Well, Of course with me "anything" is possible or impossible... I now have what appears to be the left lump Re-infected and I am on antibiotics and an appt on Monday to incise the right one, which my thoughts are that he also "opens up" the first one also... AND if he feels they are "deep" enough, then he will probably do it over at the Surgery Center (Outpatient) and fortunately it is here in Ennis.... and then almost at the exact same time, but Thursday and this time Friday. my internal pain pump has a "motor stall"..... yes again, and I was lucky enough that the Medtronic Rep was kind enough in this horrible weather, to meet me here in Ennis at the Hospital.... thus we got it done in the lobby, and I am so pleased they have went out of their way to help me.... but I face "surgery" now to replace the pump - BUT that can't be done until these "abscesses" are under control - no way no how will they take a chance if I have an active infection going... so pray these things heal quickly.... I want to wish everyone a very SPOOKY HAPPY AND CANDY FILLED HALLOWEEN! I just hope it stops raining long enough for the kids to have fun.... I know lots of the churches will be having them inside, so the kids are not in the weather.... I am totally wiped out... I wanted to get SO MUCH MORE done today, but I think I am losing steam quickly and am headed to the sofa to watch a movie with Bub's - it is "our time" together to do that if possible....

The GOOD news is Mom's "leaky" valve is NOT why she is getting out of breath easier lately... it is due to her being so ill, losing her not just fat, but lots of muscle... so she "beefed" up or rather told her she has to get a great deal more protein in her diet AND start doing some exercises... I am taking a small 2 pound weight to her and some of the "bands" that she can attach to a chair leg etc and exercise her thighs like that... but Lord prayers answered, her heart actually sounded BETTER smile emoticon BUT of course, now I face having to have this right "lump" cut open... it is abscessing... so I see the surgeon next week... and heck the other one is not well yet completely.... when does it ever end........

My Granddaughter Turns 18 Years Old today!!!! I am so totally proud of her!

 And of Course Happy Halloween to all of the little ghosts and goblins, and those Adults that are having parties have a great celebration and be safe!



Just adding in a bit more of the above...

Well, as it stands now, the Medtronic rep, Michael, met me yesterday at the hospital here in Ennis. Due to the horrible weather I had told my pain doctors nurse there was no way, I could drive in the downpour to Dallas
yesterday. So he did meet me about 1PM or so, and he turned the pump basically down to "minimum flow" like they did last week, so I can take my oral meds and not hear that "beeping" from my side every 10 minutes.... as I almost knew this means surgery and a new pump... but it has to be approved through the insurance and so on.... BUT there are the two "lumps" both of which are abscesses, and the right one appears like it could burst open itself at any time, and it hurts like heck, especially even if I lightly brush across it with my hand.... the other one, seems a bit "better" but it also has abscessed and I am not sure what he will do... whether he will try to open it up again, as before or allow the antibiotics to try and work, probably both... and at first I thought this 2nd one on my right thigh was "smaller" but as it has become abscessed, it appears to possibly be larger and deeper than the first one... So this may call for him actually bringing me over to the surgery center and putting me to sleep in incise these both. I feel as if I am "repeating" myself here but honestly, it seems every moment something happens or changes, so I keep trying to update things, for I know some of you want to know what is happening..... Right now, I am hoping that this right one does not "burst" before Monday.... This all could not come at a worse time... for many reasons, one of which there is a possibility that the "trial" from the wreck in March 2014, may start next week. At this moment, there is no way I can go... my doctors have already cautioned me, and really prefer that I stay out of the public, since now I am even more suseptable to "more infections", and they also really prefer that I am more "off" the legs, and somewhere at home, where I can be careful NOT to either burst this right one open before I get to the doctor's office and honestly with my pain pump now basically turned to "nothing", the oral medications as strong as they are, do not really do nearly as much good as my pump.... which makes sense..... so I am not physically, nor mentally up to making a trip back and forth to Dallas, to sit in a court room at this moment - There is no way that any amount of $$ is worth me risking my life for.... I know that is a difficult thing to say, but at this moment, I would be risking me being much more ill, if I had to run back and forth for several days... I just cannot do it at this time.... as I told them once I see the surgeon on Monday afternoon, and see what he has to say, then I may know more, but frankly I do not intend on leaving the house at all if I don't have to... and I hoped to be able to go to church Sunday, but I also know that I may wake up and not feel well at all.... between the strong antibiotics and then not being well, my stomach can also give me issues... so even that I am not sure of..... again I appreciate all of your concern

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.....

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Becoming an "Active & Proactive Patient" Educating yourself & How it can surely help when you are managing chronic illnesses and/or pain... Lupus,Heart Disease,Cancer,FM,RA,Sjogrens and so many more...

In Other Words "When Patients Manage Doctors".... or at least try to...


This is something I have practiced actively all of my adult life, and especially after have several different "ongoing chronic illnesses", and now we see a different "specialist" it seems for each and every illness, unlike when you "family doctor" did it all, done your physicals,delivered babies, done surgeries etc. I recall with my 1st son being born, my regular Family MD delivered him. Shortly thereafter, he quit delivering babies, along with many of the other family doctors. Due to the rising cost for them to have insurance being doctors, they allowed those area's to be left up to the specialists. When you have for instance my situation, heart issues, so I need a cardiologist, Lupus, RA & several autoimmune illnesses, my Rheumatologist, and my PCP also works with me on the Lupus, I now have a specialist as far as my vision, due to the double vision, I have different surgeons, from a general surgeon, to more than one orthopedic surgeon, because many of them "specialize" in different joints, surgeries and so forth

Then many of us have a Neurologist, a Pain Management specialist, and ENT, a dermatologist, dentist, sometimes even a specialized dentist, and from time to time we may encounter other specialists, such as immunologists, psychologists, oral surgeons, and so many others, as time goes on. I found if I did not take an "active" approach to let each doctor know who the others are, what role they play in my health care, what meds I am on and from which physician, and I keep a list of all of my physicians and why I see them, along with lab work, any type of radiology reports, or scans etc... I have learned that all too often one doctor, may not even send the others the information such as labs, testing, imaging and so forth. So, being involved in your own health issues, taking charge of making sure everyone is put to speed on your other health issues... all of that is so critical for all of us, especially those who deal with chronic illnesses. Now the one problem with that, is SOME physicians, are not as "accepting" when a patient comes in with information, and so forth.

I have found that a couple of my physicians, even though in the end, what I had originally thought and told them was true about a particular health problem of mine, they much prefer an "uneducated patient"... I know that is hard to believe, most of mine are thrilled that I take an active role, and I "know" my own body, and I research medications, treatments and so forth. But, I have a couple of them, especially one in particular that gets almost "mad" when i come in and tell him what I think could be wrong. He has told me before that "I was not the doctor" etc... then he had to apologize a couple of times, because what I had said in the beginning was exactly right! So, he had had to "swallow his pride" and in his own way, make amends for calling me "stupid" basically. Yet my other doctors love it when I can walk in and possibly tell them what I fell maybe going on. It allow them less time in testing etc for things that may NOT be wrong, and to concentrate on what is so we can get right on to "fix" the problem.... Times have dramatically changed in the medical world even over the past 10 years or so... and you truly need to be an "educated patient" whether your physician likes it or not... YOUR health and well-being should be #1 for you!

 

Here is an article from the Wall Street Journal

 

"When Patients Manage Doctors"

http://www.wsj.com/articles/when-patients-manage-doctors-1439228028

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Not my "usual" type of Post but I feel I it's a very important one... When Government, Big Pharma,Medications for "Chronic" Illness/Pain play a hand in your treatments

As I've said in Facebook about this post I am putting up now, I almost NEVER talk about anything "political" or "religious" on FB nor here on my blog.

Not that both subjects are a very important portion in my life, but it is more about how "personal" and private those subjects are to many of us. Not that I don't share some things "religious"... in fact I just posted over the last two weeks, that I have decided I needed to step back into fellowship on Sundays with one of our local churches.

I had talked about being raised kind of "Catholic" and "Baptist". My Mom was Catholic and came from a Czech background. So, when I would visit my Grandparents or go stay over the weekend with some cousins, I usually went on Sunday's to church with them.

My Dad was Baptist. He in fact was one of the "founding" members of the church that is way less than a block from my parents home, and through the years, for the most part that was where he was on Sunday mornings. I went with him many Sundays, in fact probably any time I was at home on Sunday morning, I went with Dad to that church. So, I had "leaned" towards being "Baptist" most of my Adult life, although I don't like to judge anyone else's faith. Faith, Hope, Praise, Glory... all words we so need in the days we face ahead, as a country, as a nation, and as a World.

Anyway, to finish that piece, I went this past two Sundays to one of our Methodist Churches and really enjoyed it. I feel I maybe going back and am even thinking about getting involved in own of the Sunday School classes where I would "belong"....

And as far as "government" actually I speak OUT a GREAT DEAL about our Governmental bodies, both House and Senate. When it comes to anything to do with chronic illnesses, arthritis, RA, Sjogren's,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLx8bLeDdJs&feature=youtu.be

Since any of these chronic illnesses lead to disability, to losing relationships. to causing severe pain, from physical, mental and emotional... we do not have near enough "research", medications, treatments, and the list of the needs when it comes to these most complex and complicated often almost "invisible" diseases, it MUST be that our government helps to play a role in getting many more specialists, more INSURANCE that COVERS treatments, rather than "denies" every claim. It is NOT the patients fault we are ill. It is also NOT our fault that the medications for some of these are astronomical. We are not the ones who "dictate" these costs. Yet, every day you see yet another new "medication" on the market for Lupus, RA, Diabetes, and so on and so forth... with the costs so expensive there is no way a patient can afford to pay for some medication that is 2,000.00 and MUCH MORE for a MONTH"S worth. I was looking at my medications (that happen to be MANY) due to Lupus, RA, Sjogren's, chronic pain, heart problems, and so forth. If I had to PAY out of my pocket for any of them... I surely would NOT be able to do that at all. So, where do you turn? You need these medications to "give you your quality of Life"... yet there is no quality of life if YOU ARE GOING BROKE to pay for your treatments.


I plan on adding more to this, but for now I want to get it posted.... so more to come on this subject...


Friday, July 17, 2015

How MUCH MORE Can one person stand?! Chronic Illness, Dealing with Life's other issues, & not just losing your mind or collapsing in it all....

Honestly gals and guys... I am concerned that I am either getting "worse" when it comes to the RA,Lupus, and so forth... or I have something else really going on with me... I've just had all kinds of "new" symptoms... first of all, I am having moratl heck with my fingers, worse than ever before. My right hand has a couple of very swollen places between my middle finder and my "pointer" finger next to my thumb. Plus my thumbs are really bad again. Plus, I woke up in such severe pain in my lower back and down my legs this morning, I really thought I had a kidney stone again. It was almost like a "cramp" or what we used to refer to as a "stitch" in your side. But, rather than it kind of working itself out, it went on for a couple of hours, and even now it is not the best .... plus I have this worsening of the "weakness" type o feeling in my legs, almost like they are jello and feel as if they could just "collapse" when I am up walking. I've also had BOTH of my ankles again not so great, but my right one as always, is so swollen and hurts like I sprained it or something... and I still have that "odd" kind of pulling pain underneath my right arm and into my arm pit then kind of a bit around to my back.... my stomach is just a mess... as if I was having or trying to have "spastic" colon issues, but it has been 20 plus years since I had one of those attacks. I used to have them when I was younger and of course they always called it a "nervous stomach" back then. But, it is of course down into my lower intestines, like they are trying to cramp up... and then there is this almost too weird to try and explain, "severe" fog... brain fog, memory fog... and now it is just so bad... I walk around almost as if I am in a daze... and my memory is horrible the past couple of days... but I feel almost "detached" from myself... and I've had that happen a couple of times in the past 10 years or so... where you almost feel like even though "you are here"... you almost feel as if you are looking "down" upon what is going on... and really not "in" the situation,., I know there are terms for it... kind of one of those "fight or flight" responses, that our "mind" uses when we are way overly stressed... and when that "breaking point" begins to be felt... then we seem to "detach" from it all, and become a "quiet observer" because it is just ALL TOO MUCH to deal with... thus it is a mechanism to keep us from going completely bonkers... and my "LISTS of LISTS"   keep getting longer and longer, yet I am further behind more every day.... It seems EVERYTHING right NOW is "priority",.. yet none of us can do 100 things all at once, and really "survive" going nuts....plus the night terrors have been so bad, this place of feeling so totally like a "failure", feeling like I don't "fit in", that people "dislike" me, and they look down on me, because I am not "enough"... Just about every night terror I have has this same theme... either I am "not good enough" for family, or some job, or some group of people I am around, or my "spouse".... hahahaha ..... now you see where I am coming from... I feel that now my life is HALF over or MORE THAN half over and I'VE NOT ACCOMPLISHED  a damned thing I have wanted to... the list of things that my home needs is endless... now many of those that I would LOVE to be able to do... I know are not feasible for me to even give thought to....yet when I get so "bent" as I love Matchbox 20's song, "Bent"  - I feel exactly that way "bent"... I have always thought no matter whether my family, a friend, someone I worked with, associated with... or anyone for that matter, that I am just "not enough", "not worthy",,, I've NOT done, this, that or the other... and that I SHOULD be accomplishing so much more... and the more I try to do, the more BEHIND I feel as if I am..... BUT TWO GREAT THINGS!!!!!! NUMBER1 - I GOT MOM'S INTO PT! And it is here in Ennis AND THEY TAKE THE INSURANCE!!! whew!!!! NUMBER 2 - She is scheduled to go see the pain doctor next Thursday so they can schedule the injections... SO HOOOORRRRAAAAAYYYY!!!!! THAT were two of the things I was most concerned about... so those are good to go.... NOW I MUST being to decide WHAT TO DO ABOUT MY LUMBAR/SACRAL spine fusion!!! I "THOUGHT" I MAYBE able to put if off for a while... but, as badly as the pain has been even worse than before the test was done... I don't think putting it off is an option, well not for long... I think just as my pain doctor said, get it fixed NOW... for it will only get so much worse, and I do not want to wait until I am even worse... then my recovery time OR even (and this may happen anyway) I think when he does surgery, it will be a HUGE worse MESS than any test showed... it never fails for me... it always is like that.... anyway.... I am still knee deep in stuff to do... but it am just totally wiped.... more to come...

Friday, June 12, 2015

Round Two of Bad Weather (I can tell from my severe pain), Lupus, RA, Flares, MORE unbearable pain, Discographs, Ankylosing Spondylitis & More

Looks like Round 2 of the BAD Weather days for my area around the DFW Metroplex, including Ellis County. It is supposed to start out as rain possibly today, but then turn back into Thunderstorms for several days through the weekend and more... so we shall see. I am supposed to go for that discograph on Monday, But, due to having this corticosteroid injection and having both I think a Lupus and RA flare at the same time, and now I am on a step down large dose of Prednisone for about 7 days or so. I am not sure they will even consider doing the procedure. Since they have to inject dye into my spine, and we run the risk of infection even with antibiotics they will give me IV during the procedure, my immune system is not probably really ready to handle it. I am calling them today and talking to them about it before I even try to go up to Dallas early Monday morning. No use in my son nor I making that trip only to have them tell me I can't have it done right now. Also I did find out my PCP will do all of the blood work my Rheumy wants me to have. I'll go in next week and have it and what my PCP wants done all at the same time. I am sure the lab tech will be thrilled! He cringes when he sees me coming. I am such a horrible stick, due to rolling veins, tiny veins, the "blow" on them, they have to "chase them down, anyway... he just looks like he wants to cry as I walk in the door. But, it all has to be done, thus he will have to stick as much as it takes to get the blood needed for the tests. They are also checking for that "marker" for AS (ankylosing spondylitis) HLA-B27... a "genetic marker" that sometimes shows with this autoimmune disorder. From what I read, lots of people can have the "marker" yet never get the AI. Then many can have AS, yet the marker does not show. Yet, my latest symptoms, with the very severe lower lumbar and sacral L-5/S-1 back pain, down into my hips, that almost keeps me from being able to sit at my computer for very long at a time... I just have all of the hallmark symptoms of the disease. Now it may show I have a compression fracture due to the osteoporosis, the reason for this discograph... I don't care what it is, fix it so I can go back to somewhat of whatever "normal" in my life is anymore. Now, that I am basically here with me and the pups, I have LOTS of stuff I want to do at the house.... but in the pain I've been in, I just am almost in tears by the time I sit here for 10 minutes... So, I do need the discograph done, but even my pain doctor, thinks it is a waste of time and money.. it appears I have something that needs to be fixed in that area, so even if we find the AS is present, then I still will probably be having lower surgery on those places on my very lower spine... My hips hurt so badly, even this morning by 3 am I was awake from pain so severe I wanted to scream.... so let's hope they find something and can do something about it....

As you can see again I'm going through hell with the AI issues. Some days just trying to ignore the pain, the inflammation, stiffness, and go ahead with all of my house projects work... and then others the Rheumatoid Arthritis, the Lupus, and now possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis, and more just about get the best of me. I am attaching a couple of links about AS, for those who want to know more, as well as about the discograph... and so forth. 

I need to try and get to work on my 3rd book on my own history and river of "fun" with Autoimmune Illnesses, and I intend to soon, if I can get to where I can sit long enough to do so. I have almost finished reading Stephen King's book "On Writing". He has some incredible ideas, and of course many I already know. I need a complete "block of time" even if that means weeks, to just write! Nothing else, if I can help it, but quiet time, where I can "bust out" the rest of the writing, then I can begin editing, proofing and so forth. I have no change but to do it all myself. I cannot afford to have a professional help with it, and I did a pretty darn good job with my 1st two books.

This 3rd on of course is so much different. It will be a compilation of my blog posts, my writing about these AI illnesses, and all of the other complications that go along with them... and my personal story, both glory and Lord awful times when I thought not being on this Earth would be better than all I've endured over this past many years... especially since 2005 forward. 

I know I need to get it out there for others to read, and hopefully show that they too can share their problems... people out there do care, even when you think they don't. 

So, as the days go by, keep me in your thoughts... lots of stuff going on with me right now. Some I cannot speak about much until later when things are more settled. 

As time goes on, I will be able to give more details about my life, and what is, is not, and what will go on, for my future. Of course, as I've found out through personal experience, as well as through the experiences of some of my friends especially on Facebook, we are never "guaranteed", what the future will hold. I was thinking about that just a bit ago while I was in the kitchen. In 2010, on Feb. 2nd, which would have been my Dad's birthday, I went to the ER via ambulance, sicker than I can remember... they thought it was my Gallbladder. Well, it came out, and I appeared to be getting better. Yet, within 10 hours or so, I was so ill, they feared I may not pull through. They rushed me via ambulance to Methodist in Dallas, where I stayed 6 weeks. They told us I had a "collapsed" bile duct, that my liver had a nick on it, from the surgery and it was pouring "poison" into my abdomen. I had tubes of stuff coming out of me for weeks and weeks. I didn't even get them out until much later after I came home. Honestly, I don't think they really ever knew what was wrong exactly. I was told by all of my physicians, including my PCP, they thought I would frankly, die... although I am still here, but it was a scary, very long 4 months or even more before I felt like I truly may live. I could not eat nor drink for something like 6 weeks. They fed me via IV the entire time... so we never know... a guy I know that was the "picture of health" in his mid 40's, was found by his wife on the floor when she got home from errands. He had a massive brain bleed. Turned out after having to remove a part of his skull to relieve the pressure, he had had a stroke... and maybe unable to move on his entire right side the rest of his life.

I just read where a friend on Facebook who has "RSD", and I don't know a lot about it, although I do know some... she is very young, and facing having her arm amputated today! It appears where blood may not get to certain areas due to nerve issues, thus it appears like she has the massive sores like an infection on her lower arm. So, they are taking her arm off partially it appears down below the elbow.

Another friend here I went to school with is battling cancer. She had it when we were still in high school! And she kicked its butt. Now, after over 30 plus years, it is back, and she is fighting daily with pain, from a tumor that is pressing on her sciatic nerve. 

That is just a few I can think of... My Dad basically went like of like that... had a knee replacement, and something just went terribly wrong... and he passed away in the hospital.... so we never know, from moment to moment what may happen...


The accident Jim had last year March 2014, who would have known an 18 wheel tractor trailer would have ran him over and now he is partially paralized from about his mid-chest down. 

Those again are just a few that I can think of now, and there are so many more of us that either have suffered like that, or know of dear family or friends, that within a breaths space... have gone through horrid and almost unbelievable health experiences. 


RSD - http://rsds.org/



Ankylosing Spondylitis -   (AS)
http://www.spondylitis.org/about/as.aspx




 

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 14, 2015

Dealing with Chronic Diseases and Chronic Pain that seems to steal your entire life...

Sometimes I feel as if I write the same old song and dance, over and over again. Yet, as I was glancing as some email newsletters I get, once again for the Thousandth time, there it is in my face, talking about not being able to travel "too far away from home", or how these illnesses take you so far down in fatigue that the simplest things you used to be able to do, now are like monumental achievements.

I always try and bring myself back to "Okay, it could be worse"?! Well, what does that mean for any given person... worse as far as I am not in the bed 24/7/365? Worse that right now I am "well enough" to not be on the sofa for many hours of the day? Worse as in, I can still walk without a cane or a walker, I still have my eyesight, I still can talk, and okay all of that "same old stuff". Worse as in, gosh there are so many others out there that have it "worse"? That is dependent on who is viewing it, at any given time. For one person that might mean a "bad" day or two.
For others it may mean they had to cut a vacation down and come home a day early, or cancel dinner plans for an evening, or decide to order take out because they were too fatigued to cook. I've "entered" a couple of different items for this month. One is sponsored by the Sjogren's Foundation, due to April being Sjogren's Awareness Month. Each day we must think of "ONE" word to describe "Sjogren's". The other sponsored by WEGO Health, is April is "Writer's Challenge Month". Each day they give us a "prompt" and we are to write about how that particular thing effects us. Some medical and some just life as it is stuff.

Over the past 8 or so years, once all of the autoimmune issues came to light, I had high hopes that with a more "specific" diagnosis (or more than one) between the doctors, myself, medications, and taking care of "me" would mean finding a much better quality of life in my future. Now, each day, I come to terms with the pure and simple truth. Unless something miraculous happens in the thorns and arrows slung at all of us with these hideous illnesses, I nor anyone will ever find they have a "better quality of life." I think we "fool" ourselves into thinking, "we must remain focused on the good, on the "half full" rather than half empty glass. We must think that against all odds, look how many others have out smarted all types of "basically deadly" diseases, and are here to witness to us that it can and does happen.

Yet, me putting on that happy face, yet inside deep inside both hips it is like a ball of fire inside, churning, aching, burning, and how do I "ignore" that kind of pain? Then I find out last night, and I mean very late evening, that after waiting 2 weeks to see my orthopedic doctor who has done both knee replacements, and much more now does NOT take my insurance? And the woman on the phone was an absolute witch. When I began to ask about me paying for the visit, she snapped back at me, an office visit is "$175.00"! Well, in the first place they should have KNOWN right away, and in fact when I called and made the appointment, she even looked at my file and saw that I had the insurance and never uttered a word that he was no longer taking it! Well, that leaves me in a world of hurt, now over 2 weeks. If they had told me that in the very beginning, I could have either tried to find another orthopedic doctor, OR just paid cash for the visit and the injections.

I was still so totally upset by the entire ordeal, that I called his office again this morning and spoke with HIS nurse/office manager. She told me the "visit" for me since I am an established patient is $75.00, then the injections are $100.00 each. So, the lady from the entire doctors building didn't know the circumstances, and didn't realize I had been seeing him for many years. I can also say that if I had been able to get hold of him, he would have charged me less, and did the injections. Him and I have been through several situations involving my own self, and then a surgery he did on my Mom, so he is well aware that when I ask something or say something, then it is something I am extremely concerned about.

Then you take this new stupid insurance, which means if I see another specialist that I've not seen in a long while, then we have to go back to square 1 and get a "referral" done to satisfy the insurance company. Fortunately my neck and shoulder orthopedic surgeon IS taking the insurance!!! So, even though I have to wait another week, which sucks because today is more than pain, hurt, despair... almost intractable pain in my very lower back and especially my hips, that even higher on my waistline hurts, at least I can see someone I know and trust. He has a "jackass" bedside manner. But, if you overlook that, he is EXCELLENT or more than that, THE VERY, VERY BEST Orthopedic Surgeon in the US, as far as I am concerned.

When I was first sent to him due to needing a complete reverse shoulder replacement, of which not many specialists do them, we kind of got off on the wrong foot. He is one that prefers an "less educated" person, as far as their medical situation. He is not thrilled over someone like myself, that comes in, with all of my own home work done, and knowing just about what the issue is with me, then telling him. He is not very happy about a "patient" that he feels thinks "they know" more than he does. Of course I don't BUT, when it comes to myself, my own surgeries, illnesses, and all I've been through in many ways, I am almost an "expert" in some things with my own stuff.  Well, when I went in and seen him for the shoulder, gave him the "low down" on the entire mess I had been through, where the pain way, how many other "scoped" surgeries I had, and in the last my other orthopedic surgeon told me that there was "nothing else" their to repair. The next step HAD to be a "reverse shoulder replacement". And it took weeks and weeks to find one. Then same with my neck. Right after the shoulder surgery, within 3 months I began to have once again a "similar" issues with my shoulder blade. As I again had done, researched it all, and the pain "seemed" to be coming from my cervical spine. Well, he did a special CT on it, since I can't have MRI's, and that CT was terrible. The tech that did it, was not in the right place to do business, and he really was NOT elated at all. He "went off " on me, stating just because I do research online, does not make me an expert, and he really got pissed about my "input". So, I am not sure what happened, but within a week or so, he decided my "theory" maybe right. Since my other orthopedic problems never do "show" on CT's, MRI's... whatever kind of "scan" they do, it is always MUCH WORSE in that joint, than what it showed. So, that was my continued premise. He decided that I could be right, thus he set up to have me on the operating table, and do a 4 level disectomy, and also fusion to at least two of them.

Well, as sure as I am writing this, for the most part, what I had "said" and drawn in my own conclusions, were almost to the "letter" when he opened up the neck and began to see the issues. That is why I say, he is an excellent physician, one of the very best in orthopedics, yet his bedside manner sucks... and once I could look past that, and HE could ACCEPT that in some ways I COULD BE correct, it worked out fine.

Thus, having to wait yet another over a week to get some relief sucks.On top of everything else, I am not so sure about this "forminal" lumbar injection that is supposed to be done Thursday. Now I found out, it is not the "anesthesia that they concern themselves with, as far as the patient driving home. It is the epidural injections in themselves. In that part of the spine, it may make my legs feel a bit "heavy" or numb a bit after its done. Not everyone has that, but some do. Thus the reason not to go alone. But, when you have no one else to drive you, what the hell do you do? Forget it? I mean Mom and Jim both can go, but when it comes to driving, that will be me. Neither of them cam drive to Dallas and back.

So, now I also know this orthopedic doctor could also do those injections too. So, do I hold off, and then have then done later by him...


These are the very examples of why life deems itself much, much more frustrating and difficult when you are suffering from chronic illnesses and/or pain... ALL of it is a "PAIN" in one way or the other....

Sunday, April 12, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Rhia Steele 04/12/2015



Wego Health Writer's Challenge Month

Friday, April 3, 2015

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

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

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





Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Anticipating the 2015 Arthritis Foundation Annual "Summit on the Hill"!

A dear friend of mine that I met in fact at last years Annual Summit on the Hill by the Arthritis Foundation had posted and asked me if I had filled out my "Travel Award". Well, yes I have, and as I told her, I had made "Platinum Ambassador" thus I believed it was my "obligation" to come to the Summit. Of course I would try to go whether I had made that or not. My entire world evolved around that Summit last year in March. I had in fact "won" a Travel Award, after putting my application in at the very last moment. I felt I had probably missed out since I was so late in even knowing about being able to go by getting a "Travel Award". So, by the time I filled out my paperwork and emailed it in, I feared I would be too late. But, within a few days, I received a "glowing email" that I had in fact been granted a Travel Award to D.C. for the Summit that took place and does take place each year around the 24th through about the 26th of March. I will never forget how much I got out of the Summit even being my very first time there, and just how much more I wanted to be a "better voice"... activist, advocate, blogger, writer, and then I wanted of course to be an Ambassador for the AF. I was not sure I would be able to get enough advocacy work in to make "Platinum" especially after my husbands accident, but I was SURE I would give it all I could in between everything that took place for those months following that fateful day in March. I've played it over and over in my mind. I have spoken about it numerous times online, and in person. I've written about it, blogged about it, and still to this day, at times it feels almost surreal.
It is almost impossible to believe all that happened at that time did. What is more impossible to believe is that the entire ordeal with the wreck that Jim went through, the months of hospital and rehab after that, and then months of outpatient rehab, the red tape that still goes on and on with the lawyer, and all of the fighting we have done to get him into physicians etc... it is truly a night mare. Maybe that is truly why I have night terrors almost every night of my life. There are not many nights that I don't wake up and I cannot breathe. I am "suffocating" in one way or the other in the night terror, but I am also in real life having massive problems breathing. Most nights I am up, trying half asleep, half awake and still almost in a dream like state trying to find my inhaler and the nasal spray, so I can once again breathe. It is crazy insane, but it is so very, very true.

I've done a good bit of research on night terrors, and of course the amount of stress from the accident in itself is enough to send me into a frenzy. When you add in my own health problems, and the fact that I have had to endure a great deal of my own pain once again, and the entire situation with my teeth, or no teeth now, the full set of dentures... of which the bottoms STILL will NOT stay in place, thus I am still not eating as I should, and by the end of the day, I just want to take the damned things out and throw them across the lawn into the street and say to hell with all of it. Of course the issue of also having "complications" which for me, what is new, yet they always seem to surprise me... of which involves my sinus cavity on the right side... and it is the maxillary sinus passage, which I have already been told, that I need to have repaired, I am sure has sometimes a great deal of reasoning behind my night mare like breathing problems. But, when you are facing another 7,000.00 PLUS out of pocket since you can't get a damned dental plan worth a flip, OR as this should be paid by regular Health Insurance, because a "chronic HEALTH Illness" is what caused me to lose my teeth in the first place should pay a portion of it. But, I have fought "tooth and nail" (no pun intended)... and I have just gotten way too weary to fight them anymore about paying any of it. Of course now, I changed insurance on January 1, thus you can believe that makes it entirely impossible to get either one of them to pay a dime ....

There is "after the fact of me already being out thousands" a "non-profit" that is for dental issues, mainly caused from autoimmune illnesses or cancer patients. But, there are way too many people needing the help versus the dentists and oral surgeons that will try and help out of generosity and not expecting either to have lots of people that will help.

Baylor dental college in Dallas also has certain things students do, while the professors and doctors watch, but you will much pay like 278.00 just to walk in the door. Then the 78.00 is a "fee" non-refundable, and the 200.00 is to apply towards care you are given, or if they can't help you then you get the 200.00 back. I know I went there to have my 4 wisdom teeth cut out all at once. In fact I was newly married, and my Dad drove me up there and home. I looked like a chipmunk with a full mouth of acorns for over a week. But, they charged a great deal less that having that done in a regular oral surgeons office.

As I leave behind so much "sadness" and "darkness" from 2014, I am trying my best to hold onto 2015 being a positive year, full of prosperity, not just financially, but more in the "domain" if you will, of getting things accomplished. I am trying to stay as far away as I can of thinking about all that took place in 2014, trying to look as each day a new one, that can mean much more as far as my writing, my advocacy, my activism, not only online, through my blog and writing, but I hope to be more involved in trying to find a way for my entire community of Ennis and Ellis County to become knowledgeable about the Autoimmune Illnesses, their symptoms, their lack of being able to be diagnosed, and to educate those that are surrounding me day in and day out right here, even as next door neighbors. I've come to see as of late, that there are MANY people that have some type of AI disease, FM, CFS/ME, Chronic Pain, right here that I could help, if given some assistance on how to go about starting an "awareness campaign" locally. We are SO LACKING in the understanding of Lupus, RA, Sjogren's (boy this one we REALLY NEED some understanding on), and MS... Raynaud's, Diabetes 2, autoimmune arthritis, autoimmune psoriatic arthritis... and the list goes on and on.

In fact, just about the time I was finally "diagnosed" with first MTCD & UCTD.. that turned into RA, Lupus, and the Sjogren's and Raynaud's was showing immediately when the MCTD first became the "name" of what was going on with me. There were two gentlemen (which is rare in the first place for men to have AI illnesses) both of them around the same age, both going to the church we were going to at that time, and both had Grave's Disease. What makes it even more unusual is men for the most part don't have "thyroid" issues either. Usually women have more of a propensity to have any or all of these illnesses and disorders.

So, right there being in a Church, with two guys, both almost the same age, both having Grave's disease was enough for me to absolutely know we had a much larger group of people with autoimmune illnesses. Both of then underwent treatment and both were "cured"... put into remission. My understanding is that once Grave's disease is in remission, that is permanent. Unlike many of the other AI illnesses, they "can" go into remission, but more than likely you will undergo swings of "active" disease symptoms, and then inactivity, yet there are no real "cures" for any of them.

That is why for me, I really would like to find a way, with the help of some of our community leaders, to get a group, or some type of monthly, weekly, however... crowd in a "face to face" type of environment to help them further their knowledge about their own, friends, or loved ones AI illnesses. I also would love to help people and physicians in "learning" how to talk about these diseases, along with how to talk about medications, side effects, long term "goals" or what to expect from having an AI or more than one, and what that will do in the years to come. Will more medication be needed, will hopefully there be more research, and possibly medications coming out? All of the questions that either patients themselves feel it is "wrong" to ask, or for the doctors who honestly are not as well versed on these illnesses, and how they address them to their patients. This includes all medical staff. From the person who answers the phone, to the nurses, lab techs, doctors, and other staff ALL of them need to be very well versed in these dreadful illnesses. For one thing, you maybe "well" and feel fit as a fiddle one moment, and within hours be severely ill and need hospitalization. Often times there is not a "warning" of impending AI and their flares. They can come on within moments, and you don't even know what hit you until it has. Unlike the flu, a cold, and other illnesses where you can certain "symptoms" like a forewarning of being ill, AI's can "attack" at any time they please.

So, when I call my PCP, and the girl that answers the phone is either not aware of my patient status OR she may not know about a "flare" of Lupus... she may insist that I "come in" and be seen. Well, sometimes that is a necessary... but at times, depending on my symptoms, my doctor may allow me to fore go the trip to the office for a visit, and just come in for a corticosteroid injection and a script for a high dose tapering down 14 days round of Prednisone.

Well, as I said, if the woman that answers that phone is "new", and so forth, I may have to make an uncalled for trip to sit in that office, to get the exact same thing I asked for. So, I've exposed myself to other illnesses, especially in the Winter. I've also wasted the doctors time, my time, and caused some other patient who truly may need to have been seen, to wait for a day. So, it is truly unjust for everyone. But, if whom answers the phone either knows me well enough, OR they understand the workings of come of these diseases, he or she may already be on top writing a note, taking down the information so they can talk to the doctor BEFORE making me come in for a totally uncalled for trip.

So, there are many involved in all types of health care that should be very "up" on autoimmune illnesses, diseases, symptoms, medications, and all that wrapping them up in neat newspaper, with a bow around it.

The very latest of challenges that many of us have had to hop over, or will trail and error finally get something nailed into the heads of the medical professionals, far and wide.

Interestingly enough, the UK tends to be "up" on the latest and greatest when it comes to being the leader in new medications, clinical trials, and finding out more than just about anyone around the globe. Often times I've noticed that Britain may have a "pilot" medication in the works. As soon as it is approved by the Brit's, you can bet the USA will be setting for us to jump up, and get to scrambling together researchers, grants and funding, clinical trials, and all on the band wago. What happens often times with a situation such as that. If the "CDC" of Britain signs off on a new medication, it means that the "medication" we put into the hands of researchers here that is basically the same, may not have to cost as much and those types of medications and treatments are sometimes able to be "fast tracked" into production. So, that is great for our economy, great for the Pharmaceutical companies, patients, doctors and so forth, because it gets here, and gets the door, helping to ultimately save lives...which ALL are great events when it comes to those with chronic autoimmune, incurable. painful, night mare diseases.

As 2015 "rolls in", I am hoping it allows me to try and "roll on through" with this blog, with the Ambassador (Platinum) work, and all of the other activist activities I so want to participate in.

Wish me luck as I am preparing to once again try to write the "Ultimate Book"... and get it published. I am also working on the more "fun" book, that will include many of the TX "sayings"... different words and how they tend to have different meanings in the South and in TX.. and many of the what some might call "odd" traditions we engage in here... in the Lone Star State!

Working on a back ground graphic for the top of my Facebook page. I want to include the URL back to here. Often people may not bookmark a page, or like even though I post a "link" back to my blog in the posts, it may get moved down several slots, and then people may not be aware of how to get back to my blog...