Chronic Illness Sucks!

I try to look at life in a positive way; putting a spin on it to show the good. However, sometimes I just have a lot of difficulty with it. Sometimes, I get down in the dumps and have to work to dig myself out. This is one of those times. Just a warning to you, this will not be a happy-go-lucky post. I’ve been feeling unmotivated, depressed, and really tired.

A little under two years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, another autoimmune disease. I call it Diagnosis 2015 🙂 What’s another challenge for my life? I AM STRONG AND WILL NOT BE STOPPED. (Am I convincing anyone?) Anyway, this disease involves my thyroid. My body is attacking it because it sees it as a foreign invader. Unfortunately, the thyroid controls a lot of systems in the body. Although I’ve been working diligently on managing it, I still have moments of depression, brain fog, and lethargy. That I can handle, sleeping late, or spending the day in bed, are not a problem for me. In fact, I kind of like it. However, not having a lot of strength to do things I would really like to do is very depressing.
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Musings on Disability and Life

I was diagnosed with RA over 50 years ago…..I have been sick a big part of my life…..never had the stamina others had, but refused to give in to it…..I’ve worked very hard all my life.
I live with RA but its not my life……I applied for disability and was awarded…. eventually I decided to start my own business…..one that would supplement the disability and allow me to work at my own pace…..it’s not about the money because I do not make a lot, but I can be productive….I can be creative, and that gives me an outlet….on the days I feel good enough….from my home….I do not have to work…its perfect for my RA….I still set goals for myself….solid goals I can work towards. This life is fragile….unexpected things can, and do, happen to us….But I have a God who is a great cheerleader…..that continues to push me in the right direction!!! 
It helps when we stay positive.  It does take time for us to re-invent our lives – to salvage and modify what we used to do that has brought us joy all our lives. These are the gifts that make us special, that I believe God has created us for. Our lives are not wasted because we have a chronic illness. We have a lot to offer with our gifts AND we have a lot to offer just because of who we are – nevermind what we do.
We are as limited as we let our selves be limited  our mental outlook is a huge part of our overall happiness and it’s extremely hard to focus on that with pain encompassing every minute of every day.

Lesson Learned

As I sit here, I have swollen, sore fingers and an achy body. Yesterday I decided to eat a waffle with syrup and peanut butter, knowing the sugar was going to bother me. To top it all off, I had a popsicle later that night! I know that sugar bothers me. But the craving was just too much. So today, I pay the consequences.

Eating healthfully is a process. One that will take a long time for me to master. However, I don’t intend to give up. I know that eventually my cravings for sugar will go away. I know this because most of my cravings for dairy foods are gone after just a few weeks of not eating them. Although, the ice cream I saw on TV last night looked pretty good. 🙂

Life is what you make it (A Short Story)

 

what path will you travelThe disease ravaged her body and lowered her self-esteem. Her nights were spent in the bar. The alcohol eased the pain and dulled her mind. The attention filled her heart and warmed her body. The truck drivers called her Margarita Girl—her drink of choice. The music vibrated through her like a siren’s song, enticing her to swing and sway. Stopping only long enough to take another drink, she danced through the night.

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain spoke to her soul…but hers were green. No matter, the story was the same. Two men loved her, two men begged for her hand. Two men broke her heart—that damned disease scaring them away.

She lived a wild life—lost weekends, hidden memories, only known to a few. She ached for love, finding none. Her life was in shatters.

“I must get free. I must flee this place.” A new outlook. A new attitude. She straightens up. Life is bright and her mind is clear. Saved from despair; healed and repaired. She changes course and…finds true love!

Remember life is what you make it.

 

Taking the Journey…Slowly

The journey

 

Do you ever experience a time when, although you’re content, you think your life is boring? Well, that’s the way I’m feeling this week. I’m feeling stressed because I don’t have anything interesting to post and frankly, it’s getting harder to think of things to share with you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a life of daring and adventure, but when the highlight of your week is going to the dentist, well–and the report wasn’t even that good. Doctors’ visits are my most frequent type of outing.

As I continue to write my book, I realize that up until the time I quit working, I had a more active social life. Of course most of it revolved around my job, but then the other tutors were my friends, too.

Not that I don’t have friends now, I do. I have coffee, or go to lunch with one of them three or four times a year. (Hi Bernadette!) In fact, we met last Wednesday for coffee, but we won’t see each other again until August.

However, I will push forward. I might skip a weekly update, but I won’t give up. It is the journey that is important, not where we end up.

I appreciate you and want you to know it. Hang in there with me. As the song goes “The best is yet to come…”

 

 

 

Getting Over Fatigue and Being Productive Again

 

The last couple of weeks have been a struggle for me. I’ve experienced fatigue every afternoon. I noticed that by one or two o’clock my body had begun to feel limp and my eyes refused to stay open. I know that this is normal for people with rheumatoid arthritis. We are told to ‟rest frequently” and not ‟over do it.” However, this is not normal for me.

Unless I’m sick, I don’t take naps. I am active throughout the day, writing, watching television, or playing on my computer. Having the urge–no, the need—to lie on the sofa and rest is rather disconcerting.

Why am I so tired? Being a logical person, I had to analyze the situation. After some thought, I’ve come up with two possible reasons.

  1. I was taking prednisone for ear problems and when I finished the prescription, my body was in withdrawal. One of the side effects of prednisone is feeling antsy and nervous.
  2. I’ve been off my Enbrel since April 13. It is possible my RA is causing the fatigue. Not taking anything except ibuprofen for pain may have created more activity.

I’m happy to report that I am feeling more energetic this week. Enough so, that I was able to work on my book and sent files to my editor. Looking at my list, I see that there are only four chapters left to rewrite. Yay!

How has you week been? I’d love to read your comments.

 

Good News at Eye Appointment

excellent eye appointment , happy dance

 

I had great news at my eye doctor’s appointment last Tuesday. He told me my eyes were looking better than he as ever seen them. I didn’t have any filaments in either eye. (Great news, since my left eye usually has a few.)

When I told him that occasionally my lower eyelids get red and chapped, my eye lashes look wet, and colors look brighter, with more noticeable contrast between them, he said that seemed to be a good sign, possibly my eyes are trying to make tears again.

It is amazing, because when I first saw this doctor, my eyes were so dry and damaged, he thought he was going to have to scrap the tags off the cornea.

The months–no years–of eye drops, both OTC and prescription, is starting to show progress in healing my eyes. I probably will never have perfect tear production again, but knowing that I can reduce the symptoms if I’m aggressive, keeps me going.

{doing the happy dance}

Challenges with RA and Life

 

My left ear started to hurt on Sunday. I’ve had a lot of problems with my ears and nose in the past few years. I’m having trouble hearing and had a tube put into the left ear about two years ago. After leaving the office, I realized that my right ear had a loss of hearing too! It wasn’t too bad, so I didn’t go back to have it checked.

Throughout this time, my hearing has fluctuated from good to bad. My nose is almost always stuffy and it runs a lot. I get an injection of Enbrel once a week. This is a drug that suppresses the immune system. Therefore, I can easily catch or develop something.
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