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…”

 

 

 

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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I meditate to relieve pain

body, mind, spirit quote MEDITATION

 

Rheumatoid arthritis can be a painful disease. Some days more so than others. Occasionally, I’ll wake up feeling so much sore that, even after taking a couple of extra ibuprofen, I don’t get relief. I describe those times as feeling like I’d ‟been French-kissed by a Mack truck.” A time when every movement, every touch, or every breath screams pain. Over the years, I’ve learned that the only way to ease the pain is through meditation. I find that relaxing my body and calming my mind reduces the tension of tight, achy muscles which helps me get past it..

When people think of meditation, they often picture someone sitting in the lotus position—legs crossed and arms folded across their chest—repeating an obscure sound or word in a chant-like way. Well, that isn’t how I do it. First, there is no way I can sit in that position. Second, I’d feel foolish repeating something over and over.
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My new toy to make life with RA easier

counter top  oven

I love to cook and bake. However, I can’t, unless there is someone around to chop the ingredients, lift heavy pans, and open jars–basically be my “sous chef.” Most of the time, that person is Greg. He doesn’t like cooking, and really dislikes cleaning up the mess, but he is willing to do it for me.

It is impossible for me to use a regular oven, so last Christmas he bought me a counter top oven. I had one for years, but, before I moved in here, it quit working. I asked for a new one every time I wanted to cook something. I guess I finally wore him down. Now, although Greg still helps with the preparation of the meal, I am able to do more. This is a big boast to my sense of independence.

Even if you don’t have a condition that restricts your ability to do something, there are many aids on the market that help make life easier. Do you have a favorite appliance or tool that you can’t live without? Leave a comment below and share it with us.

I have RA, but…

I have RA, but it does not have me. It is not my life. Yes, sometimes I grieve for the old life–the life before RA—but, I know I can’t change what life has thrown at me. I can however, learn to cope and focus on what I can do each day. Although, I have had to change the direction of my dreams and have to do some things differently, I keep on dreaming.
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“Disabled” or Not

How do feel about the word “disability?”

Someone asks me that question every so often. Recently it came in an e-mail from my editor. She was talking to a woman who is blind with an aromatherapy and massage business when she asked the woman if it was difficult to run her business with her ” disability.” My editor said that the woman “seemed very troubled by the use of the word.” This business owner said she focuses on what she can do and thinks of her business as an “ability.” After talking about it, they decided that the word didn’t seem like a nice word — “more like a misleading, judgmental label.”

I told her I agree; I don’t like its use either. I prefer to say I have “limited abilities” or some “physical challenges.” The words “disabled person” sounds like the person can’t do anything for themselves. And that is the sad part, so many people see what we CAN’T DO instead of what we CAN DO.
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Diagnosed at Seventeen (Finished ☺)

I know I posted recently that my book Diagnosed at Seventeen wasn’t going to be finished any time soon. However, I busted my butt these last three days and finished it…yay!

I’m now trying to recruit a couple of people to read the manuscript and give me feedback. My weaknesses are punctuation and grammar. My post on Facebook didn’t give any results. Any suggestions? I don’t think i need to hire a professional editor, but…

Two Interesting, and Fun, RA Blogs

One day, several months ago, I searched the internet for other blogs on the subject of living with rheumatoid arthritis. There were quite a few listed, however, I was looking for more personal blogs, written in a first person point of view. I wanted to feel like the writer was talking to me. I discovered two blogs that were entertaining as well as informative. I decided to share them with you here. (My friend Kelly MCcausey at SoloSmarts calls this “link love”)
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Memories

It was cold that day; snow and ice covered the ground. Mixed feelings of fear and excitement filled me as I walked the few blocks from the hotel to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Excitement because I was at the Mayo Clinic, a famous medical institution. Fear because I had an appointment with a specialist to discuss the possibility of surgery on my hands. A surgery that was to be the first of many to repair the destruction rheumatoid arthritis would do to my joints.
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