Category Archives: What’s New

Finding Paradise

Paradise sounds awful good right about now.

I can close my eyes and picture warm, sandy beaches. I can smell the salt water, and see the sun shining bright. I can feel the light, cool breeze blow against my skin, just the right amount to keep from getting overheated. If I dream a little harder, I’m there lying on a blanket with a good book to read, and something icy to drink. I can see my doggy chasing the waves lapping at the shore, and my love is next to me strumming a sweet song on his guitar.

FindingParadise

Yeah, paradise sounds great right now.

Things have finally calmed down in my home, but life still has its struggles. There are still bills to be paid, chores to be done, and health problems to be managed. There’s still worry and anxiety, and plenty of other things I’d love for those waves to wash away.

Since that sunny, warm beach is as far away as my other dreams, I’ll have to make my own paradise right here.

So today will be spent making my home resemble a home again by getting caught up on those chores. Then I will do what makes my heart sing, and devote some time to crafts while listening to music and singing along.

And maybe, just maybe, there will be a fruity drink with a little umbrella for me to sip on.

 

#ChronicLife -This Is My Life

Last week I saw a tweet from one of my personal heroes, The Hurt Blogger. She was going to be live tweeting 48 hours in her life, in the hopes to better portray how life with a chronic illness, specifically Rheumatoid Arthritis/Autoimmune Arthritis, really is. No holds barred.

I was inspired, and decided I would join her. Today is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day, after all, and what better way to raise awareness? So today and tomorrow you can find me on Twitter and Instagram, showing my life without any filters.

Britt (The Hurt Blogger) set out some ground rules for her live tweeting, and I will be doing much the same. During this time frame, I will do my best to accurately portray my life- the good, the bad, and the painful. I will be sharing information about my medications, my routine, and my multiple chronic illnesses.

My goal is simple. I think I do so much to not focus on the negative aspects of life, that I don’t really show the “real” me. I don’t like to dwell on the pain, and so maybe y’all don’t realize how near constant it is. Maybe I don’t show the days where I don’t have enough spoons to manage a shower (like today) or just how twisted and swollen my hands and feet can get. So my goal is to show what I hide, as much as possible.

I hope you’ll follow along with me, and get a better picture of my life. Not because I want your sympathy, but because with more understanding we can make strides in awareness. And more awareness can hopefully lead to more research, better treatment, and a cure.

I Promise You, I’m Bored With This Mess

I’ve been pretty absent around these parts lately. Life simply has not been wanting to play fair. It seems as soon as one thing eases up, ten more plop into my lap.

We’re still trying to get a handle on some new health matters, and that’s been my primary focus lately. It’s also been the primary trigger of stress lately. I feel as though I’ve been kicked into hypochondriac mode. Every new symptom brings concern. Is this related? Should I call the doctor? What if it’s not a big deal? What if it’s a really big deal?

I’ve been reduced to spinning circles within my own mind.

And honestly? I’m pretty bored with this mess.

I want to go back to how things were a few months ago. When I was only worried about the usual things, bills and such. I want to have a break from this added pressure, and just go back to the usual amount of stress.

Which is hardly something one wishes for, right?

But it’s true. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’m overwhelmed with the constant onslaught of drama, problems, and stress.

Anyhow, I promise you this:

I’m ready to get things back to normal. So I’m going to do what I can to help it get that way. And I suppose that means letting go of some of the stress, any way I can.

Anyone have some sharp ideas?

Playing With Dogs

Life lately has been pretty complicated.

My health has been having some ups and downs and even some sideways. The holidays came, conquered, and left. Once again we find ourselves in January where money is a little more than tight, the weather is a little colder than chilly, and we’re all pretty burnt out.

I find myself stepping back to evaluate where my heart is. What projects have a I committed to, and which do I really WANT to do? How do I balance what I want to do with what I NEED to do? How do I take care of myself and others?

Yesterday, after a particularly emotional doctor’s appointment, I came home and cried. I curled up with my doggy and tried to shut out the world. Except the world didn’t want to stay shut out. There were emails to answer and phone calls coming in and…

I’m overwhelmed.

So this morning, I didn’t check my email, I didn’t answer my phone. I loaded up my doggy into my friend’s truck, and we took our dogs to the dogpark. We stood bundled up, chatting with other dog owners as our dogs all sniffed each other. I walked around with our little Toddy while he sniffed each and every fence post. I threw the squeaky ball for the dogs who would chase it. And I watched my shy little guy chase dogs three times his size.

I got a little muddy, more than a little chilled, and am definitely tired. But the dog slobber made me smile, and as I watch my Toddy nap on the couch, I realize my mind is clear for the first time in weeks.

And suddenly, things aren’t so complicated.

There’s Always One More Thing

It would appear I’ve picked up yet another cold.

Like I needed another thing on my plate.

This past month has seemed like one thing after another. I’ve done my best to stay positive and just keep rolling with it, but at some point, we all break. I’ve kept much of what’s going on quiet for two main reasons. One- we still have more questions than answers. Two- I really didn’t want to be a downer. I wanted this holiday season to be filled with light and joy. And so I just kept plugging away, decorating our home and making plans.

Then this cold came.

I woke up Saturday feeling mostly fine. I had a little stuffiness but figured it was due to the dry air, as it’s been cold and we’ve had the heat turned up. I went with Scotty to visit his dad that afternoon, and then went out that night to watch Scotty play. By the end of the night, I was sneezing away and felt like my head wanted to explode. Last night, I knew it wasn’t just allergies or dry air, I could hear the cough rattling in my chest.

And that’s when I wanted to break down. Because I’m tired of being sick. I’m tired of cancelling plans and having to reschedule and back out of promises. I’m tired of doctor appointments and tests and more medicine. I’m pissed that once again I have to push back my Remicade infusion, leaving my body open to further pain and complications.

Because it isn’t just about the cold.

It’s the TMJ diagnosis and finding out there’s joint erosion in my jaw. That I may need surgery on my mouth. That there are days where talking is painful. It’s the bouts of temporary paralysis while dreaming and/or waking up that terrify me. It’s the overwhelming signs pointing that stress is taking its toll on me, and the overwhelming amounts of stress that keep pouring in. It’s the nerve pain that shoots down my legs.  It’s the sleeping problems, the headaches, the soft food only diet, and oh-look-mother-nature-decided-to-visit-this-week-as-well.

It’s the feeling that it’s always ONE MORE THING with me.

It’s the worry I see on my fiance’s face, even as he’s trying to be so strong for me.

Today I go in for an MRI of my brain and I’m waiting to hear back on when I can get scheduled for the EEG the doctor ordered. I’ve cleared my calendar for the week and am bundled up with hot tea, Mucinex, tissues, my heating pad, and Austin Powers. I’m doing the best I can to practice self-care, while working to let go of the negative and focus on the happy.

I appreciate all of your comments, love, and support. I will do my best to keep writing and sharing my path. But if I miss a day here and there, or don’t get to my email right away, know that I’m taking care of me- one thing at a time.

 

Good Morning December, You’re Looking Chilly

Well…

ColdBlog

November has slipped on by and we’ve flipped another page on the calendar. While I had hopes to finish November in a blaze of glory and blog posts for #NaBloPoMo, I instead took the holiday weekend to relax and enjoy some downtime with my fiance. I’m still calling that a win, BTW.

And now December is here, with even colder temperatures. (It was 32 degrees F and misting this morning when I walked my dog. BRRRRRRR!!) We’ve added the electric blanket to the bed, brought out the extra blankies, and stocked up on hot tea and lots of soup. We’re making tentative plans for Christmas while we decorate our little home. We’re ready, winter. I hope.

This month, I hope to bring you tips and tales for surviving the holidays, yummy comfort food recipes, and I’ll fill you in on my ongoing RA treatments- triumphs and no. I also hope to have a few friends share here, so keep checking back to see what’s new.

How was your holiday? Do you have any big plans for December? What kinds of things make you feel warm and cozy when it’s freezing outside?

Stream Of Consciousness- The Holidays Are Here

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but a few of my loves from the Facebook writing group have linked up. And wouldn’t you know it, about five minutes of freewriting might be all I have in me today. Yeah, I know it’s not Saturday or Sunday, but I really don’t think anyone’s gonna mind too much.

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There is a Christmas tree in my living room. It’s not decorated yet, that will come later this week. But it’s here, with its reminder that the holidays are here as well.

Not that I needed another reminder.

My mother has been calling for weeks, trying to nail down plans for Thanksgiving. In her state, she hasn’t heard me each time I’ve told her that we won’t be joining them for the holidays this year. As much as I want to see my sisters, the stress of dealing with my parents is just too much for me. Not that Mom wants to hear that.

Stress has been really bad here, lately. I’m not sleeping well, the teeth clenching isn’t going away, and I can feel a flare coming. Can’t do much about it, though, cuz I can’t stop stressing.

Stressing about money, about Christmas gifts. About my mom and her drinking. About my health, about my fiance’s health. Whether or not we’ll both qualify for health insurance again this year. Whether my doggy has arthritis and that’s why he’s been struggling to jump onto our bed at night. Stressing about finding placement for my father-in-law. Stressing about the wedding, and how we’ll ever be able to afford anything. How we still haven’t found a venue, how we need photos so we can do save-the-dates.

The stress doesn’t go away.

But in the meantime, there’s apple butter simmering away in my crockpot. And that’s another sign, the holidays are here.

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

I missed posting yesterday.

Normally I’d be beating myself up over “failing” #NaBloPoMo, but I’m trying to cut myself some slack. Yesterday was a rare weekday off for my fiance. We were hoping to go to the coast, but circumstances kept us closer to home. So we wandered around a few thrift stores and took our doggy to run around the dog park.

Seeing our shy little guy continue to open up more and more was worth so much to my soul. It’s a wonderful feeling to know he’s feeling safer with us each day. It’s such a blessing to be able to give him this life of love, in light of the struggles in his past.

So here are some photos of my little doggy to make you smile.

 

ToddCollage2

A To-Do List For Fall

Yesterday the SITS Girls had Fall Bucket List as a prompt for the day.

A few blogger friends have inspired me to update my bucket list, and that’s definitely coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled. (What a funny expression. And pretty gross when you think about it. You’re welcome.) For now, here’s a list of things I’d like to do this fall.

*Corn Maze. Or is it a Maize Maze? Either way, I want to go wander around in the tall stalks and possibly get a little lost. Scotty and I went to one before I got sick and we wound up covered in mud and wet to the bone. It was amazing fun and I want to do it again.

*Apple Butter. A few years back, I found a recipe on Pinterest for making apple butter in my crockpot. Not only does it taste amazing, it makes my house smell SO GOOD! This year I plan to make a big batch and package some up for a craft bazaar. (And possibly for some friends who’ve requested some.)

*Repay Debts. Last year, about this time, some friends were very good to me. It’s taken me a while, but I will repay their kindness this fall.

*Save The Dates. Scotty and I need to design/print our Save The Date announcements. We’ll be sending them out with/in lieu of holiday cards this year, so we need to get cracking!

*Expand Blog. I have some adjustments I’d like to make around here. I’m looking at reaching out for new guest posts, new features, and ways to branch out with my writing. Tracie and the girls at Ask Away Friday have been BIG helps here, as well as great inspiration.

Where I’ve Been And What I’m Doing

Last week I was MIA.

To start it off, I had my second Remicade infusion. Which didn’t go quite as smoothly as the first. Since I’m predominantly right handed, we decided to try my left hand this time, so I could have a little more freedom of movement during and after the treatment. Well, my left hand didn’t want to cooperate. We had to do four different sticks before we found a vein that would work. And then, in the last five minutes of a three hour infusion, we blew that vein. So my hand looked like a medical glove someone had made into a balloon.

The doctor came in and looked me over, and cleared me to go home, though with strict orders to ice my hand and keep it elevated. No movement for at least 24 hours.

You never realize just how much you use your non-dominant hand until you absolutely can’t use it. It was a nightmare.

I tried to catch up on emails and such on Wednesday, but typing one-handed just wasn’t working for me. Thursday I was able to start light activity, but then our internet crapped out. Clearly, the universe wanted me to take a break.

So even though we had the internet issue resolved on Friday, I hung back from the internet and worked on some stuff around the house. I went to therapy and worked on me. And I rested.

I continued resting all weekend, even while I had a guest post over at The Domain Of The Mad Mommy. I played board games with Scotty and watched football. I ate yummy food.

Today I’m back and feeling the groove. I’ve got some exciting posts coming up, some great swaps for Ask Away Friday, and a few friends will be visiting with some guest posts. So stick around, I promise you won’t be sorry 🙂