Tag Archives: flares

A Year In Review 2014

After spending New Year’s Eve playing cards and games with my fiance and one of our good friends while our dogs played and hid from the fireworks, I spent a chunk of New Year’s Day in the ER with some odd symptoms. Muscle tremors, shooting pains, and random numbness throughout my left arm/elbow/hand. Turns out I’m fighting a harder RA flare than I knew, and this was just another manifestation of that. They fitted me with a sling to keep the arm elevated and told me to go home, take my pain meds and…REST.

Anyone else hate being told to rest all the time? No? Just me?

Anywho, this morning I was getting caught up on blogging and showing some of my blogger peeps some love, and I found this on Tamara’s site. And I thought, “Yes, I need to do this!” So here you go, loves, my 2014 in review, and some hopes for 2015.

What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

I had an article published. 

Got our adorable doggy, the first pet Scotty and I’ve had together.

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I started Remicade infusions for RA treatment. I’ve never had any sort of infusion before.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did, and I will! For 2015, I want to focus on living better. I want to spread kindness and joy and do my part to make the world a better place.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

A few of my dear friends blessed us with babies this year. Rebecca, Crys, and Fallah all had adorable bundles of joy ❤

Did anyone close to you die?

Not anyone I know personally, but the loss of Robin Williams touched me deeply. I grew up with him, and it breaks my heart to know the world is missing his genius.

What countries did you visit?

Sadly, none. We’re hoping to visit Canada later this year.

What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A blender. A yard for our doggy to run and play.

What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory?

I don’t have a specific date, just little snippets throughout the year that make me smile. The look of joy on my fiance’s face as he played his music again. My son and fiance exploring the space museum together.

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My doggy running through the tall grass at the dog park. Game nights with my fiance. Nights at Denny’s with Kristen and Seth. Civil War on the big screen. Evenings with Cathy.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Following my dream of being a writer. It involved more than just sharing my words here with you. I put myself out there more and faced my fear of rejection. I hope to continue this in 2015 and maybe finally finish a book.

What was your biggest failure?

This question really stumped me. I think as long as you continue to learn from your mistakes, nothing is a failure. As for me, I’m still learning.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Still rocking the battle against my autoimmune disorders. I was also diagnosed with TMJ, and am awaiting an appointment with a oral maxi-facial specialist to determine our treatment plan.  I also had a bout with chemical poisoning. Joy.

What was the best thing you bought?

I honestly can’t think of anything right now. Does the cheesy popcorn I’m calling my lunch count?

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My fiance, who continues to be by side and hold my hand as I walk this path.

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Where did most of your money go?

Bills.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Time with my son.

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Planning our wedding. Making a new friend. A visit from Kristen and Seth.

What song will always remind you of 2014?

Foo Fighters Something From Nothing

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?  Happier
Thinner or fatter?  Thinner, though I still have a ways to go.
Richer or poorer?  About the same, I guess. Scotty did get a raise, but those bills keep coming and they’ve just increased our rent, so…

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Living. Chasing dreams. Crafting. Learning new things.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Hurting. Being stressed and anxious.

Did you fall in love in 2013?

I fall in love with my fiance every day. I fell in love with our doggy when we first met him and knew he needed to come live with us.

How many one-night stands?

None. Or 365 with the same man, however you want to look at it.

Who were your best friends?

All of my friends are best. Kristen and Seth. Nolan and Courtney. All my girls, the sisters of my heart. Kerry. Cathy ❤

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?

I continued to share my stories. The crew helped me launch the Spoons 4 Spoonies website so we can continue to offer support to those battling chronic illness.

What were your favorite TV programs?

Once Upon A Time. Just about anything true crime related. Sonic Highways.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I try not to hate anyone, it’s so bad for your own well-being. But there are a few people I wouldn’t mind never seeing or hearing about again.

What was the best book you read in 2014?

Written In My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon, the latest book in the Outlander series.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Sonic Highways by the Foo Fighters. I loved getting to watch how each song came together on their HBO series, and then feel in love with their songs. I’ve always been a FF fan, but this made me love them more and in a new way.

What did you want and get?

A lap desk. A mellow and laid back Thanksgiving holiday. A new phone with a better camera (Thank goodness for Verizon’s free phone offer!). Time with my sisters.

What did you want but did NOT get?

Time ALONE with my sisters. A money tree. A new body.

What was your favorite film of this year?

Uh… I can’t remember seeing many movies this year… Sad story.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32 and spent the day with my son and my fiance and some of our dear friends. We went bowling, which was something I didn’t think I could do with my RA hands, but I did it and it was awesome! We also had pizza from my favorite place, and cupcakes, which makes everything awesome.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Less stress.

What kept you sane?

My writing. Therapy. My fiance. Our dog. All of our lovely friends who popped in to keep me trucking along ❤

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Sam Heughan, the guy who plays Jamie Fraser in the TV version of Outlander.

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Colin O’Donoghue aka Captain Hook

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What political issue stirred you the most?

I was in an uproar over a few things, others just broke my heart. I’ll say this: I stand for equality for all, and for a safer world for our children.

Who did you miss?

My grandmother. My brother. Misty. My daughter. I always miss my son when he’s not here with us. All of my friends who live near and far, whom I never get to see often enough.

Who was the best new person you met this year?

Kerry! She’s become a dear friend and a lovely support system. Also, with whom else can I sit and reminisce about the 80s?

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Sometimes you have to just let things go. Accept that you need to put yourself first, and set boundaries, even if the things you have to let go are people you love. You can’t help others at the detriment of yourself.

Quote that sums up your year:

 

Thank you all for following along this past year, and for joining me for this little walk down memory lane. Here’s wishing 2015 is full of all the best for all of us! Happy New Year!

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Winter Has Cometh. And A Flare, Too

It has not been an easy past few days.

My beloved PACNW finally got a bit of winter. Which would normally be cause for happiness, since I often miss the snow of my youth. However, for a valley only used to rainy winters with splatterings of snow once in a while, we were ill-equipped for the foot of snow that fell, the freezing rain that came on top of it, or the dense fog that followed it.

I spent the storm huddled under blankets on my couch at times enthralled with watching the snow fall, at others itching with cabin fever. Since my apartment complex doesn’t have maintenance available on the weekends, the parking lot and walkways stayed buried under piles of snow and ice. Knowing how unstable my walking can be on a clear, summer day, my going out in the snow was never an option. We couldn’t risk a fall or injury.

By Saturday evening, I was feeling the tight confines of being locked away at home. Just when I thought I had gathered the courage (or recklessness) to brave the outside, a wave of pain came to knock me down. I spent all of Sunday in a ball, pain radiating from my neck to the tips of my toes. Every movement made me want to scream. Making it to the bathroom and back without my legs giving out was considered a great accomplishment.

Though I had expected a flare to accompany the wildly changing weather, I was not prepared for the intensity of what arrived. I contemplated a trip to the ER if only to find some sort of relief, but I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it. I know the Emergency Room isn’t to be used to help manage my pain, no matter how badly I’m wanting that relief.

This morning I called my regular doctor and left a message that I need to be seen. Now that I’m insured, I need to be referred to a new rheumatologist to look at new treatment options. The frequency and intensity of my last few flares has me concerned that my current treatment plan may no longer be working for me. I hope that we can get something scheduled soon.

I’m trying to keep my mood up, but I’m still hurting today. I’m keeping my interactions on social media to a minimum, I don’t want to flood my friends with my whining. And that’s exactly how I feel right now. Whiney and ouchy. Not my best.

What do you do when the pain becomes unbearable? Do you have any tips for keeping your mood light when you’re hurting?

It All Hurts

I don’t consider myself an overly vain person. I also don’t consider myself particularly girly. So when my life reverted to days on the couch in my pajamas, I kinda loved it. For a little while.

But sometimes I like to get dressed in people clothes and tame the frizzy curls into something resembling a head of hair. Sometimes I look at my closet and daydream about the days when I looked put together more often than not. Sometimes I scroll through Pinterest and wish I had the money and capability to wear the beautiful clothes I keep pinning.

Money aside, I know I will never be that put together again. It takes hours of planning and more spoons than I usually have to tame my frizzy hair into anything more than Medusa’s snakes. Wearing my jeans isn’t always an option, the zipper and buttons are too much for my swollen fingers to figure out. I haven’t been able to wear make-up successfully since I started my shots, my now uber sensitive skin breaks out simultaneously in patches of dry skin and blemishes if I even glance longingly at my concealer.

I’m in the midst of yet another flare, this one brought on by cold temps and winter storm fronts, though I’m far from the polar vortex, thank goodness! Or possibly the flare is in response to my busy whirlwind last two weeks. Either way, I woke up this morning hurting and wallowing in a pity party for one. When I normally would have dragged myself out of bed to curl up on the couch, I instead waved goodbye to my fiance from the comfort of bed and snuggled back under the blankets. I played games on my phone while whining to myself how unfair it all is.

And then I gave myself a swift kick in the backside.

I dragged my (probably) smelly self off to the shower. Once I was clean, I found comfy clothes that weren’t exactly pajamas. Yes, I may have borrowed a shirt from my fiance’s side of the closet and my pants may be leggings, but I am NOT wearing pajamas. I piled my wild curls into a clip instead of my usual messy bun. I plopped myself in my trusty recliner and told myself I was going to get some work done today.

Why?

Because it all hurts. And it’s going to hurt whether I’m lying in bed or sitting upright. It’s going to hurt while I play games on my phone and while I type these words to you. So if it’s going to hurt anyway, why not do something to pull my mood out of the funk? Why not try to do something that will make me smile through the pain?

On days like today, I have to work hard to remind myself that even the smallest achievements are something to be proud of. I’m still here, I’m still fighting, and that’s a pretty big deal. So what if all my day consists of is cookies and trash TV?

It all matters, folks. Even if it all hurts. Especially then.