Monday, August 29, 2011

Garfield Got it Right

It was certainly a Monday, ALL DAY LONG, beginning last night nonetheless...

The bathtub suddenly filled with "dirty" water right after Michael took his shower, while my load of laundry was rinsing.

We tried numerous variations of plunging, flushing, dumping yada yada yada.... nothing worked.  I started panicking about the cost and how bad it probably was and "Oh my GOSH! How are we going to fix this?!?!"

Finally I was calmed down enough to go to bed, at midnight.... and let my darling husband stay home and worry about it tomorrow (today) while I was at work.

So I go to work this morning like usual - tired and grumpy and sore, like usual - and do my best to muddle through my super long to do list... wait, didn't I finish my list on Friday?!  No of course not, and besides, it's a new week so new to do's.
Hold on, I can't even start on my list because my keyboard is not working!!  I crawl underneath the massive oak desk to find the keyboard cable amongst the rat's nest of cords, cables and plugs... I spend 20 minutes trying to find the cable and make sure it's plugged in, keyboard still no worky.  Arghhh!!!!!!  What the heck!!  Okay fine, I'll restart the stupid machine.  That fixed it, all is working as it should.  What a waste of time I don't have!

Finally I was hooked up, plugged in and ready to get down to business!  Oh good, another interruption, someone needs something... or has a question, or calls me out to the front desk, or asks my opinion on something they should be taking ownership of...yada yada... seriously, a bit aggravating and downright distracting.

I suppose when all is said and done I accomplished the basic tasks that absolutely HAD to be completed today.  I sure hope tomorrow is easier, cause I am not up for another MONDAY!  Today was.. just... too.... exhaustin....zzzzzzz

Monday, August 22, 2011

Aggravated, Frustrated and Just Plain Mad!


So it's a cycle eh?  Vicious, circling, painful, aggravating.  There is no miracle cure or designer drug that makes it all go away.  The medicines we are given often have nasty side effects and we have to make our choices based on the lesser of two evils.  My current regimen consists of Plaquenil and prednisone prescriptions, with fish oil and Celadrin gel capsules as "natural aids".

I have not yet started any of the "scarier" drugs but in my current state I almost wish I had.  Sure it's only day six of the prednisone but I don't remember it taking this long to kick in the first time.  Of course, my foggy head could easily have forgotten the details, it sure wouldn't be the first time and besides, that was a year ago!

Anyway, so I'm waiting out the drugs now right?  I mean, what else is there to do?  It's not like I can say, "Oh I changed my mind, I don't want this anymore" and someone will magically take the disease back.  Sooo irritating, just waiting!!  I feel like I've tried everything... extra rest (easy for me to lay around all day), light exercise (the walks felt real good but yesterday wore me out!), ice and heat, heat and ice, drinking tons of water, praying... well, I've sort of done that last one.  It's been more like "Please God, I don't know what to do!" muttered through clenched teeth.  Which reminds me... if any of you want to pray for me I would more than welcome it.  I seem to have a knack for turning my prayers into angry rants and then I close me ears and heart to any answers.  Stupid, I know.

Okay, enough of the gripes.  What am I thankful for?  Um, having a hard time not spitting out cliches like "my family, my dog, electricity, food etc..." oh here's one!  I am thankful that my husband is laying next to me playing a game while I vent to my heart's content on the internet.  I am glad he has the heart to be around me when I am obviously "grouchy" and that he is wise enough to not ask me "What's wrong?" when it's obvious.  Just his presence gives me a little more strength and calm.
On that note, good night y'all.  May we all have good long restful sleep and see a better morning tomorrow.  Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Great Doctor

       My rheumatologist is a sweetheart.  She shows genuine care and concern, takes all the time needed to answer any questions and put my mind at ease, makes me feel like she wants the absolute best for me.  Aren't these traits something that every physician should possess?  Is there such a thing as an unkind physician?  You bet there is!  I've heard stories of doctors in all fields of medicine, including rheumatology, who belittle patients, making them feel like either "it's all in their head" or it really is no big deal and won't you please stop whining.  I even had the opportunity (only once) to meet with a family physician who made me feel like a nuisance.  Let me tell you, I was thrilled when I found out she was moving to a different practice!
       My point is not to rant about the downfalls of physicians in modern society, nor to steer anyone away or toward a particular physician or medical practice.  The point I am trying to make is a simple one:  DO NOT SETTLE.  If you don't feel comfortable with your current physician, if they make you feel bad about yourself or your symptoms, if their personality rubs you the wrong way, if their bedside manner leaves something to be desired... don't stay with them.  If there is any possible way to try a new doctor, DO IT!  You will never have the optimal results in your medical treatment if you don't feel comfortable with and trust your physician.

I AM GRATEFUL.  I have been blessed with a genuine kindhearted doctor who is helping guide me along this medical journey.  Her soft personality, warm smile and friendly demeanor are a perfect fit for my hesitant, apprehensive, anxious nerves.  I am so glad to have been gifted with a fantastic physician on the first try!  I know many are not as blessed as I and my advice to those of you who struggle to find "the one" is don't give up.  There are many caring physicians (rheumatologists included!) who want only the best for their patients.  I'm so grateful I have one of them.  =)

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I try
to stay strong
to love all
to be grateful
I try
to accept
things I
cannot change
I fail
when I think
of myself
I fail
when I
lose sight
of Him.
       I feel like a failure, a nothing.  I am having a hard time with acceptance... of myself and this life in general.  I feel like I am constantly fighting to keep my head above water, to keep my eyes on the shore, to move just a tiny bit closer to the goal.
       Anytime I think to myself, "Yes!  I finally get it!  I finally know how this all ticks!"  I am pounded back into the pavement by a harsh reality... my pain compounds and grows or the fatigue overtakes my brain, my heart breaks or my aching body feels like crumbling.  Literally, every single time I think I'm "getting it" or "getting better" something pulls me back down.  It's almost enough to make a person want to quit trying.
       But... I know I'm not in this alone.  I know there are many, many others in the world struggling with the same struggles as me.  I know my husband and family love me no matter what and they are "here for me".  Best of all, I know the Lord has a plan, a purpose and a reason for my life.  I know He loves me more than I can imagine and that He has never left my side, even when I try to run from Him.
       I will keep fighting.  I'll fight the anger with knowledge, the depression with thankfulness, the self-pity with love.  I won't give in to the enemy who tries to poison my heart with all things dark and dreary.
       The sun (or Son) is always there, even when hidden behind the clouds.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Cold and Hot... Pain Relief?

Summer is finally here!!  I've been awaiting the warmer weather, aching (literally) with anticipation for what seems like forever!  We have had a particularly cold Spring and start of Summer... it's so nice to have sunshine and warmth!  Or so I thought...
Yesterday my body was not happy, angry in fact.  It seems the excess heat triggers swelling of joints and causes incredible fatigue.  Who would've guessed that huh?  Today, much of the same, a bit worse.  The pain grew and sharpened over the course of the day and I'm considering calling the doc, but would prefer to wait things out a bit longer.
Pain is not usually my worst enemy.  Because of this I don't have a regular "pain management routine".  I still have some prednisone and consider taking one but haven't yet.  Ice packs are helping to ease the swelling and pain in my hands but I can't keep ice on them forever.  Usually heat therapy is my best bet for easing the ache, but I guess not when the pain is caused by Summer heat.
Currently I am only taking Plaquenil and diclofenac for treatment.  I use heat to loosen up the joints and ease the ache.  I guess now I'm also using cold therapy when the pain is triggered by warmer temps.  I don't want to take pain medication if I don't have to because I know I'll have trouble rationing myself once I have access to it.  I don't want to "cave" before I "have" to, if you know what I mean.  My rheumy will prescribe something for the pain if (or when) it gets bad enough.  I sort of dread that day.  I hope to God it never comes, or at least not anytime soon.
For now I'll continue my fight.  I'll fight the cold with hot, heat with ice... maybe someday it will all balance out.

Monday, August 01, 2011

How do you do it?!?

       I have been working at my new job for a month now.  I enjoy it still and am grateful for the change.  So far there seems to be less physical weariness at the end of each day, though I need to start exercising since I'm sitting a lot of the time now... I don't get my regular "walks" at work anymore!  Speaking of exercise, how does one fit that in with everything else?!?  ESPECIALLY when your joints are tired and achy and your brain falls in and out of fog almost daily.  I know the benefits of being more active, just haven't yet grasped the HOW to get started.

Now that the weather has finally turned summery I've been telling myself I need to go for walks around town, with or without the hubby.  For some reason it's a heck of a lot easier said than done.  The dog needs a good long walk too, so that should be my reason... somehow I never think of it at the appropriate times.

Maybe someday I will feel more "together".  Maybe someone will show me how to get it all done.  Perhaps there will come a point in time when none of the things I'm worrying over now will really matter.

Thank the Lord for love, mercy and second chances.  Tomorrow is a brand new day!