"Live life on purpose ~ not by accident" ~ Alicia

"When it hurts to look back, and you're scared to look ahead, you can look beside you and your best friend will be there."
-- Author Unknown

"A laugh is a smile that bursts.” ~ Mary H. Waldrip

"Set your goals high and don't be deterred by those who say it is impossible." ~ Steve Fossett

"Our Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless."
Jamie Paolinetti

"A day without laughter ~ is a day wasted"
Charlie Chaplin

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
— Martin Luther King Jr.

"Gratitude is an inner smile shared" ~ Alicia

Sunday, January 30, 2011

With a little help from our friends...©

Hello my friends!  
I hope you are having a great week...

With a little help from our friends
wow, we sure can do well
can't we?

I mean...can't we all
use help from our friends?

For me, I love someone
to help me with really hard things like
opening jars!
Yes, my life has been simplified to that!

Help with things like
pouring out the water in the pans
to the strainer...

Going for walks, not just to
keep me company ~ I love that,
but to make sure if I fall, I am not in
the forest forever!  Ha!

Sometimes, it is nice to have someone
just to laugh with, keepin' it real.
Life is too short to be serious.

Ok, speaking of short, I need someone
to get things on top shelves...
Hey, the tall people need to feel loved too!

Hey, when I am having a tough time
I know I can reach out to people
going through the same struggles I am going through.

The great thing about that is
Each time I share, it gets easier to be vulnerable.

my relationship with the people I share with grows ~
and it sometimes helps the people I share with
to open up to me with other issues they struggle with.

So, my friends, we all have battles to fight
and a life worth living.
Everyday...we have to make the choice

With a little help from our friends,
our lives will be so much easier and happier.
Never forget that little things matter a lot!

When you are there for us
we will always remember...

Healing hugs,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Trying to Break it off...©

My friends ~ I made a decision today!
You'll understand when you read my blog.

Trying to Break it off ©

Our relationship is strained
it is painful for me...
how much more can I take?

I am trying to live with you
in the healthiest way possible
but you show up on my yoga mat!
Come on!

I try to take a break from you
go for a drive ~ heck, even to the doctor
and there you are ~
making it such a painful trip.

It is so exhausting being with you
day in and day out.
I can't drink enough caffeine to stop
from making you deplete my energy.

My friend, do you have to
enter my mind in meditation?  
Grabbing my spine ~ feeling like
you are stabbing it?  

I am just trying to get
some peace of mind.
For a moment.  Please.

Ok, I don't invite you to parties anymore.
Heck, I don't have many,  or go to many
because you show up anyway ~
grabbing my shoulders ~

Squeezing my hips until they
ache so bad, I can't sit.  
Whatever it is that
you do to my spine ~
Stop It!  I hate it.

You put me under so much pressure
I have no energy...I can't even make plans.  
What kind of relationship is this?
Not one I am enjoying.

I woke up today and announced that
I was breaking up with you ~ RA
But, as I was doing my yoga...
you showed up.   You let me know ~
you aren't going away...not yet.

How are we going to live together?

Healing hugs,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

To take the medicine or not... ©

"When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn."  ~Harriet Beecher Stowe

Hello my friends!
The snow is gently falling 
as I am writing to you.
A really nice background
for me...squirrels and birds
running and flying
scurrying to get food
staying warm.
I am pretty cozy here on my heating pad.

This month has been a doozy getting 
to know my dear friend rheumy, 
my disease.    When I got an infection and
I had to get off my RA meds, I knew it would be an 
adjustment, but I wasn't quite sure how much
of one it would be.   

Oh, my friends, when I was getting better and I could
get back on an injectable med, I chose the Enbrel
first ~ hopeful that I won't ever have to go on 
Methotrexate injections again.   That medicine just
makes me sick...it is harsh.
But, hey, my body is attacking itself...eroding my 
joints and tendons if I don't stop it.   Even if I do try, 
who knows how long it will be before I need joint
replacements, or have deformities...we just don't know.

So, I go to Boston tomorrow, and let me tell you, my 
body is stiff, and I have swollen joints that have not 
been swollen before.   I am now waking up to shooting 
pain down my arms from my shoulders.   My hands in the
morning...well, I am drinking out of a wine glass - it is the
easiest glass to hold my water in.    I now bring a muffin up into my 
"sanctuary" the night before and my love brings me 
fresh water and a Diet Coke in the morning because going 
down stairs first thing in the morning is becoming more and more 
difficult.   I am almost ripping out our bannister.    Oh, 
the pain is not good...the stiffness sucks.    But the fatigue
is the worse.   I am sick of being a prisoner in my house.
Especially now ~ it is too snowy to walk on my healing trail.

I guess, my reality is most likely that I am going to have to 
go back on the Methotrexate injection again...it is like injecting
the flu in my body every week.   Perhaps, now, with 
my other docs all working together, we can get the pain and fatigue
under control and I can get a better quality of life.   

Every single Study I have read or Doctor I have seen
do a presentation on RA has said that what RA does is
universally takes away a persons Quality of Life.   With
pain and fatigue there is a feeling of isolation and it is so 
hard to explain to others that most people just become very
alone and isolated.    Especially if you have lost your career, 
as I did.   And were, and are a very social person, but don't
have the energy right now...to be, well, yourself.

So, when we are in these conflicting situations, what choices do 
we have?   Take the harsh meds?    Yup, take the medicine.   
All of my meds have side effects...some worse than my disease...
but when your disease is so bad, and you suffer so much, 
you choose Quality of Life.   We have but one life to live.   
As much as I don't want to add that medicine back to my 
cocktails, I do believe it was helping me.   

So, I will let you know, but I am gathering up my courage
to do what I have to do, even if I hate doing it every single
week.   The other option is worse.   I am quickly turning into
the "tin girl" ~ needing some WD ~ 40.   That's no way to live

But, I am not a quitter, oh no I am not.   I still do my yoga...
and modify the heck out of it.  :)  ok, sometimes it is just 
stretching, but I do something every single day.   Resting, 
well, my friends, I am proud to say that, I am learning how 
to do that too.    Watching entire movies with my kids, 
with friends, snuggling with my love, The Brit.   Life is ok.
Is it what I planned, no.   Am I scared?   Yes.  But, I am 
gathering more faith, turning my life and fear over, bit by 
bit.    I have to.   

So, as I finish up this blog, my dog is snuggled up
beside me, of course catching some of the heat from my 
heating pad!   My son is home and we are going to study 
for finals.   My daughter is starting her second semester of
her junior year of college and The Brit and I are reading a 
book together tonight.   Life isn't too bad.   I will call my
mom and a friend to read this and see if it is "blog worthy"
and get the ok before I hit "publish" :)   I am surrounded 
by love during this scary time...what more can I ask for.

Healing hugs, 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My friend says - "at least I have my health..."

Happy New Year!
My friends, I am sorry I haven't written
for a while.
To be honest, and I guess, that is all I am,
it was a tough December for me. I was
hoping for a cure with my new meds, but I
got a bad infection and nearly had to be hospitalized.
I truly felt what it was like to be able to die from
an infection. I was on forced bed rest before Christmas,
but, I was able to make banana bread by Christmas Eve
with my kids and participate in our Christmas Holiday
at home. Thank you God. Simple blessings.
On my birthday, right before Christmas, I found out one of
my closest friends died. We spoke nearly every day, and before
she moved, she spent holidays with our family. The real irony
is that we used to speak about gratitude. She would say, "I wish
I had a partner like you have, but you know, I need to be grateful
because I have my health, and you don't." She never knew she had
stage 4 brain cancer. She died within two weeks of a diagnosis.
And she was grateful to have her health. Hmmm. I am holding
on to a lot of sadness right now. Guilt too, I think. I was the one
with the health problems...not Carol. She was a pistol. A feisty
4'10" firecracker. Now she is my feisty angel. I am not psyched
about that.
Gratitude smatitude. Optimist smoptimist. joy smoy.
This sucks. I am doing all I can to reach out and not isolate.
I have to be the contact person on the east coast, because I am
the one who found out. We are having a celebration of her life
at my home Saturday. Phew, I am scared. Truly, I have not lost
someone like this before. Like Carol said "I still don't have my
health". When I got ill, I got off my RA meds...so now, I am the
tin man. I am going to write another blog about that...but I knew
this one was important.
So, as we look at our lives and THINK we know what is going on...
you don't. I don't. I do know, I loved my friend unconditionally,
every single day I knew her. No matter what. I only wish I were
on the west coast to be with her during her scary time.
She was grateful to have her health, and she died at 56. I don't
and I am writing this blog sitting on my heating pad.
If you don't think you have told your friends and family how
much you appreciate them, and how much you love them...
do it now. For real. Today. This moment is all we have.
Pray for my strength and I will pray for all of you.
I will write another one - perhaps today...but I had to get
this out...for me and for Carol, my feisty angel. I love you.
Healing and supportive hugs,