Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Opportunity in Illness

  • July 2010: miscarriage
  • Fall 2010: pain, loss of mobility
  • January 2011: dual RA/AS diagnosis
  •  February 2011: cane
  • April 2011: mentor's death 
  • May 2011: loss of a friend
      This was my timeline of pain at the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Misery doesn't cut such shallow lines of course, it sculpts cavernous ruins. Navigating the crevasse with only a sense of where you slid down makes coping with chronic illness an extreme sport.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Idée Fixe

I have this notion I am about fifteen years old in looks, and about nine mentally. I am often shocked when I see myself in pictures because I don't recognize the person. Or when I glimpse myself in the mirror at the gym…I look like somebody's mother. When did that happen?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Does your illness define you?

As I added chemotherapy in the form of Methotrexate to my drug cocktail last July, I watched my nails break off, my hair thin out, and bore witness to an awful inability to keep food down. My RA also rebelled. I was back at the point of crawling to the bathroom in the morning, then staying chained to what used to be a comfy couch for the rest of the day. I lost weight because I couldn't get to the refrigerator for lunch, let alone an evening beer. I watched the house grow filthy around me and the lawn stretch up to my calves. I watched my perennials wilt from the summer heat, tomatoes drop off the vine and rot. I saw birds and squirrels go unfed. I couldn't brush the cats. I couldn't prepare dinner for my husband who was working hard to provide for us all day. I could do very little from my shrinking universe except wait to be crushed as it imploded around me.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes Update

Add one more to make 26!
Mr. Sunshine demonstrates what I've lost.
In January I wrote about honoring yourself. I hope some of you took that as a challenge. I'd love to hear what you've been doing for yourself. I'd begun the process of honoring myself last summer, and when I felt I was ready, began working on my "advertising." I've lost twenty-six pounds since late December through diet. A trainer at the gym told me that each pound of weight on your body is multiplied by four  as pressure on your knees. My knees were ravaged by RA and as a result were the most unstable joints in my body. I now have approximately 104 less pounds of pressure on my knees than compared to a few months ago. My cane is no longer at my side. Instead it hangs out in the back of my car, just in case. I use Kneed-It braces to help with knee pain and pressure during long days. Lately I've been using them less frequently. 

Avoiding Eeyore

"I know your mind went right to Diane, she died because of RA but that doesn't mean you will." 

The Etiquette of RA

A coworker of my husband's lives with severe rheumatoid arthritis. She was recently diagnosed with stage III lymphoma. She blames Humira; I am on weekly shots of the stuff. She has taken it upon herself to council me on my current drug cocktail. Now I like cocktails, my tastes typically run to the drier side. However my drug cocktail is less about the taste, and more about the bottom line, which is for me, experiencing my life to the fullest

Monday, January 2, 2012


It's time to celebrate the birth of a new year! Dig up your slumbering and buried Januaries past; what promises did you make and break?  Which infants' cries did you neglect as you plodded through February doldrums? Did you make a clean getaway, or do you wince each time you look yourself in the mirror? I have a proposition for you: this year instead of handling your resolution with kid gloves, handle yourself with perfect attention.