Christmas Eve Thoughts

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This will be the last Christmas Eve my daughter is a high school student. Next year, I will have a college student instead. This holiday season has been a challenge and I think it’s because I am coming off a three year dry spell. The Christmas Spirit, as I mentioned yesterday is present, but it is a calming, subtle energy. I don’t mind it. As I am getting ready to face a possible empty nest, I am still so excited about what is come to in my life and with my own personal and spiritual goals. I hope you enjoy your Christmas Eve and have a Merry Christmas. It will be a movie night for me and hopefully the teenager will join me.

~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: “IT”

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I had every intention of going to church this morning. Sunday School included. But, it’s not happening. I am not afraid to say I think it’s mental, emotional, and physical fatigue. Waking up to hip pain didn’t help but really it wasn’t a factor. I think it’s depression, I think it’s the blues, I think it’s boredom. I think it’s been a long time coming because I have seen it before. The snowball of EVERYTHING and here is the strange thing, I still feel the Christmas spirit in the midst. It just so happens that the past few months have caught up with me…I think. I guess. One day isn’t going to fix it. And the truth be told, for the first time ever, unrelated to being single during this time, I can’t wait until the holidays are over. There. I said it. But…I don’t even know if it’s holiday related or if the holidays have exasperated it. This “it.”

I know I am not the only one. Many get like this. It’s just too much of everything and it could be seasonal or it could be totally unrelated. So, what will I do today to get through it. I think I shouldn’t try so hard, push so hard to get through it. I think I should just ease through it. I am getting that this is not the time to barrel through. I feel in my own spirit that this is a delicate time. It’s going to require some honesty about some monumental things in my life that people may not be able to handle, but I can’t die spiritually to make others happy.

~Nikki

Vegas and RA: The Good, The Bad, The Really Bad and Ugly

I have shared with you my wonderful and brief trip in Vegas. The shopping, the entertainment, tourism, my fashion, and family fun. I know it seems so glamourous or maybe not lol! But, anyone can take a trip and it has nothing to do with having a luxurious job, which I don’t have. But, it has everything to do with finding the best deals and planning way, way, ahead. Remember, you can do whatever you set your mind to.

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Speaking of planning, when you have certain physical illnesses and diseases, limitations, etc. you have to learn to plan ahead as much as possible. We who have Rheumatoid Disease, Fibromyalgia, and other illnesses understand our dis-ease can be UNPREDICTABLE. So, this is where experience comes in, Google, and planning ahead as best you can.

  • I forgot my cute and much needed hot/cold reusable water packs. I have a small and a large one I usually take with me. You can find them at TJMaxx or on Amazon.
  • So, that was out! In Vegas there is WALKING, WALKING, WALKING, AND MORE WALKING! However, it is easily accessible for those with wheelchairs if you have one. So, don’t let that deter you from Vegas or anywhere else on this planet. I had my best pair of sneakers. This is not the time to break in a new pair. Go with a sure thing.
  • Pain meds ahead of time if possible. All meds on time. However, if I know I am going to have more than one drink, I will skip my meds. I am just being honest with you. You, however, follow your doctors orders. I’m not that big of a drinker meaning I can have it or not and still have a great time. I am allowed, per my doctor, a glass of wine per day if I want it. It’s not that serious for me.
  • Comfy house shoes with memory foam or something that is plush
  • Pain cream or gel
  • Foldable Flats and a purse that will fit them
  • Epsom Salt

Now, here is where it gets bad and ugly. I love heels and I can still wear them, but not the really high ones I use to wear. I blogged about that journey and halidux rigidus surgery a few years ago. I made the choice and sacrifice to wear some really cute heels to a club to see a celeb DJ. The walk there was fine. The dancing the night away was fine, but when I stopped I knew I was in trouble. The walk back was TORTUROUS. I can’t begin to describe to you the pain I felt. I knew I was going to have more than one drink so I skipped my meds. I had to rely on other methods and time to relieve my incredible pain.

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You are not suppose to walk through the hotel or casino with your shoes off. By the time my cousin and I got close to our rooms, we took off our shoes and sighed the biggest relief! Trust me! The picture below is how we felt after those “contraptions” called heels came off!

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But it did not stop there for me. I was swollen from the feet up to the knees. My feet were as red as fire and the neuropathy felt like shocks and this set off the fibromyalgia. I thought to myself, “WTH! I wasn’t expecting it to be THIS BAD!” But like I mentioned to you before, this disease is very unpredictable. I did not feel my bones hurting, but I figure they would be tomorrow. I could hardly walk on my feet and I had my plush house shoes with me. They only helped a little this time because the reaction was UNPREDICTABLE! I applied the pain cream and NOTHING! NO RELIEF!

 

 

I was like OMG and then I was like Dear God, please let this ease up. I tried to sleep and I could not. Below is a picture of the next evening (note I did well all the next day with my sneakers on), when we were going out again but decided on a fancy dinner instead. This is the results with flat shoes which is what they looked liked the night I took off my heels. I was in so much pain and discomfort that night I wasn’t thinking about anymore photos lol! But no lol! The only difference is the pain was minimum but the swelling was MAX. And the crazy thing is, I wasn’t in these shoes but a couple of hours. My feet were like, “No ma’am! Not again!”

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So, what did I do the night I had on heels and the pain was off the charts. I GOOGLED what to naturally do to ease neuropathy, fibromyalgia, RA. I read until I found something I could do. And here is what I will always want in a hotel from here on out. A good CLEAN (I am so OCD about bathrooms and what they look like) tub I can soak in AND once I get to my destination buy some Epsom Salt! This is my new thing to do or find a small pack if I am flying, to bring with me. Add that to the list. Thank GOD the Luxor Hotel in Vegas had a soakers tub! I filled it up with hot water, grabbed my phone and started a guided meditation session on chronic pain with my Inside Timer App, and soaked for about 20 minutes. I felt 50% better. If I would have had some Epsom Salt, I would probably have been at 75%. I was able to feel the difference and fall asleep.

The meditation app helped because I was in BIG pain and feeling so anxious, defeated, a bit jilted, and was slipping into a “Wish I never had this stupid disease rant” and I miss my old self. The meditation helped bring my emotions down and helped clear my mind and bring focus. Here I was finding the best solution to my problem at the moment.

I wish I could tell you that I won’t do that again. But, I don’t want to lie to you. Vegas is my YOLO ZEN place and it’s only once a year. I don’t how long I will be able to travel because of RA and it’s complications. I can tell you that I will bring a purse big enough for my foldable flats!!! I didn’t think I would need them because where we were going was close to the hotel. I did not factor in how much dancing I would be doing. Oh well, you live, you learn , you survive another day.

I had other pain in Vegas because of the walking. It’s like I said, this is not something I do every day and it’s expected when I travel. In the RA group many had to stop traveling or keep it to a minimum. I think I am midway at 43 with traveling. I have a few places I would like to see and hope I don’t ever have to give traveling up completely.

~Nikki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Blog Reflections 2018 (Successes & Failures)

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I’ve been thinking about my blog and what I would like to do differently. This year has been a pretty good year for my blog as far as being consistent in some areas such as the “Sunday Morning Coffee Musings”, and overall posting consistently. The areas I want to improve in are more content on my journey as it relates to my age, more blog post about my journey as it relates to Rheumatoid Arthritis & Fibromyalgia, and re-blogging others’ blogs in an effort to create more community.

I have linked my blog to a Facebook page (Nikki’s Confetti Life) and on Instagram as Nikki’s Confetti Life. I don’t see nearly as much activity on Facebook as I do on Instagram. However, where I see the most involvement for Facebook is when I do a video or more of an inspirational piece and boost it.

Some of my goals for the upcoming blog year:

  • Become more interactive with those who have Rheumatoid and Fibromyalgia, in hopes we can be supportive of each other. I find that lacking among some, but I am going to keep searching for a tribe.
  • I’d like to grow my followers, but more than anything I would like to grow my readers. There is a difference and we know it. I think we do.
  • Redesign my site.
  • Be consistent on a series!
  • Advertise by boosting posts and being consistent about my blog on Insta

And I have one very, very special surprise coming in 2019 🙂

Do you have any blogging goals? Tips? Ideas? Let’s hear it!

~Nikki

 

Vegas Nights and Days: A Bit of Fashion

 

 

I know some love to get dressed up for the airport and the ride, but it was a late flight. And all I wanted was to be cute and comfortable because once we landed in Las Vegas the plan was to get a ride to our hotel, check in, throw the bags on the bed and hit the strip in our custom T-shirts, black jeans, sneakers, and have a great time! My shirt was created by Key’s Kraft. You can find her on Facebook.

I can tell you that we were worn out because our flight had to go around a huge thunderstorm which made our flight longer than usual. We did get something to eat, hit the bar and some hit the casino ( I am not a gambler. I just love the Vegas Vibe).

 

The next day I was ready for shopping! I wore my Champagne shirt, jogs, and sneakers. The next day I wore another custom long sleeve T-shirt that was perfect for the cool weather in Vegas. I like to buy local, support, and tag as much as I like to shop for quality clothing on a budget. I mean my Champagne shirt was $4.00 from Target! My Memphis 10 shirt was created by Rodney Ruffin whom you can also find on Facebook. In the day time on vacation it’s no fuss make up for me. I like to keep it simple.

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Que BeyoncĂ©! I was feeling myself on this night! I was ready to head our to Hakkasan Night Club where finally, I would be in the house with Lil’ John as the guest celeb DJ. My dress was shipped from my friend’s boutique in Florida, Glam Gal T’s & Boutique. She is also on Facebook. It was a delay with the mailing system and I thought I would not get it. It arrive the day I was scheduled to get on the flight! Talk about a close call!

 

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The night was so EPIC! It was truly one of those “WHAT GOES ON IN VEGAS, STAYS IN VEGAS NIGHTS!” And I hope to do it again! LOL! The next night were going to head to Drais, but we decided we partied so hard the night before, and we there a shorter time than usual, we would go for some fine dining. I found these cute silver flats at DSW on the strip. Did you know that it’s a myth you can’t wear flats and get into the clubs? Well, you can!

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We found our fine dining last minute as Excalibur’s Steak house told us if we could make it there in 10 minute they would love to serve us. We did because the Luxor is connected to them. And once again, we were greeted with smiles, our server was excellent and our meal was fantastic!

 

The clutch was from Aldo’s in Nashville, 40% off the clearance! The necklace was from Sugar Plum Consignment in Memphis. The jeans are from Target and they were on clearance for about $11.98 with the original price at $29.99. My shirt I’ve had for a while and I am sure I blogged or Instagram-ed it being on clearance. I am a girl on a budget. A very tight one. Things are usually planned out a T.

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Once again we had a blast! Laughs at dinner, great conversation, good food, and family. I couldn’t ask for more.

~Nikki