RA and Consistent Exercise? (Attitude Problem) Pt. 2

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I can’t do that because of my toe.

I can’t do that because of my hip.

I can’t do that because of my knee.

I can’t do that because I am in a wheelchair.

I can’t do that because I use a cane  or walker.

I did “that” or tried “that” and it didn’t work.

I can’t because I have RA, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Osteoarthritis…etc…etc…etc…

Okay, first of all (and yes, I am doing that sassy rolling the neck thing with my hand on the hip), you can’t tell me I don’t understand because to some degree I do. So not to offend the sensitive soul of one with an autoimmune disease, let me talk to myself for a second.

Nikki: You can’t or you won’t? You can’t or does it hurt? You can’t but what can you do and don’t say nothing because you can do something. You can’t or are you afraid? You can’t or you feel as though “they” may be “looking at you funny?”

Well, Nikki (YOU), you have to change your attitude first of all. Yes, I know you went through or may be going through the “why me phase” or experiencing “B.A. nostalgia” (Before Autoimmune). But, listen, you have to become the very thing mentally you were before and that is a fighter or warrior. If you never were that then you must become one or you will speed up the process of the toil it takes on your body. Nikki (YOU), you can not or will not go out without a fight! You are the ROCKY of your illness.

So how can you improve your attitude?

  1. Prayer works miracles
  2. Meditation works wonders
  3. Positive quotes on the mirror or your nightstand that relate to attitude, inspiration, etc
  4. Instead of always searching for the bad things about your illness or disease search for people who are living successfully with it and draw from their ideas and perspective
  5. List or say five things you are grateful for every day morning or night
  6. Drink more water (just thought I would throw that in there)
  7. Eat healthier because you will feel better physically and it will help you feel better mentally
  8. Face your fears about your illness or disease and think more about what you can do than what you can’t do and be forever grateful for that
  9. Try it again and again and again. Try something new. Create an exercise of your own.
  10. Cherish the good moments, spurts of energy and use them to your advantage. Don’t worry about “I will hurt later” because what I have found is you are probably going to hurt later anyways.

 

How to Get Your Zeal Back Pt 3

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If you read any of the first two blogs about Zeal, you would know that I lost my zeal for church but, not for God or Spiritual things. If you know how to “eat the fish and spit out the bones” you can apply what I am about to tell you to ALMOST anything if you have lost your zeal for it.

Take a break. Taking some time off and retreat to a quiet place or turn you attention to other things. This can give your mind and emotions time to settle. I was throwing everything but the kitchen sink trying to figure out “why” or “what” was wrong. It was very exhausting mentally. Maybe go on a nature walk. Attend your nephew’s baseball games or do some activities with friends or your family. Sometimes you need to get out and in touch with nature and people (other than the people you are normally around). People can inspire you and nature can answer you.

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(I am going to do this next time I am out on a nature walk)

 

2. Prayer and Meditation. Not on the why or what you can do but just simple prayer and meditation on whatever you are lead to pray about or meditate on.

3. Read. If you are a Christian, you may want to reconnect with your Bible and if you are not, you may want to reconnect with the book of your religion or pick up a positive book. This helps you to redirect your energy on your core beliefs or discover some new ones!

4. Do something different. Let’s say I was a baker and I lost my zeal for baking. Perhaps, I would travel to Italy and learn something new about baking Italian desserts. Maybe, I could refresh my skills or take a class at the local university. Perhaps, lending yourself to other charities and volunteering outside of the church would bring back the spark and allow you to reconnect.

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5. Face the truth. Perhaps you have outgrown where you are or this phase of your gift. Maybe it is time to move on to something different. I would think of it as an adventure or a new phase in your life. Some people outgrow their church, outgrow their job, career or business. It just may be time to move on.

Right way road sign
Right way road sign

RA Awareness Day…Meh

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Today is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day and I must admit for the last 5 years I have not really publicly displayed anything on this day. Sure from time to time I would share a post about RA but, really I didn’t want anyone to know I had it. And when I did talk about it, it was as if I were just as invisible as the autoimmune disease itself. This is my first year fully, okay, 85% embracing this day.

I decided to see it as a day to say HEY, WE ARE HERE. EVERYWHERE. LIKE…ALIENS THAT LOOK JUST LIKE YOU working in your office, at your schools, etc. ( YOU KNOW THE WHOLE “BUT YOU DON’T LOOK SICK” COMMENT WE GET 🙂 BUT NO 🙂  ). And by aliens I mean this foreign illness has invaded our bodies without warning or permission. Straight from the “OTHERLAND” (MOTHERLAND).

It’s a day to explain to you it’s not “JUST ARTHRITIS” and it affects more than your bones. It can affect your heart and lungs and rarely, the brain. It also likes to bring along with it Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Diabetes and a “party of five” of other things. It interferes with friendships and every type of relationship there is.

It’s a day for others to learn a little bit more about what I go through daily.

Is your Pain Management Manual Outdated?

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So, last night I was going to go a bonfire, earlier this week I was suppose to go to an open mic poetry night, I also was asked to attend a business meeting but, as you can guess, none of that happened. I noticed last night that not much of anything has been happening even with careful planning. It hit me this morning “like a ton of bricks” (as I heard an old man say frequently and often thought that could be painful), maybe how you use to manage your pain is not working anymore. Your plan (manual) needs to be updated to match the increase of activities in your life or the slowing down of activities in your life. Those of us in this community know how much energy it takes to do the daily basics, keep a clean house and clothes, take care of a family and self, plus work and then other things outside of that. Even with all of the careful planning sometimes Dr. Evil (that is what I call RA) has other plans for you! (Muah ha ha ha….NOT FUNNY) and so you have to work around it or go to sleep! It is a juggling act with no applause and sometimes you feel like you are waking up to a circus of what to do now and what to next and what not to do. So, today I will take some time and see where it is I am going wrong and how can I not only manage the pain or fatigue (physically) but, manage the illness  itself (mentally)….better.

 

She’s Still There

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Parenting: Last night I told my daughter to get ready for bed. She said she was putting her hair up and was already dressed for bed. Well when she walked into my room her hair was in five or six gigantic knots (wrapped around). I began to giggle because she looked like an alien from a sci-fi movie. But then my giggle turned into deep side aching laughter because at that moment I realized she is the same child that dressed herself with mixed match clothes. The same child that gravitates towards the unusual necklace and 8 bracelets on one arm. The same child that insists on wearing socks that don’t match. I thought I was loosing her as she is turning into a teen but, I realized she is still there and will always be in some shape, form or fashion or hairstyle. In the midst of hormones and attitudes which some times makes a parent wonder “Who is this person?” I see the little girl is still there. The core of who she is still there. Here uniqueness and funny ways remain. She is still there. What a relief.

Growth in the Winter

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Sunday Morning Musing: In the winter you don’t think of anything growing. But, the Flowering Quince is a flower that loses it’s leaves in the fall and shows out with its red blooms and thorny branch in the Winter. It’s a flower that is great for a natural fence. Well, this morning I had to give a long overdue apology to someone of great status in my eyes. I am usually quick to apologize but, in this case I was intimidated because I saw myself as the student and I was worried about how I failed to be consistent. This GROWTH in the WINTER, along with two other lessons I have learned is like the Flowering Quince. It has made me bloom and it’s thorny branches are like my defense. It has made me stronger as a leader, grew me up in the area of responsibility even more therefore preparing me to be a better ME as I walk my destiny out. -Nicole Jackson

The Blueprint

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I am so hyped this morning about the promises of God for my life. I got some disappointing news yesterday evening and I didn’t know how to handle it so I didn’t say anything. I talked to God this morning and we got an understanding. I was reminded of my Marching Orders for this year and I heard a voice say: Keep your eyes on your instructions for this year. Let the winds blow around you. You feel and you hear but, do not look away from those instructions. It’s the map. It’s the blueprint of your destiny. (Yes….hears from God thinks of Jay Z…so me lol)

Your Ex is (a) FLY

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Trying to date people who are not over their EX is like trying to have a romantic picnic on the hottest summer day in the middle of the woods. @#$!%^ All of these flies! I can’t enjoy myself. In more polite and nicer words (because no good Christian or Saint ever curses or thinks about it): I can’t enjoy YOU for the memories and conversations about your ex/exes flying around. If they are always on your mind I know I am not.

Have You Seen My Zeal? Pt 2

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You are ultimately responsible for your ZEAL.

Zeal- (noun) great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.

When I asked God who’s fault was it that I had lost my zeal for church, I wasn’t looking to blame anyone. I was looking for an understanding of why? I was looking to see if I did something wrong or was it the church. If it was me then I felt I could correct the problem but, if it was the church, depending on my level of comfort and past experiences with trying to correct “church” I would rather not. The answer I got was ultimately I am responsible for my Zeal. I was relieved to hear that.

Whether it is worship, work, dreams or callings, your ZEAL is your fuel to the cause or objective. It is your resource to “getting” it done and doing it with joy and energy. So think of it as your job to protect your fuel. If fuel is left in the open the air will dry it out. If it is subjected to other elements such as water then your fuel can become diluted and of no real use to your vehicle. Well, spiritually speaking, your zeal is subject to the elements around you and you must protect it. Life is the element. The downs, the trials, the tribulations, the lack of time dedicated to the spiritual things in your own home can dry up your zeal.  Contemplate your surroundings and environment and see if you have left the door open for your zeal to dry out.

 

RA and Consistent Exercising??? Pt 1

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What are we talking about here people? or doc’?  or trainer? (wow, you have a trainer?  No, not me…you…the reader.) You want me to exercise consistently when I have Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus or Fibromyalgia??? I can’t predict my pain so if my pain in unpredictable how can I be consistent?

Well, I have struggled with this mentally as much as I have physically. One day I am riding high and the next day I am rolling on the ground. It can be very discouraging when you desire to be consistent in your workouts or light exercises but, for reasons beyond your control you cannot. In the meantime, friends and strangers whirl around you getting on with it. If you struggle before any autoimmune illness certainly having one doesn’t make it any easier.

Well, here is a thought I had just the other day as I made some healthy choices for lunch (see delicious fruit above and I had a lean cuisine as well). I may not be as consistent in exercising because I can’t always control my body BUT, I can be consistent in what I put into my body and there folks…we have a victory!!!! This one absolute is about a made up mind (and not about a made up body) what you purchase at the grocery store and what you bring home. What you eat is more important in contributing to a healthy /healthier lifestyle than exercising alone. Yes you still must exercise! But the point of this blog is to control what you can and the one thing you can possibly me more consistent in is making better choices in what you eat. Do I always make the right choice? Of course not but, I have found some control in trying to be consistent in food choices. Whereas many of us battling autoimmune illnesses feel as though we are not in control. I hope this helps.

Love Nikki