RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

f1d71a2e7af99d1fae646b924d78a3dd

It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki

RA BLOG:Hoping to Look Back and Forget

462980-3d499b98a83f6c8ad0ba31f1a1a432dd

This is fresh off the press this Saturday evening as I am trying my best to wind down from disturbing news I received in my mailbox. Let’s start with this week has been pretty exhausting. A rollercoaster with more lows than highs and all that has been running through mind is “Please, God, let me off of this thing.” No such luck.

My daughter’s 16th birthday is coming up and I have been stressing over how to make it special for the past few weeks. I am going through the disability process in Tennessee and I have been for the last two years and two months. Before I was diagnosed with RA (diagnosed with JRA as a child), I was a working single parent. I promised my daughter to take her to California when she turned 16 as it’s somewhere she had always wanted to go. Well, we know that is not possible during this time. So, we planned to go somewhere closer and with the help of my brother to drive. I can’t tell you the amount of stress, struggle and strain it has been to gather finances from all over the place. To beg and borrow it seems to make this happen. I received terrible news from the school that my daughter had been placed in Algebra II instead of Algebra I and they are just now discovering this! She’s in a honors program. No wonder my poor child had been struggling! And I had been so hard on her. I was livid! Today, I opened up the mailbox to find she would not be allowed to continue in the program because of her GPA. I was outdone. She will have to take summer school class for Algebra I because she must have it. But, how unfair for them as Algebra II is the main cause of her GPA drop. I sent an email to the principal and hope they can see their error and what it has cost my daughter.

Today, I feel my depression in the shadows. I have done the best to keep it at bay. I cannot tell her this right now as she is so happy about taking a trip in a week or so for spring break to celebrate her 16th birthday. She will be crushed and I do not want her spirits crushed. My daughter is very smart and bright. And today…with RA, financial stress, and worried about my daughter’s future, checking the mailbox daily waiting on a word for a day in court about my case, it all just seems to be weighing on me. It’s a bit too much and I just hope someday I can look back and forget the last two years of this hell.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: In It’s Time

8dad6ed77e5e5fc177b8bb7961c934e1

Maybe your situation and circumstances are not so beautiful at this time or maybe, like me, it hasn’t been for a very long time. Know that things will be beautiful in it’s time. When it’s time. I am sure a caterpillar may not fill pretty during this phase of its life (can’t say for sure since I don’t speak butterfly, but just taking a guess here), but in it’s time…when it’s time, it is made beautiful. If only it/we knew we are beautiful in many ways in each phase of life. You may not feel it or look like it, but you are to the Creator.

Even in the hard times, the incredibly painful times of my disease and illnesses, I have strength and hope. Even if I only have them in the back of my mind or an afterthought. When I pull through those things, I am made aware of my beauty. Strength is beauty. Hope is beauty. You may not have gotten to this point yet, but when you are made aware of your ability to live anyways, to press on anyways, to rest even (it says you care for your body, and that’s beautiful), you will realize many things can be made beautiful in it’s time. When you become aware…it’s time.

However, there are some situations that take more than awareness of beauty. I find this for me, the waiting or searching for one to connect with on a personal and intimate level. It’s an ugly process for some of us single people. Hoping, searching, waiting, discerning, disappointment….etc…and well…you can find beauty in the fact you don’t give up. Or you can know that in due time, all of that will be made beautiful. If by the one coming along or by you realizing life doesn’t have to be stained by you not finding one or one finding you. Overall, you’ve had plenty to be thankful and grateful for and life has been beautiful because it is life, not because he or she “found” you.

~Nikki

img_20170108_102849_994

RA Blog: The “Eyes” Have It

giphy

I woke up Saturday morning and noticed my right eye was a little red. When I returned home later on that evening both eyes were turning red, began to itch and I had pain behind both of them. Like RA in it’s grand fashion…it all happened suddenly. I have had itchy eyes before, swollen eyes, and this. I knew what it was.

It rarely happens to me, but for some it happens more often. I thought I would leave a link to an article that discusses all of problems that can occur with your eyes involving Rheumatoid Arthritis. Please take a moment a read it.

What did I do for my eyes? A cold towel, eye drops, and a naproxen for pain. They were better yesterday and today they are irritated this morning. I will have to give my doctor a call if they do not clear. I have never gone longer than 3 days.

http://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/living-with/rheumatoid-arthritis-eye-complications/

~Nikki

 

RA BLOG: Winterizing Rheumatoid Arthritis

winterready_blog_ai_lg

It’s the most wonderful time of the year alright! But, tell that to Rheumatoid Arthritis! For many of us the cold weather causes our pain to increase and our activities to decrease. I don’t know about you, but my pain also increases over in the night when temperatures are dropping. It took me a few years to realize preparation makes things smoother even when your RA is unpredictable. We winterize our homes and I said to myself “Self, what about winterizing RA? Share what works for you and ask others to share what works for them!” So, here is my list of things that work for me. Please feel free to share yours.

  1. Clean your gutters-Clean your nightstand…and keep cleaning it! As soon as I clean my nightstand and it’s picture perfect, I blink and it’s cluttered again. In the middle of the night who has time to fumble around and knock over the water bottle. Which takes everything else along with it as you search for the lamp. (Do purchase a cheap lamp for your nightstand. Bright light in the middle of the night makes harder for you to get back to sleep).
  2. Get a container from the dollar store. Place your water bottle, pain medication, fuzzy socks, compression gloves, etc in it. Everything you think you will need at night. I have a fashionable pill box in for my purse. I find that if I take it out at night I forget to put it back in or if I put it back, now a pain pill is missing if I need it when I am out. So, I have a pill box (or get a ziploc bag) with about 5 pain pills in it and toss it in the bucket. Everything I need is in that container for the night. The good thing about he bucket/container you can take it with you to the family room!
  3. Reverse your ceiling fans! It helps circulate the heat in the room.
  4. How many times have I forgotten my gloves? I can’t keep count. So I keep an extra pair of gloves in the glove compartment.
  5. Get some winter boots with a good treading for snowy days. We really don’t need a fall! Our gait can be a bit “wobbly” at times.
  6. Blankets are our friends. A blanket in the room where you watch TV or an extra blanket or quilt across your bed comes in handy.
  7. Exercise. You may not can walk in the cold and well, there goes your exercising routine. However, marching in place during commercials or doing some for of exercises indoors will keep your joints from getting stiff. My fibromyalgia seems tightening my muscles more in cold weather. So I do much more stretching via yoga. I love yoga.
  8. Open the curtains and blinds. A dark home can be a bit depressing and when things are not going well for us, pain and etc., a lighten mood is welcomed. Especially, by our loved ones who live with us! No bah humbugs here.
  9. More pain equals less cooking. If you can, when you are feeling well or have help, cook in batches and have a plan. Soups, chilis, casseroles all make cooking less of a task in the long run. Also, a few frozen dinners never hurt anyone.
  10. Breathe. Meditate. Grab a good book. Tell winter how much you love it and you are glad you are here to see it. Don’t let RA make you “hate winter” or the holidays. Think on the things you still love about winter. I love the cozy feeling. I like the fireplace going or all of the different chilis you can save on Pinterests that you never make! LOL

~Nikki

If you have any tips please share!