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In the Quiet of the Morning

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Morning is my favorite time of the day… especially early morning when the world is quiet and I can sit with a whole cup of coffee and just be.  The only thing demanding my attention is my dog and all … Continue reading

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Simple and Gentle

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There are so many things I could be doing… so many I should be doing… other than listening to the neighbors newspapers thunk onto their driveways… other than watch my dog looking at nothing off the porch… other than sitting … Continue reading

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Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy Jig

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I’m home. It’s good to be able to sit on the front porch in the quiet and in the green and just sit. I don’t get the time for real quiet for long, but when I can sneak in five … Continue reading

On Turning 50

birthday cake
So, the big day is over and I lived!!!

I turned 50.  I spend a lot of time yesterday thinking about the last half century.  I got some text messages that made me roll my eyes, I got some that made me smile.  I got wished Happy Birthday on Facebook from many people.  I got to touch base with people who have made me smile for years.  It was a good day.

I think one of the best things that I heard, yesterday, was that people where I work now actually were trying to plan on trashing my cube.  I’ve never been one of the popular kids, and that meant a lot.  It meant that I have found a group of people that I fit in with.

The snow was maybe a little overkill.  Everyone was getting used to Spring weather and it was a small dose of reality that it’s still reasonably early spring and we can still get snow.  We can still get accumulation.  I’m thinking (given that it is in the 20s this morning) I might need a heavier jacket today… or I might just tough it out on my morning walk and wear my lighter jacket since it is going to be almost 50 by the time I can (maybe) come home from work. Getting closer to go live, working from home is harder and harder. Too freaking many meetings.

Taking stock… my Ra is… eh.  This morning my fingers are a little achey.  My knees have been a little on the bitchy side.  But my infusions are still working.  And even when I am late, even when I am very late, to get my orencia, it still works and works reasonably well.  I’m not thrilled that I had to push my infusion by a week to go to Brazil again and that my next two infusions are going to mean 5 weeks instead of 4 weeks, each.  But I have a taper pack of prednisone that should see me through a flare if it happens.

And this weekend, I’m planning on a long training walk (if I accidentally don’t have to work) to get ready for the race in June.

I’ve seen a lot in 50 years.  I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that too many 60 hour weeks in a row are exhausting.  I’ve learned that there are a lot of people like me.   I’ve learned that people are people and some people aren’t very nice but the not very nice doesn’t have anything to do with where they are from or who they love.  It has everything to do with the fact that they are not very nice.

I’ve learned that my dog is a pig, my cat is an attention whore, and coffee at 4 am can solve many of life’s lesser issues.  Ice Cream Cake can solve just one or two more.

Now… for the next 50 years… what kind of trouble can I get in to???

Updated by April Wells
Update Date April 24, 2015

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Working From Home

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It’s infusion day.  The fact that it takes several hours our of the “business” part of my day means I have to minimize down time surrounding it as much as I can.  So… Infusions are in the town where I … Continue reading

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Quiet Saturday Morning

The coffee is a little too strong this morning, but I don’t really feel like going the whole way back into the kitchen to put in cream and sugar.  I drink it strong and black and kind of bitter. The … Continue reading

RA Flare

I don’t usually post my poetry here, mostly because somehow in my brain the poetry isn’t related to the rest of me…

It is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) for poetry month (April)

I don’t usually struggle with poetry writing.  Usually it frees my mind and my heart.  This morning, not so much… today I struggle.  Today, the poem seems to be a good cross post…

 

RA Flare

Oh the full moon
this morning with the clouds
has a beautiful face

Where is the prednisone
why in the hell
did they put a childproof lid
on my freaking prednisone

Oh the coffee
smells heavenly
the creamy goodness is incredible

well hell
Broke another mug
shit I should have known it was too heavy
I guess it’s a plastic cup
kind of day

Oh thank you Kitty love
I love the way
your purrs make me smile

No don’t
not there
oh please
no no no
Sorry I scared you…
Didn’t mean to scream

Oh the peace of the morning
Sitting in the peaceful fog
windchimes sing

What, the oxy has childproof too
and even the dog’s tramadol
Someone get this knife
out of my shoulder
or get me a hammer
too much to do
got to get through

Attitude determines altitude
I can do this
I have to do this
I have to do this
I won’t puke
Find the center breathe
I think I can
I think I can

sigh

 

 

Author: April Wells
Updated April 7, 2015

Brushing My Hair

20150314_141350As often as not, we of the great RA club, hands have issues.  Sometimes they hurt.  Sometimes they are just really tired, or have limited range of motion.  Regardless of why or what or how, hands tend to be a little more of an issue than some other pieces and parts.

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While being a part of the club also often means that (thanks often times to the drugs that work to keep the rampant inflammation in check) we might have thinning hair, it is important that we can work to maintain at least appearances the best we can.  You really do feel better if you can find a way to make yourself look a little more human.

Something I’ve always enjoyed doing is brushing my hair.  I also like brushing my kids’ hair but they are kind of getting old enough that they don’t need me to do that for them anymore.

I have discovered the usefulness of animal brushes.  Not all brushes are easy on my hands, but the ones that don’t actually have “normal” handles are much easier on my hands and wrists.  Some of them remind me a lot of the horse brushes we used to use to brush out the horses when I was growing up.  Those brushes are REALLY big, compared to a human head, but the idea is really neat.  You put your hand inside the strap and you don’t have to actually hold onto anything. The other alternative (the ones I found this morning that are a lot like the one that my daughter lost in Sequine when she went for drill team) has a kind of handle on the back of the brush that fits between two fingers on your hand and you don’t have to hold onto them at all.

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Granted, these brushes aren’t cheap.  The blue ones are <insert OOOOOOOOoooooo here> are Martha Stewart Pets brushes and are 13 dollars a piece at PetSmart.  The others are ConAir Pro Dog brushes. They are smaller and lighter and roughly half the price.

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There are several different styles, several different “tooth” styles that are effective on different styles of hair.  Today one I found was Boar Bristle (with Nylon) and it feels really comfortable.  One of the ConAir ones that I found today was just srpingy wire and I thought it was probably going to be too hard on my head.  I might be wrong, but I really didn’t want to take the chance.  I have a variety now, some I can just toss in my bag when I go to work or on a run.

While I do understand that there are people who have a very great aversion to combing their hair with a dog brush even if it has never been through a dog’s coat, I also know that I’m learning more and more that I need to not worry about what people think about what I do.

These brushes help even when I’m having big issues with my fingers.  I’ve used all of them today, to see the differences.  I’m glad I found them.  I’ve been looking for the replacement brushes since 2011 when my last one went missing.  They help.  And they are very much worth the money I spent to be able to comfortably brush my hair.

At least they are worth considering if you are willing to take the chance.

What? It’s Only Wednesday?!?!

First  RobinIt’s been a really long week, and it’s only Wednesday.

This morning I am sitting wrapping cold hands around my big handled Disney mug of coffee.  And I’m trying to figure out if it REALLY is only Wednesday.  I’m pretty sure it is.  No matter how many times I look at the computer or my phone or my watch, I can’t get any of them to say it is later than Wednesday.

I went to sleep at 6:30 last night.  I was utterly exhausted.  It’s been a long week.

Monday I worked till noon then took my little (okay okay… he’s 23 and 6 feet tall, he’s still my little boy) to Cleveland Clinic for his Tilt Table Test.  It was 4 hours of sitting in the waiting room trying to figure out how to do Entrelac Tunisian crochet.  I really like the pattern but I’m still working out the details or turning around tto do the “next” row. It is challenging enough that it will keep me thinking for a while.

Now comes the waiting game to get the results of the test…

Got home to find out my canine baby wasn’t peeing (again).  We tried everything to get her to pee and she wouldn’t/couldn’t.  The bladder stones that she’s been peeing out… a couple got big enough that they wouldn’t pass on their own.  Last year (March apparently isn’t fabulous) it was emergency surgery to the tune of $4000 to save her life then.  I was sure we weren’t going to be able to save her this time.  I spent Monday night crying myself to sleep and waking up to check on her and repeating the process.  She didn’t pee through the night and by first light she was so uncomfortable that she walked around the house every 4 steps trying to pee and not being able to.

So Peanut and I took a trip to Akron to her emergency vet to see what we could do.  It was one of the longest days I’ve ever spent.  They felt around (external as well as a rectal exam) and felt the stones… they put her back in her cage and all of a sudden (the rectal exam dislodged it just enough) she peed out the most massive stone I’ve seen.  More crying (this time in relief that I wasn’t going to have to watch my hairy little baby die) and a long talk with the vet.  There were more stones… more stones of hugeness size… and she WOULD need surgery, just would it be emergency there (it’s an emergency pet hospital, and emergency is all they do even if it’s not) or at my vet.  I like my vet, and I knew not emergency would be less than half the price (turns out a quarter of the price).

So… off we go, back to home town to see HER vet (who thank goodness had open hours yesterday).  I like Peanut’s vet.  She reminds me a lot of Mrs Sutherland from back home… but her diction is way better.  We discussed her diet and it turns out that Hills Science Diet isn’t the only brand that has the kind of food that will help prevent the stones.  Royal Canin does too and THIS stuff (both the dry and the canned) Peanut snarfs down like she’s starving.  Last night I chalked it up to the fact that she was really hungry and needed to eat but this morning it was a repeat of snarfage.  Looks like I’m not going to have to doctor dog food for her and make it less efficacious.  So we are on a rather pricey diet now, but not as pricey as surgery.  She still has to have the couple of stones that are still in her bladder and that are still big enough she probably can’t pass them on her own removed. March 18 we will be having surgery 1/4 of a mile (through the hundred acre woods behind our house) from home.

PetSmart for the dog food on the way to pick up the boys at school and Amandya at the Dr’s office… off to get Amandya’s paperwork ready for her new job at Vitamix (I hope with all my heart that she makes it there with the temp agency and gets hired on full time… it will be so good for her).

I found (at PetSmart) brushes that I love.  They are ALMOST what Amandya lost at Seguine that I have been hunting for nearly 3 years to find a replacement for.  I will post pictures and an explanation on an upcoming piece, I promise (this morning requires more writing).

And last night, I crashed and burned.  I can’t believe how exhausted I was.
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And today is a grand new day.  I got up and fed the besties (go figure, they both like the obscenely expensive food), made a cup of coffee and used my big handled cup to warm my fingers, and now I’m ready to start my day.  I know it will be a long day… I have to stay later tonight for Happy Hour with my project team… but it IS wings and I can try not to back myself into a corner but to talk to the team.  I really don’t do social situations much, but it is for the greater good.

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Where did my week go?

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Sitting in front of my window watching out at the not quite yet winter storm round whatever round this is.  We are supposed to get half a foot of snow by tonight.  Should be interesting.  I plan on surprising the … Continue reading