Tag Archives: stress

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Stress… change… parties… doctors… and taking a deep breath

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O-Dark-Thirty… listening to iHeart radio on the Echo Dot my boss got me for Christmas. I was kind of looking for a gift card, but I’ve decided I really like this option better. I don’t have to use my phone … Continue reading

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.

Quiet Sunday Morning… T minus 33 hours

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It’s Sunday morning.  Valentines Day dinner was spent in the cafeteria of the hospital where my little girl is spending some time.  Corn Chowder and diet ginger ale.  Festive.  The hospital doesn’t have anything in the cafeteria but fruit juice that isn’t diet.  Fortunately, the gift shop has regular pop and it’s only $1.70.  It gets warm in the locker, but by end of visiting hours, the gift shop is closed and there is NOTHING around the hospital where you can buy food or gas or pop… or coffee.

Yesterday, the drive there was incredibly snowy.  The Ohio turnpike was closed.  There were wrecks everywhere.  We drove through very nearly white-out conditions.  I’m glad we went.  We brought books that she wanted to read and work through, and clean clothes.  We were very nearly the only visitors there.

Today it is less snowy, less windy, but way way colder.  The trip will be less scary, I think.  And now we know where to park.

Today marks the official end of my week off.  I’m not entirely sure where it went.  i got a good bit accomplished, but I have so much more I wanted to get done around the house.  I will have to make a more concerted effort at doing it in smaller bites rather than trying to tackle everything at once.  I do know that I OVER did it several times and my body protested loudly.

Nine weeks (almost ten) is too long to go between Orencia infusions.

Cold doesn’t seem to bother me nearly as much as heat and humidity did.

Stress wreaks havoc on my body.

Pain makes me extremely bitchy.

Stress wreaks havoc on my body… (it was worth repeating).

One cup of Sheetz mocha and two cups of regular coffee (one chocolate creamer, one regular half and half) all mixed together make a wonderful way to wake up on Sunday morning.

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is an incredibly good book that Squirrel Girl and I are both working our way through.  Me, through the electronic version, her through the paperback version we bought her yesterday.  I need to focus on my dreams as well as what puts food on the table and trying to be the duct tape that keeps everyone together.  The latter is far more exhausting than any of the former put together.

My knuckles scream… all of them… everywhere.  My ankles… my back… breathing aches my lungs (who knew that aches could be a verb).

I stopped my prednisone almost a week ago… just like the doctor said.  I’m living on naproxen and sheer grit.  I have to make it thirty-three more hours.  in thirty-three more hours, I get my infusion. I don’t care how sick I feel, I will not admit to anything other than the pain to my Rheumy’s PA.  I will get my infusion tomorrow… and afterwards, I will go to visit my squirrel again.

Listening to audio books chases the way too quiet away.  The boys sleep late.  The dog hunts the missing squirrel girl and lays at my feet.  I’ve been posting on my facebook vanity page.  I wonder if I can fix where these post…

It’s time to face the day…

 

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Morning in week 6

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So, here I am… it’s quiet and it’s dark and inside I’m screaming.  I’m tired and I hurt. This morning I caved and decided to take napproxin.  I have been gritting my teeth for days and I’m getting to where … Continue reading

RA Reminds us that it’s there

I’m sitting looking out over the snow in my yard.  There is a woodpecker munching on my suet feeder.  There are chickadees and titmouses (titmice?) grabbing some of the sunflower seeds from the clear plastic feeder that is stuck to my window.  The squirrels are, apparently, huddled in their nests somewhere because they really haven’t been making much of an appearance this morning, yet.  It’s really a pretty morning.

I’ve been fighting hard to get completely over the flu from December when… WHAM… Bronchitis from January derails any hope of my January infusion being on time, if happening at all.  The antibiotics aren’t really helping an awful lot.  My infusion is a week late now… my MTX has been put off for at least last week and this week and probably next week.

This morning, the stress of 70 hour weeks and forgetting to go pee, let alone eat and putting sleep off in the interest of “Git ‘er done” has all contributed, this morning, to my fingers and wrists screaming about whatever has been going on in my body.

Stress is really kicking my behind.

I try not to.  Honestly I do.  I try meditation.  I try not bath.  I try walking.  I  put bird feed into the big giant bird feeder out front, and I kind of melted down in the kitchen on the floor because I could not make my hands get the roof back on the bird feeder.

Stress is RA’s evil insidious little friend… and just when you think it’s safe to take a breath, something happens and your body rebels.  Stopping the drugs that make your immune system dumbed down so your body can heal from the sick just pisses off the rest of the immune system and WHAM… it comes screaming back to remind you that it is SO there.

Prednisone… I’m turning to you again… not a huge dose, but one that I really really didn’t want to have to start taking.

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Guilt and Exhaustion

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I’m currently running on 6 plus weeks since my last orencia infusion.  I’m recalling how much it sucked to be eight weeks without it.  Last night it hit me hard what this time it is feeling like.  I had to … Continue reading

Good Stress

A Day At The ZooStress is stress, even good stress (the stress of having your little boy back where you can hug him for example) is still stress.

I’m sitting here earlyish (Technically way too late for me to be sitting here writing, but I’ve been kind of resting when I need to be resting) with the windows wide open. Stephen King is speaking to me from the Bachman Book “Roadwork” through the computer speakers. The cat is stalking the birds and squirrels through the open window. Squirrel girl is sleeping quietly on the floor a few feet away. Monkey Butt is snoring softly in the living room (he never did sleep in his room). It’s Butler Fair day.

I’m wrapped in my wool hooded shawl and my fingerless gloves warming my fingers. It’s 54 degrees and the damp chill is making my fingers ache.
It’s been a wonderful week. I’ve got pictures, and hugs, and memories of all of us together to hold me through the next few months until my little boy comes back to visit again. Maybe next time he will bring his partner with him.

In a couple days I go back to worrying and touching base with him every couple days, if not every day. I worry about the dough machine eating parts of him. I worry about him taking his pills or not taking his pills. I worry about narrow minded people jumping him when he walks in the dark. I’m the mom. I worry.

It has been an amazingly wonderful week. Peaceful if a little busy and planned. And I’m feeling it. I’ve slept way more than I would like to have slept. I’ve taken migraine pills for the first time in a few months. I’ve taken more achey breaky pills than I like and I’ve been using my Voltaren Gel a little more like hand cream (liberally) than like achey cream.

I’m also running (again) on approaching 5 weeks on my 4 week infusions. I’m thinking that I’m probably going to keep up the five weeks to save a little on bills towards the end of the year… and because there is every chance that I’m going to be in Brazil for week four next time. It seems like there is always something that comes up when I’m supposed to get my infusion. Something that is more important and that gets in the way. Last time it was Ecuador. This time it was Adam. Next time it will be Brazil. I think as long as I keep being able to stave off the aches with a couple Napproxin and some Voltaren, I will not push too much to keep the four week schedule that it’s supposed to be.

This week I have realized that “they” are right (whoever they are) about stress being stress and good stress having an impact on your body the same as bad stress does. By the end of the day (and they have been fun and wonderful days) my body reminds me kind of loudly that I shouldn’t forget that I have RA and I need to save some spoons. I’ve been borrowing on spoons for the next couple weeks. I’m going to need to catch up. And I will.

It’s been so much worth taking the extra naps and sleeping in past when I’m usually up writing. I’ve been remembering that sometimes there are more important things to take the time to do other than just keeping on keeping on.

And Sunday morning is coming way too fast.

Yoga? Really?

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve heard them.  And you have probably gotten extremely irritated by them. Those ever so well meaning people who tell you that, if you would just exercise more (maybe take up yoga) you would be all better and you wouldn’t have to rely on those silly meds any more.

You know the first thing that goes through your mind.

If I could do yoga, don’t you think I would love to do yoga, but I know how badly my body hurts just getting through my day and trying to stick my left big toe in my right ear while standing on my head is just not happening.

Why exactly do you think that people who weigh over 120 pounds, or who hurt or aren’t limber or who aren’t “perfect” don’t take up yoga?  Any guesses?  Anyone?

Look at the people coming in and out of a Yoga studio.  Look at the pages of Yoga magazines.  You will get a pretty quick idea of why.

I get the Nook version of Yoga Journal and I read it (albeit with a bent to what I can learn not usually because I want to be able to stick my right toe in my left ear while standing on my head.  There are some amazingly well written and insightful articles.

But lately (as I hear more and more people talk about how maybe I could be fixed if I would just <insert quick fix here>) I have been looking as much at the pictures in the magazine to see if I can’t figure out why people I talk to don’t think they can take up Yoga.

OH BOY.  Yeah, I know why no one feels they can.

On this month’s cover…

Blonde with not a hair out of place despite doing poses on a cliff side overlooking the ocean.  Bare midriff.  Tight spandex pants.  She might weigh 125 pounds.  The only thing missing is a bellybutton ring.

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Random pages…

Vintage VW Bug with another 115 pound girl on the roof… in the middle of a field of flowers…

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Two women sitting on a wooden deck, laughing together… neither has an ounce of extra flesh…
There are the women at the south pole (I guess they are at the south pole. they are standing on mats outside in the snow next to a pole and it says the south pole) and the quote in THAT bit says “it lets us take our big boots off, feel our feet, and just stretch”.  The picture is outside in the snow… Funny… Not one of them has their boots off, but they don’t look like they are freezing, either… despite not one of them weighing over 120 pounds and despite the fact that one is doing tree, one is standing on her head, and one is squatting with her butt inches from the snow.  The poses are perfect.
There is the well muscled woman on the side of a granite rock.
OH HEY, a guy.  Also buff and fit.
None are sweaty.  Not one are doing any kind of adaptation of the perfect poses. NONE look like they hurt or are in any way sweaty or un-perfect.

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WOW… I found her!!! The ONLY woman in the last couple issues of the magazine (I haven’t gone any further back but I have a hunch…)  on page NINETY TWO of the magazine, back buried in the “continued on” section near the rest of the adverts… The token woman who weighs at least 150 pounds.  She is doing a way better job at the pose than I could, but at least it isn’t perfect.  She isn’t the stereotypical yogi.  SHE IS ON PAGE NINETY TWO.  And she is in advertisement for a yoga retreat (not ACTUALLY in an article)… but she is there.  Hidden in the back… where you would not likely look if you were flipping through the magazine.

I love the magazine.  I read the articles.  I hate the fact that no one in any of the articles looks ANYTHING like me.

You can do yoga.  Honest.  I started yoga right after my diagnosis to try to stay ahead of the pain and the stiffness.  You can adapt poses and use props to do them.  Some of my favorite parts of yoga are the Pranayamas (like here http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/pranayama/)… breathing… thinking about where stuff hurts, and taking as deep a breath as I can and sending my thoughts and the breath to where the pain and stiffness is.  Some days, this is the only yoga I can do (the poses are just so far beyond where I am that I just can’t).

You CAN do yoga.

You don’t have to be perfect at it.  You don’t have to look like the stereotypical yogis.  You don’t have to wear the “right ” clothes or even do half the poses.  The point is more taking time to meet yourself where you are and change the way you are thinking during that short amount of time.

It isn’t going to “fix” you, but it can help make you more comfortable in your own mind.  It can help with the way you feel about you, if not the way you feel.

Yoga doesn’t have to have anything to do with being perfect, only meeting yourself where you are and meeting your own needs.

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Ah Elusive Sleep…

Up and not able to fall back asleep at mumblemumble o’clock in the morning… My mind races… my wrist is tender… my toes and fingers ache.  I’m thinking taking one of the post-op percocet would be wonderful, just to help … Continue reading

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You Should Do Yoga

I have been thinking about a post I read on a Facebook group this week.  Someone with RA was told that they should do Yoga. I’ve been thinking this week.  I have taken the corporate offered Yoga class for the … Continue reading