Continuing

You know getting out bed when you are suffering is sooo hard!! You want to just stay in bed but you know at the same time that getting out of bed, socializing, worshiping with my fellow sisters in Christ, and just getting out of the house….that all of this is worth the pain! That is what I kept telling myself today as I could not seem to dull the pain inside my body.  My legs feel as if they are being torn apart from the inside out. My knees, ankles, hips, toes, wrists, shoulders, and fingers…range from an ache that never ends to a stabbing/shearing/torturous pain that does not stop. I went outside today just wondering if I saw a rain cloud (so I could blame the rain) but I did not see any rain clouds.

For me (and probably for you), flares are draining…mentally and physically draining.  You want to make your mind work but you have such little energy. The weird thing is you can look just fine….those who know you really well can see you are tired….they can tell maybe you are not as perky as you usually try and be…but others might not even know that you are not feeling good.  In a way, I am happy that I can still fool the majority (98.5%) of the world. I get tired of the questions that never end  but at the same time, I would love to document pictures of how I look different when in pain.

At least I think I look different when I am in such pain…I know I feel different. But honestly, I think documenting our internal pain (however you could do that) is totally worth it. People need to know how we feel….our words sometimes don’t say much…a picture speaks a thousand words right!

I have spent the afternoon working on MANOVA homework! My first one was turned in for a grade, I worked on my second MANOVA and I have finished a draft of my third assignment.  Thankfully I have time, I am going to Austin, Texas this week! Hubby and I decided we wanted to get away and hopefully have a positive experience. It is hard planning to go on vacation since Molly’s accident happened last time we left. That experience was so horrible….I am hoping our girls are alright this weekend while we are gone.  My poor things…what they have been through these past few weeks!

As draining as it is to work on statitstics homework, I do enjoy “finding” things in SPSS and transferring those findings to paper.  Granted I am still learning the verbage! Whew am I ever! I think my professor is tired of telling me to fix this, that, and the other. I am trying but it is hard. Learning over the summer semester is soooo hard! But fun too!!

I let my mind wander to where I grew up again! Yes more growing up thoughts..maybe it was the pain. When I was younger I suffered horribly with leg pains. Many nights I was woken up for with such excruciating pain. No one could figure out why…and eventually as I grew up the pain lessened and only came when I was doing something extracurricular like hiking or playing soccer.  Did I tell you I spent about five years helping my dad as he was instrumental in the building of a hospital? Yes, my dad, a medical missionary, was instrumental in bringing a huge hospital to a poor poor area of Honduras. The people where I grew up desperately lacked medical care, the nearest hospital was hours away….hours away on dirt/muddy/unpaved roads.  Imagine being a woman ready for labor…the thought of spending anywhere from four to six hours on an unpaved/dirty/muddy/rainy road….just to see your baby born in a hospital??? Yes many did not make that choice, instead they delivered at home creating a great risk of babies being infected with a variety of diseases like tetanus.

At the age of nine, my sister and I decided that we were there…and we could help our dad with his emergency cases. My sister and I were quick learners….assisting in trauma care, trauma surgery, labor and delivery, general consultations, dental work, and general surgery.  YES! Our lives were very different…from losing my first patient at the young age of 13 to delivering a baby at the age of 10 years old. Life was different there, we grew up quickly. But it was amazing the things we learned, and my sister has used many of those things as she is now in the medial field.  I was intending on going into medical school to specialize in trauma care…until I met chemistry! Then I changed my mind and now I am here.

But it was amazing the life my sister and I had in our place we call home.  I still fondly think of the memories….I think of the hospital that stands today. I wonder …what has happened there….so many memories walking those halls!

Here are a few pictures of the hospital 🙂 including  a picture of one of the babies my sister and I helped deliver! We were so excited before we left Honduras…we were able to deliver a set of twins (a major rarity where we lived). Ahhh past….such interesting memories! I say interesting because it seems like a lifetime ago.  Now I don’t know if I could do the hours and running around with my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia but I would def. love to go back and see what is being done today.

Off I go to rest, enjoy the pictures and the stories of the past 🙂

 

HPIM0032_0029 MVC-016F - Copy Hosp Sep 00 - Copy MVC-297S - Copy MVC-898S MVC-391S MVC-448S MVC-709F

And when

And when you have pain…..I was up all night long in excruciating pain. It was one of those nights that no matter what I did….I suffered. I laid in bed and watched tv, finally about 1a.m. I moved to my couch. Throughout the night I closed my eye and listened to my tv. Morning always comes so slow!

The pain has not left but I managed to support my hubby while he tested for his red stripe!!!! Woohoo! So proud of him! He is doing such a fantastic job with his KSW!

Because of my pain, this post is short and sweet! I just needed to make sure I wrote a little! Have a great night!

Continuation

You know one thing I remember a lot from growing up is the dirt! Yes  DIRT!! When we had the six months of dry season….we had dirt so think.  The wind would come and everything was covered in dirt. Then of course you took a cold shower because we did not have warm running water. We would get pots and pans and heat water on the stove.  It was so nice to take warm bucket baths as we called them.  I remember my bathroom, more of an out house really, had concrete floor but the windows opened up to the mountains.  Yes you could get distracted watching the outside while taking a nice cold bath! 😛

I remember the water shortages…walking up the mountain for about an hour to get water in jugs.  Then we had to walk back down the mountain. I hated the water run…the hiking up the mountain, the holding the jug up to the spring (water came right out of the mountain) and then lugging the water jug back down the mountain.  Maybe I was just lazy 😛

I really enjoyed being a little kid, running up to the corner market store and asking for a coke.  We did not have these coke cans or many options. We had Coca-Cola in a glass bottle (do they even sell those anymore??). And being a little kid, I would get the soda in a bag so I did not have to hang around the store while I drank it.

Things were so different growing up. For the longest time we did not have electricity, I think until I was in my pre-teens/maybe early teens.  Until then, washing clothes and drying clothes was done the old-fashion way. We would hang clothes up on the clothes line and then off course sit and wait by the door. If we thought we heard rain coming, we would run out and take all the clothes inside. I cannot tell you how many times we heard rain, we would run out and grab the clothes, then it would rain, and back out we would hang the clothes. I prayed for a dryer!!!

And travel…well travel for the longest time (most of my childhood) was hiking down the mountain to a corn field. Waiting in the corn field for a small 6 seat plane to land in the corn field. It would turn around and we would load up.  You do not really realize how interesting it is to sit in a plane and know it has only so many feet to get in the air.  Because honestly at the edge of this cornfield there was a canyon…either you were up in the air by the time the corn field ended or you were down in the gully..not really much of an option.  So knowing this,…and knowing you only had so many feet….it made for such fun when we had to travel.  Because of this, we would buy groceries to last about 4-6 months…the idea of running to Walmart for stuff…yah no we did not have that. We packed/bought food to last us for months at a time…honestlly would you want to make that trip all the time…NOPE! Speaking of short air strips, check into Tegucigalpa‘s air strip, this is where I would fly out for El Salvador, Belize, the United States, etc. It was our international airport.  The air strip in Tegucigalpa has been termed the second most dangerous air strip because it is so short and on one end their is a canyon and the other end a huge mountain.  Great picture right! I love landing in it…thrill ride for sure!

These memories of home are so fun to think about. I do not want to lose the experiences that make me who I am today.  I love that my story is very different, but I also know there are many like me who did not grow up like many I know do today. And you know I do not think the things I did not have (such as electricity, telephone, internet, etc.) caused me any harm. In fact, it has made me treasure things that I did not have growing up. I see things as more valuable. I see electricity as being valuable….I know the feeling of using candles/flashlights and kerosene lanterns….flipping a light switch is awesome!!

More pictures are attache of the village I call home…Gualcinse, Lempira, in Honduras. Check it out some time on the internet 🙂 More about me tomorrow.

Praying that your pain eases, mine has not the past two days. I’m ready for a little relief. The fatigue has been horrible but I am still pushing through. And I was soooo happy when I got a call today from someone just checking on me! Just wanted to see how I was doing…WOW! I love those calls 🙂

 

 

HPIM0032_0029 IMG_1039 IMG_1036 IMG_1031 IMG_1027 IMG_1014 IMG_1013 IMG_0992 IMG_0964 IMG_0963 IMG_0962 Gualcinse from above IMG_0958 MVC-007S IMG_0899 IMG_0898 IMG_0897 IMG_0895 IMG_0892 IMG_0890 IMG_0888 IMG_0887 IMG_0886 IMG_0743 IMG_0658 IMG_0591 IMG_0586 IMG_0037 IMG_0035

And it began…

Do you ever spend time thinking about how you grew up? All the things that you did as a kid….the good and the bad things?? I was thinking about that today as I was at work. I worked at junior college, and I am around a lot of young adults and non-traditional students. One of the things that hit me was….how many things could I have learned from growing up? Do you ever wonder that?

Random yes, but it makes you stop and think back to the good old days when you lived at home (hopefully it was good). I know for me things were so different. I grew up in a foreign country, I lived in a village that was nestled about 5,000 ft. up on the side of a mountain. The view was amazing! On the clearest of days I could see a volcano. We had two seasons (simple right) the rainy season – six months of rain and the dry season – six months of dry. When I was growing up we did not have electricity, at my house we had solar batteries but we did have to use lamps and candles. I had a big stove for the “cold” nights (maybe in the 70’s) but we had strong guests of wind. My house was made out of adobe, mud with straw in it, and my room was made from wood. When it rained my house leaked everywhere…sometimes my house flooded. We used an old ham radio (sp?) to communicate to the outside world (no cell phones, etc). Up until 1998, we used a six seat plane, which landed in a corn field), to fly the 45 minutes from my village into the capital city. We did that for groceries, and medical doctors. The closest medical facility to use was some 4-6 hours away on unpaved, horribly muddy (during the rainy season) road. I know many people who died simply because they could not make it to a doctor in time. Oh and fuel, the four wheel drive vehicles that FINALLY made it to my village…they had to have four wheel drive to make it.

The village itself was so small, a huge catholic church was in the center of town. I used to say “the conquistadors” must have loved the village. I cannot say for sure if it was the Spanish that built the church but it was a huge landmark nonetheless. I really did not cherish the quietness of the village. How at night you could hear the sound of bugs chirping, and you could see the clearest of clear stars. The sunrises were absolutely breath taking! It brings tears to my eyes to remember the beautiful, peaceful village that I call home. It has been many years since I have gone back, one day though I tell myself. One day I will go back and remember the amazing stories I have from my growing up years.

I can tell you the story of a hospital that was built, I can tell you of my many travels down to rivers, up to waterfalls, stuck in the mud, hiking up mountains, saving lives, and growing up! Maybe I will…although many would probably say…that’s ok! How does that tie into my Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, or Fibromyalgia…since that is the driving force behind my blog?? Well you know, you get to hear about me and my life. Maybe it will spark some cool thoughts from my readers. But to me, it ties to all the disease things because it shows you the environment that I grew up in. It would be cool if my story could be one of the many stories that helps RA researchers pinpoint what causes RA. Was it because I got TB shots, and TONS of tentanus shots (doubt it but you never know). Was it because I grew up around so much dust, diseases (cholera, dengue fever, hepatitis, etc.). You never know.

But for me it is fun to talk about home, I miss it so much! My country has changed, of that I have no doubt. But one day I do hope to go back and see the homeland. To see what has changed, to walk the streets I did as I kid and to capture a few more sun rises and sunsets.

Here are a few pictures of the views and village that I call home 🙂

 

Boganvia Sunrise MVC-004F MVC-010F Old House Gualcinse MVC-003F MVC-002F MVC-001F MVC-008F MVC-349F MVC-794F MVC-485S

 

Memories

What a fun weekend it has been!!! I started my Friday by driving up to my main campus, which also happens to be where I earned my bachelors degree! The excitement I felt as I neared campus brought many memories! I grew up here, I learned who and what I wanted to be here! I got my own apartment here, and I was engaged here. Just seeing the campus brought such great memories :). Ohhh the fun I had growing up while working and going to school. Granted it didn’t feel that way some times! The buildings even smelled the same!

I enjoyed going back to my honors program. I visited with my Honors director. She made such an impact in my life, I loved catching up and talking with her! Then, I visited with my dissertation chair and ended up spending time with her in her statistics class. I was able to share with her students my research and what I am planning on doing with it. I had a blast!

The drive home seemed like the longest drive ever! I was so excited though with my research, I started working on my proposal and made some edits. But the pain, whew! Sitting and driving my body was exhausted! I worked until about 11-12am.m. Before I decided to call it quits and rest. Of course, my body hurt so bad that I couldn’t sleep (what is new right!) so instead I amused myself by watching some random tv shows (thank God for Netflix!)

Today I was up early running around the house doing things but I couldn’t help but think….wow time has flown. I am within two years of finishing my degree…. I remember being in college and thinking the same thing but telling myself I had another 10 years to go. I remember thinking I as almost done with my masters degree but knowing I had about 5-6 years to go! And now I am within two years and then I will be DONE!!! Now comes the other ideas….the building of a research agenda, planning for job offers, getting teaching experience etc. Now comes the “big girl” planning!

And yes planning is not easy with the Fibro fog! The other day I knew I had a soda out, walked all over the house and finally found it but then I forgot I needed to print an article! Goodness, the simple things sometimes that become so complicated! But the good thing is I am good at planning so even if I am having a bad night (like tonight in such pain) I can rest and still be ok!

Tonight hubby and I had dinner at the house, and are enjoying watching tv and watching our girls lay all over the couch! My kitty got out of the house today…wasn’t that fun! NOT!!! Thankfully we caught her and she is safe and sound back at home!!!

Enjoy your memories, and your weekend! 🙂 if you are hurting tonight I pray that your pain eases! I know how hard it is to just open your eyes some days, hugs and many happy thoughts and prayers for strength!

New passion

I am home from class!!!! For me it seems like my week starts on Thursday! I know I have 6 more days until an assignment is due or until I sit in class. Don’t get me wrong I love class…but it is physically draining to sit there for three hours (or six depending on the semester), plus drive about an hour each way. And that is after I work until 2p.m. Thursdays I am exhausted but I also refueled.

Does it make sense that going to class fuels a fire inside to spend time in my office. To learn, work on a research project, and home for the a better future. I love learning! Which brings me to the question…. Can you develop a new passions??? As I was sitting in my statistics class tonight I learned how I could run a MANOVA! I have read this before in journals….but never before did I realize the things you can do with analysis using statistics. I am truly enjoying how to become a researcher.

Although now the question is…..what do I do now? Where do I go? Teach at a tier 2? Research at a tier 1…or balance? The culture at each university is different….where do I want to go? Where is my new place?

So many questions to consider….although the biggest question for me is….how long will I have a career??? How long before I cannot work anymore? How will I do working 40-60hrs a week? How will I do lecturing and researching?

Nights like tonight where everything aches, my body feels drained….yet my mind is excited to run more analysis. Excited to work on more conference stuff, and excited to get my paper into an article format! Yes, I find it very challenging but fun. One day, if I get a full time professor position…I will be running studies and writing articles. One day….we shall see right!

Tonight, I am thankful I’m seeing cool things in my research! I’m thankful I’m arrived home safe to a loving hubby. So many positives to think about….despite the pain. I won’t lie…tonight my pain is about 8.5/10. Not the worst pain but certainly not a limit where I know sleep is going to come. Another late night…but that is alright! 🙂 I’m still blessed!

And part of that blessing is memories! I looked at pictures today of my little girl. I miss her so much! She was so much more than our little jack Russell. She was an angel, she made us smile, her little bundle of energy and joy brought many smiles. Is it bad that I want justice for her. I want those responsible to be known. I want people to think more than twice before they take their furry children to that vet I knew and trusted for 4 years. I think part of healing is recognizing that I can have my life, they (the vets office) doesn’t have to me in my future. And I can promise you they will not be! They caused far too much pain. On the positive, I am researching pet sitters. Any suggestions on that? I have actually never used a sitter but I am more than open to it now, since I’m not sure I will ever trust boarding again. Anyone have experience with pet friendly hotels? I know the Marriott chain has many “pet friendly” hotels. I never thought of bringing our furry kids with us…..now I’m more than open to the idea. Molly was in our lives for such a short time, but she for sure left a lasting impact.

Tonight, I hope your pain is easing. I pray that like me, you have a passion for something. Be that your family, your work, your education, or a hobby! Rest easy tonight! 🙂 many spoons to you!