First Day!

First day of the semester has come and gone! Yesterday was intense…I woke up at 6a.m., got ready, and headed to work. It had to be one of those days that was crazy insane..where you look at the clock one moment and the next minute..hours have flown by! Well in a sense that is good, I much prefer those days over the days where you are just watching the clock every so slowly drag down! I would much rather be busy but not so much on a day where I know I have to push myself to keep it together until late at night.

When I headed to campus, it was nice to have the 30-45 minute drive up the interstate, I use those moments to collect my thoughts, rest, think, pray, and talk myself into focusing for the next few hours.  I like to get to campus about an hour before class..this allows me time to meet with my chair, meet with my classmates regarding coursework issues, and then of course to de-compress from work and get my thinking cap on for class.

Over the summer, I was used to getting out of class around 7:10p.m. that made the drive home pretty nice because for the most part it was day light. Now I am getting out of class about 9:50p.m. (mind you class starts about 4:30p.m.). That means I am darn tired from a busy work day..and six hours of lecture (two different classes!). Surprisingly I was able to keep it together, and push through the two classes. About 9:00p.m. is when I started to feel tired…but I was able to keep going until 9:50 and then I got straight in the car to head home.

The drive home is again my de-compress time..I am SOOO THANKFUL that I am usually wired from class! This energy (adrenaline) keeps me  awake (for the most part) until I am mostly home. Typically about 10 minutes from home I start to feel the day hit me…but then I am able to make it into my garage before my day really reaches up and smacks me in the face. I try my hardest to get into the shower right away…hoping the hot water will help sooth my aching/flaring joints. It helped some by the flare really came on close to midnight…of course making it soo hard to sleep!

Today was so rough…I felt like a ton of bricks smacked me in the face when I woke up this morning…I could not believe I had to get up…focus…work until 4:30p.m. today! Today was in some ways much harder than yesterday..every bit of my body was in serious pain..from my toes to the top of my head. Every movement sent shooting pain up and down my body..not to mention I was so exhausted. My medicine for fatigue was denied by my insurance…apparently they are fighting any medicine to help the fatigue..as apparently there isn’t a medicine out there FDA approved for fatigue. My rheumy is checking to see what else she can do…I’ve started taking Vitamin B, Five Hour energy, tea, and soda to help keep me awake. I know it is sad..this morning I woke up and before I could even get out the door I had two soda’s! Horrible I know but  I could barely see straight I was so tired.  Don’t worry I am drinking A LOT of water too to help keep me hydrated! And I’m making sure every night I get about a 2-3hr nap! I know it means I am probably up later than my hubby…but I am so exhausted when I come home from work…a nap is a must!

The good news…this is my last fall semester of classes (yes you know right…I’ve said it a zilion times). That means that this time next semester…I won’t need to drive up to campus EVERY week! I will be writing my dissertation etc…..YAY! 🙂

Gosh I’m working though to keep my head up! It was a hard today…trust me I had a good cry session. So much pain…so much exhaustion and it just seemed like too much! But after my good cry session I was able to take a nap, pull it together. Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Lupus are NOT easy to live with…no matter what you do in life! It is not easy…but I’m thankful that today I made it through one more day to finishing this degree. I made it through the day with a smile. I think I should be on a nomination list for an Oscar performance most days (you could probably say the same). I hate sometimes plastering the fake smile but you know..most people don’t want to hear about the truth of our life journey. The few that do are true gems! Hang in there…tomorrow will hopefully be a less painful day! #spoonies, #squeakers, #wecandothis

 

Craziness

Oh my goodness..the word craziness doesn’t even begin to describe the day! The good news is that I did get about a 2 hour nap!! WOOHOO! But I was left wondering how in the world I would get through the day tomorrow! Tomorrow is the FIRST CLASS DAY OF THE FALL SEMESTER!! Yes, as you have read…I am excited but nervous too!!! Tomorrow I will get up at 6:00a.m., get ready, head to work, work from 7:40ish until about 2:30ish, then I will drive the 30-45 minute drive up the interstate, rest for about an hour, begin class from 4:30-10:00p.m., and then drive the hour/hour and a half home! That is on INSANE day!!! The worst part is there is not space for a nap but I am hoping to take FULL advantage of my hour between work and school! I love that hour because I rest, de-stress, watch some netflix, etc. 🙂 It helps me get ready for the 6 hours of classes…ahhh!!

But the positive is that today I made it through! Today I woke up in prayer ready to face whatever God had in store for me. Today, I remember whispering God’s name, seeking his peace and patience! I know for a fact, I cannot do this journey alone. For me (as you have read) my faith is what helps me get through. I am trying to get a schedule of doing a home devotion, daily devotional, and some prayer time. I seem to do much better when I schedule things…so if I have to life on a schedule then  a schedule I will live on! 🙂

I’m hoping and praying that tomorrow, the first class day, goes smoothly! Trust me you will definitely hear about it!

#firstclassday, #lastfallsemester, #positivethinking, #Icandothisjourney, #onestepatatime

 

Day 1

Crazy insane day number one DONE!!! WOOHOO!! It was a crazy busy day that never seemed to end…but you know it did and I made it home safe and sound. The sad news today was one of my medicine’s was denied :(….yah I wasn’t tooo happy about it . It was one medicine I was really hoping to get because my chronic fatigue has been so bad. I feel as if I have mono times 100…it is rough! I am sooo tired…and I honestly think my fatigue is not helped by working so much and getting such little sleep! 😦 But you know that is part of my life right now….makes me count down to next fall even more! At least next fall I won’t be going to class every week! 🙂

I made it home in time to crawl into bed! 🙂 Now I’m working on homework and thinking about the rest of the week! If nothing else…I hope the rain moves on! Does any one want rain??? I will be more than happy to send it to you! 🙂 I woke up to rain..and by the time I went and laid down for my nap…it was still cloudy and icky outside!

I really hope tomorrow is a bright sunny day! Back to the homework I go… I have a spreadsheet that I need to finish by the time school starts. I also have to work on my third article for my dissertation. I will be doing a systematic literature review as part of my dissertation. I am working to get the criteria (inclusion and exclusion) worked out so I know what I will be looking for. It sounds easy but it is so time consuming. But tonight, I’m working on a spreadsheet for my third study, my commonality analysis. I am looking for studies that have correlation matrices in them so I can use the data and run secondary analyses. It sound so fun right! In all honesty it is fun, I enjoy it! It is tiring though..but THANKFULLY I can do a lot of work from the house! 🙂

I hope that you have a great night! Leia and I are snuggling while I work on my spreadsheet! I am listening to Desperate Housewives (yes I know :)) in the background…and rain is coming down every so lightly! Ahhh!!

I hope you have a great evening! Many #spoons! 🙂

 

It is here!!!

The semester officially begins tomorrow!! WOW!! Last fall semester and first day of classes! It seems ironic…ten years have flown by….10 years ago tomorrow I was getting ready to start my first freshman classes. I remember…I started the morning with MWF 8:00 – 8:50a.m. Zoology, and then 9:00 – 9:50a.m. General Chemistry! Those two classes will forever be in my memory! I did not enjoy those classes! 😛 Probably one big reason the next semester I switched into a Business degree! 😛

Today was a good resting day! I made it to sunday school this morning, and I started my “Reclaiming your Joy” home bible study! I’m excited to see what I am going to learn. I used to love going to the church during the week for mid-week bible study but with my Wednesday night classes, work, and homework…doing a bible study at home is the best I can do! I haven’t done a home study since I did Priscilla Shriver’s Jonah study. That one was awesome! I am very much looking forward to this study.  With all the pain, the frustrations of living with RALF, and just living life in general….sometimes it is easy to forget to see joy in life.  So this study, reclaiming joy fits my needs.

I also took a spiritual gifts assessments today! I had taken the assessment a few years ago and I was interested to see how my gifts have grown or changed. Now my tops gifts are: Exhortation, Mercy, Service/Help, Administration, Faith, Apostleship, Giving, and Hospitality. These were my top five spiritual gifts. Now looking at them, I can see how these fit well within my personality. I often would say that my best gift is that of an encourager, I want people to see the good not the bad. I want people to be successful despite all that they have going on in life. Anyways, that was something fun I did today.

I also  took a NICE LONG NAP!! 🙂 I was sooo tired, that I laid down about 12:00p.m. and then woke up about 7 o’clock! I know!! I slept the afternoon away but I wanted today to be a day of rest. Knowing that I have  a full time work week starting tomorrow, and then classes on Wednesday! I’m determined to see good! I’m determined to balance things, and do well both at work and in school!

If you pray, I ask that you pray over me! I ask that you pray over several major unspoken needs! There is a lot going on in life, aside from the RALF, work, and school. And I will do the same for you!

Stay focused this week! 🙂 And I will keep sharing life through this journey! 🙂

 

Catching up

Wow so much has gone on in the past few days. I have literally crawled into bed when I get home and rested. Monday, I worked all day….it felt weird but at the same time so nice. In my mind, I went back to before RALF..before Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Lupus changed my life. I used to be able to (in my old life) work from sun up to sun down.  And even then I had energy to go out, study, and hang out with friends into the early morning hour.

Now, I work one full day of work and then I end up exhausted and in bed as soon as I get through the door.  But you know, I am hoping that maybe after a week or two my body will get accustomed to the busier work schedule. Thankfully, this week I did not have class…next week ….on Wednesday evening I will be in class from 4:40-9:50p.m.! Ugh! And then I drive home 😦

Do you ever wish you had your old energy back? Do you ever wish you were not taking some 15 pills a day? Do you ever wish you could get to sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed? I don’t think I have gone to bed at a decent hour and actually slept in a long time. Even this week, I would go lay in bed and toss/turn to get some sleep, yet still I would wake up in pain, with swollen joints, and even with a fever two nights this week.

Once this week, I woke up feeling so anxious and tired. I am not sure why…but in my mind I added my list – three classes, full work schedule, etc. etc. and I was amazed at how much I have going on in my life.  Not that being busy is a bad thing…because I honestly prefer to be busy and have things keeping my attention…but wow I didn’t realize I could pack so much into my crazy life.

I am making amazing friend with my office Outlook calendar! I managed to get it synced to my phone! WOOHOO! I have added my tentative homework assignments…this is to help me stay organized. I have noticed that my fibro fog is getting worse….so I’m tying to find inventive ways to ensure that I don’t forget something. Two great (sadly) examples of my fibro fog this week.

I pulled out my schedule, organized my binders, and got everything ready for my Wednesday class. Then after all that work was done… I stopped and re-read my schedule…I had three classes versus two classes. I could not remember registering for the third class…I know I did because I paid for it. But it was one o those…I knew it, I did it but for just a few minutes…I could not recall having done it, or even having that third class! ANNOYING!

The second example, my husband and I were picking up Leia from doggy day care. I was driving, he said to get out and switch seats so he could finish driving us home. I pulled the parking break, undid my seat  belt and opened my door….and then I couldn’t understand why the car was slowly rolling as I took my foot off the break….then I looked down…I had not put the car in park! : (

Another example….I got online this week and paid my student loan bill….only Friday I realized I paid it again….after I paid in Monday! The federal government is going to love my double payment this month! OMG!!! So I’m seeing my memory going….it comes and goes. I am a lot foggier in the mornings but I think using outlook, writing things down (I didn’t use to), and staying on top of my things will help tremendously.

Wow folks….my LAST fall semester is beginning! I cannot believe it! Crazy times, crazy times! I hope that it goes smoothly…I know in my ways it will be one for the books. I pray that I can do it..I pray that despite the Rheumatoid Arthritis pain/flares, the Fibromyalgia pain/flares/fibro fog, the Sjogrens irritating of my eyes, and the Lupus issues, that despite all of those things I finish strong.

Keep me in your prayers and your thoughts, send me how I can pray over your needs! Trust me, we all have a lot going on . From sickness in our own bodies, to the loss of loved ones, to financial worries, to educational worries, and even to what job am I going to get worries. It is not easy, RA,Lupus, and Fibro do nto make life easy.  Life is crazy, insane, hard, and many other things…sadly our journey has even more added to it.

But I want to encourage you….even when the going gets rough..don’t give up! I have had many many many dark days…where I am so tired, and I hurt so bad…and it feels like no one in the world cares.  Don’t give up! There is someone out there that cares for you, that person is me! I care that you suffer, I care that you feel so much pain, and I care that you feel so alone! I have been there, and I hope and pray if that is you tonight..that you know..you are not alone!

Don’t let RA, Fibro, and Lupus take over your life! Don’t be defined by it…live it, learn it, and share it! Raise your voice, let someone else know your journey and one day..I have hope that one day….our pain will have a cure! Heck, maybe it will be some special shampoo we use or lotion we use (in our dreams right!). One day hopefully it won’t be treated by the crappy chemo medicine or biologic medicine MANY of us take, maybe one day…we can drink Starbucks and have the cure to RA, Lupus, or Fibro (how cool would that be!).

I know…I”m cheesy but still…the bottom line is…don’t feel alone and as if no one cares.  Despite that overwhelming pain…I hope you see and find some good!

Have a great night! 🙂

 

Last Week!!!

Sad day!! Tomorrow is my last Wednesday of FREEDOM!! Next week is is back to the grind of school! But again it is my last fall semester so I am excited about that :). I have two of my books for one class but I am missing books for my second class. I see myself ordering them next week and then freaking out until they arrive. I”m crossing my fingers that my professor posts his syllabus soon so I won’t have that stress next week!

My lab work came back..my C – Reactive Protein was high again. Not my highest (like when I first started with no meds) but it was highest it has been since December 2011. I guess the Imuran isn’t doing the trick….hmmm! So we are going to keep my dose increased and I will go back and see her in a few months. Of course, getting used to the upped Imuran dose has not been a party. That combined with getting used to working full time again….yes you can imagine this week has been painful!

But you know ….I have seen my own strength grow! When the Fibromyalgia hits in waves during a meeting…I find something positive to think about. When my hips, ankles, knees, and hands are swollen and hurt so bad while I”m running around the office….I picture being done with school and the future. I am hoping that I can remain positive so that despite the flares and the pain…I can beat this semester with as good of grades and as positive of an attitude as last semester.

That said, I also definitely agree…it is not easy! Goodness last night..when I came home…I was in such pain I crawled in bed, slept until 9:00, woke up, showered, and went back to bed. Then this morning when I woke up..I felt as if I had been hit by a ton of bricks. I moved sooo slow today! Fibromyalgia and RA/Lupus (and many other invisible diseases) do not make life easy! They make you fight for your happiness, fight to get out of bed and smile, and sometimes even fight for the life and future that you want to have.  No living with these diseases is not easy to say the least.

However, I am here to tell you…surround yourself with friends who truly care about your success. Surround yourself by people who encourage you through pain. I have a friend, I have never seen her face, but she texts me through most days. She encourages me to stay focused, she gives me tips for pain, and she is a listening ear. I love her! The funny part is …we have never seen each other. One day..I hope to cross paths with her! Her and others have become my amazing support system! That is another key thing…create for yourself a support system..it doesn’t have to be family and it doesn’t have to be people that are there in your neighborhood/city. But definitely have those people that you know you can reach out too when you are in a dark place. Yes, we have MANY dark days. I have many dark days but through my faith, through my strength given by God…I get through the dark days to the next one.

Last fall semester! I’m excited…and I hope I have many great things to share with you as I begin this last fall semester of my life! 🙂 I hope you enjoy the journey!

 

Semester is here!!!

The fall semester starts tomorrow!!!! Wow!!!! I cannot believe it! For many universities across the country hundreds of new/freshman students will begin orientation and their first college classes! Sooo exciting !

I am not starting classes until the 28th but tomorrow kicks off one of the busiest weeks of the semester. This week is full of meetings, trainings, and preparing for school to start next week for my institution. So yes crazy week!

I will also be working full time for a few weeks starting tomorrow! Whew! I hope I can do it all! The imuran is not my friend. The fatigue is kicking my behind! 😦 sad!! But I’m getting there, at least I can say I’m positively thinking!

I can say for sure I’m not ready for my own classes to begin but I can say this is my last fall semester of coursework!!! Wow! 10 years in the making! Amazing.

I’m off to bed….need to get a good nights rest before the crazy day tomorrow!