Keep Going!

You know we all have those days when we want to stop dong whatever we are doing and just quit! Have you had those types of days recently? Days where you feel overwhelmed? Days where you feel as if you just cannot do it anymore…..you feel the pain so overwhelming…you see feel the pop of your joints…and the pain and swelling from flares! Maybe you are going through that and many other personal/emotional things and you are just worn down!

I think sometimes the hardest part is we have those days (all of us have those days) yet we feel so alone sometimes! We feel as if no one else understands…we feel as if no one else will listen….no one else will get what you are trying to say. No one else will get that you hurt so bad that you have no words or that you are so exhausted you cannot even open your eyes while you are laying in bed.

It is hard…life is hard! But I want to encourage you to get up and share your story. I learned a long time ago…this world is full of hurting people. It is sooo hard to open up and share your pain and your story but when you do….people know how they can support you! Granted, you will ALWAYS have that person who does not really listen…that person who thinks the pain is in your head….that person who trys to be a doctor and tell you all the cures…and more! BUT you will also find that friend who will text you randomly and perk up your day. You will find that friend that will text you at 1a.m. because they know you are up (like them). That friend who says “just checking in” or “thinking about you.” Or that friend who will facebook you and check in on your because they know you are sick!

Those small things can make your day sooo much better! I encourage to look for something great in your life (or good) and share it with someone. I know it is hard to open up….there is a lot of stigma (in some senses) with sharing our life story..but you know when people know the you and what is going on with you..they can better support you! Granted opening up is rough…do it around people you believe you can trust and that hopefully will get you.

I had an awesome class tonight…awesome because I made it through even though I felt sooo bad! But hey one more class is done and one more class to my comprehensive exams in and May and my last courses over the summer! One class closer to finishing my dissertation and one step closer to being a Dr.! It is a process…just like my dissertation chair said over the weekend…chip away one step at a time!! Chip chip chip..the huge boulder goes away!

Stay focused, stay positive….I know the pain sucks! The health issues that come with our pain suck! But lets not leave the world as sucky as we found it! Let’s be a positive light to those we meet!

Be encouraged, we got this..we can keep going!

Sick Days

There is nothing worse than feeling as if lack energy to even move. This weekend I have spent the majority of the weekend feeling just gross. My ear/throat infection moved into a full blown cold. Yes the not being able to breath out of my nose and the tight chest thanks to Asthma. SOOOOO not fun! 😦

The usual lack of energy thanks to the RA/Lupus was drained even more as I was not able to get sleep and no matter what I did….the congestion seemed endless. It is moments like these when I really wonder why stay in school! Yes it is hard to finish the last semester of classes…mostly I think because it is the last semester of coursework! Sounds odd…you would think I would be sooo ready to finish and in a way I am….but at the same time I am tired too. And when you are sick….it makes that tiredness feel even worse!

But the positive side…tonight I can breathe through my nose again (WOW FEELS GREAT!) and I can somewhat breath better. The snow day on Friday was put to good use…I made some head way with my law class.  I am a few cases ahead so I can spend the next two days reading ahead 🙂 I am happy that  I did not get behind! I just finish a 2-3 page paper that is due on Wednesday and I have my cases that are due for Law done.  To get those done even when feeling sick….I feel proud!

I hope that you all stayed warm! Part of me is ready to face the week….but part of me feels as if the Monday blues have set in! Is it bad that I am counting down to Spring Break already 🙂 Hoping that I get back to my usual self this week! Even more great news is that on Saturday, Feb. 1st.  I am officially covered by my company’s insurance!! WOW!! First time since 2012 that I WILL NOT have to pay for my own insurance. Such an answer to prayer.  I am so thankful for the Pre-Existing Insurance Company, part of the ACA, that saved me this past year. It was affordable and I was able to get to my doctors and get my meds….I could not have made it this past year with out the PCIP insurance I was provided. Thank you federal government! Saturday, I can say ….I’m insured again! 🙂 YAY!

Here is to a great week!!! 🙂

Snow Day!

Yup! We can only say that what….once every few years! Houston, Tx has a snow day tomorrow. For me that means a delayed opening but for others that means school will be closed all day. We are expecting snowy/icey mix on the roads…meaning that driving to work will be interesting! This week I can say one more week of classes is down, thankfully this snow mix and bad weather waited until Thursday to come. I was able to make it to class last night.

The bad thing is that on Monday night I ended up in the Urgent Care room again! 😦 This time with an ear/throat infection and a fever. Yay! So I’ve been on antibiotics for two days…trying to feel better! On top of that I also started a full blown cold 😦 Yup I feel pretty miserable!! I’m really hoping I wake up tomorrow feeling better. At this point breathing through my nose would be greatly appreciated.

I hope that everyone stays warm and stays strong this weekend! More soon! 🙂

#coldssuck #spoons

Global perspective

Laughter, anger, sorrow, frustration…these and more can make up our day on a fairly regular basis. How do you handle the roller coaster ride of pain? Because it is a roller coaster…..and the sad part is sooo many people might try and explain this roller coaster to ears that don’t understand. The ride seems to never end but how we handle the ride makes us who we are. Sometimes I am so thankful that I can pull myself together, put on my makeup, get dressed, and act as close as possible to things being great. Takes so much energy to do that but am so thankful that I can. But there are days I cannot do that….days where I can try and I fail miserably. Those days, those days are when the emotional roller coaster ride speeds up. I feel more than tired, so alone, and more than anything wanting others to see and understand this journey.

Then I think on my journey and I am reminded of my years growing up. Or the times I’ve been abroad to other poor countries. I realize that my bad days…..someone else has an even worse bad day. I think back to my journey to Africa with World Help….to the kids and women who walked miles for school or food. I don’t know if I could do that….even with out my RA. But what if they are doing it with RA? Totally possible…all this to say..I appreciate that I can put even my pain in a longer, maybe global perspective.

Too often I think we keep our minds, I do this all the time, on ourselves. Human nature….but what would happen if we started to think less about us and more about others? I venture to think, I might be happier. I know these past few weeks I have been thinking “how good it is that maybe soon I can make trips again.”

I am excited to be nearing the end of this degree so that I just might be able to go back to my abroad travel. Maybe one day as a WH blogger. Trust me it would be an honor for me. I have seen so many great things from World Help. I never will forget about what I learned and saw in Africa. I greatly encourage you to find your World Help (www.worldhelp.net). Find something that you can focus on so that you might be able to find some joy through your pain!

I worked on hw sooo late last night! I got my flu shot on Thursday night. My arm still hurts….and I’ve felt sick these past two days 😦 but I am slowly getting things done. I started reading my law cases for class. So far so good….lots to do but praying all will be good. 🙂 one step at a time right!

First Day of the Last Spring semester (ever)?

Have you had those days where the small things make you soooo frustrated?? Little things like not being able to do the buttons on your shirt, or the clasps on your pants. Or what about opening the peanut butter jar…..opening your soda bottle….or turn on a faucet. It gets frustrating doesn’t it when you cannot do some of the most simple things.  I will say I have also learned that you can be frustrated…it is a process. You have to work through your frustration and learn to adapt to how you can get it done. Maybe a different type of faucet that you do not have to  turn or maybe getting some aids to open that peanut butter jar. But it is a process..because at first you do not want to have the help. It might make you feel less of a person….less of a wife…less of a mother….less of someone who on the outside (LOOKS) like you are fine….LOOKS like you should have no problem opening that door, opening that jar of peanut butter, or zipper of your dress.  It takes you working through those emotional feelings too because it is not all physical pain…it is emotional pain when your hair is falling out and/or thinning (thanks to your meds), your face is all swollen from your steroid use, and you barely eat because of nausea but you gain weight too (thanks meds!). So many things that you cannot SHOW and people cannot SEE….but that does not mean that you do not hurt and that does not mean that you have to keep the hurt inside.

There are healthy ways to work through the process…I will be the first to admit though sometimes I go for the unhealthy ways like chocolate…crying….anger….aggravation..etc. But I am working on gaining health ways such as yoga….better eating….less soda…etc.! Work in progress (as I have a back of M&M’s by my computer! 🙂 I definitely encourage finding other who understand you! The best thing I ever did was start my facebook page (www.facebook.com/stlralf) It has opened a door for me to find some amazing people who are doing great things in life….even with their RA/Lupus/Fibro etc. So find those people who TRULY LISTEN and not those people who are just there to complain or criticize you. Find people who encourage your and want to help make your day better.

On that note….tomorrow starts the first day of the last spring semester in my doctoral program. That is in regards to completing my courses. I hope that this time next year…I am only months from graduation! Wouldn’t that be awesome! At least I know I am closer to graduation this year than I was last year 🙂 That alone is encouraging.

Off to do more reading of dissertations as I sift for articles 🙂

Those bottom days

Have you had those bottom days??? Where you feel like you are just sooo tired you want to lay in bed and veg all day? I had that day today…in my mind last night as I  struggled to sleep I kept thinking how thankful I was that at least I did not have to work today. Finally, after 4a.m. I was able to get sleep! There is nothing worse than just watching the clock tick down in the early morning. I’ve made a deal with myself…I will not look at the clock…I tend to get annoyed that the time moves so slowly and that the morning hours are going by and I’m not asleep.

I also found that sometime watching those movies that you just would never watch sometimes helps me get to sleep. Maybe I find that sleep will help me escape a movie I just do not understand or a movie that is just so crazy I cannot watch it. Either way I found trying to distract myself helps…just laying in bed wanting to sleep doesn’t work for me. It is even worse when my hubby is asleep and my Leia is snoring in her doggy bed. It makes me really irritated to know they are sound asleep and I’m awake!

I had one of those bottom days today after I woke up….I could just not get any energy at all. I don’t know what is wrong other than I’m still fighting a cold and I’ve had crappy rest these week. I had one of those days where I didn’t realize how I was going to get things done. I was worried about finding dissertation articles, keeping up with class, homework, teaching, grading, and work. One of those pity party days!

So my hubby and I went and watched the Lone Survivor. Great movie! Then I came home and I was able to mentally re-align so to speak. I realized that getting my dissertation done takes one day at a time….yes it is has take 10 years to get here and I have about a 1.5 year to go….but I will get it done.  One step at a time….one day at a time!

Back to the grind! If you are having a bottom day..know you aren’t alone. Take some time to rest and re-group.  Hugs!

Wow Time Flies Fast

It is hard to believe that it is already Thursday! We have spent two weeks into January already! WOW!!! I had my first day yesterday teaching. My class is completely online so I get to talk to my students through discussion board posts and instant messaging. I love how far our educational system has come! Years ago we could not have done this type of teaching. It does take more work but it is fun too!

I’m sad, I have started 2014 with a cold 😦 Now, I’m just praying I heal quickly. There is nothing worse than trying to work, teach, study, and function with a cold dragging you down even more than usual. Today my flaring was pretty bad…I finally got out of bed and what to you know….it was raining! Yup of course! LOL

The good news is that I made it out of bed! YAY! And I am facing the day! Sometime I feel that is all I can do but they that is all part of our journey. One step at a time. I have to remind myself that major feats are not necessarily done right away or in a short amount of time…some time these feats will take awhile! Some times you have to take baby steps to make it to the top of your mountain.

I sit and think I am months closer to 2015! This time next year I might actually be close to finishing my doctorate! I cannot wait! Though I realize I have not even begun to see what 2014 will bring….I know I am excited to face whatever it is. I hope you all are getting rest and warmth! I know I for one was not in the coldest part of the United States…..I feel for those in the colder parts of the US. I do not envy you!

Spoons and hugs!