I received a notice from WordPress….my blog has been going since 2011…wow seems like forever ago. They let me know with a pretty email and a small award :). When I started blogging, I started to find a way to think out loud (or on paper) and to find others who like me experienced pain that no one can see. I was unsure when I started how it would make me feel or if it would help me. My background in Counseling, I figured that journaling was a technique that I appreciated..so blogging was similar. Except of course, that words would be out there for others to read, instead of locked up in the privacy and safety of where ever I would keep my journal.
I have loved this opportunity and I have enjoyed sharing my life with those who read this blog. I have traveled the world, graduated with a master’s degree, started a doctorate, and now that doctorate work is winding down. So much has gone on these past years, I started with Plaquinel..and have moved on to Enbrel/Imuran combo. I had points where I could barely walk/dress myself and then days I could travel to Alaska. In a way it is cool to have a place that I can go back and read what life was like over these past two years. It is a place where I can see my highs and my lows.
Tomorrow, I see my rheumy for my second visit. This rheumatologist is my third rheaumatologist. She is re-running labs and hopefully keeping me on Enbrel. While I had the burning sting of the shot, it makes me feel so much better! Pain is gain (oh so true!).
I am also working on limiting my caffeine (random yes!!). I have been a MAJOR caffeine addict these past few years in school. Having to stay up soooo late at night to work, I grew to depend heavily on caffeine. But now I’m working to drop so much caffeine..maybe two a day 🙂 A good goal at least. And I’m drinking more tea vs. soda too. You only have one life and I’m realizing the value of a healthy life. I walked yesterday, not too long but close to 15-20 minutes. First time, I have walked in a while. I’m also thinking of going back to Yoga. I love the stretching and the relaxation..and now I don’t have the excuse that I have homework. Darn!
I am making progress on my dissertation. My IRB was approved two days after I defended my dissertation proposal. I have written the results section for Study 1, and I drafted the results for Study 2 this week. I am hoping to draft the results/discussion for Study 3 this week. And then next week I will work on my conclusion chapter. Then I will be working on edits..which will likely take a while. My goal was to set myself up for a final defense date either in January or February. I have to apply for graduation in Feb. (yes the date is on my calendar so I don’t forget). It is exciting that I am almost 95% sure I will walk in May. I know things can happen with research (Geez, I’ve seen my share) but I’mm praying that all will go smoothly.
But then with the termination of classes and being dissertation only comes the student loans!! Argh! I sent FedLoan my application for Income-Based repayment. While I had hoped the standard would be fine, at my current job it won’t be. Granted, I am working hard to get a new job (a doctorate-paying job)…it is not a fast process. I love where I work but I know that I need to move up professionally too. And that new job will hopefully make it easier to go back to standard repayment. The less years I pay back student loans the better!
Yes life is changing! But again, I’m happy that maybe for some one out there..reading how life is with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia…helps. I know it isn’t an easy life but my one goal was to share to those in my boat…that life doesn’t end when you live life with these diseases. It feels like it will end, but it certainly doesn’t have to. Until tomorrow friends 🙂