Ways to help!

Love this! I found it on this awesome website – http://rawarrior.com/13-ways-to-help-people-living-with-rheumatoid-arthritis/

What if we could live in Mr. Rogers’ RA Neighborhood?

I’ve often heard that people just don’t know what to do to provide assistance to people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In case that’s true, I thought I’d help out by writing a few of them on the blog. Just as a public service, you know…

  1. Ask,“How are you doing?” Listen to the answer.
  2. Bring a meal. Breakfast… lunch… dinner…
  3. Open doors, cans, jars, soda pop, plastic storage containers… without being asked.
  4. Don’t hand them something heavy. Most things are too heavy.
  5. If you notice an RA’eris having trouble walking, offer to walk the dog or get the mail…
  6. Notice whether an RA’eris having trouble walking.
  7. Send a “Thinking of you” card.
  8. Run an errand.
  9. Do a household chore or give a gift certificate for a maid service.
  10. Read a blog about RA, so you can learn about what your loved one is dealing with.
  11. Go to doctor’s appointments as moral support, witness, driver, or physical assistant.
  12. Exchange jokes. Be funny. Pain is a big downer.
  13. Ask an RA’er to tell you her / his story.


It is amazing how much music can totally help your thinking. I totally support the use of music during times that you just need to clear your heard and get through things!!! 🙂

I don’t know how many of you heard Carrie Underwood sing “How Great Though Art”, it was amazing! Here is the link if you want to listen to it. (http://tasteofcountry.com/carrie-underwood-vince-gill-how-great-thou-art-girls-night-out/). She did a truly fantastic job!

Tonight I am AGAIN struggling with food! You do  not realize how much one little pill that you take every day can really really mess you up! I look at my Arava tablet (immune suppressant – EVIL yet needed drug) and I give it evil looks. It messes with just about everything that I eat, to the point I don’t even remember what it feels like to truly enjoy a meal. I mean I enjoy the taste of the meal but I know that within an hour or so of eating I’m going to pay for it! 😦

That’s not even counting what it has done to my hair! I shed like no other! It is really bad when you can walk into the bathroom and see a floor of black hair! 😦 I have lost so much hair, thankfully my hair doesn’t look toooo horrible!!!!

Enough complaining! I will say that having this disease certainly changes everything you do, feel, think, and plan for! It does not make life easy but you can learn to take one day at a time, adjust your life and pray that you can make it through every moment of every day despite all your suffering.

I don’t know if I have shared this thought but one thing that comes to my mind is Christ’s suffering.  Especially since we just ended our Easter season, I wonder how much Christ suffered on the cross? If someone could share a number, I doubt there would be a number. Our Lord and Savior suffered excruciating pain to save his precious children (you and me). Maybe one reason that some people in this world are touched to suffer, is so that they can see in our own small little way how to love.  Sounds weird (and again this comes from my mind ).

When we are hurting so bad that everything hurts, nothing feels right..in those moments we have two choices. One choice is to give in and let ourselves start to fall down the dark hole of letting go to life and being consumed by the pain. Trust me it is hard not to do this and I believe that every day is a struggle to not!

The second option is to look inside ourselves for strength (given by the Lord) and realize that he loved despite his suffering. He didn’t give up on the cross for us, he held on strong, full of grace and love – can we do that too? I believe we can, God gave us suffering in part as a ministry; although it is not always easy to look at it that way!

Interesting random thoughts right? Well hopefully my randomness can help me make some major decisions that I  am going to have to be making soon! God help give me clarity to know the path that you have set for me. In the time of searching, it is hard to know where to go or which door to open! I pray for clarity to do what God has in store for me, no matter where that takes me!

18 days and counting!

In 18 days  it will be graduation!! WOW! I still can not believe that this day is almost here! I have dreamed about it for the last three years but gosh it is sad to see the day almost here. The day after I get back from  graduation, I will start the last 9hrs of graduate school to actually finish the degree. These would have been courses I would have done this semester if I had not been sooo sick.

Tonight I am in sooooo much pain! I do not know why other than perhaps that Matt and I have been walking around the apartment complex when he gets home from work so maybe that extra strain after a day of working is affecting me. I can not wait to see what it will be like when I have to work and come home to school!!! (Keep me in prayer for sure!!)

I have been blessed with some amazing conversation this week! You do not realize how much conversations can be cherished, why? Well because we were made as beings that need to communicate! To be able to laugh with someone, smile with someone and just encourage each other, it can be something that changes your day from being a gloomy day to a fabulous day!

I will say (again probably because I have said it already), I have realized how important relationships are! It is important to serve in your community, to love on people in need and to encourage each other!

Off to bed! blessings!

Today we miss you still

Three years ago today, my Dad left this earth to go to his heavenly home! I can replay that day as if it was yesterday. The pain still as real today as it was then, but it is a different pain today. That day it was pain of shock that he was gone, relief that he was in  no more  pain, and sadness that he was gone. although the reality of his death took weeks and months to finally sink in.

If you have lost a loved one you know deep down inside that time does heal a little bit at a time the hurt that you feel. No you will never be the same, no it will never stop hurting but you can..as the days go by… stop the flow (what seems like a constant flow at first) of tears. You can slowly begin to remember the good days, the wonderful memories and smile instead of cry when you think of them.

This morning as I drove to work I could not help but think of my Dad. I miss not hearing his voice when I call, I miss not seeing him when I visit home but mostly I think I miss my yearly birthday phone call. I still catch myself sometimes picking up the phone and expecting to hit the dial button for home..and then I catch myself.

Tomorrow will be three years since Dad’s funeral. I still can remember the feeling of un-realness standing in the cemetery. You never forget that feeling!

I am thankful thought that I did get my dad for 21 years of my life. It was too soon for him to go, I was not ready but are we ever?

I still miss you Dad!

Have a Blessed Resurection Sunday!!

On this day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord! I pray that we all take a moment to share thanks for our friends, family and loved one. May we start this week with re-newed efforts to be the examples of the Lord that we should be May we strive harder to read God’s word, love on God’s people and share the most precious message of all time with those who have not heard.

This week begins a difficult week for me personally, memories mostly! Pray for my mom and sister as we still miss my Dad so much. His presence has been gone from us now three years tomorrow but as we remember pray that we remember the good times!

Have a blessed Easter!

Weekends, nails and milkshakes

Almost the last day of the weekend!! TEAR!! You know I really love the weekends 🙂 I got my nails done today, back to white and pink 😦 I love playing with different nail colors but since I am graduating in a few weeks I figured I would go back to the white for now.

What do you think?

I tried a new nail place today, I really like it. Not that my old place was bad (in fact if you live around here and are looking for a place I would totally recommend them). I wast just looking for a place that was closer to where Matt and I normally go, basically save us from going out of our way just for my nails.

Matt got me an easter bunny, yet another furry creature to add to  my collection!! WOWHOO! Precious decided she would use it as a pillow 🙂

Funny right! If only we could all be cats! Sitting, sleeping, curling up in bed all day long! What I would give for that!!!

My RA medicine is back to attacking my stomach again. It is hard to eat much of anything these past few weeks. Milkshakes are about the only thing I can eat and usually that is about once a day. Ugh! I miss being able to eat real  food and I have been sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad with my diabetes.

I know right at first it is easy to say you will be good. But after a few weeks  (like living with any lifestyle adjustment), you get tired of it. Accountability is probably something I need but I still am searching for someone to be that person.  To be honest Matt and I are seeing who are true friends are…we have had some who we thought would be there constantly and they have fallen away and others who have surprised us at being there for us. We realize people’s lives get busy but which is more important…the busyness of life or your friends?

Speaking of being a friend, I am searching for ways to be more involved in my community. We have (I have mostly) realize that we must also be friends to our supporters as well.  Matt is looking for additional ways to be involved in the church…we are not sure what is available of course but he is looking. I am looking as well to be involved in the church but I also want to find ways to volunteer in the community and at my job.

Hopefully I can be mentored and molded into a more well-rounded young woman. A woman who grows in determination despite the overwhelming circumstances and one that serves the Lord with all her heart.  I pray that God continues to use me for his glory, through this blog and any other thing that he has me do.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good Friday

What a beautiful Friday it has been! The weather is gorgeous and we are reminded that today we observe Good Friday! I am so thankful for my Saviors precious gift of salvation!

This weekend has been a weekend of resting and relaxing. Graduation is coming up and then summer school!!! I realized I should be thankful for these weeks that I can just rest! Here soon I will have papers, reading, and exams to do I order to finish my last 9hrs! In one way I miss being in school! I guess I feel more like I have a purpose!!

Not many plans this weekend..which is nice! We have church on Sunday! Woohoo! Last weeks service was good although I will say I miss the connection . I guess some of it is our fault…we have been so busy, tired, sick etc. We haven’t been able to be there for much but I feel at the same time should we always be the one who reaches out? Do we do that to our friends who are going through a tough time? Take a few moments to think, have you not reached out to someone because you are too “busy”? Life is short, life is precious! Your “true” friends support you, it is a two way street! If you are having to constantly do all the communicating realize it is a one way street and you need friends who are there doing their part too!

I am determined to become a better friend but also to recognize those who appear to be one way streets! God has blessed me with some great support, surprisingly some of them I don’t even know what their face looks like! Is not that awesome!

Rest, relaxation, contemplation but most importantly OUR LORD LIVES!

So much on my mind…

Have you ever had so many thoughts swirling through your brain? That seems to be my problem here the last few days. Why? I’m not sure other than so many changes over the past few months, like everything…it takes time to process how you are feeling and what all those feelings really mean to you.

For me the process hasn’t been as painful as I thought at least not until here recently. Why? Probably because like most things that affect our life, we  start to feel the change as time progresses. At first the change may be fun (usually not though) but usually we are so busy trying to get adjusted to the changes that we don’t realize that this is not something we will just be dealing with for a short time, instead it is something we will be living with for our life time.

Now that brings me to yet another small pet peeve, when I say “living with” I inevitably know people who would jump down my throat about – miracles, God’s power to heal etc. I am not saying I do not believe in any of those things in fact I have personally witnessed miracles so you can not tell me miracles don’t exist. However what I am saying is that it is not very supportive to me (again this is my feeling) to constantly keep telling me over and over and over again to just keep talking or asking for a miracle or to be healed. Why?

Because I feel that we are given things in our lives, not to run from them or seek to be saved from them but instead to learn through them.If you constantly ask the Lord to take away things from you how are you ever going to learn through those tests? At least this is how I feel most days lol, there are some days I do pray that the Lord take away the pain because it is so bad!

Ok off that soap box, I guess what I’m going through now ( and have been for several weeks now) is the challenging stage  of yet again accepting how my life has changed but how despite those changes I can still have a life (a different one than I may have anticipated) but I can still accomplish things. It may not have the same outcomes I had hoped for or worked for but again God knows the plans for my life.

I am walking out of graduate school knowing so much more than when I went in. Not just book knowledge but knowledge about myself, I never regret going into graduate school even though I am finishing with a different track than what I started with..it is ok! Although again it is easier to say than to believe and adjust to (which is where I am today).

Next goal..figure out what to do and start smiling in the mornings again (not just outwardly but inwardly)!

Weekend is over

The weekend is over, yet another work week is getting ready to start! Hurray!! I do not know about you but my work calendar is booked for this week. So much going on but at the same time it is nice to be busy versus bored! 🙂

So many thoughts have gone through my brain this week and weekend. You do not realize how much of a burden it is to carry inside you a disease that is not only invisible but so painful. When people look at you and don’t see a cane, walker, wheelchair or something else that marks you are being “sick” or “disabled” their automatic thought is  “oh your better.” At times the constant frustration of having to deny your are better but instead are just making it make it sincerely difficult to want to be around people at times. You yearn to be around those who care enough for you to have researched and learned your disease (s) so that those  questions aren’t even asked.  It is not that you dislike people but you are hurt that it seems like some of the most frustrating questions are the ones that people constantly ask.  You hate the inevitable “how are you doing today” question but you really hate to have to justify that answer.

Should you say “awful but I’m still smiling”? or “great” just so people will leave it alone? But then if you say “great” then that just brings more questions and so on. It is truly a burden for all those fighting invisible illness’ to be social persons because there is a great lack of  education on how to treat people who are fighting invisible illness.

How do you treat them? You realize that they are human beings just like you, you realize that they are hurting sometimes every where (so you don’t go up to them and automatically hug them or slap them on the arm..do you realize that could cause them great pain but they probably won’t tell you that). Instead of asking “how are you doing” or saying “you must be doing better”, say “wow its great to see you today, I am so happy you are here.”

Also realize the emotional burden that invisible illness have not only on the one suffering but also on the family. I can not tell you how difficult life itself is many many days. Not just for me but also for my husband who is doing his very best to support me and our marriage. It is not easy and it is especially not easy when close friends do not educate themselves on how to help! Education is critically in anything and everything.

If you are a friend or relative of someone who is suffering from an invisible illness please educate yourself! It doesn’t take long…do internet searches ( stay away from some that are merely ones opinion), read books, search for ways to be supportive and try not to constantly share your opinion about the disease. 

Why does it seem that I keep repeating this? Mostly because from my perspective it would help me …and I don’t know about who ever is reading this but hopefully it will help the person in your life that is hurting so badly.

Hopefully this week I’ll be in less pain and I can type of here more, I do miss the typing therapy 🙂

Oh before I go I received my hood, gown, gap and stole for graduation! It feels so good to have them…but at the same time bittersweet!

I’m still here :)

Sorry I haven’t posted much this past week, I have been in incredible pain! 😦 It sooooo sucks to hurt so much that all you really can do is lay in bed and pray for relief either through sleep or by getting yourself distracted with t.v.

I felt so bad Friday I sadly couldn’t  even get to work, instead I spent the day on the couch. Hopefully soon the pain will ease at least to a more bearable level. I’m ready to start enjoying doing some things instead of not doing anything at all.

My graduation regalia came in today! YAY!! My hood is beautiful! So sad that this chapter is coming to a close but I know that other chapters will certainly open!

So yes I’m still here…it has just been a trying week! Lets hope for a better one next week!