Are you hanging in there?

That is a question I have had to ask myself many times throughout this week! I am mentally drained and physically hurting so bad! Working nearly double what I have been and of course starting classes….STRESSFUL! And we know when we are stressed our bodies go crazy. It may sound hilarious but yes even the knuckles (?) of my toes hurt! The bottom of my feet feel like someone is poking me with needles. I took that as my hint tonight so I am not up as late as I probably need to be……taking care of myself is important!

I caught myself today commiserating about my lack of insurance. Wow I’m coming up to like six months with no steady insurance, it is a weird feeling. I definitely took having insurance for granted. I went throughout college with no insurance but then I was hired at a benefit paying employer. That was so nice! I did not realize how nice until now. But then again, I am definitely not the only person in the US that does not have insurance. I wish it was not so hard for people with “pre-existing conditions” what I would give for one day getting insurance! One day getting back on meds! Oh that would be the day!

But then I realize that is a dream….a short daydream that I caught myself in many times today! The pain sometimes makes you picture sitting on a beach, drinking a margarita and baking in the sun. You have to let your mind go places when staying in this world makes you want to cry because you hurt so bad! But at least in our dreams we can do anything, be anyone, go anyplace and YES BE PAIN FREE! 🙂

I have TONS TONS TONS TONS TONS TONS TONS of reading to do this weekend! BUT praise God it is a long weekend! My goal for tonight is to rest, and get up in the morning and head to Starbucks. I’m taking my laptop, journal articles, statistics book, and my book for my theory class. YES lots to do but at least I will be sitting at a table….I don’t have a table in my tiny apartment…and I have found out that working at a table sometimes (SOMETIMES) keeps me more focused!

This semester is going to be a rough one…”too much to do” does not even begin to cut it! But I have your support, I have my faith, my prayers, and I will push through. I keep thinking how awesome it will be to walk across the stage…I need to keep that dream in my head!

No pain…no gain??

Do you ever hate hearing…no pain no gain??? Have you heard this before…maybe it is just me? But I know today…if someone had told me that I might have been unladylike! The stress of the last two weeks prepping for class….pain was (is) sooo bad!

I was able to leave work though and take a nap! It felt so good to sleep for a few hours! And I did feel a little better but I would pay some big money to be pain free.

Alas….ok well I’m off to study with statistics! 🙂 you want to be in my shoe right? Well if u are in my shoes…here is a hug! Let’s keep going!



I found a cool pianist whose music is very soothing! Jim Brickman, if you have never listened to his music….go to Pandora and check it out. Here is an awesome song, you can hear his piano in the background! (

First day of class…insanely crazy…insane pain! BUT I DID IT! 🙂 DAY ONE IS DOWN! 🙂

And So….It Begins

I’m sitting here and the reality has hit me…tomorrow no more will it be vegging on couch or just sitting around doing nothing. Tomorrow it is back to school…back to studying and back to fighting to live my life fighting every day against the walls of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia.

Today I was painfully aware of how incredibly mentally draining these diseases are to live with…in fact if I had it my way…I would have stayed in bed all day. But deep down I knew it would give my invisible disease 1 and me 0 if I stayed in bed. I would let it win today and I did not want it to have a win! So I got out of bed, I got dressed, I put on my makeup and I left for Sunday school and church service.

I wanted so badly to leave after Sunday school but that little voice said to stay! And I was blessed for staying, the praise music of resting in God. The reminder that through faith comes strength…the reminder that I don’t fight alone…my faith, my God is there too. I needed that today to remember that I can fight this pain, this mental anguish every day…and I will fight!

I was absorbed today thinking about this rough semester ahead…but in my mind I am thinking of a mantra to repeat every day to myself when I get down. A focus on that end goal…to be Dr…a focus to change a life…to change the world.

Those goals and my dreams will pick me up tomorrow and hopefully every day this semester. The hope to raise awareness for my (and your) diseases! The battle to share with the world that we hurt, we struggle, we suffer BUT we live! We become someone…we can become doctors, we can become moms, we can become CEO’s and whatever else we want to be. We will fight to live another day and if (and when) the day comes that our physical bodies fail us….our brains will keep on changing. I know I can sure talk into a microphone and have it write my words!

So tonight brings a close to summer 2012, summer 2012 brought change, trials, pain, and much more. But summer 2012 hopefully will lead me to an awesome fall 2012. I have a feeling that despite the tough semester ….some pretty cool things will happen!

Stick with me and I will take you through my journey! If you suffer pain (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) I just want to encourage you…you are not alone. We fight this fight to live…together.

Until tomorrow…let’s wake up ready to FIGHT!

Take a breath…breathe

Take a breath..breathe….I was telling myself this throughout the evening as I began to stress about my homework. No classes have not started yet ( that is next week) but looking at what I have to do…it is stressful! I knew going in to this program that getting a doctoral degree is most definitely not easy…in fact is it one of the hardest (if not the hardest) academic degree to attain. But even though I knew that in my heart…maybe that did not connect to my fibro brain! The one thing that stands out to me tonight is I have to take a breath…and breathe!

The world was not made overnight, a PHD/EDD is not earned overnight, it is a process! Just like a marathon…I will run for about 5 years or so to cross the finish line! But if I get soo caught up in that finish line and not about the steps it will take to get there…I will lose my focus…and I do not want that to happen.

My focus is already blurry thanks to my RA in my eyes, my body is already tired thanks to my Fibro/RA, and my brain is already running on less than what I would want ..again thanks to my RA/Fibro.  So I am already starting this race with a little bit of lag…but the awesome thing that I have…is my faith! My faith in God is strong, I am learning so much through this tough/painful journey! I am being molded and shaped…I am becoming successful!

We had an EXCELLENT sermon on Sunday morning (I love my pastor’s preaching!), he challenged us to become the leaders that our God would want us to be. Three things he mentioned that we MUST have (a) the ability to stay in God’s will (knowledge), (b) perseverance, and (c) faith. Again those seem so easy…but goodness no they are not…especially when you are like me and your body hurts, your toes hurt, gosh your brain hurts. Everything hurts…and relief…is so minimal. It is so hard to focus on the good when we are so often in such pain!

So I’m going to take a breath…breathe and settle down for the evening!  🙂

Winding Down

The days of vacation are winding down…this is my last full week! This time next week school begins…granted my first class is not until the 29th but I still need to start studying. Also for the next two weeks my work schedule changed…so I will be working more :(. Only a frowny face because I know the more I stress (and work) the more pain I will be in.

The pain has been pretty bad this weekend….since Thursday I have really spent most of my time in bed. In a way it was nice…I was able to read, watching Lifetime movies on Hulu, watch Netflix…and just be lazy.  However that did not stop my pain :(, the pain was ever present and some moments just excruciating. But at least the weekend is over, and now after applying some heat therapy my legs are not hurting…at least not too bad…not like they were hurting.

I’m nervous, I am excited for the next year…and I cannot wait to take you on this journey! Much will change, I will grow…and soon …wow I cannot wait to share with you what the future will bring. If nothing else, know that despite our disease…things can happen in life that are life changing. Despite your pain (emotional, physical, spiritual), you can be successful! You can perservere…you can stay on the right path…and you have faith that the best is yet to come!

To an awesome Monday…I raise my glass! To a nights rest…I raise my glass! To changing someone’s life…I raise my glass!

See you in a few days!

Simply Life Changing

After my incredibly rough and painful week, I received an amazing email. It was one of those emails that you read laying down in bed and then as you read it you sit up and start reading it again. Not only did I do that but I spent an hour verifying this was a “real” award. I also sent emails asking my doc advisors if the email was true.

And yes it is true! I received a great honor, I was selected as a scholar for a program that is nationally recognized. It is in my field of study, and to be honest I am so excited to see what door this has opened. I am so honored and thankful to God foe this blessing. And for my husband and friends who keep me going! I’m also thankful for my faculty who believed in me enough to nominate me! I hope I do not let them down! I’m thankful for my Cohort and all they have done, especially my cohort buddy! So much excitement….this semester will be life changing!


Do you ever grieve your loss? Do you ever grieve for what your disease had taken away? I do not know about you but yes I grieve! I mourn my loss of the future I had planned, and I ache for the life (especially my energy) I once had in life.

This week I have spent most of my “free” time in bed. Hurting so bad, I got barely any sleep and it just seemed like the pain never would end! And I grieved, I wanted my pain to go away so bad! I would have paid so much money to wake up one day pain free.

But you know just like we lose a loved one, a job, a friend, money, etc. we have to go through the stages of grief. We have to be frustrated with our pain. We have to deny our “new normal”, and yes we bargain to change things. But in the end no matter our anger, our frustration, our bargaining, and our denial….ultimately we have to accept it!

We have to have a funeral for our lost futures, and accept our new ones. We have to memorialize who we were and move on to who we are now. We have to start over, in the journey of our new normal.

And you know just like with death, we move on but there are days it still hurts. My father has been gone four years and there are days it hurts like it was yesterday. I mourned his loss this week, and I grieved my loss this week.

As I sat in bed and cried in pain…I grieved. But tonight I am again starting down the journey of accepting my new normal. One step at time, one day at a time!


Every August my church does a women’s event. The women come together -decorating tables, collecting for charities, eat a catered dinner and all around enjoy being women!

I didn’t get to stay long tonight, but here is some of the talent from the ladies at my church!

Ps, all the tables fit into our church auditorium! Enjoy!