Hang in there

I don’t know …maybe it is just me but this week is going to be a tough one! Major final on Wednesday and then a final paper due on Friday! AHHH!! Yes screaming at the top of my lungs…if it would solve anything lol! BUT one good thing…I made it to service today! I loved the message, very encouraging. I realize the most important thing in life staying close to the Heavenly Father. For me, my faith has become a critically important aspect to living! That said, I have realized over the past few weeks I have let spending time in prayer and reading God’s word slip. I’m sure I am not alone…we get crazy busy and those things tend to slide but you know….I hate to say it….when I am stressed or in trouble…that is when I cry out to the Lord. The truth is though…he is not a vending machine that I can go put money in and get a caffeine drink to keep me awake whenever I need it. Sometimes I think I am guilty of doing that…running to him when I need something and not dwelling or keeping that relationship close when things are fine and dandy. So that was my conviction of today, keeping my faith as a priority not as something I do whenever I have time…honestly I doubt I would ever have the time if I did not make the time!

Another positive for today!!! I finished the ROUGH ROUGH ROUGH draft of my paper!! It has been peer-reviewed twice today..it is on hold until tomorrow afternoon and then I will work on editing it a bit more. This paper counts for a lot so I want a REALLY good paper! And I also was able to be on my study group this afternoon! We spent two whole hours on statistical terms etc. Whew! Talk about a brain fry! But that is ok, just a few more days and this term is over! Def. know I will need MAJOR prayer over the summer…I take advanced statistics over a 10 week summer term!! OMG!! Ok well I have a few months before that reality comes so pray for me!

I’m off to cover 6 chapters of statistics, more or less refreshing myself on things I know! I’m taking a deep breath, breathing in and out, trusting if my God, knowing that I will do my best and the rest is in God’s mighty hands! I’m praying my FIBRO fog doesn’t hit me until Friday night (pray with me on that), I’m praying that my RA pain especially in my knees, hips, ankles and hands is held at bay until Friday night (wow a whole week…..praying!!!). God has an awesome plan for my life, he has an awesome plan for me in this doctoral program….whether this class is my first B in a LONG time, my first C in a long time or by God’s grace my FIRST A in a doc stats course EVER….HIS HANDS/HIS PLAN! And I will give God the glory for He is good.

So off to study…I will keep you posted on one TOUGH week of this semester!

Also if you could send positive thoughts for my cough and cold are STILL hanging in there! Praise God my insurance kicks in Sunday!! WOOHOO!! 🙂

 

 

Slow Week…sickness still holding on

This week has been a slow one….my cough/cold is STILLLLLLL hanging on! Yes very annoyed with it! But in the United States this week has also been Thanksgiving week…where families get together and people go shopping at crazy hours of the day (I think getting up at midnight- 5a.m. to shop = insane).  For me this week consisted of resting at home, working on homework and stressing about all that needs done this next week.

Starting Monday I have a meeting on campus, then Wednesday I take my statistics final and Saturday my final class paper is due.  Plus I have a friend’s birthday party on Friday and I’m going to my alma mater’s play off game on Saturday. So yes a crazy week is coming up. Thankfully I did make some strides homeworkwise this week – my extra credit binder/study guide was finished, a draft of my final personal assessment paper is done, and I am one page away from finishing my statistics paper. I am thankful, so thankful for prayers for my health and for finishing this semester strong.  My statistics class is one of those classes where a GREAT (like close to 80% ) of my grade will be decided with what I turn in this week….talk about pressure! Although you know one thing I did realize…I have been in class close to 13-14 weeks…..I know everything I can know about it…TRUST myself.  I also realized I need to rest, take care of myself so I can be sharp for my final on Wednesday (plus I should take advantage of a study group on Sunday).  I also reminded myself, I cannot know everything but I can believe and trust myself with what I do know!

In regards to my paper, make my paper my own, don’t copy someone else’s work….do what I think I should turn in. If I like it and I have put my 100% into it…that is all I can do. I am one of those people that I try to follow what I think I should do…..that is I look at a bunch of papers and go I need to put this, that etc….and I risk a hodgepodge paper that does not sound like me. The bottom line is this class is just one of my many classes, this degree is a triathlon to obtain…one grade is one grade…the most important thing is to apply what I have learned and show that I have learned something.  So that is what I am going to do…I am going to write my paper sharing what I have learned….I cannot expect an expert paper (as much as I would like to have an expert paper) …why??? because I am not THERE yet….I am still learning….let’s be honest this is my first statistics course! I need to pay attention to my APA, my tables, my citing and input as much statistical results as possible but I cannot expect more from myself than what I know I can give at this stage of my academic career. As my teacher put it so well…..trust myself, and remember to pace myself! Give it all I can give it of course but pace myself nonetheless.

So yes lots of thoughts have gone through my brain this week…and I have tended to mull over these thoughts versus share them with the world. I figured I would save your inboxes from my randomness. There is much more to share though – such as a NEW HOUSE, moving, etc. but that will come later. I am hoping off to bed so I can get up tomorrow to spend some time studying statistics, going to a study group and finishing my first draft of my paper.

If you can say a prayer for me this week…it will be a tough tough tough week but I am confident that God will give me strength, clarity and all that I need to be successful. I keep reminding myself I am here because HE wants me to be here, I am in this program because HE worked it out for me to be here.  I am NOT alone, I do NOT have to face this week alone! Positive thoughts and prayers! 🙂

 

Barbara Jackson Memory

I was sad to learn that Dr. Jackson died on Thursday afternoon, we were her last cohort selected during her life. Such an honor to carry on her legacy through the generations to come. I learned A LOT at this conference, and  I am still learning! I am learning how tough this life is going to be with RA/Lupus/Fibro….I was amazed at how much energy a conference takes!!! Seriously so much pain and now sickness!

This choice of career is rewarding, amazing, but wow gosh….someone said they would rather do a residency (MD) that go for the PhD/EdD! While I do not know how true that is (and I doubt we can compare) I was shocked!

It is so tough living with an invisible disease, from the side effects of the drugs, to the fatigue, exhaustion, pain and frustration of limitations…it is like WOW! We have  a different life! Our new normal…is tough but I am THANKFUL that for today…I can still do what I love.

Honestly, I have more than many I know! I can still walk, and go to work! I can still go to class and work in my research. I treasure those blessings because one day I might not be able to do that, and so I def. treasure these days!

I am THANKFUL for what I do have despite my RA/Lupus and Fibro! Thankful for the Affordable Care Act that is giving me hope of insurance (cards should be here any day!). I cannot wait for 12/01! Making appointments SOON! 🙂

 

Here is a link to learn more about Dr. Jackson (http://www.ucea.org/home/2012/11/19/honoring-the-memory-of-barbara-l-jackson.html)

Love!

 

75% of the my “normal” RA/Fibro….

Since Thursday I have been struggling with a fever, sinus headache, cold, and sore throat. It is like wow…my body just said “HEY YOU ARE DOING TOOOO MUCH…..TIME TO SLEEP!” Granted I was not happy..this was the week that I had a speaking engagement tonight (was), I have to present my finding on my research to my class via a meeting on Wednesday and then Thursday I fly to Denver! I’m like REALLY THIS WEEK!!! REALLY!!!!

But you know the more I think about it the more I realize ….balance is key! I wasn’t too balanced the last month or so….living, breathing, sleeping statistics…and my research. And my body was like UMMMM yah this is not working for me! You would thing since I have had RA/Fibro/Lupus now for about three years I would KNOW how to balance….but I am still learning…still have not gotten there YET!

Maybe because like many people (or I would think like many people) who have these invisible diseases….we deny it. We say we know what our bodies can handle but then we have one good day! And by one GOOD day…we can actually get up with a little less pain, we can actually do our laundry AND fold our laundry! We can take a shower AND put on our make up! We can go to work for a few hours AND come home and not need a nap! Things like that make OUR days but then we sometimes forget and tend to push on with out a break ….at least I do (did).

The last few weeks I have been pushing on with out my normal nap in the afternoon! Yes I have been on a scheduled nap for a while now…I would go to work…come home, take a nap and THEN do some homework. Which I did ok with for awhile but then I had “SO MUCH TO DO” that I would not take a nap…and just push myself to stay up and do my homework. By the time I did lay down for a nap I was exhausted…beyond my “normal.”

Which that gets me to “my normal” what does that mean??? For me I define my normal as being able to get out of bed, get ready for work, go to work for a few hours a day and get my homework done. Granted this is all done with pain, exhaustion, and fibro fog. So def. not the “normal” that non-fibro/RA people feel. I miss my energy more than anything else…the fatigue/pure exhaustion makes me feel like I have non stop mono and then some! 😛 So when I say I about 75% of my “normal” that means a lot to my already exhausted and pain filled body!  I am hoping by tomorrow I am up to 90% of my “normal.” Even though it irritates me to have to say “my normal” but honestly I tell myself…acceptance will help me get through this journey easier.
My counseling background screams in my head——acceptance is part of grieving. I have to accept and move on on…but at the same time denial is part of grieving too. Will I ever “get over” my RA/Fibro dx???? I think probably one day….maybe…. Will I still struggle with denial of it….NO DOUBT. Will I struggle to balance….probably but my hope is I get better at it as I mature!
In the US we are going through a month of thankfulness! I am thankful that I live in a country now where I can get treatment. I am thankful that I am able to share my feelings about living with this disease. One of the main reasons I started my blog was to get out what I was feeling….Lord knows keeping all of this inside…ouch! And then I also wanted people to know wow we can live…it is a different life from the “normal” people but we can still live. And we can connect and we can share our lives! To know someone else out there KNOWS too …wow for me that is golden!
So I am thankful I can share my life and know I am not alone!

I am thankful today for my 75% of my “normal” and I hope that tomorrow I can be closer to 100% of my normal! I am looking forward to Thursday! I cannot wait to share pictures of Denver, my FIRST doctoral student conference and meeting with my fellow Barbara Jackson Scholars! The good Lord has blessed me and I cannot wait to see what will happen!

I still struggle to call my RA/Fibro a blessing…maybe one day! But for today…I am thankful I took yesterday and today to rest and let my cup re-fill! Balance… I hope to learn to do it better! 😛

 

 

Through Sadness there is Joy!

It has been THAT weekend! I have been meaning to type this post since about this time yesterday….do not you love how time seems to get away from you! Through sadness there is joy! The sadness I am referring to was partially mine (my lack of insurance) but also through the loss of a loved one. I was reading on CNN a few months ago about a woman who lost her life due to no insurance and therefore she was unable to obtain the medical care she needed.  The CNN reporter mentioned a piece of the Affordable Care Act that would have potentially given her insurance if she had known it existed.

Granted my interest was piqued because I too was (am) not covered with insurance. In fact every place I apply…DENIED! The only hope I had for the longest time was a high risk insurance pool….which would cost an arm/leg/hip etc. to pay for each month. So I went to the link mentioned (https://www.pcip.gov/Who’s_Eligible.html) and applied. The waiting was interesting….trying to not get my hopes up but also not letting myself hope either. It was that inner battle…can you be disappointed if you were not expecting anything?

Well the wait is over! As of last night when I checked my mail box…I was ACCEPTED! Praise God! As of 12/01/2012 I will be able to see my doctors! Blessed! Very blessed! I’m sharing this link with hopes that it can help someone else! 🙂

 

Small Things

It is the small things in life that I sometimes forget to be thankful for, and then when I recognize it…I feel so bad! Small things like wow I was able to open my make up jar this morning and it didn’t hurt AS bad as yesterday. OR today I was able to open 3 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Propel! That’s impressive because some days that does not happen! Too often I find myself feeling sad about what I cannot do – the non-stop going that I used to do or the socialization that now is minimal thanks to studying!

I focus on the negatives in life – I wish I could have, I wish I didn’t suffer, I wish this or that! Not to say that we cannot not or should not but sometimes….to pick myself up (especially in this month of giving thanks) I realize…wow there are so many cool small things I can be thankful for through out my day! It might help me feel a bit better too!

Class is done for this week…I have tons of homework to do but I have power, I have a roof over my head, I have food, and I have a loving husband. I have much more than many have tonight! I am thankful!