Do you ever (maybe it is just me…) wonder if your pain is real? Do you ever go….hmmmm am I nuts….am I just feeling pain that doesn’t exist??? Random right? But that is a question that I thought about today….my body hurt soooo bad! My fingers, legs, and body in general just felt hit by a car. It feels real…and I almost cried thinking about how much I hurt.
Plus I hear….wow you look great….you must feel great! I’m like wow….at least I look great! Part of me feels like the better I look….the worse I feel. But I try and cover up my pain so that no one sees it…so that I look competent…and capable. Again…the thought crosses my mind….is my pain real?
Then I think of all the people I have talked to who struggle like me…and how sometimes it took soooooo long to get diagnosed. Their treatment possibly hinder because they didn’t look like they hurt…you could not see the hurt!!!!
Is my pain real….yes my pain is VERY real! And yes I might not look in pain….but my pain is real….your pain is real!
This is our journey…to make sense of our real pain!
You know when I was a child I think the concept of “being focused” did not click in my brain! I woke up, did my think but did I have a goal? Did I push myself through thick and thin? Did I aim for something or focus on a project for years at a time? Probably NOT! Even when I started college I certainly never can remember going…hey I’m going to go to school and earn a doctorate! Education is not really a “thing” in my family…which is fine…education does not have to be. I know MANY successful people that have excellent careers with out the college degree!
I think maybe I was a sophomore or junior in college before the hair brained idea creeped into my mind of why not complete a masters/doctorate degree in ______? And I say _______ because even what I thought I would earn a Phd/EdD in has changed! So definitely not my focus…it just sort of happened! I found something I was good at ….something that challenged me. Something that I could say for lack of better words…focused my life! Now living semester by semester is “normal.” And I can complain/whine about the studying, the lack of sleep and how much studying takes away from my “life” but at the same time….(and I think you know this) I would not trade it for the world!! Academics has made me who I am today…not that it takes an education to make anyone but education has helped shape my thinking, my dreams, my passions, and certainly my writing!
Two years ago today I was sitting in a hospital bed…extremely sick…tired…cranky and determined to give back to this disease and push others forward. If I have learned nothing else in the past two years…I have learned to give everything I have to go and earn an education despite the setbacks of my Fibromyalgia and my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Setbacks there have certainly been…sickness, sore throats, mono, fatigue, brain fog…and the never ending pain! But still…through persistence, through passion, and through focus have my dreams continued. I only hope that I am blessed to finish this journey! I know I will will be so happy to walk the stage for the last time! I hope in my heart it happens but I also know that if it doesn’t…for the various reasons that it might not (mostly health related)…I would not trade what I have learned through this journey. I would not trade it for the world.
So focus…I have learned the value of being focused these past few years! I am excited to see what else I will learn through this journey!
You know some days we want to stop and just rest….for an undetermined period of time! Like today….part of me wanted to just call it quits to the studying. No reason in particular but mostly because I was exhausted….my brain hurt, my throat hurt, and I kept sneezing. After so long working on a project ( and for me my education has been the last 10 years of my life – higher education that is) I think it is common to get tired! Maybe mentally tired, emotionally tired…much less physically tired. The physical part for me is probably harder….the Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia that never seem to let me forget that they are around! So yes…eventually you get tired when working on a project….or maybe it is just me!
So what did I do??? I took a breather…I slept in! I let my body get some rest that I had been craving over the last few weeks! I nursed a sore throat with hot tea…and I rested watching TV and then running small errands. I allowed myself to see that I have another day….and I will take another step….a small step but yet a step toward the future and the finishing of this project. The best part of working on a big project is taking small steps to getting the big thing done!
Many times it is hard to stay focused especially when tired and in pain! However, my solution is to break down the big project to small doable steps! My steps for today was to write a page for my project, to finish a draft of one paper, to edit pieces of a second paper, and to edit a powerpoint. So small steps working toward the completion of several projects, a final class projects and hopefully a dissertation.
I’m off to write another page…but I wanted to encourage YOU that when you are exhausted, when you feel you cannot do it anymore, or when you feel as if the project is too big.
– take a breath
-break down the project/the barrier into small pieces
– organize things so that you can complete those small steps in a timely fashion
– refocus yourself…..YOU CAN DO THIS!
– and take a step today!
Life is crazy right…..and I found out today it might even get crazier! My mind is working in over drive, the planner in me is working in over drive. But then I remind myself to breath, breath in breathe out! I’ve been asked to help tutor statistics!!! I’m excited ….nervous but hopeful that this experience will be extremely beneficial to me and to the student (s) I will be helping!
That said I mentioned crazy life getting crazier! Battling RA, Lupus and Fibro…..tutoring on top of my full time hour weeks (subject to change but for now I’m working ft hours), plus doing my own hw…plus being a wife (not mentioned last on purpose)! It will be tough but I’m hoping this teaches me how to get even better at using my time wisely! I know it is certainly teaching me how precious time is!
Time! It can fly by! I was reminded today that sometimes we find out on a Monday we have a terminal illness….and for this person her life ended Tuesday. Not even two weeks after a dx of a terminal illness. While she had time….some do not! Time is precious….how we spend our time…it matters!
I want to spend time teaching, loving, and laughing….especially in my crazy life!
Can a rainy day be good???? Well part of me says when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia then a rainy day is NOT good! But then again…could a rainy day be good???
I’m working on my second week of my new job! Today was a good day…I learned some new things and I got to conduct an interview with an administrator. Def a learning day! So yes in that sense this rainy was good!
I didn’t get my nap though! 😦 BAD! But I didn’t get my nap for a good reason! My hubby was getting promoted for his yellow belt in KSW! Very exciting! So I had to go and watch this moment :)! Proud wife that despite the rain…today was good!
I hope your rainy day despite your RA and Fibro was good!
Do you ever dream??? I’m up because my nausea is bad (thank you Arava!) and I cannot sleep! It is almost 1am and my eyes are still watching tv and my mind is wandering! The random thought popped into my head….do you dream?
I dream…..I dream of the day I will walk across a stage…the same stage that marked the end of my college journey.. That same stage where my Dad watched me finish college will also be the same stage where I will make the end of my educational career! Wow! Yes I dream of that moment!! That moment…that dream…keeps me going despite the pain, the nausea and the fatigue!
I dream…of running around, as if I had energy and was normal!” Weird right??? I mean I know in my head and my heart that these pains I will probably have for my life….but part of me goes…maybe tomorrow I will wake up and my dream will come true!! Dreaming sometimes it feels sooooo good! Especially tonight when my body hurts sooooo bad! My fingers, arms, knees, ankles…whole body hurt! I had a bad flare last night and I’m still recovering. 😦
I dream…of changing the world! I dream….of seeing the world ( China, Africa (again!), more of Europe, and south east Asia)! As you can tell I dream of travel!
I dream that the words I say today will help someone else out somewhere! You can dream! Dreams keep me going! Dreams keep me positive!
If I didn’t have my faith and my dreams…..I don’t know where I would be, or what I would be doing…hmmm
Dreams….dreams help make good despite bad! Dreams help me be positive versus negative! Dreams bring hope! That hope helps me say that despite my RA/ Lupus and Fibro…I will one day change the world!
How many of you are planners??? I am an OCD planner…living with multiple calenders/date books/online gadgets etc. Yes I love to plan…but this week I lacked in planning. I did not adequately plan rest into my day, and so today (since yesterday) my body has struggled to function. It is amazing what your body feels like when the pain soars because of lack of rest! I know this…I have experienced this before BUT yet I still often forget how little rest brings great pain! Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia bring havoc to our poor bodies, and when we get little sleep….the torture escalates.
So now I”m planning rest into my weekend!!! I want to get ahead in classes and I hope to do that one short assignment at a time! 🙂 Time management…it is amazing how well our minds know what needs done but how sometimes (at least for me) the last thing I want to do is manage what I am doing. I want to be superwoman, I want to go go go….and yet I cannot physically go go go! I have to rest! Maybe after yet another experience of little rest…maybe I’ll get it 🙂
It is one thing to lay in bed and listen to rain….it is another thing to have RA and Fibro + having to work while it is raining outside!! Today was a major milestone for me (well not specifically today but since last week actually!). I am back working full time hours for a while…and I am learning a quasi (mostly) new job! Today I learned that more gets done when effective communication is used and I learned that my body can work a full day but in the evening I am very tired!
As I rested briefly tonight I realized that I had flashbacks of completing my master’s degree program! I worked full time and studied full time! And yes it got done! Plus I was at the beginning of my RA/Lupus/Fibro treatment (dx in 2010). Those flashbacks were a tad painful – the lack of sleep, the never ending feeling of being exhausted, wanting to sleep all day, etc. etc. But I also had amazing memories…like knowing things were getting accomplished! And now even more importantly I am about a year and a half away from getting my coursework over!! I just have to keep focusing on that small goal! And then another year and hopefully the dissertation will be done!
It is all about small goals! This I have learned! First first small goal is to finish this semester! The second small goal is to get one or two conference presentations ready to go (meeting with prof at the end of the month!). And I have a few more goals but for now those are what I am focused on!
I’m hoping the pain in my fingers will stop soon! My thumbs hurt sooo bad! It is annoying, more than anything…constant pain gets really really annoying! And then the fatigue….right now I am sooo tired..but yet at the same time I know I have so much to do…I cannot really rest/take a nap! So I am going to get some stuff done tonight and then I will curl up for the night! One step at a time!
RA and Fibro do not have to win tonight…in fact I don’t think they will…but I do know they are dragging down to a much slower speed! That slow speed is what is annoying but hey at least things are getting done..speaking of..off to get more homework done I go!
Just a few night life pictures
Do you ever feel as if everything is going crazy around you?? That’s how I felt this week! I left for San Antonio on Wednesday! We (three of us from my cohort) drove together and had a fun time getting to know each other a bit better than we are afforded during our six hours in class. We arrived there in good time and checked into the Menger Hotel (http://www.mengerhotel.com/). This hotel is very historic and located right next to the Alamo!
My cohort buddy and I immediately got ready to present and then went to find the room we would be using! I practiced a few times as did she…but I will say the waiting for the time to come….that was nerve wracking. I was doing fine until the time came..then my stomach hurt because I was soo nervous..it did not help that the room was filling up either! I think I counted some 20+ people in the audience! Goodness! But thankfully I was successful in presenting my study and I a few asked questions after the presentation was over.
The night was MUCH better after the presentation was OVER!! My cohort mates ended up on the Riverwalk getting some food and enjoying some fun times. We were up bright and early for a continental breakfast at 8a.m. the next morning (EWW!!!) and then it was conference presentations until noon! Then a lunch at the hotel and back to presentations until 5:00p.m. Then another night on the Riverwalk! Friday morning again I was up early for a leadership meeting, my peers elected me to be their representative to this organization, and then the cohort meet for one more conference presentation. We got on the road shortly before noon and I was home by 2:00p.m.
What a whirlwind of a week!! My body was soooo tired from the travel, then the presentation, and then working to keep up with the rest of my cohort! We had a lot of fun but I paid for it. Yesterday I was soooo tired, I just wanted to sleep!
This morning I woke up early again! My hubby was testing for his yellow belt so we had to be up and at KSW school by 9:30a.m.! He spent about 3 hours testing, and broke his first board in this martial arts form! Then we ran errands before I had to come home for a nap! Now I’m back into the homework…..
So yes I want to catch my breath….sit on an island and have a pina colada…LOL! RIGHT!! 😛
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia don’t let me catch my breath! Homework doesn’t seem to let me catch my breath! BUT overall I’m still making strides so for that I am happy!! Fatigue seems never ending…but I’m fighting back! One step at a time..one breath at a time!