Another week!!

Wow it is hard to believe another week has flown by! I remember thinking as a kid that the year felt as if it passed so slowly..not in my adulthood it feels like the months just fly by! I can hardly believe this weekend we will be in March! Wow!! Crazy. 

I have spent a lot of time this week thinking about a lot of things. I worked a six day week….so today of course was  day full of pain, exhaustion and the works.  The good news is that I have been able to sit in bed/couch all day (yes I’m realizing I have to take care of ME), and I have gotten some homework done! So two positives…still….there has been lots of pain and I’ve been dragging myself around all day! 😦

I realized this week the value of completion! I had this saying in graduate school that “it doesn’t matter how long it just matters that you finish.” I’ve reached a point in my academic career where I realize I must balance ME and my completion.  The focus should not be on just finishing a product…the focus should be on ME HEALTHY completing the projects that come with school. The pressure and stress that was relieved when I came to that conclusion was amazing. Yes I would love to finish in 3.5 years…but so what it if takes me a full 4 years??? If I finish in 3.5 years and am so sick I cannot work…I would probably be wishing I had slowed down a bit, and been able to walk out ready to do something. 

Random thinking I know… I have myself on a writing/data collection schedule so that I can hopefully keep up with my research. I have surprisingly had more homework this semester than I anticipated…actually more homework this semester than the last two semesters! So I’ve been adjusting to that added piece. The good news is that in some things I am ahead and that helps./

Organization and balance is critical! 🙂 Easy said hard done!!! I’m off to do more homework! Focused this week on getting done!!! 🙂 WOOHOO! 

Freedom

Do you ever find yourself feeling free by sharing your story. I had that experience this week….I finally opened up and shared my story so that I could be honest with several close friends. Why had I not shared before? Well I was scared of being viewed as incapable…scared of being judged…scared that they would treat me as less of a person. Then I realized…I could not be true to myself if I wasn’t true to others. The reality is if people want to treat me different ….oh well…because I am different .

My normal is not their normal…I face many daily battles that so many people do not see. As I am sure you understand, some mornings just getting out of bed is a major battle. Much less getting up, working full time, and completing my coursework. The good news is so far I think my limited discussion has been met with basic understanding. My goal is to as long as possible keep going strong…because that is what I want to do. 

That said, I have realized that I have to balance things too! I have to make my health a priority (similar to what I shared this week with a friend). I will be no good if I push myself soooo hard now to finish….what will happen if when I’m done…..I’m so burnt out I cannot get a job?? What good will that be? 

Overall, I realized I have to have faith in my future. I have to have faith that all will work out! I have faith that being true to myself, making my health a priority, and all of the above is totally worth it.  When we have these sorts of battles….we struggle with decisions….decisions to hide, decisions to not cry and put on a brave face, and decisions to live our lives and not look back with the what if’s. So freedom is worth it…even if that freedom is stopping, re-evaluating, and putting your health as a priority! 

One Day

One day at a time, that is what I keep reminding myself! The journey of life is a marathon not a sprint. The journey toward earning a doctorate is a marathon versus a sprint. It is sooo easy to want to rush through everything so that I can just be done. But the interesting thing is once done….then more things come….so you are truly never done (if you believe in life long learning) until you die! And I want to get a lot done before that happens to me. 

I keep reminding myself that this doctorate is something I do one step at a time. One or two hours a night of data collection will be fruitful! One or two hours of working on on homework for each class will be worth it as a I see the days of a class come to a close! I have reminded myself this weekend, to take a breath, to stop and enjoy the PROCESS, and to enjoy the life I have right now. Yes I am a professional student (so it feels) but there is nothing wrong with being one. 

I need to enjoy the day after day, learn what I can for the future, learn what I can do to make a better life for myself, and learn what I want to do with my future. I have so many goals…the good news is that if I think long and short term….I can do many things! 🙂 This is regardless of having to deal with health issues. To many times we let ourselves become overwhelmed, I am guilty of this way toooo many times. I let myself get caught up tooo much with the long term. Balance! It is all about balance! 🙂

Stay strong, enjoy a wonderful beginning to the week! It is almost Spring Break!!! Is it horrible that I cannot wait 🙂 My second to last Spring Break (Hopefully!!) Wow! Hard to believe! Enjoy!

Home Again!!

Home again!! Well my whirlwind trip out of the state has ended, after flying out to New Orleans, LA on Sunday evening I made it back to Houston on Wednesday afternoon. I will say it was the most miserable weather ever in NOLA, it rained, the wind blew, and it was soooo cold. I had to walk about a block from my hotel to the conference hotel and even in that one block….I realized you can get pretty wet.  But it was nice to come back to my hotel room, turn up the heat to 75 degrees, and look out of my 15 floor view.  And the good news was that I did not get behind in homework, I was able to keep up and did not skip a beat. 

However, even though I did not lose a beat with keeping up with my homework I am still getting over the travel exhaustion. The exhaustion always seems to double when I travel 😦 That is the one bad thing! On top of that the increase of Lyrica is making my body even more susceptible to being tired…YAY!

But hey being positive, I hope that the increase reduces the flares so that I can keep focused! Maybe it is just me, but the pain sometimes blinds me. The pain sometimes makes it so hard to think or even start typing a page. So I definitely hope the many days of writing/working through flares are behind me for a little bit! 

Off to do more homework….here is to hoping for an awesome and restful weekend! 

Me too!!

I have been thinking the past few weeks about how much this journey can take a toll on our lives. Maybe it is just me but I try and have a separate world sometimes I don’t want to share my journey with everyone. Why? Well because I want people to not know how much pain I am in all the time .I want people to just assume all is great and wonderful. But what I’m learning is that makes the world sometimes feel so much lonelier than the world probably could be. Why? Well those two words “me too” make me smile and and feel such relief too.

When I can meet someone who has my struggles….who also feels my pain…who also understands the fatigue. Who doesn’t judge me when I say I want to do go somewhere but I have no energy, and someone who is more than happy to listen to me vent over and over again at the smallest things that just are my pet peeves. Those two words….start a new relationship, and a new journey.

But if I wasn’t willing to share…if I wasn’t willing to be real with people….who all would I miss knowing? Who would I miss interacting with and sharing the joys and laughter of this world? It is not to say that you cannot make friends with those who are not like you….but it does mean that sometimes maybe having that one person who gets you…can make a world of difference.

I’m doing my best now to live as way that doesn’t hide who I am and what I do…because honestly I am who I am …and I can only do what I can do. I can only work so hard, and do so much and it is my responsibility to take care of my body. If it take an extra semester to graduate….if it takes a little while to get ahead…if it takes a little while to start a family…that is ok because I want to do all of those things in the right timing for me and my body and my needs. What matters is that I do not overwhelm myself…what matters is that I stay focused on my goals. And that I realize that no matter what….I have to be real to myself and to those I am around.

Hang in there and be yourself! Make yourself proud and make those around you learn to listen to your needs! That is what matters! Stay strong!

From the heart of the French Quarter….au revoir! 🙂

Sunlight???

Well my rheumy visit was interesting! I found it interesting that for the longest time I felt like an observer in my rheumy visits…more like sure whatever you say. This time I was more vocal. I told her how I felt about the Imuran and how exhausted I feel all the time. I also mentioned my dislike of weight gain due to the steroids and the Lyrica. We had a good discussion (although frustrating one) about I finally got my lab results back. She was right….from the labs…my Imuran seems to be working so all the pain and the flaring might be more the Fibromyalgia. Rheumy decided to bump my Lyrica up to 450mg. a day! I KNOW!! A lot! And she also ran a vitamin test…apparently I am Vitamin D deficient. Soooo yah I get to take yucky prescription 50,000 units of vitamin D. 

I think it might be easier to take a beach vacation and bake in the sun….but alas that isn’t working out! The good news I am all packed and ready for my trip tomorrow. I am headed to present a paper! I have had these thoughts running through my head all week, I pray I do well. I pray I remember what I need to remember and  I pray that I do a great job! 

I am sad to leave my hubby, I also miss him so much  when I am gone. The hotel rooms might be nice but I still miss my own bed! The perk is though that we have facetime! That really makes my time away so much better. The sad news is that my IPad started having issues..the screen looks all weird. I searched online and apparently a circuit might be faulty 😦 The good news is that it still works but it has a funky screen 😦

Off to do library research! Rest well everyone!

Crazy week

You know those weeks where you are flying by the seat of your pants! That is what this week felt like to me! It was crazy….from driving to campus to campus…and meeting to meeting. Definitely exhausted…but the good news is…it is almost Friday!!! I have to pack tomorrow, I leave for New Orleans. Not the crazy vacation I was hoping for….I’m  going to present a paper! Whoop Whoop!! 🙂 I’m nervous as always…but I’m excited too! I think it is critical to present great studies to the research world. I hope these students stories will be shared and that I do the study justice.

So Sunday I fly out! Don’t worry I will post pictures 🙂 I love traveling (as you know) so I am excited…but I know this month will fly by! I’ve been balancing school, work, and homework. I have worked hard to keep up with everything….I’m not getting as much dissertation research done..but you know what I have realized. Just like back in college, then I had a goal to finish in May 2007. I realized in January 2007….that I will graduate when I graduate! The key is I will graduate! While in 2007 I did not graduate until December 2007..it was the best choice …the right choice for me

The same goes for this degree..whether I walk in May 2015 or August 2015 or December 2015…I will graduate in 2015. I want it to be the right time….the right time for me and my future…for my families future. So the take away…things happen…crappy things happen…you get knocked off the horse…you get up, you get back on and you keep going. Maybe you were slowed down….but it doesn’t matter..you finish! So finish your goal…pick yourself up and go forward! That is what I am doing!

I had a visit with my rheumy this week! She things my RA might be controlled with Imuran…we are waiting on blood work to know for sure. She thinks it might be time to bump up my Lyria to about 450mg. a week. I didn’t even know you could take that much! But apparently you can! So we are going to try that…depending on my blood work..she will move me to a tier two DMARD…I want to stay at a tier 1…but that is just me. I hope for good news! 🙂

Rest well everyone!