Today is the 14th anniversary of the day I lost my dad. My father would be 67 on September 15, if he was still with us. We lost him on when he was only 53 years old, after he had spent four years of his life battling several conditions and illnesses. At the time, he only had one grandchild. That grandchild is now 15 years old. Since his death, however, he has gained 19 more grandchildren.
You know how they say time heals everything; that’s not true. I was 19 when I lost my dad, and it never gets easier. When I think of all the moments that he has missed, and all the times when I needed him, I start to cry. I know that he has always been there, not physically, but in sprit, but sometimes, it doesn’t seem like it is always enough. He was a great father, and we had a lot of good memories, but I always wish that we had more time to make more. There are times when I dream he is still alive, so I guess that is his way of trying to make up for the time that we can never get back. It could also be his way of saying I am here anytime you need me.
Fourteen years is a long time, but you never forget and you never stop missing the people you love. I know that Dad watches over each of his seven children and, I am sure that he sometimes frowns (that would be my dad), but mostly I know he is proud because despite losing our father when our ages were between 20 and 4 years of age, we still turned out to be decent adults. It is because of him and because we never forgot that values that he instilled in us.
So, here is to another year of missing you, Dad. I suppose that being if missed means being loved, then, it is not all bad.
1. Reasons I really despise my job.
2. Reasons why I am still at my job.
3. Reasons why I really need a vacation from my job.
4. Reasons why I have twittered “I need a new job” thirteen times already.
5. How I would spend my money if I ever won the lottery.
6. Why I refuse to participate in the office lottery bowl.
7. Reasons why I wouldn’t share my lottery money if I won.
8. Reasons why I have not yet won the lottery, #1 being my refusal to share.
9. Why sharing is overrated.
10. Why I don’t practice what I preach to my children. Sharing would top that list.
11. Why preaching is overrated.
12. Why my Thursday Thirteen post has suddenly turned into my own “ADD song version.”
13. Why you are crazy enough to read my nonsense and even sing along with that darn “ADD song”, that is know stuck in your head.
Happy Thursday everyone. If you want to join in on all the fun, join us at the official home of Thursday Thirteen!
This is what RA sufferers are accustomed to a daily basis, along with years of misdiagnosis and believing and being told it is all in their head. Once they are diagnosed, they feel some kind of relief in knowing, but the lack of understanding of family and friends can be a tough burden to bear. It is like wearing an “A” on your chest as Hester did in the Scarlet Letter. There is so much people do not understand about RA. It is not just “arthritis” pain, stiffness and swelling.
There are so many more symptoms and conditions related to RA, that even doctors are just starting to learn about, so no fault lies in the lack of understanding. However, it is estimated that 2.1 million people in the United States alone who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. RA symptoms vary from one individual to another, but every sufferer faces the same predicament when it comes to those around them. The same misconceptions and lack of understanding exists from family, friends and the outside world.
While the ignorance faced is no one’s fault, awareness is so important. This is my world through my RA glasses and all I can do is share it. I hope that I can spread some kind of understanding to this disease, and while I cannot hand my RA glasses so others can understand, I can talk and blog about RA every opportunity I get, and I hope that I reach others who have family members that suffer and allow them to have an understanding that I strive for in my own family.
Welcome back to Sunday Stealing. Sunday Stealing originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim’s post. (It’s our way of saying “Thanks!”) We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme’s best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let’s go!
Today we ripped this meme off a blogger known as Jodi from the blog Moody Blue. She has tagged a bunch of folks on facebook to do it. She did not say where she got it from. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft’s thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!
Cheers to all us thieves!
Sunday Stealing: Jodi’s Meme
INSTRUCTIONS: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Post as “Jodi’s Meme: My Life According to (BAND/ARTIST NAME)” The great thing is that if you have already done this meme, you can do it again with a different artist! Please do!
Painted Too Much of This Town
-How do you feel right now?
I Should Be Sleeping
-Your favorite form of transportation
Running Back to You
-Describe Your Morning Routine
Fishing in the Dark (I am up at 4 am)
-Your best friend is
A Good Man
-What’s the weather like
Still Got Yesterday (same as yesterday)\
It’s All About You
-If your life was a TV show, what would it be called
How Lucky I am
Passionate Desperate Love
-What is the best advice you have to give?
Take it From Me
-What do you say when you are frustrated?
I see Heaven.
-Thought for the day
-How you would like to die
I’ll Die Trying
I love this road
Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! This one was a dozy. Have a great week. See you next Sunday!
With the busy life I have, you would think I would not have time to stalk blogs, but I do! It is something I have time for on a daily basis. The good news is, since I let you know which blogs are interesting, you have more blogs to stalk. The bad news is that your blog could be next. Here are the latest blogs I have been stalking and a fair warning to these bloggers, I will be stalking these blogs more often.
Cinda Crawford’s Health Matters Show
The goal of the Health Matters Shown is provide information about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In addition to RA, I suffer from both these conditions and Cinda’s page has been new source for information on symptoms, treatments, remedies and an offering of hope for those of us who suffer from these two co-existing conditions.
From the Health Matters Show page: “The objective of the Health Matters Show is to provide great information about Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the symptoms, treatments, and remedies, plus offer you hope of GETTING WELL. Hint… hint… my goal is to help people who want to get well, actually get well! You know in your heart of hearts, that what you want more than anything is to get well. You’re tired of feeling sick all the time! 1) You want to find someone who really can help you, 2) You need specific help to find out what to do, what to learn, where to go, and more, 3) You’re determined to keep searching until you find exactly that help! Visitors like you to the Health Matters Show get enthused and encouraged about the possibility of improving their health and about the work I’m doing. If you increase your chances of recovery from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you’ll get excited and uplifted, too! And that, dear one, is your first step on the road to recovery. I wish that for you more than anything. You deserve the opportunity to heal and reclaim your life. At the Health Matters Show you’ll find information and Get Well Health services to help you do that and to relieve your suffering once and for all. People Want Their Lives Back!”
For more information on coping or helping a loved one who is suffering from these conditions, please visit Cinda’s page. There may not yet be a cure for these conditions, but hope leads us closer to cure everyday.
Mommy2Nine at 11th Heaven’s Homemaking Haven
Mommy2Nine is raising nine kids with the 10th on the way. She lives in a tiny farm town in Mexico and enjoying the ups and downs of small town life. She has had her share of testing, but has relied on her family and her faith to guide her though life and raising her family. She is also a semi-vegan and shares with us recipes of all sorts on her blog, like this yummy veggie stuffed pepper recipe. Mommy2Nine also shares organization ideas, cleaning, tips, and ideas for frugal living. Be prepared for some heavy reading, because everything you need is right here, and there is no possibility of getting bored. I am still trying to tackle my kitchen after some great kitchen advice.
Mallen’s Making Lemonade Mellen is thirty-something single mother with rheumatoid arthritis. Life threw her some lemons and she attempts to make lemonade every day. In her blog, she discusses her family, dealing with rheumatoid arthritis and her faith as her guiders through her condition. In a recent post, Mallen tries to find a response to how RA feels.
Here is what she has to say: “With me, I am typically sore in my hands, wrists. Tasks like holding a book can be torture (especially since I love to read), cooking can be difficult, too. I love to cook and bake, but stirring, chopping, grating, slicing, etc. can be so painful. My elbows tend to give me trouble too. They just usually throb, ache, and burn. Shoulders and hips once in awhile give me grief which makes it difficult to sleep. The thing that really bothers me is my feet. I can’t seem to find any shoes that are comfortable except flip flops or crocs. So in the fall and winter I am usually so frustrated with footwear. I am 35 and I want to look nice and wear cute shoes, but the pain is too unbearable.”
I can truly relate to Mallen about these difficulties and the “I am too young for this” feeling. This excerpt comes from a Web MD article titled “Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women.” “RA often strikes women who are in their 30s and 40s who have heavy work and home responsibilities,” says Androniki Bili, MD, MPH, of Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pa. “We are looking at women who have young children and who are bread winners or equal partners in bringing in income.” In addition to attacking young women in the prime of their lives, RA quite often takes a bigger toll on their bodies than it does with men. David Pisetky, M.D., chief of rheumatology at Duke University Medical Center of Durham, N.C., informs that pregnancy is one of main reasons that women are more affected by autoimmune diseases such as RA and lupus.
Well, those were my latest stalking ventures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and you never know, your blog maybe next! I will see you another month for my next Follow Friday post. In the meantime, happy reading!
We all reach points in our lives where we question ourselves and our ability to handle hurdles that come our way along this journey we call life. I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a student and a legal assistant and I love being all of those things. I play many roles and wear many hats in both my professional and personal life. Like any other human being, I can get sad and depressed on occasion and it doesn’t help that I have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. I have spent the last week dragging my left foot around because it hurts so bad to walk on it and it just doesn’t want to move due to stiffness. My hands hurt so bad I can barely put my seatbelt on when I get into the car. My RA is getting worse, there is no question, but there is good news. My fibromyalgia medications seem to be doing their job and I do not seem to be noticing much muscle and tissue pain these days. Let’s face it, I have good days and I have bad days, but I get through them and manage to find some understanding of my purpose in this life and here on earth.
I am a mother first and foremost and that is my priority over everything else. Yesterday, after we had finished up school shopping, my nine year old and I had this conversation on the drive home.
Nine: Mom, don’t you hate having to spend all your money on me and my brother?
Me: Of course not.
Nine: But you work so hard and your bones and your body hurt.
Me: Maybe, but I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I have you and your brother in my life for a reason. It is all worth it.
My nine year old smiled, beaming from ear to ear. At that moment, he felt so loved. And despite everything I have been through, I would do it all over again for smiles like that.
Rheumatoid arthritis and Fibromyalgia are trying slowly to take away things in my life that I hold dear. I would do anything for children and that strength and determination is something neither disease can take away. I work, not because I have to (we would learn to survive on one income), but because I want to give my children the best life I can give them for as long as I can. The pain of RA and Fibro is a part of my life, and I will fight it for as long as I can, and I will never stop being mother because of it.
I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and I know that I will never be “normal” nor will my life. I am mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a legal assistant, and a legal student. So many people rely on me on daily basis. My life was far from normal to start with.
When I watch the world move hastily and with ease, it really gets me real emotional. I have forgotten what it is like to be healthly, and not in pain. Mornings are tough for me. I usually have not gotten to sleep until real late because of the pain and the sleep problems associated with fibromyalgia. I sometimes feel like both these conditions have dominated all my 33 and half years on this earth.
The fact is, it has been less than two years since both diagnoses. Some mornings, I can get out of bed with little stiffness and pain, and other mornings; it feels like I have been run over by a truck. I am lucky though. I know others with these chronic pain conditions that need help getting out of bed. I can still work, care for my family, attend to my studies and take care of my home.
However, my marriage has suffered, and I find that my husband has had a lot of difficulty adjusting to what is happening to me. I don’t understand it, but I know my husband, and denying that I am sick, makes things easier for him. Deep inside, he knows I am going to get worse, and he knows if he says it out loud, it will hit him as hard a baseball in the face.
Getting myself and my children out the door every morning is a difficult task. My husband is long gone to work by the time I wake up. I get up early enough to stretch my muscles and deal with the morning stiffness and pain. I go straight to the kitchen where I keep my RA and Fibro medications and my supplements and take those with food. If I do not take them with food, I end dealing with stomach issues the rest of the day. I have to take baby steps getting myself and my boys ready for the day. My feet, ankles and knees don’t always want to move.
Some days it is better, some days worse. This morning it was very difficult getting my seat belt on because my hands hurt very badly. Driving to the daycare, I watch people walking and riding bikes and I know that these are things I cannot do. The pain is too bad. I look at my boys, ages 11 months and 9 years old, and I wish I could spend more time with them instead of being tired and in pain all the time. I remember how much time by nine year and I used to spend in the park and the sports we used to play. I remember that when he was learning karate I was learning with him, because I would help him practice. We studied wrestling moves last year and practiced those, and we spend so much time walking and getting fresh air while we were getting to know our new neighborhood.
For me, that life looks a movie that my DVD plays over and over as a constant reminder of who I used to be. I remember my nine year old when he used to tag along to the gym with me two years ago, and how he couldn’t get stay out of trouble. That me no longer exists, and it hurts more than the physical pain does. It is even painful to hold the baby. I am lucky to have my nine year who is the best big brother in the world. While I would I love to curl up in bed all day and hide under my covers, I can’t let RA and fibromyalgia get the best of me. I have to continue my life while focusing on my health. When I get to work, I again have to take baby steps to get from the parking lot to my office. I type for a living and some days, I have to type with hand, finger, wrist and shoulder pain, and it is getting harder by the day. Before my diagnoses, I knew I would be successful at everything I did, but now I just want to make it through the day and provide for my family the best that I can.
For those of us with an invisible chronic illness such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Fibromyalgia, hearing the words “but, you even look sick” can be quite frustrating. That frustration comes from the fact that you are in fact sick and people do not understand how sick you really are. This is a big misconception that lies in the lack of understanding of an invisible chronic condition.
National Invisible Chronic Illness Week runs September 14 -20, 2009. In anticipation of this week’s awareness event, the committee asked 1200 people suffering with an invisible chronic illness to take a survey relative to how they looked compared to how they felt.
When I talk about having Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia, and I then “you don’t look sick” response, I am not sure how to respond. Sometimes I find it frustrating and sometimes, I am just relieved that I do not look sick. Other times, such a statement can be difficult depending on the individual saying it. Our friends and families “should” try to understand what we are dealing with on a daily basis, but quite often they do not. My mother has had osteoarthritis for several years now and until my own recent diagnoses within the last two years, I couldn’t even begin to understand. Perhaps, I am not one to judge others feelings, but when you hurt so much, that is a task in itself. I have learned that the world’s problems seem so small now that I am just trying to make it through the day, and focus on my health, resting and just feeling better.
I believe is awareness will lead to cures for these otherwise invisible illnesses. So, I ask each of you who read my blog to pass this information along. Please tell everyone you know about National Invisible Chronic Illness Week which runs September 14 -20, 2009. The goal of the yearly event is to increase awareness of invisible illnesses.
Did you know that half the American population has some kind of chronic condition and 96% percent of those people suffer from an invisible condition? If you or someone you love suffers from an invisible illness, you can understand that awareness is vital. Please spread the word. Bloggers can participate by uniting efforts to increase awareness online and share experiences. There is a badge available at Bloggers Unite so please pick that up and place it on your blog. For more information on when and how to blog, visit Bloggers Unite.
Last, I just wanted to remind you of RA Guy’s Awareness Campaign called The Power of Ten. Take ten minutes over the next ten days and talk to at least ten people about rheumatoid arthritis. Real awareness comes from real people!
The list below comes from the responses to that survey by the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week committee.
1. I am hangin’ in there…
2. I am so blessed. God is so good.
3. Drugs are a wonderful thing
4. I have my good days and I have my bad days.
5. I clean up well.
6. I have my ‘good’ days….but this isn’t one of them!
7. Thanks, I wish I felt better.
8. That’s a perfect example of how you can never judge a book by it’s cover.
9. Thanks, but there are many aspects of MS which you don’t see … would you like to know more about it?
10. That’s what most people think since pain can’t be seen most of the time. Have you heard about Invisible Illness Week? It’s really helpful to let people now that most illness is invisible.
11. I’m trying to appreciate that fact. I know the day may come when I have to use a wheelchair or a cane, and my illness will be more visible.
12. You should be on the inside.
13. Thanks. I have more to be grateful for than I have to complain about – which means I have a LOT to be grateful for!
14. Well I guess I did good job on my makeup, because I am having a hard time to tell the truth.
15. …And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it?
16. Powder and paint, make you what you ain’t!
17. It took a lot of work to look like this.
18. It’s God shinning through me
19. It’s nice of you to think so, but you’re missing the pain and agony that I really am in.
20. And you look so wise. Looks can be deceiving though, huh?
21. I’m having a “good face” day.
22. Yeah. My kid thinks it’s cool I’m an ill person working under-cover!
23. I do a great job hiding how I really feel.My life is still very challenging and probably will always be, but I am hanging in there, keeping a positive faith, and gratitude as THE attitude. Thanks for their concern.
24. I’m trying my best to do well OVER my circumstances instead of being under them!
25. It’s up and down.
26. I’m still struggling, but it IS nice to have a day when I am able to pull myself together and make it out of the house!
27. I’m not complaining about my looks.
28. I’m very good at pretending.
29. Good, because if I looked like I feel it would scare you to death.
30. Actually, I still am really hurting…
31. I am 36 years old outside but 85 inside
32. Thank you. I’m on my way to the Oscars.
33. Thanks, I’m grateful for this good day.
34. Things aren’t always what they seem.
35. Praise God, I’m glad that he enables me to look so much better than I feel.
36. Thanks, that’s God’s joy shining through!
37. Have you ever heard of the spoon theory?
38. I am upright which is better the alternative
39. Thanks, want to swap bodies for a few days?
40. Thanks, I guess I am fortunate that I have an illness that can’t be seen.
41. Thanks. I like good days.
42. Want to step inside my skin?
43. It’s amazing what a shower can do. I guess I am all cried out for now
44. Thanks…I wish I felt it!
45. I’m not complaining about my looks.
46. I’m very good at pretending.
47. Looks can be deceiving (and smile)
48. Thank God for makeup!
49. Thank you for caring. I try to act like I feel better than I really do.
50. Thanks, I am trying to even though it will never go away. i just try to remember things could be worse.
51. I’d be great if it wasn’t for the pain.
52. I’d complain but who wants to listen.
53. If I can’t feel good, at least I am determined to look good!
54. I’m in good shape for the shape I am in!
What do you say? Or what would you say if you could say anything (keep it clean!)
* This list can be reprinted. Please add the following at the end: This list is compliments of National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week at http://www.invisbleillness.com, based on a survey of over 1200 respondents. Get involved in Invisible Illness Week each year during September, including our 5-day virtual conference online.
5. You can get more joy out of buying an expensive toy for your child than buying anything for yourself.
6. Money is worthless if you have no one to spend it on, and that children are priceless.
7. It is harder being a child than an adult.
8. It is okay to let them make their own decisions, even though you know they may fail.
10. That even 9 year old boys can get their hearts broken by nine year old girls who won’t give them the time of day, and that you have no control over that.