Monday, April 30, 2012

Word Picture

RA word picture

Friday, April 13, 2012

HWAMC #13 Ten Things I Can't Live Without. . . .

There is only one thing that I can't live without. . . my relationship with Jesus Christ. Without that, nothing else matters.

Having said that, there are many other relationships that are very important to me. My family, my church family, and my friends who are considered family are very important parts of my life.

Things may make our lives more comfortable and we may enjoy the things in our lives but relationships with other people make life worth living.

These are just a few of those relationships. If I posted pictures of all of the important relationships to me, it would take pages upon pages of posts.


Eric at Disney WorldDennis At Disney WorldFather and SonScooby


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stream of Consciousness Day HWAMC Day 12

Today's writing prompt is a "stream of consciousness" post. Basically, we write around a sentence without stopping or editing. For me, this is quite difficult. I have an internal editor that doesn't like to be turned off.

Horse looking in car mirror

Today I looked in the mirror. . . .

I don't particularly like what I see.

My fingers may be puffy and a little twisted, but when I hold a dying patient's hand, those fingers are beautiful.

My body may be overweight, painful, and not work like it should, but when I embrace a patient's family member, my body is beautiful because it comforts.

I have never been considered beautiful, my health issues may leave dark circles, and age has traipsed across my face leaving a few wrinkles, but those things are trivial when you consider what my patients face each day.

As a hospice nurse, my patients don't care if I look like Tyra Banks. They do, however, expect me to be loving and compassionate.

The next time you look in the mirror, look beyond the face staring back at you. Look at the person within. The one your parents love. The one your spouse and children love. Try to see yourself through the eyes of those who think you are the most beautiful person in the world.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Theme Song


Today's WEGO challenge is what theme song would you have for your blog or health focus?



Man playing guitar on the beach

Jeremiah 29:11" For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Lord, today I will praise You.
I will praise You.
You, Lord, and You alone will I praise.
I lift up Your name, holy and worthy of all praise

You, oh Lord, have blessed me,
Loved me,
Treasured me,
 You, oh Lord, You alone have saved me.
I was lost but You found me
I was broken but You healed me
I was stranded in a pit of self-destruction,
But You, oh Lord, You saved me.

Lord, today I will praise You.
I will praise You.
You, Lord, and You alone will I praise.
I lift up Your name, holy and worthy of all praise

You, oh Lord, are worthy of all honor and praise.
You alone are worthy.
You are my salvation.
My hope.
My all in all.

Lord, today I will praise You.
I will praise You.
You, Lord, and You alone will I praise.
I lift up Your name, holy and worthy of all praise


You, oh Lord, have blessed me,
Loved me,
Treasured me.

Lord, today I will praise You.
I will praise You.
You, Lord, and You alone will I praise.
I lift up Your name, holy and worthy of all praise

My theme song could only be one of praise because in the midst of the storms of this life, Jesus has held firm and loved me in spite of me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Dear Me

A couple walking along the beach in Southern California
Today's topic in the WEGO 30 Day Challenge is to write a letter to myself at sixteen.

Dear Me,

Today is your sixteenth birthday. Take a long look at yourself. You need to realize that you are a treasured child of God. (Isaiah 44:2) "This is what the LORD says-- he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you." 

The despair you encounter will not destroy you but will make you stronger. Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Instead of focusing on ways of to end this life, look to your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When you focus on Him, you will begin to see your life differently.

Once you begin to realize that God made you for a purpose and you begin to look outside of yourself, reach out and help others. Do something for the less fortunate. Work at the soup kitchen, visit nursing homes, volunteer to help with the kids at church. Go on youth mission trips. 

When you turn eighteen, go to college. Don't get mired down in the misconception that you need to be married right away. There is time down the road. For now, go to school and have fun while you're doing it. Get involved with young adult classes at church.

Each year, take time to reflect on who you are in Jesus and how you've helped others in the previous year. Remember that you were placed on this earth for a purpose. A purpose greater than you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On

Today's challenge was to design a poster at 
http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/





Keep Calm and Carry On
Often when living with a chronic illness, it is difficult to remain calm. Sometimes it seems as though every visit to the doctor brings more bad news and more to deal with.

We must remember to live our lives for today. We have no assurances of tomorrow so if we remain calm and carry on for today, then the worries of health don't seem quite as overwhelming.

If we focus on today, we won't be worrying about what tomorrow will bring. While this is not an easy accomplishment, if we succeed, our lives will have less stress.

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Best Conversation

A group of men talking

The WEGO 30 Day Health Challenge for today was to write about the best conversation I had this week.

Since I talk quite a bit, this one was a little bit hard for me. I have had quite a few good conversations.

Mine for this week was a short and simple little conversation but it meant the world to me.

It happened just a little earlier today. My husband drove to the store and the dog and I rode along.

Dennis caught me by the hand.

I smiled at him. "My best friend."

"First and foremost. You were my friend first. I just liked you when I first met you."

I squeezed his hand. "I love you."

He gave me his sweet smile and said, "I love you too."

Such a simple conversation. One we've had millions of times but it always brings a smile to my face. 

I hope you have a blessed week.



photo credit: pedrosimoes7 via photopin cc

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Isolation of Chronic Illness

Woman sitting alone
When living with a chronic illness, there are many times when the isolation is a little overwhelming. 

I recently rented a scooter when we in Disney World and I found just being in a scooter had a tendency to leave me feeling a little isolated. 

At times I waited behind the scenes for a ride while they had my family wait in the regular lines. Having said this, I would like to emphasis that while we had to wait in alternate lines and at times waited longer than the regular lines, Disney World is one of the most handicapped friendly places I've been to. The staff members in the hotel and the parks were courteous and helpful.

Other times, I noticed that people just did not see me. They would cross in front of me causing me to have to stop to keep from hitting them. I don't think they were being rude, they just didn't see me. As I looked around, I noticed the other people in scooters were facing the same things.


A mobility scooter
My Ride for Disney World
Other times, when I haven't felt well-enough to attend church, I felt isolated from my church family. Our church has resolved that issue for us by having live services streaming at http://www.crossroadsodessa.tv and they have developed an app for the iPhone and iPad where we can watch the sermons.


In addition to watching the live sermon, there is a chat option so you can connect with other worshipers.


What other ways can we overcome the isolation of chronic illness?


Friday, April 6, 2012

Haiku

Today's challenge is to write a haiku or two.....

Snowy da
Cold rain drizzles outside
Winter dances in the city today
Creating achy joints

Spring breezes blow through
Sun kisses the dry parched land
Gritty eyes view windy days




Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Writing About Health




Today's challenge: "I write about my health because. . . ."

I write about my health because I want to help others. If I can share my experiences and some information on diagnosing, treating or living with Rheumatoid arthritis, perhaps someone who reads my blog will find hope and help.

There have been many comments left on my blog that have touched my heart. 

"I just found your blog and wanted to say, Thank you, what a wonderful and brave post. Depression is a liar, trying to make you believe things that aren't true. I've had my own battles since I was young - on and off for 30 years. Having got the lovely gift of RA, the depression has been rearing it's ugly head. I'm determined to put it back where it belongs. Love and hugs to you. on Depression Revisited"
 
"I am so happy I found your blog on Facebook. I also suffer from depression since being diagnosed with RA. Thank you for this post. on Depression Revisited"

 Comments like the ones above are the reason I write about my health. This life isn't about me. It's about using the abilities and obstacles that God has allowed in my life, to help others.

If by writing about my health and my life, I can help one person, the time I spend on my blog is worthwhile.
 




Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Super Hero

A woman in a super hero suit
Today's challenge asks if we had a superpower what would it be and how would we use it. This is a tough one for me to write on because my heroes are everyday ordinary people who do extraordinary things in spite of the obstacles in their way.

Dois Rosser founded ICM, International Cooperating Ministries. This soft-spoken, southern gentleman was a successful businessman in Hampton Roads, Virginia. In 1986 He saw an immense need in India for places of worship for Christians. He then founded ICM and began building churches around the world.

My husband and I had the honor of meeting Mr. Rosser when we won a trip to Ukraine with ICM. Seeing first-hand his love for the people of that country and his selfless giving, in spite of being older granted him a place in my heart as a hero.

The others who I hold as heroes are all people who give of themselves out of love for people they don't know. I believe the greatest superpower available is love. No matter the state of our physical bodies, we can reach out to others and love them. Love is the greatest of the superpowers.






Monday, April 2, 2012

Inspiration










Today's challenge was to write about a quotation that inspires me. Instead of one quote, I thought I would look at an entire song.Francesca Battistelli's Free to Be Me inspires me. It reminds me that I am free to be me. I'm not longer twenty but perfection is still my enemy.


In spite of my physical limitations, quirky (some would say nerdy) personality, my shyness and awkwardness, God has given me the freedom to be me. Because of my relationship with Him, I can accept me for who I am and learn to accept my limitations and develop my abilities. I'm free to be me.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Health Time Capsule

If we developed a health time capsule to be opened in 2112, what would we include in it? How would the folks who open it view our "state of the art" healthcare?

Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, let's look at the technology we now have for diagnosing and treating RA.

A time capsule for RA should include all of the tests that are currently done to diagnose and monitor the condition. An RA titer, ANA, CRP, Sed Rate, CCP, and a CBC to name a few.

We should also include examples of some of the more common DMARDs. A bottle of hydroxychlorquine, sulfasalzine, leuflonamide and methotrexate are all good examples. 

Next, we need the biologics. Humira, Enbrel, Remicaide, Rituxan, Simponi, Actemra, Cimzia, Kineret, and Orencia.


We probably need to toss in an X-ray machine, MRI, and an ultrasound since those are used to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of RA.

Since many people with RA have severe limitations, we need to throw in a handicapped parking permit, a scooter, a wheelchair, canes and crutches. In addition to mobility aides, the time capsule wouldn't be complete without jar openers, IMAK gloves, braces, heating pads, rice bags, specialty utensils, gas cap turners, non-slip mats, just to name a few of the specialty devices we use every day.

Since our huge time capsule is overflowing, we'll seal it up with this little sampling of things used for RA diagnosis, treatment and daily life.

What will the people who open our time capsule in 2112 think of the contents? I hope they would experience shock at toll taken by a disease that is no longer around.

Maybe they will find many of the diagnostic techniques archaic and torturous as we do many of the treatments from a hundred years ago. For example, in 1912, oxidizng the blood was considered state of the art. This was done by electrification. 

Much of our current technology has only been recently developed. One example of recent technology is a common diagnostic tool used today. The MRI was only developed in 1970's by Dr. Raymond Damadian. In 1977 he built the first full-body MRI machine.


Since technology increases almost daily, I'm confident that great strides will be made in the diagnosis and treatment of RA and possibly the eradication of the disease completely by 2112.