Sunday, February 27, 2011


I've felt a lot of sorrow this weekend. It's awkward knowing my sorrow is what makes me human just as much as my joy makes me who I am. So in the words of Alanis, "How about unabashedly bawling your eyes out?"

Tonight I watched Cinderella, (the 1950 cartoon) and I pathetically cried all the way through to the end. I had to come to terms with the fact that, even though I would never admit it, I had a dream once to belong to a man who picked me and chose me above all other women. And like the expired pumpkin trampled under horse foot at midnight, my dream was trampled beyond recognition. It's not like I'm the only woman who has come to this place in her life. Perhaps even over and over again, we return to our cinderella dreams only to end up with the cruel reality that not one of them has ever come true.

This weekend has been hard, as I've been wiped out for most of it; literally sleeping for more than 3/4 of it. I had an IV treatment on Friday that is always such and energy suck. Now it's Sunday night, and I'm finally feeling ok. Just in time for the work week. I do resent that. (Just a little.) Will there be a day I have energy for loved ones and friends? Hobbies? A life? I'm 24, I want my life.

I will be going to the Mayo Clinic in March. My Rheumatologist is admittedly stumped as to why I'm not responding well to any of the treatments, and is hoping the Mayo Clinic may be able to find some new ideas. I hate when a doctor says,

"new ideas."

I've gathered over the years that is just a fancy way of a doctor to say he thinks more is wrong with you than first thought. I feel I'm in the denial stage of grief. I honestly don't think I can handle another diagnoses. The one I have is hard enough. Even so, additional medical problems are now being considered, and I'm off to see the "Dr. House" of medicine in just a few short weeks.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Young Forever

There are other things I would rather be doing than sitting here writing a blog. I would prefer to be outside. Riding the horses would be choice. Running a few miles would be pretty awesome too. Or maybe a nice, long hike in the mountains with friends would make my day. Not to mention a good snowboarding trip has been calling my name for a few years now. I've been getting bored with my life, and I know it's because I've needed to start shifting my focus from victim to overcomer. So I've decided to start actively looking for ways to enjoy a life accommodating to my arthritis ridden body. Finding arthritis friendly things to do was once a highly depressing aspect to my RA. I felt like such an old lady no matter what I tried to do, but now I'm actually starting to get excited about the new world of outlets I'm beginning to discover. For example, I am surprised to find I actually enjoy math lectures. I may even be getting a tutor just for the fun of it. No pressure, just learning crap to learn it can be an amazing thing. With that outlook, I actually enjoy finding the limit of a function and the idea of expanding my knowledge in just about anything. Photography, music, and yes even blogging are 2nd and 3rd choice things slowly becoming my first. I may even take up painting again. Simply put, the way I used to exercise my physical body for a challenge and sense of accomplishment, I am now aiming to do with my mind. Wish me luck!

You have most likely listened to me gripe about my nurse, so you will be happy to hear I now have a new nurse--and I really like her! I feel confident she cares about her job, and she doesn't make me feel like I'm stupid when I ask questions. She actually reads my chart, and writes down what I'm saying. What a concept! She also seems to get that just because I'm pushing myself daily, and still working doesn't mean I'm necessarily ok. This is the first time I've felt someone in the medical community actually understands this. Lots of people do what they have to do regardless of how they feel-- and my joints and muscles are showing the wear an tear of me doing just that for so long. I'm glad to have someone paying attention to the fact that what I do is not a reflection of how well I'm doing. She is trying to bump me up to different approaches to treatment, and that rocks my world. So maybe now I will be getting somewhere.

On a side note, men: I'm very frustrated. Maybe I expect too much from you, but from the way the last relationship went, I don't think so. The phone works both ways. (However, if I don't get back with you, it's safe to bet I am not interested. So please spare the continual attempts to win me over.) AND If I AM contacting you in any way, please realize it's taking a lot of effort on my part, and that I probably have a lot of respect for you. I don't bother with men I don't respect. Have some patience. Chivalry isn't dead. I appreciate a gentleman. I'm not the best choice of women right now. I admit that, and all men are not the same, but today I feel they are. "If you've ever loved someone put your hands up." Hands down, I've been there, but I've learned to hold out for the one who will love me too.

One way or another, everything important to me has fallen through my finger tips like grains of sand. My decisions and the decisions of those around me have brought me to count as loss all sense of control over life: financial stability, trust in friends, faith in God, an amazing love life, and good health. Feeling of worth to anyone and anything--it's all blown up in my face once or twice. The only sense of peace I gain from my life now is that all I've held dear has been ripped from my life, and I still have breath in my lungs. Which leads me to believe there must be something more to my life than I thought before. Whatever it is, I know it will be good regardless of my circumstances. I know early into this new year, that my life is good, and that I won't let my spirit die young.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Today is a bitter anniversary of something in years past I won't repeat here. Next week will come the day I will have been divorced 1 year. I've often wished I could do better than I do with such vomitous anniversaries. Yet, I've realized how they come back with a vengeance when I do nothing but try harder and harder to forget about them.

With each painful, unsettled memory, I feel the monsters of my nightmares have successfully captured me. I'm convinced the only thing to do is wake up and talk myself out of their terror. Lately, I've literally been sweating out, freaking out, and at times going a little deranged. I've embarrassed myself through all this, but I don't regret any of it. I don't regret facing my demons even when they scare me beyond composure.

I don't feel I'm totally safe yet. I still wake up at night scared, trembling, and in tears; and like a frightened child, I often catch myself looking over the shoulder of my mind's eye. Yet, I've started to entertain it all as the darkness before the dawn. The words of a friend recently compelled me into such a new outlook,

"You know there is nothing to be afraid of"

The anniversaries of my life are no more a reality to me than a really bad dream. They can't hurt me anymore. Because of that, I know one day I will rest again. Like when a child finds the courage to sleep again, I know I will one day be brave enough to live soundly and without fear.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Arthritis Woes & Retrieverbabies

Today feels like a blog day. More like an emotional vomit day, but whatever.

It's no secret I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and that I've had a hard battle with it. Why it's been so resistant to treatment and aggressive with me, I don't know. And as I will likely be resorting to chemo (IV) this year, (which is a step up from what I've already been doing) I have become more discouraged and frightened about my future than ever. At times, when I am at the mercy of pain with no end in sight, I feel like a torture victim who may never fully recover emotionally and mentally from their experience.

And for those of you who have asked, painkillers don't cut the pain. Unless I want to be totally doped up, unable to do anything, I have to live with pain. I used to wonder why people resort to heroin for pain relief. Now I know: I'm losing hope in the advances of modern day medicine, and with each day of nothing to look to, I feel I'm losing my mental and emotional integrity.

Eventually I will find a way to cope with this disease regardless of what physical improvements I make. Plus, already being well aware of the hell brought on by a life of drugs, I can pretty much gurantee my hope and cope won't be heroin. (Makin momma proud.)

I know things will get better. In fact, if I really think about it, I can elaborate on how they are getting better. the fact that people have stepped up to the plate in my life to show me they care has been awesome. I never thought the support I've received from various friends and family existed. I guess now would be the time to start mentioning names but if you listened to me cry, or held me through the pain this year--you know who you are! Thank you.

The lemons of my RA have been a bitter bunch to make lemonade out of, but with the help of others I'm trying--and I'm trying hard--to stay positive. I am looking to make 'lemonade' through Assistance Dogs Of The West; finding the right puppy and training my own service dog. This will serve twofold. Not only will I have the new outlet in life of training my own dog and having its help, (My old outlet being running like crazy, which I can no longer do) I will also hopefully be able to train dogs for other disabled people.

This endeavor has not been without it's own setbacks. Today, I am slightly miffed that the litter I've been waiting a year for, has gone totally to politics of the dog show world. However, the more I get my hands dirty in the big bad world of purebred retrievers, the more I am determined to get the best stinkin dog out there. AND it's all the more appreciative and proud I am of the beautiful, healthy retriever I already have. Don't you worry, the right puppy will come in time! And you can bet that milkshake will bring all the boys to the yard.