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The Return of the Ginger

I’ve been busy and depressed and mostly just out of wack the last few weeks.

I can’t seem to snap out of this funk I’m in and sadly it isn’t really getting any better.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks…

I had a fabulous trip to Las Vegas to see Garth Brooks!  He was amazing!  I’d seen him in concert in high school at Texas Stadium.  You remember the big shows and guitar smashing he used to do…the Vegas show was nothing like that.  He told fabulous stories and sang all the best songs!

Also had the chance to eat some amazing food and catch some other shows.  Really a trip I’ll never forget.

Baby Girl had her last day of first grade and we spent the weekend at a little farm house with friends.  I napped a lot and the kids played.  It was nice and relaxing.

Like I said, I’ve been depressed.  About relationships, friendships, RA.  You name it and it’s been on my mind.  I think I’m actually turning the color blue.  I’m a walking commercial for antidepressants.  There have been a few days where I just couldn’t function.

My joints in my fingers and toes are still swelling and actually they’ve been getting redder and more swollen.  I called Dr Navy and found out that I’m actually having a “flare.”

I’ve read tons of articles about RA and flares and what to expect and I never realized that I was actually having one.  I guess I assumed that since I have RA, I’d always have swollen joints and pain.  Turns out that all that napping was the start of my flare.  The Doc called in a steroid pack and again I’m feeling like a million bucks!  It’s awesome how those little pills can work so fast!  I have my next actual appointment with the Rhuematologist next week.  I’ve got a list of questions.

Baby Girls is gone for a few weeks.  She spends most of the summer with my Dad and family who all live a few hours away.  It’s good for everyone.  I get a break and Baby Girl gets to hang out with the family and cousins.

This is all I have the energy to do tonight but I do want to share some home improvement projects and other things…I’ve put off my blog for too long.  I’ve got lots to catch up on.

I Miss My High Heels

texasgingersjoints:

Love this post! Captures my feelings exactly!

Originally posted on Carla's Corner:

This weekend was tough. After three weeks, the Simponi shot has apparently completely worn off. I woke up Saturday morning almost unable to even get out of bed and didn’t even consider going to my water aerobics class. My husband had to leave town early Sunday, so he was somewhat insistent that we do dinner and a movie on Saturday night. I hinted that he really needed the time to get packed and organized for this trip and that we could just stay home and watch old scary Halloween movies instead.

I haven’t yet gotten to the point where I tell him, or anyone else, that my RA makes me feel bad enough that I can’t do things. I hate saying no when my husband is trying to do something nice or fun for me. I guess that’s the next step in my multi-step program of accepting/dealing with this disease.

I…

View original 239 more words

High Heels…I fear our days are numbered

High Heels…I fear our days are numbered

My foot pain is slowly but surely returning.  I knew it would happen…wasn’t sure how long I would enjoy the side effects (or “affect” I never remember which is correct) of the steroid pack.

It amazes me how many people experience foot pain due to their RA.  So I wanted to share some information I’ve found.

My feet are the most consistently affected by the RA.  The shoulders hurt the worst, but the feet are a daily reminder that I have RA.  Every morning, my feet hit the floor and I pray that they don’t hurt.

I’ve mentioned before that I really hate that I “may” (I’m trying to be optimistic) have to give up my high heels.  Or maybe I’ll only have to give them up some days!

I’m terrified that I’ll be forced to wear these!!

yhst-11400100427085_2263_96087036My great-grandmother wore these…Literally, I think it was this exact same pair.

I still have lots of questions about my feet….should I go to a podiatrist again? Or my Rheumatologist?  I’m not thrilled with my Podiatrist.  He’s a hottie but maybe the foot fumes have damaged his brain over the years.  I’m not sure he’s that great?  But maybe I’ll give him one more chance.

I really want to run again.  I miss it!  I get stressed or pissed off and I start day dreaming about my running shoes!  Which ironically were also listed as arthritic shoes on the site I searched to find the beauty above.

yhst-11400100427085_2259_105675897

 

More than 90% of people with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develop symptoms in the foot and ankle over the course of the disease.

Check out: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00163#Symptoms for a more descriptions, pictures, symptoms and treatments.

Sexy Arthritis?

Let me start by saying…The Arthritis Foundation has a really hard job.

How do you make arthritis sexy or interesting or fun?  How do you get people to donate to Arthritis?  Arthritis is just an old people disease right?  WRONG!!!

How can this organization that helps to support 3.9 million Texans only raise $53,000 in San Antonio?  It’s not the organization that is at fault…It’s lack of understanding and public education.

There are other diseases that get more media attention and financial support…don’t get me wrong, I’m not crying in my beer.  I realize that Arthritis has the perception as an “old folks” disease.  It’s not sexy!  AND it’s not understood by MOST people.

How do we educate and inform the public about the true cost of Arthritis and RA?

How do you get people to care?

 

 

Poppin’ Joints – Arthritis Walk

Well my first Arthritis Walk is complete and I’m proud to report I raised $500 in less than two weeks!  I only decided to actually do the walk on May 1st and I’d set a goal to raise $100/day.  I didn’t reach my goal of $1800, but $500 isn’t too shabby.

I’m already planning how I can do better next year!

I’m so blessed with great friends.  It was short notice and I still had so many show up to support me and the Arthritis Foundation!

I was able to have shirts made and I still have some left.  If you are interested in a shirt, just let me know.  I’m selling them and any profit will go to the Arthritis Foundation.

I asked my friends to be a “Ginger” for a day.  Some played along and some pouted.

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It was a good day!  Event Tipper (in picture) played along and went as a Ginger.  Andi, in the background was also sporting a Red Racing Stripe.

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Everyone wants to be a “Ginger!”

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Thanks to everyone who supported the event and me!  It really means so much!

All the single ladies…with RA?

Ok I really mean single mothers…not just single women.  I know you are out there…I just don’t see much blog traffic.  If you’re like me, you’re just trying to keep your head above water!

Are there any other single mothers out there with RA?

Do you have a blog or know a mother that I should follow?

I’m curious how they deal with being a single mother and fighting RA?

How are your struggles different or more challenging?

Thanks for sharing!

Healthcare IT – Impact for RA

I’ve been working with a fantastic committee the last 6+months on the regional HIMSS conference. I had the honor of chairing this committee and dusting off my meeting planning skills. (My first job out of college was in the event business.). Plus I learned a ton for my current career (Healthcare IT) and met some fantastic new professionals, partners, and colleagues.

HIMSS in a nutshell is a professional group dedicated to healthcare information technology. You can read more at http://www.himss.org.

It was a great learning experience and actually a lot of fun. I’ve been a member of HIMSS for a few years now and I have to admit that this week I viewed things a bit differently.

In my opening remarks I tried to encourage our attendees to see the bigger picture. As healthcare IT professionals we have the ability to impact the lives of people with chronic illness and disabilities. I think it is so easy for us to get wrapped up in the day-to-day crap and office politics. We forget that we can actually make a difference.

My healthcare organization supports service men and women….so I’ve always known that I was indirectly helping others. I love helping those who have served our country.

Until just a few months ago I had never even had a full blood workup. Ive never had any major medical problems with the exception of some pregnancy issues (which went away when Baby Girl was born). I’ve always considered myself healthy and I’ve never had any major problems…until the last few years. At HIMSS I had a new appreciation for my job and industry. Now I see how the healthcare industry can potentially impact my own life and healthcare. I see it from a patient’s perspective. Which is much different! RA has given me an entirely different perspective! I feel like I should sing “I can see clearly now the rain is gone!”

I walked out of this conference with some great ideas for my career and also ideas for myself. Seeing HIMSS presentations as just an IT professional is awesome but seek those same tools as a patient is exciting and motivating! I know how our patients feel and I know how making there lives easier takes a burden off of them. I know how frightening diagnosis is…any tool that puts them (or me) at ease is powerful.

Technology has the ability to make my own disease management easier. Technology can make the daily tasks that are difficult for RA patients much easier. Technology can consolidate all patient health records into one location!

I’ve only had health issues for the last few years but I know I’ve got a long road ahead of me. Having access to all my data in one spot….now that would be amazing! No more tracking pain, diet, meds, weight, exercise in multiple locations! Wow! I look forward to that!

In the last two months I have:

- used a blog and internet to self diagnose my RA (not always smart but I was right)
- researched symptoms, RA, drugs, support groups, treatments, alternative treatments, diets, yoga, disability….this is a very long list
- used apps to track my drugs and pain
- used my mobile apps to order Prescriptions
- used my FitBit to track my activity level
- created my own blog, twitter, and Facebook pages for Texas Ginger
- accessed my online health record

I’m sure there are tons of other technology based tools that I forgot and there are endless possibilities for the future!

I learned this week about some fabulous tools to help patients and doctors create a partnership in chronic disease management. There are a lot of tools being developed to help newly diagnosed patients learn about their disease and communicate with their healthcare professionals. Tools can help with prescriptions and doctor appointments …the possibilities are amazing and REALLY exciting.

I’m tired…it has been a long few days and I’m ready to relax. But trust me…I will be sharing more very soon.

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