Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday time

Well I just got back from my yearly November trip. Welcomed back with cold weather and a wish for warmer weather. I clearly function better in the warmer sun drink in hand.....This week has made it very clear to me that I do function better in a warmer environment. Two days into getting back I was sore, stiff and achy again. I can not believe that I work in the freezing cold to be honest with you. I work early mornings in a cooler...I clearly am nuts! I love my clients and at times I love my job. I am surrounded by beauty everyday. BUT it is cold and a labour job which requires me to lift, pull, push and move around in a cooler. I have looked into going back to school but am at a complete loss for what I would be great at! I think in the new year I will look into it further. I can whip up a wedding in a day but maybe I am done with the whole flower thing. Let me ask you this, if you could go back to when you graduated and re-do schooling what would you be doing? For those who did not go to school right after graduation do you wish you would have gone? My biggest regret is not going right away. The problem now is money. Lets be honest it is expensive to live where we do. There just is never the right amount of money sitting there waiting to be plucked up for school. My goal for the new year is to really figure out what is going to make me happy, live long, and feel accomplished. What is your goal for the new year???

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What you see is not how I feel.....

Very interesting night last night!! I volunteered at the Blue Bird Gala for the arthritis society. What a great event. I met so many different people who all treated me so great. I was very honored to be able to hear a woman speak about her life and living with arthritis. I felt like she was talking about all the things I constantly think about. I got extremely choked up as I heard her tell her story. Although she has a different type of arthritis I still find the stories that all arthritis patients have to be alot alike. Today I changed my status on face book with a quote someone said. To sum it up the quote it said......although you may see me and I look normal to you inside I am struggling. We are often afraid to express how we feel about our situations. We get worried about how others will feel or judge. Everyone struggles in some way. Last night I was surrounded by people who made me feel like I did not have to be embarrassed are ashamed of my situation. I often think because I look normal and seem it that maybe I am nuts to think others will listen and understand. For the most part people are very understanding but I do meet others who pass alot of judgement. It was so great to hear someone talk about how afraid they were for certain aspects of life. The raw truth is this....although we seem like we have it together I am almost 100 percent sure that we all at some point sit and worry about our future with a debilitating disease. I want children but will I be able to? I want a good job but will I be able to be with a employer that long term will understand the disease? I want to be able to everything I can but part of me is scared about my future. Who will take care of me? will I end up with hip surgery? or even using a walker.......These are just a few questions I can not answer. I try not to think about them to much but last night while Trish was speaking I felt like I was listening to all the things I feel. I am scared, there is no question about it, I can take medication to make everything seem great, and I can have a positive outlook but deep down I am scared. I know as long as I keep living a healthy meaningful honest life I will always feel like there is hope but, I am not afraid to tell you that I am scared. I like to participate in events for the arthritis society because it reminds me I am not alone in this battle. I have so much support and so much love that I know I will conquer all my obstacles. In life we must not be afraid to show who we are. Sometimes be vulnerable and let people in. Last night Trish made a huge impact on me and I hope that in turn I can impact someone aswell.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


These past couple weeks have been excellent!!! I am feeling back to my normal self. I have been able to get back to my healthy life style of being active. Limitations are a very hard thing some people deal with when they have a debilitating disease. Some slip into a funk while others fight with every once of their being. I have found that the more active I am the better i feel and the better attitude I have. When I am struggling I can feel myself want to sit around because physically I am unable to be active. I have done a bit of speaking at some previous events where I really tried to express how important mentally and physically it is to be active. Some days although I still feel tired I really do my best to get out for walks and runs. I live in a beautiful area filled with the best walking trails and the best scenery available. The reason I started to run was because I basically was told it was something I was not going to be able to do. It was not until my sister finished her first half marathon that I thought....WOW wouldn't that be amazing to complete that and show others that it is POSSIBLE. I have been trying to work myself up to at least 10k and I have gotten pretty close. The most I have done is 9k and it was hard. Although I was out of commission for a couple days after the success was great! My goal is to run a half marathon. I would love to be able to run one with my sister. I can not even imagine the sense of accomplishment that would be.....the thought is a big one but achievable. The only limitations are the one we put on ourselves. You will never really know your absolute limitations until you try. I promised myself I would do a half this year. I think right now it looks like it will be 2012 but I am still hopeful that when the day comes I will show this disease it is not in control. NO ONE controls this girl!! LOL Anyone who knows me knows that statement is true. Some days I hate that I am injecting this product into my body but the quality of my life is so much better. I feel like my legs and body have life.
This week I had 3 people say that I was to young for arthritis. I told those people this. I was just given this challenge to help me appreciate my life more. I do not take walking, running and being able to be active for granted. I am not saying that those people do I am just saying I have a better appreciation for my body and my quality of life. If there was one thing I could pass on to anyone dealing with this or any debilitating disease I would say don't stop believing.....just always have faith that god gave you this for a higher purpose. I think mine was to teach others that a positive attitude, and willingness to achieve the things we once thought were impossible is the outlook I am to have.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Family & Friends

Family is very important to me. I love my family! I am really lucky that I have great family. I look at other people relationships with there families and I just see how lucky I am to be so blessed. My biggest supporters have been my family. They have attended most of the events I have done for the arthritis, they have sponsored me, stood on the sidelines cheered, and also shared tears with me. I can not imagine not having anyone to help me through the times that have been tough. Some days after appointments I have called my mom just to cry and tell her how unfair it is. I usually have a good cry and then she reminds me that I need to stay positive and keep a strong frame of mind. She lets me have my down moments but also does not let me fall to far. My nephew Caelan....ohhh that little monkey  currently he is the apple of my eye. I am so in love with being an auntie is is crazy. I look at him and my heart fills up with so much love. I can not wait to watch him grow up. He makes me want to be healthier and better so I can always keep up with him. There is just so many happy things in our family.  I have so many things to really look forward too. I could go on and on but what I can tell you is this.........Family is where your heart is, where you grow and learn, where memories are made, and where you will always be loved. You will never be judged and always be helped. Family is Love , Love is Family......( I wrote that myself) Good I know!!

Friends come and go so they say.....but it is so true they do come and go, and some are brought back after long periods away, others fade, for some life takes over or distance is hard.  In this process have been able to determine whom is with me for the long haul, who is with me in spirit, and who is uncomfortable talking about aspect of this disease, and who my lifters are. I come first in my life and I made a decision to keep happiness around me. Life is tough enough why deal with drama. I want people who enhance my life not make think about whether or not they care. It's pretty easy for others to place judgment or not care, but we must remember that just because a person never talks to you about your condition does not mean they don't care it could mean they are just not comfortable with it. I did not choose this disease TRUST me it was not in my plan to have to deal with this at all. But with that being said I think I do really well. I keep my chin up, I help others, I think I listen better and I understand that not everyone will understand or get it. I will say that I am lucky to have wonderful friends all over the place. I have friends I have met online with my disease that have become pillars of strength and motivation. I love people who inspire me, make me laugh and most of all just let me be me. I do not waste my time on others who may not have good intentions, or are negative. I only now surround myself with those whole truly bring me happiness and joy. My perspective on life is a little different then before.....there s no time in life for unhappiness when it comes to friends. There is ALWAYS time for laughs, giggles, wine and some nice cheese. I would not be who I am with out having great friends in my life. I defiantly know that I am grateful for those who have truly helped me tears, and all. You are the reason I am doing so well today. Thank you. To all those near and far you are all in my life to enhance it!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Injection Day Today!

Today is the day for my injection. So many people have asked how I have managed my arthritis and what I take. I am currently on Humira which is a injection form of medication which I take every two weeks. I have may have mentioned that the first time the doctors wanted me to try it I was super hesitant. It was not until April 2011 that we decided it was in my best interest to get my quality of life back. I have met some people that refuse to do this medication but I figured that the pros might weigh out the cons so should just try it. The problem with these so called miracle drugs is that they actually do work well until something seems to go horribly wrong. I have read some stories about others on Humira and the devastation it has caused them, but flip side I have read some amazing stuff too. There are issues going on in my body that already exist with my form of arthritis. My immune system is compromised and basically my body works against it self fighting good cells and creating me physical issues. My body thinks it is healing itself but it is actually fighting itself. The inflammation builds up making the body think it is protecting itself but puts me into my worst physical condition. So with the Humira it is a TNF blocker which stands for tumor necrosis factor it binds to the the TNF blocking the process of inflammation. The injection itself looks like your typical epipen. I usually do it at night so I can sleep through the side effects. Roger is my injection support system. He gets me mentally prepared and also holds the area of skin at the injection site. I tend to do the injection in my leg because the belly hurts so much. There is no question about it, it is very painful but it is quick and usually there are some tears and I am good to go. My issues are completely mental. Since it was not something I was mentally prepared to do and I am taking a risk by doing this form of treatment it is very hard for me to put this drug in my body. Like I said we are hoping long term the pros out weight the cons. Since the Humira makes my immune system very weak I always have to be extra careful. I can not be around anyone who is sick, or not feeling well. Once you get sick on this medication the body gets a bit confused. I recently got sick and the cold turned into so many major issues. I had to go off the Humira and wait until my body was better to handle it. During that time I was put on 2 different anit-biotics and also started a new vitamin routine. Not only was I sick but it was very clear the inflammation was getting bad. I had a really bad month, I was not sleeping well, I could not walk well and I felt like my arthritis was worse now then before I started the drugs. I did an injection 2 weeks ago, although I was not 100 percent but I honestly could not go another day feeling the way I was feeling. So now we are at today.......YEAH hopefully to days injection will be good. I pray it will start to work in the next couple days because I am walking like I have a stick crammed up my.........LOL. My attitude has been pretty positive. I really now just try to not let it get to me. If you want to read more on Humira you can go to the website very helpful tool.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So I work in the floral industry....which means I start early. I generally getup at 3:45am each day. I know what you are thinking...I am crazy. I have been doing this for a very long time even before I was diagnosed.Mornings are my worst without a question. I hobble, walk funny and am beyond stiff. I really try to just get up and get everything ready and leave. I am constantly asking myself why I am working in the cold, early morning environment.......It is absolutely freezing in here. The cooler runs at 1degree and whatever the temperature is outside it is in here. Today this morning it was 5 degrees. I think more and more about my future and what I will end up doing. I am constantly told that I should not be working in this environment, and that I am destined for more. I have thought about what it would be like not to work and frankly I would go nuts! Lets be honest most people hate their jobs. I work with people that I am almost 100 percent sure they hate their job. The problem is this, my arthritis has put a certain hold on me placed limits I feel like in some respects it holds me back a bit. I feel afraid that because I do not know what the future will hold for me so sometimes I find I wait for things to just happen. I worry about applying for other jobs and having to tell them about my situation. Although people say they do not discriminate, they still do. I feel like in my life I have had some wild ideas and dreams that I  just have been to afraid to do. Now I struggle with the fact that I am planning on going to an information session at BCIT Wednesday and I am 33yrs old and feel like I have no idea what direction I want to go. I love so many things. So as I let you know what I would like to do maybe you can think about what makes you happy and if you are following your right path.....

I grew up dancing, singing, and being part of a dance school for most of my life. I was okay with ballet but I really excelled in musical theatre, jazz, and tap. I would say I think I was outgoing, but also shy. When I hit 21 I decided to head down to the Roxy with a girlfriend after work. They had extreme karaoke. After listening to her I was wishing I could get on the stage. After 4 times attending I convinced the DJ to let me get up and sing on stage with now one in the club yet. So he did and halfway through my song the crowd of extreme karaoke singers all started to poor in. My legs shaking, my heart was beating...I was nervous, scared and so insecure. The next time we went I drank a little and got up and sang Richard Marks. That night I can in first won a nice bar tab then was told I would be heading to the finals.....LOL FINALS!!! at the Roxy. So about a month later I got to go back and sing two songs....the first was heaven by Bryan Adams second was hooked on a feeling (bad choice) My friends and family came and I sang my heart out. I did not win but I came in second. I met a girl in the bathroom that night, she said don't give this up you are so good...I thanked her but lets be honest she was super intoxicated...or was she????she said..what ever you do always sing. She made me promise her that I would continue this journey .My mom bought me a guitar in hope I would learn to play and sing.......I still have the guitar and I can not play it YET......

Well after this I don't know what happened but I became full of stage fright. It was a after a long relationship I met someone new and we went on a trip to Mexico. One night I think we did numerous shots and they had karaoke at the open stage that held about 500 people. Long story short I got up again and sang Bryan Adams Heaven......I received a standing ovation (keep in mind anyone sounds good when you are drunk) and I had fun also the tequila really helped!!!!
Now I am 33 I sing in my car and I think about things that make me happy in the morning. I love music, I wish that I was educated on only music because I love it. I wish I could play my guitar, my moms piano and read music.

When I think about my dream job in life I think of a couple things. I would love now to help people with arthritis, or a job that is rewarding at the end of the day. I would like to look back at my day and say I made a difference in someones life. We could also go the other spectrum.....I would love to be somehow in music...I think I have this amazing ear for music, singers and what is a good. I wish I knew what path to take. So off to the information session at BCIT on Wednesday to look into some options. Human resources, broadcasting, and health sciences. The next stage in my life MUST be amazing.....I am destined to do something amazing I can feel it and if I don't then I am going to keep trying to be amazing arthritis and all to set a good example. The past couple weeks when I was not feeling well I decided that if I just wait for things to happen they will not, and if I let my arthritis stop me from being great then I am letting it win. I am hoping that I magically can come up with extra money to pursue a new path but all in good time. My medications and living kinda sucks up my money. There is not alot of programs for regular folk to get extra money to help pay for school, so I may have to get another job....LMAO....DREAM BIG!!!!! Maybe I will win the lottery......Fingers crossed. I just don't want to be standing there in 20 years wishing I did more or didn't do enough.