Monday, August 6, 2012

4 weeks in

4 weeks in and all I want is a pizza.....maybe a grilled cheese...maybe a nice piece of cake. BUT rest assured that I will not be having any of this as I am on week 4 of my new eating. I could say diet but I prefer a lifestyle change it sounds better. Honestly the first couple weeks were really hard. Discipline with food has always been really hard especially when it comes to family gatherings, cheezzies and party's. I feel pretty good though. I have cut out wheat, sugar, salt and some dairy. Although your thinking it sounds really hard it just takes alot of planning on my behave, and smart decisions. I have to read almost every label but it only takes a second and I know if I can or can not have it. My food is very colorful and I feel really full after I eat a great meal. The long of the short is I think this will help me reach a goal weight and also make dealing with the arthritis better. I had to tell the people around me that I was doing this because I needed alot support. I still do but a good friend mentioned it usually takes 21 days to form a habit and I have made it past that so the habit of healthy eating has stuck....right.....???? I in return feel better about my body but I feel better because I have lost some weight. I also decided to start bootcamp 5 days a week and get into supreme shape. It is taking a while to see any results but "they say" (whoever they are) but slowly I hope to see some great results. At 34 it is important for me to make sure I am on the right health path.

I do apologize for the serious lack of postings but I have learned my mind and body is changing and I have had some emotional roller coasters that honestly made me feel like giving up but today I decided to start with a little update and let you know that I am doing just fine. 2012 has not been the best year so far but it is far from over I intend on ending it on a high note but just a little healthier and lighter. For all of you who suffer from chronic illness we know it is very very hard some days. I have turned to heathly eating and fitness to help boost the spirits and mind. Just try to find something you enjoy or a goal you can work towards and it will greatly help you mentally and physically. My weakness is now my strength and on that note I leave you with this quote....."Courage is not the absence or despair but the ability to conquer them"

Wish me luck on my next 4 weeks and I will post a before and after when I am sane enough to how you!! LOL

Love E

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Finish Line

My year started off with the "I WILL" statement which followed by doing my best to achieve things in my life that had purpose, inspired others, and made ME feel good. Well I am so excited to share that I finally did it....I finished my first half marathon with a time of 2hr 22minutes!! I started Training with my big sister  3 months ago with the hope I would finish in 3 hrs. This run did not come easy to me. 5 weeks ago I was diagnosed wiht a stress fracture in my lower leg which prevented me from my last 5 weeks of training. It was not until the week before I decided to try and run to see if I would be able to complete my mission. I decided I felt really good and was going to go for it! The race started off great. I was running with my sister and a couple other people including two coworkers. They all carried on and I continued to run my pace. Before I knew it they were all gone into the crowd of people. Running alone gave me time to listen to my thoughts and enjoy my run as much as possible. It was not until the 16k mark that I realized my back was starting to hurt, my hips felt like they were seizing up and my quads had bricks on them. I found myself walking a fair bit but then fighting with my inner voice to continue running. I just kept telling myself " I can do this" " I can do this". I tried to tell myself that this was not only for me but for all those who I have meet this far on my journey that can not do this. It was an internal battle that seemed to continue on the whole race. It was around the 19k mark just after trying to run/walk over the burrard street bridge I felt like walking. It was at the marking that I noticed all the people standing on the side lines cheering. I decided if I started to walk I would look silly since I was so close to the finish....SO I continued to run. That last bit seemed like forever. When I ran pasted the Arthritis Society cheering swad it gave me the extra boost I needed to finish. When I hit the 21k marker I could see the finish line just ahead.........Gosh even writting about it makes me get emotional. It was a momment in my life that no one can ever take away, that I will ever forget, that will stay with me forever. I felt my eyes tear up as I saw the one  but myself knows what I have been through, how far I have come, and how much this meant to me. Such a sweet success. I was so excited to have that medal placed around my neck to show that I completed this part of my journey. I completed for me, for my dear friend who passed and for those who could not complete it.

The only limitations are the ones we put on ourselves. I want to send a special thank you out to my sister for all the support and strength on this journey. I hit most of my running milestones with her by my side and I am so grateful that I had her to help train me. I can not wait for the day when we can finish together!!! She is such a motivating source in my life and I am not sure if she knows how much she truly has helped me. I rememeber watching her on her first half marathon. I was there at the finish and I saw how emotional and excited she was. I remember thinking I want to run.....I want to do that. I want to feel that. I am so grateful I got the experiance it. I want to run with her. So thank you Amber for helpin me reach this amazing high. One last note..........To the first specialist I had who said I wouldn't run......I would like to say to you...........HA........ I sure showed you! Anything is possible with determination, persistance, and support.

Love Half Marathoner Erin Milliard
Offical time 2:22 Place in my age group 273 out of I think 500

Friday, June 8, 2012

Creating Happiness

Our focus determines our feelings.......Doing good things truly helps us feel happy. Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being that can be characterized by pleasant and positive emotions. Ever notice how much quicker your day can be when you are happy....or how many things you retain when you are happy?? I have read that when you focus your time, energy, and attention on positive objectives, thoughts and actions it really is easy to create happiness. If you google creating happiness you will find this list.

1. Giving
2. Relating
3. Exercising
4. Appreciating
5. Try Out
6. Direction
7. Resilience
8. Emotion
9. Acceptance
10. Goals

I am glad I have this list because it has been helping me and reminding me of what I think should be important in my life. One of my previous posts was about my "I WILL" attitude. So far this year I have been doing pretty good with it. I am challenging myself more and I have made goals for myself. I would never tell anyone what to do to feel happy but since I really struggle with the heavy side of arthritis and the emotion part I need to make sure I stay focused on all the good things in my life. I feel my experiences can help others so if you are struggling with finding your happiness then try to go through these words and apply them to your life. Here is a couple ways I have applied them to my life. 1.Giving  I like to give back by donating my time and fundraising for my cause which is my arthritis. I feel by taking part in activities that support the cause truly makes me feel like I have a voice and that I am really helping.  2.Relating I have made an effort to relate, show compassion and share stories not only with all of you but with others who in turn help me be a better, happier me. 3.Exercising I strongly believe that when you take the time out to take care of your body it helps your soul!! I am a huge believer in staying active. When you exercise it helps release a good amount of daily stress, negative thoughts, and makes you feel awesome. 5.Try Out This is a tough one for me...I recently started group singing lessons. I was so afraid but I always loved to sing and I just shy'd away from it because I was scared I was not good anymore. I am proud to say that because I gave it a try I feel so much happier!! I think when you try new things out or bring back things that used to make you happy it brings a bit excitement into our lives and there is nothing wrong with feeling excitement!!! 6. Direction I believe that it is important to have direction in life although I can not speak of this one to much because I am still very unsure of which direction my life is heading but I promise I am working on it. 7. Resilience Be resilient I keeping going, I try to bounce back anytime I start to feel down. I although my moment of tears if I need to and then I bounce back. I am learning that being resilient is very important in my life. 8. Emotion Wow this one I have a hard time explaining but I think everyday emotions are what makes up our day. So many ddifferent things can happen in a day so I say "roll with it" the good the bad and the ugly emotions take them in, take what you want from them and toss out the bad ones! 9.Acceptance I am  very good at this with everything in my life except for my Arthritis I still have not accepted that it will rule my life or that it will never go away and I think that's a good thing!! 10. Goals Well this one is so very important. For me at this time I choose physical goals. These physical goals are helping me feel better and be stronger. I do have other goals in my life but for now it is the goal of finishing a task ie:running a half marathon, and singing in front of an audience. In the big picture some may think these are petty goals but in my mind they are very strong building blocks for future goals.

You do not have to follow the words exactly but yet try and apply them where you can. Being happy is a great feeling. I hope this post will help some of you along your journey to creating happiness!!!

The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The path

I took some time off of posting after the passing of my dear friend Trish Moffatt. I wanted to give a bit of time before I posted this to really process my experience with letting go. I want to share with you that alot has been going on the past 2 months and I am doing fine. Most important is I am hanging in there. I am not sure where to begin but we can start with my trip to Kamloops to say goodbye.

First off I want to express that most people I did not tell that Trish committed suicide, It was not the drugs that killed her but ultimately the arthritis and living with the pain killed her. I want to be raw and honest so here it goes..... Kamloops is beautiful, HOT, and completely lovely. Making this trip was very hard to do but I felt I needed to have some closure in order to move forward. I was nervous all day about the trip but I knew it was important to me and important for me to understand. As we drove into Kamloops we decided to stop off at the Starbucks to get direction to the bridge.......when I walked through the doors of the Starbuck to my amazement one of my dear friends and her husband  where sitting there having a coffee with their new son. This was a first time meeting with her son and I was so very thrilled!! I think some higher power was working on turning my day into something that could be really positive. It was meant to be. I was suppose to stop by Kelowna on our way home from the okanagon but as it turned out I was so lucky to run into them as a reminder of how precious life is. We then said our goodbyes and ventured to the bridge. As Roger and I were driving we went right over the bridge without even noticing until all the sudden I said I think that was the bridge. We pulled over on the highway and took a look back. Yes it was the Bridge, but not the vision I had in my head. I felt panic, sadness, I was clearly overwhelmed. I think I told Roger just to keep driving about 3 times. Roger then decided to take a back road to the hiking trail on the side of the road that would lead me to the bridge without being in danger of the highway. When we drove through the residential area I was sad....I was scared and I knew I had to say goodbye. We parked and Roger, Hutch and I followed a beautiful trail to a look out of the bridge. I believe I took her last steps on this trail.....When we reached the lookout I was not prepared at all for the image that I saw. It's funny when some one tells you a bridge the first thing I thought was water and a huge bridge....kinda like Lions Gate. This was nothing like that. It was a deep steep creek bridge. Below was no water........I looked down to see how deep and was so unbelievable overwhelmed I could barely think about saying goodbye. I can tell you that I understand now that Trish was clearly not in the right mind set at all. After a couple minutes I asked Roger to give me a couple minutes. I found a trail that led directly to the side of the bridge and a mesh fence. I walked down a very dusty dirty trail beside the busy highway......once I reached the bottom I was right beside the railing. The mesh fence had a huge hole cut out of it with a tremendous drop. I place a beautiful bouquet of flowers there and I stood there for what seemed eternity. I said everything I wanted to say but was unable to say goodbye. As I walked up the trail back to the top of the hill I stood there for a couple minutes and took in the view and decided that it was time to go. I felt a sense of relief and a sense that in my own way I could move forward. As I was walking a big beautiful Magpie bird followed the whole back down the trail.....Once we got in the car the Magpie who had been resting on a wire flew away.....Out of that whole experience I can not help but think that The bird was watching me the whole time.

I am still grieving and probably will never fully understand but I was able to let go a bit and am moving forward with the mission of spreading the words that Trish is not able to anymore. I know she would want me to be the best I can be and to continue spreading awareness about a disease that kills. I was diagnosed with a stress fracture a couple weeks back and clearly have had to put the running on hold. Although disappointing I am now just starting to feel better. I am determined to run my half marathon that I worked so hard to train for. I also dedicated my run in memory of her. She always wanted me to join JIM (Joints In Motion) and finishing this half marathon not only for myself but for her would be truly overwhelming. I can not think of a better way to honor her. I am trying to raise money for The Arthritis Society and am hoping I can get my followers to forward thew link below to everyone they know. Copy and paste the link below and hopefully we can raise alot of money together.

xxoo Erin

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A goodbye....

After numerous attempts at trying to write again this week I find myself writting and erasing, again and again. I am not sure if it because I am afraid of how I am feeling or if I am unable to say goodbye. Yesterday was injection day and I feel more emotional then ever. A true mix of emotions. I guess for me the good thing is I write...I don't claim to write well but I really try to express true feelings so that I know I am being true with who I am. After seriously writing this and going back and trying to re-write I have decided to just stop......and be true be honest and be raw.

I am sad, sadder then I have been in a long time. As I sit alone for the first time on the ferry I have no one around to take my mind off saying goodbye. I am sad because I feel like what has taken place in unfair, it's not right. I am scared because I understand living with a disease and I understand that it is hard. I do not mope about it but yet  try to make change happen. I HATE doing my injections but I know they are somewhat helping me be a stronger person. Allowing me to do things that maybe I wouldn't be able to do. This week I have connected with more people then I would have ever imagined. My circle of support has truly openned up. It is interesting my highs and lows. I have these great moments of loss and I feel angry and then I have moments where I understand she was "done". We understand it was not the medication that took her life but the arthritis and overall dealing with chronic illness that did. I am grateful for all the support this week. I am glad I am able to share my feelings with people who understand. As I look at the window at the endless water I feel like maybe 50 percent ready to say bye. I just feel like I'm not sure if I will get the closure I need yet. How could this wonderful, beautiful woman who gave so much and changed so many lives have taken her own? I will never understand. What I do know is she changed so many things for me and although I'm not ready to say goodbye I am ready to accept that I this will take time. So for now I will he onto my memories, emails, and cry when I need to and carry forward day by day minute by minute.....

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wish there was more time....

It is with a heavy heart that I start this post.......I was informed that a dear friend had passed away. I felt like the tears would never end, and they probably won't. As I went to bed last night I lay there scared and sad and just feeling like I did not have enough time. I felt like I never got to explain to her what an inspiration she was to me. She like me had arthritis, except her form was quite a bit different she had tried numerous medications and she recently had started a new one that seemed to work well and was doing really good.

I had the pleasure of finally meeting her this past year at the Blue Bird Gala for the Arthritis Society. She was the speaker at the gala and she completely blow everyone away. She spoke the words that I am afraid to speak, she spoke with such compassion, positivity and truly inspired me. I remember completely falling to pieces while she spoke because for the first time I did not feel fully completely alone. She changed my views that night. She made me stop in my tracts and re-evaluate my thinking on arthritis. She made me appreciate that what I was given was a tool, or gift to use to help others. There are no words to explain the way I feel this morning. The only thing I feel is I did not get enough time to tell her how much she inspired me, or how she made me feel like I was not alone or how she had this tremendous impact on my life. I can never know what she went through everyday...I can not imagoine the strength it took to be in her shoes, but I can tell you that behind that little body was a powerful punch... a powerful woman who touched many hearts and inspired many people. I spent a good portion of last night looking at her pictures on Facebook, and trying to find all the little messages she sent to me. What I can tell you is I have completely under estimated the power of Arthritis. I never thought it would take someone away from me. I just never looked at it as a disease that would do this. I understand the risk we take everyday , every dose but it never crossed my mind for one second that maybe just maybe all that we are doing is too much. I don't know....... I just know once again she has stopped me in my tracks and made me remember why I do my runs, why I work so hard to spread the word on arthritis. I hope she knew how many lives she has touched, I hope she knew what a beautiful person she was. I hope all the thing I learned from her will be things I can pass on to others down the road. In her honor I have decided to dedicate my Scotiabank Half Marathon to her. I want her to know that all of her support to me will never be forgotten. I will never forget her and only wished I was able to tell her how much she meant to me.......

I will miss you Trish always and forever.

If you would like to help me raise money to FIGHT ARTHRITIS please please donate to my page for the run!! In the words of Trish "EVEN YOUR PENNIES"!! Copy and past e this into you web browser and start sharing with your friends and family. lets raise money to FIGHT this!

Love Erin

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


When I say SUPPORT I understand support comes in many forms. Some in the ways of a supportive bra during a long run, support stockings, support staff, support systems, support beams to hold up a building. The word Support means the following......
To sustain or to maintain
Serve as a foundation for
Undergo or endure, especialy in patience or submission

 I require a ton of support and I do not mean int he material manner. I need mental, physical and emotional support. For some people showing support can be hard. In my situation I have found that some of the people whom I thought would support my journey slowly wasted by the sidelines as my life carries on and others stand out strong and proud and are my biggest fans. I say if you with me on this ride it will be amazing!! I have so much to look forward to so many milestones to hit and if you are supporting my journey then you are a part of what I am doing.  By being a role model I have in turn been able support to a ton of other people. I have become more positive and my actions reflect this. I am not sitting on the sidelines waiting for my arthritis to get better. The fact is there is no cure YET, so if  I sit around I will have wasted my whole life. The catch to this is I could not be where I am now with out the STRONG support of my friends and family. I would like to highlight that my sister has been a huge motivation for me. We currently have been training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon and I have stuck to the training strictly because my sister said she would do this with me....I honestly could not do it with out her. The support she gives me in this way truly makes me stronger, fit, and mentally better. This past weekend we were supose to run 16 kilometers for the training group, long story short we ran 20ks. I was so tuckered at the end but I DID IT!!!! 1 kilometer from my goal and the race is still a month and a bit away. I am still in shock...I cried a bit at the end but I was honestly so tired. Mentally I never though I would be able to do it, but physically I was able to finish's amazing. I am sure if I did not have the support of my sister on this run I would never do it. I am not sure if she knows how lucky I feel to have her by myside or if she even undrestands that this is a goal that means the world to me and to be able to do it with her makes it even more special for me......I care more about that finish line then anything my whole life that I have accomplished. I think because it represents the fact that nothing is impossible. My family gives me the support I need to live a happy life. They don't get sad or upset about the possibility's of the future instead they stay super positive and that positivity is then transfered to me....its truly great!

 BUT Sometimes at  home and work I am finding that I am having a hard time getting the support I need. I am not afraid to say it to my followers because we all have difficult times. Sometimes I feel like I have these really hard days where I can not express how I am feeling. I don't want to burden or ask for help but sometime I need it. For the most part I do okay and I am strong on my own, but there are really hard days that require some more support. I have heard of systems where you write out a number between one and ten ten being the most difficult and make it clear for others to see........lets be honest I just won't do that. I don't wnat people to fuss over me and ask me what the number means at home I might try this. People with chronic illness suffer mass amounts of depression. I sometimes feel like I am not ever going to accomplish everything and fear that things will be hard in my future it can really honestly bring you down fast if you start to let it. Support is the KEY. I need to find a way to get all the support I need from everyone around me. I need positivity, love, laughter, and goals. I can not imagine what it is like for some people who have no one to help them . Thank god I have my family and my dear friends!! That is why this run means sao very much to me. It is notr about the training, or the sweat, it is about the statement behind it......nothing is impossible. It is easy to get things when you ask or tell. If you are needing support just ask, in the long run you will feel better and maybe just maybe see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's been a while

Sorry for the lack of blogging, I am still getting used to making sure to update and inform....LOL. Alot has taken place the past weeks so hold on tight cause this is going to be a bit of a ride. It all began a couple weeks ago with the trip to my specialists office. Although I had been doing fairly well they decided it was time to up the Humira dosage and see if I would get better results. I can not say I am happy but I guess I am willing to try almost anything to live pain free. I started to find that the injections were not lasting throughout the two week period so now I will part take in my FUN injection "stinger" every ten days. Although I sit patiently waiting for the magic day I go into remission for a couple months the hopes of this is slowly leaving my mind as I start taking more meds.....ON the bright side as per my usual routine I use that frustration and turn it into motivation. I am currently training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon. This past Sunday I ran the furthest I have ever ran which is 11.44 Kms. I have been running on Sundays with my sister and her running group so I have slowly made it past the halfway mark on my training. The fact that I even have gone this far is truly amazing. It just goes to show you mind over matter really works. On March 25th I participated in my Diva on a run 8k race. Finishing 2 minutes quicker then last year I was THRILLED!!!! I finished with a sore hip and a stitch in my side but again the point is I finished. This is a photo of me with 1k left to run.

I believe if  I just poor my heart into it I will be able to complete each run with flying colors. I was lucky enough to start hill training and I am sure this will open a whole new chapter of pain, but  honestly just think about the finish line for the half marathon and know everything I put into this I will get out of this. If I can give any advice about running goals I would strongly suggest to run with a group and try to stay at the front. It will make you work harder and accountable if you fall behind. I also recommend listening to some great music and using a running app on your phone to tract how you are doing. 

I recently celebrated my 34th birthday, WOW 34. Every year I have written myself a little note to remind of the past years events. This year I decided not too. I was not a huge fan of this past year and since my new attitude is to just live and accept the moments that happen I decided not to write about 33. I feel older. I feel like I look older and I am changing. My views are a little different, my appearance a little different and my head in a better place. For me age is not about the number it is truly how I feel. A couple years ago I felt like a 70 year old in a 30 year old body, today I feel like  34 year old in a 45 year old body. This is GOOD. I am able to accomplish more right now then I have ever been able to. It makes me feel good to know I have set some goals and one at a time I will compete them. I am a trying really hard to be a goal type person. If  I do not have something to look forward to I tend to drift. So to all those who are drifting and submerged in frustration with your arthritis try to find something to look forward to. I find this honestly really helps me.

Friday, March 23, 2012


 This week has brought alot of new things into my life. On Monday I was unsure of how I would be feeling this week. I have been having some minor issues with my injections and them not lasting through the two week period, so I have noticed alot of my symptoms coming back. I am sure everyone else has noticed as well but the limping and the stiffness, also the mood change due to frustrations. The interesting thing is when you are living with a chronic disease you almost just adjust to the pain levels, and after a while what you think is a hard time just passes like the days. Once I was put on the Humira I soon realized how I was living. I realized how bad I really was and what "good" felt like. Now after my first year on Humira I have defiantly learned alot about my body and how I handle things. I know when I am going to get sick and when I need to take a time out and not do so much. The support this year has truly been amazing. Roger has been there for every shot and helped me through the mental, and physical end of things and my family has been a very positive source of energy. My friends old and new have taken my mind off the current situations. Overall I can not believe it has almost been a year. This week started off covered in a clouds and Tuesday was a difficult and frustrating day but ended with some tear of joy and a new love in my life.The story goes like this......
 I recently had been discussing with Roger that I thought we should get a dog. After looking everyday at the SPCA, shelters and dog reserves I found a couple sweet potential puppy's. We first met "Carlin" together this past Sunday. Roger had already been to meet him early last week but we decided to go check out this pup together last Sunday. Once meeting him we knew he was going to be a big dog but we had a connection and he kind of stole my heart. When we left the Vancouver SPCA we had filled out some forms to foster him. "Carlin" who's name is now Hutch, had a cold. He was in isolation and we wanted to foster him to get him out of the SPCA and get him well. We also thought it was a great opportunity to see how well he would do. Since no one can pin what his background of breed is we thought it would be great to check his temperament. Long story short we bought toys, borrowed a kennel got him everything he would need for a good stay with us to only be called on Tuesday and find out he was no longer up for fostering. Roger called and asked me to make the decision to adopt of just forget about him. Apparently there was such a demand for this little guy that they were ready to adopt him out that day. As the day went on I knew I had a big appointment with the specialist and needed to focus on that, not a dog I did not have. After my appointment I was talking with my mom and was upset about my frustrating appointment. I went in with that positive attitude only to be told that I am not doing as well as expected and they are upping my dosage. This would require a injection every 10 days instead if every 14 days. Ultimately I do not want to be doing the injections every 2 weeks let alone every 10 days. I kept telling myself that I was doing really well....I mean I can get through a 7k run right??? Yeah I am in discomfort but my mind takes over and I push myself through it. So now I am faced with the added injection which on the bright side may be my missing link I need. I can not think about long term effects of this medication I need to think of the "Now" I need to be present and try this and go with it. I sat in my car a while trying to figure out why I was so upset. Was it that I felt disappointed in myself? Maybe I am not doing enough? maybe I am doing to much? Maybe I need more vitamins? Then as I talked to myself in my car I wish it would all go away.........I am just scared, I scared for my mood, for my future for the next stages. I always try to fight the tears but clearly I have been a bit depressed. Although I may not think I am my doctor claimed that I am suffering from depression and I am always fighting it everyday.....Just wanting to be normal after feeling like this situation is unfair is totally normal. I never want anyone to feel pity, or sorry for me so I just Carry on. It was very apparent to me on Tuesday that I now see the depression. I got home and decided to go sit in the shower. the day had been so taxing between the dog and the appointment I just felt nothing was going my way. ..................this is where the story takes a turn.........I heard a heart stopped and I started to cry. I quickly got out of the shower to be greeted by "Hutch" Roger then informed me that he went to the SPCA and decided that he would adopt him and since we had already filled out all the forms we had first dibbs. I was thrilled. What a great surprise. Roger knew how good it would be for me to have a dog, for walks for happiness and I was over the moon with excitement. That is when we decided that the he needed to have a new name "Hutch" instead of Carlin. My day had quickly gone from frustrating to filled with a new member to our little family.
 The past couple days have been alot of work but well worth it. My mood is different I am excited go home and take him out, I am  excited to go explore with him, take him camping and just love him. There has been many studies done on pets and depression. The big question is do pets help with depression? I can tell you first had along with many others that that answer is a big YES. Psychologist, scientists, doctors , vets all agree that pets are good for mental and physical health. Most pet owners that suffered with depression now have a better nights sleep, and their overall health is better which in return means less visits to the doctors office. When we take the focus off ourselves and focus our energy on caring for something else like a pet it helps with our daily lives. A study done showed woman between that age 25-40 suffering from depression exercised more, felt more positive, were happier, and their overall health was better after getting a pet. Now the pet does not just have to be a dog. It can be a hamster, bird, cat whatever floats your boat really. It is that fact that focus is no longer spent on over thinking, and since loneliness and the feeling of being alone goes hand in hand with depression studies have shown that having a pets does battle these two things. The love from a pet is unconditional, they always great you, love you and never judge. I am so excited to see what Hutch will do for me. I feel like the timing is perfect. I feel like I have so much love to give him and in return he is going to help me with my battles.

Friday, March 16, 2012


 Are you one of those people who always wishes for luck? I hope I get lucky? I wish I could get lucky? Lucky this, lucky that???? They type of luck I always wish for, is the luck of money. At least that's what I thought this morning....... I know they say money does not buy happiness but I believe that it sure helps out alot! Today I was reminded that luck is not about material things you attain but the life you lead, the people you keep in your circle, and the great memories you make. It is about family, friends, and the best life you live. There is this guy I know who goes to the casino a fair bit and I swear he always wins, I always make comments about horse shoes falling out of his ass. The best part is he is so financially set that the last thing he needs is more mullah. I am not sure what he did to deserve this amazing karma that he has but he always wins and I always comment "YOUR SO LUCKY!!" Here's the thing. He is a miserable person who is not that nice to anyone. He can be very short, rude, mean and a bit of a grump.I often think there is not enough money in the world for me to ever step into his shoes. I can not even imagine what life would be like that miserable. Yeah he's always "winning" but he's also miserable.

In the dictionary the word lucky means chance and good fortune. I do believe this person has good fortune and by chance has magically convinced the universe to constantly allow him to win........all the time. But I also know someone who is filling some tough shoes. She is very broke, has relationship problems, children that are causing trouble. She is the hardest worker I know, always smiling even when she is having the worst day. These two people are polar opposites. This woman I know has just lost her father this past week and still as she is standing at my desk she is still smiling. She has been dealt a very difficult set of cards and every time she tried to make changes for the better something comes and knocks her down. I see such depression in her eyes and yet a smile on her face to cover it all up. She has not been dealt good fortune in her life and the chance has yet to come her way. She cares so much that even when her family treats her horribly she is still there holding there hand til the day they pass.

What I was reminded today is that I may not be rich, I may not get "lucky" all the time but my good fortune is the wonderful people around me and the love they give me. My luck does not come in the form of material things but yet the form of love, happiness, family and friends. Although I don't have horseshoes running out my ass like my one male friend I would not change what I have for anything or anyone. I by chance have met people who have changed my life dramatically and that is where the man in the sky has made me lucky. This Saint Patricks Day when you are sitting around with your friends or family make sure you make a toast to them. Unlike the man I know who will most likely be sitting in the casino alone you will be celebrating with those close. That makes you lucky!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pretty girls, Shiny rims

 Today's post was inspired by an email I received today. I was claiming in an email to a dear friend that I had not been feeling myself. I didn't get into complete detail but what I was trying to express was that I feel at times like the walls are coming in on me a bit. I sometimes feel like I am standing still in a room full of people and they are all moving forward but I feel like I can not lift my feet up. It is a very overwhelming feeling. At times I feel like I am confused on what direction I should take. I have these very very highs and extreme lows. I over think everything and am feeling very worried for some things that are ahead of me. I am not sure what triggers these types of days but every now and a gain I get really down. I am not afraid to admit it and I am not afraid to share it but I struggle with this depression side of chronic illness. It weighs heavy on me every once and a being one of those days. You know I know it's all about the positive attitude which I think I am better at , I know it's all about my physical health but to be honest I think I am struggling with alot from all of it. I have not been able to get my weight under control, and I am sooooo tired all the time and I don't feel happy. The point I'm trying to express here is when I get all caught up in these overwhelming thoughts I lose focus of all the great things. Today the email I received made me stop for a second and remember all the small things. His exact words "See the beauty in all the little things" the next sentence was "You know like pretty girls, shiny rims" LOL so I tried to find something right away that I could find beauty in.......and well this is what I found.............ANGEL FOOD CAKE WITH LEMON CURD AND MASCARPONE CREAM.........that's right you heard me the cover of the Canadian living magazine sitting on my desk with the most beautiful looking cake. The interesting thing about this is my mom makes this angel food cake with lemon and lemon whipping cream and it is heavenly!! So in the process of me looking for things of beauty I was reminded of my family.

Here is my reminder to all of you that have followed me on these posts. Please find the beauty in something small each day just one thing to start if you are feeling down...then work your way up.  See the bright side and don't get discouraged. Open up to those around you that make you smile and be compassionate to those who need it. Like Pretty girls and Shiny rims!!! ( thanks Ron)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Power Of Movement

The sound of 100 or so people all in a room together in the phrase of Om. Truly a breath taking and peaceful experience. I felt the first tear fall when I opened my eyes and looked around the room at everyone together and sitting in the same formation. THE  POWER OF MOVEMENT was truly moving. It moved me internally , emotionally and physically. It light up peace in my heart laughter and a feeling of one. I was fortunate enough to have my wonderful broth in-law Ian , and my Auntie Heather join me this time. At first walking in I honestly did not know what to expect. I was a tad drowsy from the night before but figured this yoga class would be okay because I could relax...........WELL what a pleasant surprise to know that a quarter of the way through we were laughing, jumping, dancing, playing Patty cake with partners a truly involved in movement. The second tear fell when I decided to do a little video on my phone. Everyone I mean EVERYONE was dancing, singing and laughing. It was amazing to feel,and see so much energy. I honestly have never been in a room that had this much energy. In life lived like this everyday the world would be a better place no question. The third a couple tears fell was at the end of class when it was complete silence. There was peace in the air. It gave me a chance to reflect on how far I have come, where I am heading and how absolutely grateful I felt to have all of these people raising money, sharing love for something that I deal with on a daily basis. I can not explain to you what it is like to be in my shoes but I can tell you is yesterday I remember how good it feels to be involved in such a wonderful cause.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The reality of it all.....

 This is a post which I never wanted to write. I feel like if I do not express this then I am not allowing others to relate of help me get through the struggle. I have always had a hard time with my weight. I can be honest as I am getting older it is becoming harder and harder. Since I have entered into my 8th month of Humira I have noticed physically I can do more I am also having a very hard time losing the weight...I seem to be gaining weight. Today was my breaking point. A customer actually came up behind my desk to ask if I was pregnant, and if not I had gained a crap load of weight. YES she said "Crap Load" I always seem to hold it together pretty well but today I went straight to the bathroom and cried. As the tears streamed down my face I though to myself how unlucky I feel.....I am not skinny and I never have been, I have poor posture now and have a hard time standing tall. I walk funny at times but for the most part hide everything extremly well. Until today I thought I had made all the right changes and decisions. I have done alot or research on the web and have come across the fact that most people on Humira have gain weight.....But most of them lose weight. I have cleaned out all my cupboards, changed my diet and I still have gained weight. I think the fact that ANOTHER person has asked if I am pregnant just broke me.
 Not everyone knows my story or my journey and sometimes since I appear to be a strong and stable person it makes it easy for people to open up to me or be honest. It makes it easy for people just to say whatever they feel. The problem is some people do not have a filter. They feel like my feelings won't get hurt. I am one of the most sensitive people I know. I am emotional, passionate, and take alot to heart. I over think everything to the point where I can work myself into a complete frenzy. But have gotten so much better. I try so hard to not think about the things that stress me, and I have let go of alot of things that have made me feel upset, sad or did not bring me joy. The person yesterday does not know what I go through on a daily basis. I want to clarify that this is not a pity party for one here, it is just she has no idea what I have been through. She does not know my family history, or my medical situation. All she knows is I do not look the same to her as I once did. She did not know that the things she said would ruin my whole day, or make me think about doing a million sit ups, she just lost her filter and spoke what she believed to be her truth. THE BIGGEST issue is even if you were my worst enemy I would never look at you and say "Wow you've gained a crap load of weight"............There are rules and that my friends is the worst one to break. .......Here is the thing, I am not perfect and do not claim to be. I work incredibly hard for the body I do have. I have imperfections which I hate but out all those things defiantly do not define who I am by any means. I am not lazy and I do not fill my body with crap. I have embraced what I can of this disease and I think I have done really really well. Yesterday I let someone break me, literally sat in the shower and cried. I refuse ABSOLUTELY refuse to let this upset me any longer. If you take anything from this post please take this with you..............

What is important to me is my health. I can look any way skinny, fat, chunky, muffin topped...but what I care more about is my attitude, how I treat others, and my arthritis. I have found compassion, understanding and learned not to place judgement upon others at all. I do everything I can to make sure my future looks brighter. I fight internally all the time. I am constantly fighting. I will never give up and I hope that one day when the next person says something completely stupid I can look them in the eye and say my :"my imperfections make me beautiful and that's all that matters"

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a beautiful butterfly"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Diva Run Here I Come!!!

I honestly have been really having a hard time writing these days. I start to write a blog then I read it and I get frustrated because it is not saying what I want it to. I desperately search for the words to fill the space or convey how I am feeling and then all the sudden like chocolate flowing from a fountain I come to realize I am exhausted......fully...completely....exhausted. My brain is tired, my body is tired and sometimes I forget that with my arthritis fatigue is huge part of it. I am frustrated because I have been eating healthy being active and right now I am struggling to finish a sentence. When I get like this I need to dig deep to try to help motivate myself or give myself a goal. So today I signed up for Diva On A Run. I think this will be the 4th time I have taken part in this run. At first just a goal to even finish, now a goal to finish with a better time and still just to make it through the finish line. Last year I did it and I hated it, I was sore I was uncomfortable and I had to walk part of it. I am determined to finish this race on behalf of all those who can not. I have met so many amazing people this past year and I have heard stories that have set a mark in my heart. Alot of people have changed my life tremendously and supported me on the days when it all seems a bit much. This run is for all those who help me everyday. For my family who reminds me how lucky we are to have each other, for my dear friends that have been so supportive and loving to me, to Roger who holds my hand every injection day and never lets me spiral down. I am running for those who love me and keep me strong. I am also running because I believe that one day there will be a cure.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I do apologize for the lack of blogging...I just have not been feeling the writing the past couple weeks. I am in the middle of valentines mayhem!! I absolutely dislike this time of year. it requires me to do extreme amounts of labour. I have a tough time on a good day but basically its thousand upon thousands of flowers that have to be ready for client pick up in 2 days. I am a bit stubborn I have yet to accept that I should get someone else to do all the lifting. I sometimes think I am invisible. You know the more I think about it, the more I think that the most common comment I get is that I do not look like anything is wrong. recently my cousin Ryan sent me an email. it became very apparent that I have hid alot of what I go through with a good portion of people. Maybe out of embarrassment, maybe because I feel it is personal...I am not 100 percent sure but I do know that until recently no one really knew the struggles. Lately physically I have been good but mentally I have been struggling a bit. depression is a huge part of chronic illness. I have to mentally fight to not let things spiral out of control. Stress for me is huge. I get stressed very easy and I tend to react to the stress and then I can feel myself slipping just a bit. When I am busy Just like anyone else I do not have time to think about anything else. It is when I actually have to stop for a moment and relax that I have time to think about the other part of my life. Yesterday I came home and and was so exhausted. I had an hour to myself before Roger came home and I found myself realizing how sore and tired I was. I started to think about how my body felt and how was I ever going to make it through this life with this stupid disease...clearly tired I started to cry. I had a good frustrated cry and then I was better. I pulled up my big girl panties and decided I could feel myself heading down the depression road so I went for a 5k run. I think the hardest part was actually figuring out when I could feel the depression was coming on. I now know when it is happening and I know how to deal with it. For me physical activity can be very hard but also very rewarding. I know that when I start to get that feeling that the walls are coming down the best thing for me to do is to be out in the OPEN air. Whether it be walking, running, going for a drive I just know that the way I combat my stress and depression is by actually doing something physical. I am slowly getting better at learning to share my disability and opening up about it. I am trying not be embarrassed, or negative but better yet positive and inspirational. I finished 5k yesterday without stopping and I can not tell you how GREAT I felt after. Every step is hard but the accomplishment of turning the crappy day into a positive day, where I was able to use my frustration to motivate me is HUGE. So today I suggest if you are having a not so great day step outside into the open air and go for a walk.

Friday, January 27, 2012

To be Brave

Brave: Possessing or displaying courage or to be Valiant.

Before I start to write today I would like to share a couple quotes I came across.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear". Ambrose Redmoon

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow".
Mary Anne Radmacher

 Today a client came to see me at work. I have not seen her in some time. I was surprised when the first thing out her mouth was her asking how I was doing.It's not a bad thing but most people don't ask or take the time to ask how we are doing. I have not seen her since quite some time before Xmas. I told her how I'd been doing and she just kept saying you are so very brave. I told her I am just doing what I need to do. Seems to me I now just go with the flow. At times I do not feel brave but, scared. It honestly depends on where my mind is at. She said bravery comes in different forms. The more I got to thinking about it I agreed. In my daily life I am not brave but in my arthritis life I am brave. Isn't it interesting how I can have two different sides. When it comes to everyday life I feel I lack the zest and bravery but when it comes to dealing with my health something else kicks into gear and I become somewhat fearless. Give me a new drug I'll do it, give me a new activity I'll try it. If it means getting better and fighting my battle then count me in. I only wish I was as fearless in my everyday life. How is this possible? So when my client was telling me she thought I was tough, brave, and such a great inspiration my heart disagreed somewhat. Isn't it interesting what life throws at us but today I decided to be a little more aware and be a little bit braver in my everyday life. I bet if a physiologist was to read this post they would say it goes deep then me just having two different sides. Now that would be an interesting conversation. The difference is now I am a little more aware of the fact that I need to boost up my day to day living a bit more and be a little braver.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The river.....

Seems fitting today that I write something that I wrote on my iPhone while sitting in the doctors office a couple weeks ago. I stumble across it and thought it was worth sharing what I wrote. So here it is an unfinished note I wrote myself in hopes to share this I think.......I stumble across it last night and well here it is.

Someone mentioned to me in a comment something that has stuck in my head lately. Imagine that you are floating down a river and just allowing the water to carry you, moving you gently and swaying you from one side to another. It just sounds so nice to me. It could be because I love water and maybe this is why I feel so close to that statement. I can tell you this much I have been throw a whorl wind and I am only at the beginning of my journey. Today I am sitting in the doctors office and I see a lady with a walker. It makes me feel sad and then I feel sorry for myself why is this?? is it because I fear for my I scared? I am unsure. So instead of turning to these  negative thoughts into more I choose to write on my iPhone. God I want to feel better, I am tired of being sick. Something about the Doctors office puts a dark cloud over my head. All I want to imagine right now is floating down the river. ....................I guess at this point I got called into the office because it was unfinished.

This is all I wrote this day. It was on December 29th just after being sick for almost 2 months. Clearly not one of my great days but I do recall having a good rest of the day. This week I had an appointment at my specialist and all I can tell you is I was frustrated. I clearly was not thinking about the flowing river this day. lt was the first time in a long time that I was invisible. I just felt like the doctor did not answer my questions at all BUT before my appointment I met a wonderful girl named Jane in the office. She is a year younger then me and she had her beautiful daughter with her. Jane and I got to chatting and it turns out we were both diagnosed the same time, and at the same age. I asked her alot about her pregnancy and how it was for her, and how she was feeling. I was so glad to hear she did wonderful. She said she went into a remission while she was pregnant and felt wonderful. I have read that during pregnancy RA and AS symptoms seem to vanish for a bit. All the arthritis symptoms came right back after her pregnancy was over.  The only catch was during her pregnancy her body built up antibodies and she was not able to go back on her remicade. Remicade is another drug used to treat arthritis. So now she is on what I am on which is Humira but having major complications. Her hair is falling out, and skin is patchy, sick all the time. I felt horrible for her. When I was talking to her she was trying so hard not to cry. She showed me her patches of hair loss, and showed me her eye brows and explained what they are now doing to help her. She now for the past year has been doing injections into her scalp and face to get the hair growth back. She clearly has been through alot. Her daughter is so full of life and happy and she said she now is on a mission to get healthy for her. My heart just sank. After she got up tp go into the room I thought to myself is it worth all this really worth it? The drugs, the appointment's, the frustrations. The answer is yes.......Yes it is all worth it. The thing we must remember is there is always someone who needs more. In this case "Jane" has overcome obstacles and she still is smiling. Her obstacles have been ten times harder then mine. There is always someone who's story goes a little deeper then our own. The way she played, looked , laughed with her daughter was amazing. In her daughters eyes it's just mom. Her daughter has not learned why they come to the office every month. Jane still smiles, laughs and after painful injections walks out of the room and smiles at the sight of her daughter playing. Jane gets her strength threw her daughter. The only good thing that came from my appointment was meeting Jane, it was a reminder of how lucky I am. It was humbling to see how strong she was. I did not look at her and feel sorry for her or myself or feel worried for my future but better yet I felt inspired. I think maybe now looking at it the reason my appointment was not the greatest is because it was more about just meeting Jane this day.

Arthriris to me is like a raging  river at times rough, dangerous, and scary but eventually if you find your right frame of mind it becomes a calm stream and if you can get through the scary parts, frustrating parts, and upsetting parts you then can imagine yourself floating down a river just going with the flow and allowing it to take you on a journey swaying side to side.........just allowing the river to carry you, you may find some calm along the way. This day Jane was my calm.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Helping others makes me forget about my issues

Yesterday was a great day. I spent the morning with my sister and my beautiful nephew Caelan. We ended up going to this community center to attend the open gym session for kids. It was so much fun. It confirmed for me how much I want to have children. I just feel truly happy when I am surrounded by them. I then came home and decided to take some time out and an actually sit for a minute. Anyone who knows me knows I have a tough time staying still for to long. I started watching Patch Adams. What a great movie! I laughed, I cried and I could relate to his principles. There was this quote in the movie that went a little something like this..."when I am helping others I forget about my own issues for a bit". I think for me  that is why I write these blogs. When I write it is from the heart. It may not be the best writing but at least I know deep down somewhere someone may read it and feel better or relate. Patch Adams lowered medication intake, depression and overall health in the hospital just by bringing happiness, joy and a positive outlook. I recently wrote a blog about this. I strongly believe it is true. Depression is such a big part of having a chronic illness. I don't think alot of people understand it. They see me and I seem to look fine but on the inside I have all these unanswered questions. Alot has changed in my life. I have noticed the people who have stuck by my side made me feel super positive and also give me the support I need not to fall into the trap of depression. I try everyday to remind myself of all the great things I have. Yesterday watching my nephew run around and laugh made my day. I still have alot of unanswered questions and I probably will always have them as long as I have this disease. The thing is this disease although has been difficult at times it has also been a positive way for me to learn my true strengths and to not take everything so seriously. I see the humor in things and I totally enjoy being able to share through my blog. If it was not for this disease I would not be able to help others with my bad grammar....LOL The  thing is like Patch Adams said, "When I am helping others I forget about my own issues for a bit".

I received an email today. It was actually in my hotmail was someone who stumbled across my blog. I felt so grateful that this individual took the time to send me an email thanking me. I was never sure what would come of my posts except maybe me learning to accept my disease one day at a time, I never expected comments and letters. It feels so great to know I have a good support and as long as we are helping each other through the highs ands lows we will always bet better.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yet another great reason to get Motivated!!

Welcome to the "POWER OF MOVEMENT"
March 4th 2012
10:30am Vancouver Creekside Communtiy center
Go onto the link and then JOIN MY TEAM!!!!

For those who know me well you know whenever I am faced with adversity I tend to do stuff to keep me busy , balanced and to remind me that I feel good when I am helping others and supporting a cause that I strongly believe in. I have registered for the POWER OF MOVEMENT in Vancouver BC. It is an hour long event to raise money for arthritis research. The research is so important to me because it means that maybe, just maybe we can start to find some cures for this chronic, debilitating disease. I want to share some facts with you today about some of the things I am learning about statistacs.
4.6 million canadians live with arthritis and or autoimmune diseases. It is the most common cause of disability in canada costing 33.2 BILLION dollars a year! That is crazy! There are over 100 types of arthritis and auto immune diseases. Most common Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, AS Anklylosing Spondylitis ( this is what I have), Lupus, Scleroderma, and Juvenile arthritis. These are only a few. All the money raised goes towards doing research for these and more. I get excited about doing good things and since I live with it everyday I can tell you it is SO important to me to be making a differnce in my community by supporting this. It would mean the world to me if you could join or doante!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tough pill to swallow

This is a tough post for me because yesterday I was hit with a reality check that I didn't want. Part of yesterdays stress was my own doing but on the other hand I wish I would have received a reminder letter, or something just to confirm I was going to have to deal with a deductible. For the most part when people have a disability and have to take medication there are alot of costs that come into play. Depending on your income and what type of medication you go on will make or break you. I feel like it at first is all so confusing trying to figure out the process of drug approval and then who is going to cover the huge costs. Lets see I work full time but I don't make a ton of money. I have to live, pay rent, eat, all adds up. There is insurance, and medical insurance, also physical therapy. In the end it all adds up. What I have a hard time with is that I need a good quality of life and in order for me to have that I need to be taking the best treatments that work well with my body. In my case we tried all the pill form of medication before we realized they were not working, also I had to then take other pills to help with the side effects of that on and so on. We finally decided to do the humira. Not knowing much about the costs I was pretty shocked when I saw how much it was. I was lucky to have two forms of extended health and one would cover most of it but the process to figure all of it out was overwhelming. I started my humira in may of 2011 and I assumed since it requires government approval per calender year that my anniversary date would be May. When you register for Pharmacare it is dependent on the amount of income you make to determine what they will assist you with.  You also have a deductible that must be paid every year. Once you have reached paying that deductible you can then expect them to pay 50-70 per cent of your medication. I am not sure if me typing this makes it easier to understand but it costs a far bit. In general with out coverage it can cost from $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 per year mine is $18,132.00 depending on if you have coverage. The drug company does offer an assistance program but only if you qualify. Abbott drug company claims they have given $80 million dollars worth of humira from the time it became available.......ummm I didn't get any...???? Anyway back to yesterday. I went to pick up my humira and BAMN guess what a delectable was due.....I do not want disclose how much but enough to make my stomach sink and me to feel nauseous. I actually had to leave the pharmacy and figure out how to pay. The thing is I assumed that may was my renewal date for the deductable, and the re-approval. The government runs January to January which means January is when you MUST pay the large deductible. I had no letter to remind me, which I guess is alot for them to do because they are to busy taking my money..........This was only my first year on this medication so I still am learning the ins and outs. Just would have been nice to have the heads up. Most people do not ever ask me about the financial end of it but I fully understand why I feel so stressed out when it comes to money. Thankfully for me I have some insurance coverage that allows me to get most of it back. I unfortunately must pay for everything upfront then wait for the sucks!! I honestly was not expecting yesterday to happen so  I was caught off guard. For anyone taking these medications it can be hard to find all the ins and outs and it is truly through having theses things happen that I learn how it works.

I am very grateful to my dad yesterday for being able to help me in my time of need. I was in a total finacial jam that determined if I would take my injection this week, actually my dad has been the reason I have been able to do my medications. I am not afraid to tell you all that I had to turn to my family for help. With out it I would not be writing these posts and having somewhat a better quality of life. Asking for help is very hard to do. The best part is I am one of the lucky few who get most of it back it is only a short term loan. I want you to think of this the life of an arthritis patient the cost of my medication from now til I am lets say roughly $465,000......that my friends is a tough pill to swallow!!!

When you wonder why I always post I want to win the lottery or I wish for a money fairy to drop off little enevlopes of money you can see why....By the way I am positive one day I will win the lottery!!!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

New respect for life.

 Some of us get up everyday and do the same thing. Some of us get up everyday and touch a life, change a mind, open a new door. Some of us get up everyday with a different respect for life. Myself I go to bed in hopes that when I get up in the morning it will be a great day pretty darn simple. I would like to change the world, make an impact and find a way to have world peace but for now I just hope that when I get up I can put my pants on...LOL. What would I give to not have arthritis.....what wouldn't I give to have arthritis. Although tough at times it has given me compassion, strength, knowledge, and has made me appreciate my life. I have a deeper respect for my body and those who suffer with any chronic illness. I appreciate the little things. I read an article about a girl who found her silver lining in her illness. It gave me motivation to write this blog this morning. I have also been reading alot on aging and arthritis. There have been a ton of studies done and what I took out of all those studies is that the people who stayed active, healthy, ate well and had the right attitude found it easier to deal with the pain and struggles of arthritis and or a chronic illness. The stress and coping strategies they tested allowed to see what would counter act the negative impact of a chronic illness. The following areas of study included socialization, knowledge, physical activity, friendship/support, acceptance and helping others. What is most apparent in the readings is that the people who had not accepted their disease were not as happy, active, healthy and required more medications. Also the people who had minimal support or were alone from the diagnoses also did not do as well. It was not until one of the studies was finished that these who did not do well in the test realized changing their beliefs, attitude, and thoughts would actually make them overall feel better. It is easy to get caught in the downhill spiral of disease, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and worry. It took me a very long time to find my silver lining. I now run, I try harder and like I said I don't take my great day for granted. I have people in my life that enhance it support me and are a constant positive support for me. I stay very up to date on the latest drugs, vitamins and anything that will help with my arthritis. I have yet to accept certain aspects of the disease but I have accepted that I have it. Knowing all this makes things a but easier for me.  One day a couple years ago I was trail walking/running in Deep cove. I was having a difficult day with my arthritis so I decided to go for a hike. I got stuck coming down the trail. My sciatic nerve seized up and my leg was not responding to what my brain was telling it to do. I ended up just standing there unsure of my next steps. I ended up sitting on a rock and the tears started to flow. I thought I would be stuck there, in the woods. I spent a good half an hour just sitting there thinking. I calmed myself down and slowly stood up. It took me another hour to get down the hill which would usually only take 20 minutes. How could this be my situation......what was I going to do about my frustration? I ended up turning that frustration into motivation which then led me down that trail that led to arthritis runs, donating time and being an advocate for the  cause. I in return have met the most amazing people, I have learned so much about my disease, and besides my injections my attitude is way better. I have found my silver lining. Although I have yet to figure out my path in life I know if I stay positive about it good things will come my way. "keep on Keeping on"
  I'd like to share these quotes,

"In order to change in a health outcome, patients must change their thoughts, attitude and belief's", James McKoy MD.

"Without my chronic illness I wouldn't have found my passion for life" Elizabeth Wertenberger.

I have said it before just like other have said it.........sometimes at our weakest moments we get the clarity we need to figure out the next step. It is when we are at our lowest points we truly see our true strength and willingness for better things. I choose to see that my disease has made me a better person. I did not know how strong I was or how determined I was until arthritis came knocking on my door.