Showing posts from 2017

Loss and Gain

I've lost some things recently - my best friend, back in January; a beloved honorary niece, in February; the little dog who saved my life three years ago, in July. My friend died of complications from a brain tumor. My niece was tragically killed in a terrible accident that took three of her friends as well. My little dog, Oskar, died of cancer the week after my birthday. Maybe it doesn't seem as though Oskar should be listed with these other, huge losses, but the people who know me understand that being listed with my dog means I really, really love the people I mentioned.

It has been a strange and terrible year. The recent rise in racial tensions, the troubling changes in our government, and the lack of leadership at the highest levels have combined to create a great deal of stress for most of us. The emotional pain of loss complicates that stress. That is why I have not written much in the past months; it takes most of my energy just to get through my days, work, and home. …

The Importance of Access

It is no surprise to my faithful readers here that I have a chronic health condition. I was often sick as a child, but as an adult I had pretty good health, until 2013, when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Disease. I know, I'm walking old ground with this, but bear with me. It is important for people to know that autoimmune diseases like RD, Lupus, and MS are very expensive to treat. My own experience is with Rheumatoid Disease.

I have been in treatment with biologics since 2015. Biologics are a new class of medication that work by blocking something called Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) in the body. No, I can't be more specific than that, because I really don't understand myself. The best I can do is to say that the biologic meds I have taken have dampened my immune system so that it no longer attacks healthy tissue - well, at least for the most part. I've been treated with Enbrel, which worked for a short while, and now I am using Humira, which seems to be helping. Unfo…

Hope is in Short Supply

The past six months have been brutal. In addition to rheumatoid disease, my doctor suspects I have fibromyalgia, and that would explain the all-over body pain I've been fighting. It is bad enough to have your joints inflamed, swollen, and aching. Add in the feeling of coming down with the flu - throbbing muscles, pounding headache, incipient nausea - and you have a description of the past half-year for me.

My right knee has been swollen and very weak. After a couple of weeks of pain that I could manage, about two months ago, my right leg was in agony from hip to ankle. Driving was the worst - just the twenty minute drive to work was torture. I developed two large knots behind the knee, which was, itself, about the size of a grapefruit. I had an emergency appointment with my rheumatologist, who put a steroid shot into the knee, under the kneecap. In a joint so full of fluid, the addition of more liquid was almost unbearable. After another week or so, my knee began to respond to the…

Prologue: The Pied Piper

What's past is prologue.~ William Shakespeare

"When lo, as they reached the mountain-side, a wondrous portal opened wide, as if a cavern suddenly hollowed; the Piper advanced and the children followed..." ~ Robert Browning

Like most people, I use social media to express who I am, share what interests me, and stay in touch with people who matter to me. Lately, I have been scolded, manipulated, and mocked for my stance on politics, immediately followed by people insisting that I need to get with the program and support the incoming administration, because that is my duty as an American. Yesterday, a friend posted a request that people unite behind our leadership, regardless of how we voted, because we need to "come together" as a country and heal the divisions that have plagued us. I understand the request and what motivated it. Like most of us, she wants people to get along. She is tired of the fighting and is dismayed by what she sees around her. I get it, I do …