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A long, overdue update.

I almost can’t even believe that December is just a few short days away.  Time grew a huge pair of wings these past few months and is flying at records speeds.  That means that I’ve already been living in Columbus for 4 months.  It literally felt like forever waiting for the move to happen and now here I am, slowing starting to realize I need to start figuring out living/working plans for next summer.

I feel so fortunate that the medications that I am taking for my rheumatoid arthritis are working well. (2.5 mg of methotrexate, 1 mg of folic acid, 200 mg of hydroxychloroquine & vitamin D)  I have not had a flare up in several months!  Every so often I do have pretty sharp but short-lived wrist pains.  I find that when I am writing, the position that my wrist is in causes it to basically freeze up and then the pain follows.  The only way for the pain to subside is to keep moving the wrist even though it hurts SO much when that happens.

I also have been struggling with fatigue.  I assume that since my immune system is fighting itself, that is why I am so tired.  I’m positive many RA warriors are sleepy a lot as well.  I rarely have a day where I am not tired.  I always need a nap and if I don’t get a nap I tend to get a headache.  I had a Dr.’s appointment scheduled for December 17th, but I had to reschedule it for February 11th due to insurance changes.  I also am supposed to have a yearly eye exam, in correlation to the medications I am taking to see if they have had a negative impact on my vision.  That will have to wait as well.

Nannying is going really well.  The kiddos and I have a pretty solid routine!  Routine makes a huge difference when watching young ones, so I’ve learned.  I met a wonderful friend recently who is also a nanny and we are hoping to meet up soon so the kids can meet and have a play date.  This will be a huge help, not to mention that we plan on swapping ideas!  I take advantage of the time when Louie & Annie go down for naps, and take a nap myself, or at least get some reading done or prayer.  I definitely would benefit from having an Ipad, smart phone, or kindle to pass time as well. (wink,wink Santa)

My car decided to rebel against me during October/beginning of November… and long story short I spent nearly $2,000 on it.  It’s been running decent since then, but I still have a tiny fear that something else will go wrong.  Now that Christmas is right around the corner, I am suppressing any stresses of money woes since I have so many people I want to buy for.  I have to keep reminding myself that it’s JUST money and of course I trust that God will take care of my needs!  He always has and always will!

A fun little Thanksgiving craft that Annie(3 yr. old) and I did!

Matt’s sister-in-law, Mary Hartman took this lovely photo of us at our friend’s, Travis and Kristy Ell’s wedding!

http://marykathrynphoto.com/ ( to view her work)

Until next time, start decorating for Christmas!

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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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Sweet September

Here is a quick update on my RA since I have moved…

August 3rd-8th(ish), I experienced swelling in my knees due to drinking pop-that is what my previous post discusses.  I have not had any problems with my knees since then!  Other than an accidental sip of sprite-cause I thought it was water, I have not had any pop.

Over labor day weekend, for whatever reason my right pointer finger started to ache and the knuckle became swollen.  That pain lasted for about five days, but it has reverted back to a painless, non-swollen finger…thank goodness!  I am not exactly sure the reason for this most reason flare up, though thankfully it wasn’t throughout my whole body, and just in my finger.  I am assuming it was due to eating A LOT of unhealthy food over that weekend.

Tomorrow starts another week, and I am hoping and praying for minimal pain!  The weather is starting to cool off to about 75 degrees, which is when I feel most comfortable, and I think my RA is at its best during this type of weather.

Switching topics!  On Friday, while I was just finishing up nannying for the week, I was blessed with two tickets that had VERY good seats to the OSU game that was played on Saturday.  The family I nanny for was able to get box seating, so they graciously offered me their seats!  Matt and I went and had SUCH a great time!!   The Bucks won and the weather was perfect.

Nannying is going well, and I am certainly learning SO much about what it means to care for children and cater to their every need.  I’ve had several tough, mentally draining days, but I remind myself that each day is a new start!  I pray for patience often and the ability to love on them no matter what!  God has definitely allowed me to already gain experience for the future when I have children of my own.

Until next time, enjoy the fall weather!  Open your windows and let the fresh breeze in!

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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Changes

Friday afternoon I said my final goodbye and moved to Westerville.  I’ve been anticipating the move for almost two months.  I can tell I am experiencing some anxiety because my arthritis is flaring up in spurts.  My knee and elbows are swollen today.  I wish I knew the exact cause of a flare up, but it seems to be due to a mixture of causes.

When I attended Bowling Green from the fall of 2009 to the spring of 2010, my arthritis was at an all-time high.  I was miserable, drained, sore, and weak.  I lost over 15 lbs. because the medication I was taking upset my stomach which lessened my appetite.  I will have to monitor my weight now that I have moved because I don’t have the privilege of having a fridge full of food at all times.

I went grocery shopping with Matt on Saturday and was successfully able to keep the cost under $50.  That was a big deal to me because I have created a budget and want to stick to it.  Since I am responsible for all of my meals, I am trying to lean towards healthier food purchases, which I hope will improve my joint soreness.

Yesterday I surprised Matt while he was at work at Starbucks.  I decided that since I would have at least 45 minutes until he was done, that I would bring my Bible and do some reading.  I chose to read from Romans chapter 3 and really liked verse 22.  “We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  And we can all be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done”.  I was made right with God when I was 9 years old when I asked Him to come into my life and to lead it.  I remember giving my life to Him very clearly.  I was sitting in the kitchen having a conversation with my mom and was asking her question’s about God, Heaven, and Hell.  She explained to me how she accepted God into her life recently and told me it was my choice and that no one could make the choice for me.  Looking back, that is by far the biggest decision I have made in my life and I am forever grateful for it.  Of course the second biggest decision has been this move.

On Wednesday I will work from 9-2 with the children I will be nannying for.  I am excited to spend more time with them so they can become more comfortable around me.  I still am not confident enough to drive to their house without using a GPS because last time I tried to do so, I missed my turn and was 15 minutes late.  It has been my prayer that I will fit right into the family and that the children and I will have a strong bond.

I didn’t mean to take such a long hiatus from blogging, but up until the move, I hadn’t been in a writing mood and felt like I didn’t have much to report.  I have a feeling that will change 🙂

This is a picture of my key that got stuck in our door.  I had to call my roommate Anna to come help me get it out, but she wasn’t able to do so either.  Eventually Anna called for help from a friend named Steven, and he was able to get the key out within a minute.  Go figure.

My first Joshua House experience with Scarlet and Anna.  Joshua House is an evening church service that is geared towards “20 somethings”.  The worship was really good and the message was interesting!

Until next time, don’t get your key stuck in a door!

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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Getting closer

There are just twenty one days left until I make the big move!  This in-between waiting period is both speeding by and sluggishly moving along.  To add some excitement, I bought a bright pink ottoman to liven up my new room and I can easily store it because it is collapsible.  I will be posting some pictures once I move in.

I have so much to look forward to, the list is lengthening and I am quite pleased with that.  Matt and I have already discussed having movie nights, bike rides, walks, you know…normal activities that we’ve been deprived of because of distance!  Only living ten minutes away from him is going to seem unreal for quite some time. I am so pleased with my living situation and I am anxious to get to personally know the other gals who I will be sharing the huge house with.

It was a pleasure to celebrate the 4th of July this year with two of my best friend’s, Bre and Cassie.  I am not sure how many more chances we are going to get to spend together once I move, but I plan on visiting “home” when possible.

On June 29th, I had the privilege of attending the wedding of two of my friend’s that I have met through campus fellowship.  They are an incredible couple and I am blessed to know them.  Derrick unfortunately wasn’t around when I had this photo taken, but I was happy to get one taken with the lovely bride, Brittany.  I decided to wear 5 inch heels, I guess I was feeling brave.  Considering I have arthritis, it probably wasn’t the wisest choice, but I only managed to walk away with one blister and zero foot or ankle pain.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was going to be getting a 90 day supply of my medications, however, that did not go as planned.  When I picked up my medications, the pharmacy told me that the insurance I have only covers month by month.  Slightly bumming, considering it was going to make my life a bit easier.  Win some, lose some.

Maybe this isn’t as big of a deal as it seems to me, but after two year’s of sweating and dealing with it, I finally have air conditioning in my car.  I kept putting it off because of cost, but when I took it to the shop, they didn’t have to replace it.  They charged it, which I have had done before, but this time it seemed to have worked.  I am hoping and praying it isn’t a leak, I guess time will tell.

Until next time, get AC in your car, it’s worth the money.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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Six months is like music to my ears

Today at 3:10, I had a rheumatologist appointment.  This was only my second appt. with Dr. Lindamood, as I had transferred back in April due to distance.  Surprisingly, my name was called right away and they decided to take my blood work before I met with my rheumy.  At my previous appt., I had a bad experience after they took some blood and I was bruised for over three weeks, so when the lady was prepping to take my blood I warned her of my nerves.  She did a great job, and as of right now my arm is bruise-less!  I had been hoping for some good news today, and I am happy to report some to you!  Instead of ordering a 30 day supply of my meds, I will now be getting them on a 90 day supply which is very helpful since I will be transitioning to my new housing arrangements in Westerville in August.  My Dr. asked me the common questions such as how I was feeling since the last time we met, and I told him that overall I honestly have been doing quite well.  With that being said, I also mentioned that I will be moving but wanted to keep him as my Dr.  He said as long as I am responding well to the medications and don’t have any problems, I won’t have to see him for another six months!  My next visit is not until December 17th, which is crazy to think how close that is to snow and Christmastime, when today it reached 95 degrees.  He did say that I still need blood work taken every two months, but that I can get that done right in Westerville, and they can send him the results.  The final bit of positive news is that I am able to reduce the amount of methotrexate I am taking from six to four pills, once a week.  It was my idea that I go back down to four pills and Dr. Lindamood explained that methotrexate is a flexible drug that differs for each person.  I am pleased with the way my appt. went today!

Yesterday evening was spent with two of my best friends, Bre and Cassie.  It was so wonderful to spend time with them doing a whole bunch of nothing.  We walked around the park for over an hour and discussed how our lives were doing and where we thought they’d be going.  Below is a picture of Bre and I.

This past weekend I surprised Matt’s family by showing up unexpectedly on Father’s Day.  It was a success!  We were also able to celebrate Mary’s 22nd birthday.

38 DAYS UNTIL I MOVE!

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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In the blink of an eye

I’ve been anxiously awaiting to be able to write a post about this, and the time has finally arrived!

I am moving out and I found a nanny job!!!!  I will finish working as Secretary on July 27th, and will leave for my new home that afternoon.  It still seems completely unreal to me.  “Is this real life”?-(David after the dentist)  I will be living with six other gals who all love God!  We each get our own room, and my parent’s have already moved down the majority of my furniture.  I can’t even begin to imagine how wonderful it will be to only live less than ten minutes away from Matt.  We’ve been dealing with distance since our relationship began, so it will be nice that I won’t have to actually plan times when I can visit him…I can just drive over!

I am so thrilled to nanny for such a wonderful, Christian family.  God has truly opened doors of opportunity for me that I hadn’t even known existed just a few short months ago.  I knew that if this were to all work out, that I would have to totally let go and let God guide my footsteps.  I experienced anxiety, peace, hopefulness, but most of all patience during the waiting period.  I am incredibly thankful for what He has allowed to happen.  Now that the puzzle pieces have aligned and fit together for the next chapter of my life, I can joyfully move forward!

The pressures of properly budgeting and accepting all responsibilities of living on my own are certainly starting to settle in my bones, but I’m up for the challenge.  I guess you could say I’m putting my big girl pants on.  I’m so blessed to have been taught how to save money, because I wouldn’t be able to move out had I not been extra careful with my finances.  I’m looking forward to grocery shopping, doing all of my laundry, making meals, working full-time, and yes, even mowing the lawn at our house.  I’ve been spoiled living with my family because every one of those responsibilities were always taken care of.

I have decided that for the time being, I am going to stay with my current rheumatologist even though I am moving farther away.  I literally just transferred and had my first appointment with him in April, so I’d rather not have to go through the whole transferring of records and x-ray process all over again.  I am going to have to find a new pharmacy to pick up my monthly prescriptions, but I’m pretty sure I’m already gonna go ahead with Kroger since it’s super close to my new home.  There is just so much floating around in my mind, so many details that I need to figure out once I move in.

Until next time, be careful what you wish for cause you just might get it 😉

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps”. Proverbs 16:9

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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Let’s go thrifting!

Last night, as I was packing (way ahead) for the weekend, I went through this phase, that I know we all go through, that I didn’t really have anything exciting to wear.  I feel like all I have is the same old clothing and that my outfit’s are drab and boring.  So, I decided that I would go shopping today.  I absolutely love to shop, but I hate spending money, especially since I am saving up to move out!  I usually come home empty-handed and bummed.  Today was a different story!

I live in a fairly small town, with the most disappointing mall in the history of all malls.  We’re talking…two clothing stores in the entire mall, it’s so barren.  My first stop was at Maurices.  I have a card that the cashier punches and once you get all the punches, you get $10 off.  I was ready to use my card but after trying on a few different garments, I hadn’t been pleased and left the store…empty-handed.  Then I went to JCPenney(the other store in our mall) and tried on numerous amounts of tops, all of which didn’t fit quite right, or were too expensive!  Finally, I decided to head to Goodwill.  Growing up, my mom would take me to Goodwill and I would groan because I didn’t want hand-me-down clothing.  Let me tell you what…that mind-set has CHANGED!  I found so many things I liked that I had to use a cart.  Of course, when you go thrifting, there are a few key things to watch out for.

  1. Make sure the clothing does not have any holes. (armpits, crotch)
  2. Make sure the shirts don’t have sweat stains!
  3. Thoroughly check to see if there are any other hidden stains. (food, blood)
  4. If the clothing has an odd smell, or smells like smoke, don’t buy it. (even after washing, it might still stink)

I bought two pairs of jeans and seven tops.  I used a $10 off punch card that my mom had for Goodwill, so my grand total was only $23 and some odd cents!  I felt zero guilt, and I now have the start of a new summer wardrobe!  I thanked God for allowing me to find items I liked and that I was able to save money in the process!

The skinny jeans I am wearing were only $5, and they are from forever 21. (no wonder I love them)

All of the tops were $3!

I did get another pair of jeans & a black sleeveless sweater.

Until next time, save money & go THRIFT instead!

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in My battle with RA

 

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