Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh my god, really???

What the fuck?

I've had a nasty cold. And now, the arthritis is by far the worst it's been since I was 6 or 7. I've had rash literally all over my body since Sunday night, with no way to get relief. And now my hands are so swollen that it hurt to grab my backpack or steering wheel even. Oh, and the cough drops I was using had Splenda in it, so I've also had fun allergies to that.

Seriously, why? I don't understand it at all. What did I do differently? What CAN I do differently?


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I am sick. I don't know exactly with what, but I'm coughing up crap. Oh, and this morning, it was pink/red in color.

Aside from coughing and being entirely way too warm for how cold it is outside, I feel alright. I'm not extra fatigued right now, which is nice.

I go to the doctor today at 1pm. I think it's just bronchitis, but I want to make sure that there is not anything else going on, since I recently started the Plaquenil.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Emotional side effects?

I had a pretty good day today. I finally woke up early enough to eat breakfast at home before heading off to school. I had a midterm that I think I did well on too. The odd part of my day comes later.

I get home and I'm checking out facebook on my iPod while putting away dishes. I come across a video about a sick little girl who has JRA. She's in a Remicade-induced remission, and says that if she stops taking her medicine the boo-boos will come back...

I broke down.

I couldn't stop crying and I can't figure out why. Was it because it felt amazing to finally have an affirmation of what being a sick child is like? Or was it related to not wanting to see other children in pain like that? Or even more than that, my own children?

Maybe it is for more selfish reasons. I've read a couple of things lately about life expectancy... Again. Why I keep on looking at these things, I have no clue. All I know is that being sick like this tends to affect how we live our lives - we can either embrace the time we have or begin to dwell on what we don't and the bad things to come. I try to be a part of the former group but that doesn't always work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Day in the Life of an Arthritic Graduate Student: Rheumatism Style

In honor of World Arthritis Day, I wanted to write a post about how a relatively normal day in my life goes. I didn't have to work my hotel job today, thankfully, so it made things a little less busy... But not much.

I woke up way later this morning than I normally do, because I was having trouble sleeping last night. I should have gone to bed right when I was tired enough to, but I still had homework. Stupid school. I have class at 8:50 in the morning. The bus (when I take it) stops near my apartment at about 7:40 - which coincidentally is right when I woke up this morning. I had laid out my blue outfit for today, because I was pretty sure I'd wake up later than I wanted anyway, so I didn't go through the half hour ordeal of deciding what to wear. I take a quick bathroom break, brush the teeth, and make sure I have my medicine before scurrying out the door.

My car does this funny thing with the security system where sometimes it won't start for ten minutes (long story short: the system got screwed up when we had a family friend put a tow hitch on the car in 2006). It doesn't happen that often, but of course I was already running later than I cared to be, so guess what? :)

After finally hitting the road, I had an easy drive to school. I used to park in a garage, but that ends up costing at least $6 a day, depending how long you're there. Using my handy dandy disabled hanger-thinger (that's the technical name, see), I park one street down by a meter. Having my hanger-thinger means that, as long as the meter is for 30 minutes or more, I don't have to pay the meter for parking. What a lifesaver!

Where I park is at the bottom of a HUGE hill. Luckily, there's a free bus that runs between where I park and where my classes are... which, since I was running late, I missed. So I got to hike up Bascom Hill, which normally seems to take people five minutes. It takes me at least ten, and I have to stop for breaks because my knees are so tired already... at 8:35 in the morning.

I get to my classroom about ten minutes before Arabic starts. We had some homework last night, and we always like to compare beforehand, so I like to get there a little earlier. Oh well. Class goes well, and I'm off back down the hill to Starbucks for my pumpkin fix and some food so I can take my Plaquenil around 10am.

At 10:30, I head over to my work study job at the Wisconsin Historical Society. It's pretty awesome... Except when I have to search books (i.e., compare books we've received as gifts to copies we own to determine which copy is better) and I have to go up and down a ton of stairs.

Or I can take the elevator that's super old and one of those pull-the-metal-hole-filled-door-across kinds. But usually there are enough people using carts to reshelve books that it's in use a lot. It's definitely a work out, but a fun job nonetheless.

I then leave either an hour or half an hour before I go to my Islamic studies class. I left an hour early today, because I wasn't feeling too great, and I took the opportunity to grab lunch real quick. I also registered to vote! I caught the bus this time, but I still had a ton of stairs to navigate - unless I wanted to endure more hill. Not good options to choose from. An hour and fifteen minutes of class with my advisor, and I'm home free.

Then comes my walk down the hill, again. It's about half a mile from the buildings I have classes in to my parking spot. Downhill, it's so much easier - though, there are a lot of people who want to go faster than I can.

I use my time not at my other job to run around and get some things done. I run to Walgreens to refill my Plaquenil, before heading to the grocery store for, well, groceries. I get it all upstairs, in just two trips, and put away. And then I decide I'm going to clean, vacuum, and do laundry. Speaking of which, my clothes should be dry! Going up and down the two flights of stairs for the laundry doesn't help me being tired, haha. But my cow is happy that I cleaned.

But now I'm settling down with a delicious Hungry Man dinner (there's no way I was cooking tonight!) and watching Hot Fuzz while getting some homework done. Reading, reading, reading! Oh, and Arabic writing too. I really do like Arabic, even if I feel like I'm catching on slowly. At nine tonight, it'll be snack/Plaquenil time. Hopefully, I'll get homework done quickly and can get to bed a little early.

I'm definitely ready for the semester to be over... I hate being so tired, but I do really love school and learning.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Stomach Pains

So for the past week or so, I've been getting some intense stomach pains. I thought maybe it was time-o-the-month related, especially since I like to skip periods and I just started the first one I've had since the end of July when I got really sick because of it.

But I don't think it is after all.

I have a doctor's appointment on the 15th. Hopefully I can make it until then without needing (relative term!) to see a physician. Otherwise, I'll get to wander over to the lovely urgent care clinic or, even more wonderful, the ER.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Ode to my left knee

Dear left knee,

I know that I was really stupid when I was younger. Climbing on shopping carts without enough weight to balance my body and getting a cart flipped on you was probably pretty crazy of me. It hurt pretty hardcore, but hey we got a free bag of ice out of it.

We've been through a lot together - sleepless nights, painful hikes, experiments with ace wraps and the like. We've also been experiencing this new medication together. I know you don't get to see/deal with how sick it can make me - when I'm not eating as much as I should or decide to contort like a normal person.

So far though, this medicine is being a good experience I think. You aren't hurting as often. When you do hurt, it's less than it usually has been. I'm hoping it stays that way, because I cannot handle another weekend like I had a few weeks ago.

So, left knee, keep up the good work!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Blah, see

Well, I'm feeling better (on again, off again that is). My throat hurts today. Lamesauce.

I finally got to spend some time with my sister. Also, I pretty much have pwned at work, making the managers super happy.

Also also, it's pretty much my favorite month ever. October not only means Halloween, but also pumpkiny foods! Mmmmmmm so good.