Posts tagged rheumatoid arthritis
Real Talk: Depression, Autoimmune Disease, and Infection

It’s no mystery that individuals with chronic diseases are at higher risk for depression. Who’s mood doesn’t drop when confined to a bed or coughing up a lung?

Battling my autoimmune condition is also battling my mood. My mood is intrinsically (and maybe biologically) linked to the flares of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I once read a meme that said something like, half of the time I’m trying to convince others of my autoimmune condition and the other half of the time I’m pretending like it doesn’t exist. It’s like this: on one hand, people tend to think I look young and healthy, like I don’t have serious health problems, when in fact I do. On the other hand, I’m trying to look (and feel!) young and healthy, like I don’t have serious health problems, even though I do.

Today I feel the tension and frustration acutely.

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A Year Of Clarity - A Year Without Alcohol

My intention for 2017 was ADVENTURE. 

And adventurous it was.

I decided to follow my gut. To listen to my needs, my dreams, my wisdom. To go places I’ve never gone, learn things I’ve never learned, and achieve things I’ve never achieved! I did all of this over the past year and I’ve never felt more alive.

My adventure in 2017 was full of inspiration, roundedness, and risk all at the same time!

Unexpectedly it’s also brought incredible clarity.

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Five Tips to Travel Smart

Traveling used to be traumatic for me. Everything from carrying luggage to sitting on a plane for extended hours. Whatever my travel time was, double that for my recovery time. I became so frustrated with the recuperation because it took away from quality time meant for family and friends. 

Of course, some of the fatigue and pain with traveling comes from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), an autoimmune condition that affects my energy and joints. My threshold for sitting in the same position or hauling a bag over my shoulder across the airport is comparatively low. But even still, traveling even to fun places (like Cancun for my honeymoon) felt tiring and burdensome.

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How I Survived

I decided to listen to my body and I decided to trust what it was telling me.

You know, our bodies speak, and not only from our mouths. Our bodies talk in our sleep, in our aches and pains, in our mood.

I listened when my hands hurt at work and I couldn’t open medicine bottles for patients. I listened when halfway into a twelve-hour shift, my ankles ached and I couldn’t help but limp. I listened when I woke up in the middle of the night, both feet throbbing until I soaked them in the tub. I listened when after a glass of wine, everything got worse: fatigue, pain, anxiety. My body was responding differently to the same stimuli. With my progressing symptoms, it wasn’t hard to listen.

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What I Didn't Know Was Hurting Me

Nursing school taught me how to take care of very sick people - urgent health problems requiring urgent responses.

What nursing school did not teach me was how to take care of myself. Sure, there were a few lectures about personal health and wellness. But honestly? I was working twelve hour shifts in the ICU, writing research papers, and cramming for exams.

So I tumbled out of nursing school smarter but a whole lot less balanced than when I entered it. About two years into my first nursing job I began to show it.

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