My Breakfast Day After Meds

There is a cereal that uses the slogan breakfast of champions. I cannot eat that cereal because I have Celiacs. A normal breakfast for me is an apple and a cup of Greek yogurt. But I decided to treat myself the day after I take Methotrexate the medication I take for Psoriatic Arthritis.

So what is my breakfast of champions the day after you might ask? Thank you for asking. My breakfast the day after is chocolate ice cream. ūüôā

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Chocolate ice cream is easy on my stomach, tastes WONDERFUL, and my little way of rewarding myself.

My schedule is clear today, so that means a day of relaxing. I think a coffee shop will be on my agenda later today, My bed is telling a nap might also be on my agenda for the day.

What is on your agenda for today?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Keeping A Sense of Humor

This morning I will go to the Orthopedic Surgeon for an injection in my knee. The injections help delay having knee replacement surgery. He injects hyaluronic acid but I like to tell people it is hydraulic fluid because it gives me a lift.

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Keeping a sense of humor while living with chronic illness helps me to not get too down about it. Laughter is good for the soul.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of[ Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy
.

I love Psalm 126 because it doesn’t just speak about laughter and joy It talks about having been through an ordeal and experiencing the joy of the Lord. Psalm 126 does not deny life’s difficulties. It focuses on the Lord not the difficulties.

Spending time with Jesus gives me the strength to keep going. It keeps me going spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

1 Day-2 Doctors

Yesterday was a double header with doctors for me not exactly the kind of double header a person wants. It wasn’t too bad though.

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The first one was a visit to the orthopedic surgeon for an injection in my knee. It was the first of a three part series of something I can’t pronounce. I call it hydraulic fluid lol. It seems to help my knee though. He was kind enough to answer a few questions I have about a few other issues.

The second one was the moment I had been waiting for. It was full circle for me. What started with me telling my GP I thought I have Psoriatic Arthritis which led to a string of various specialists, I received the diagnosis. I actually do have Psoriatic Arthritis. He prescribed a medication for me to take which is a DMARD-Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic medication.

So after almost five years, thousands of dollars, and other chronic issues being diagnosed- Celiacs and Fibromyalgia, a Rheumatologist at the leading medical center in my state diagnosed me.

We will see how the medication goes. It feels a bit anti-climatic, but now I know. Such is the life of a Spoonie-person living with chronic illness.

I can’t imagine going through all of this without Jesus. My prayer times with Jesus in the mornings have made a difference.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

May Is Awareness Month For………………….

May is awareness month for mental health and for several chronic illnesses including :Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease, Arthritis, Celiacs, and others.

Which ever chronic illness a person is living with, there are some things shared in common such as social life being affected, limited, or in some cases nonexistent. Doctor appointments seem unending and are costly. Some experience loneliness and depression.

One person who will never leave us is Jesus. I love the promises of Jesus and would like to share a few.

John 14:23-
Jesus replied, ‚ÄúAnyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and¬†make¬†our¬†home¬†with them.”

Jesus wants to be our roommate.

Matthew 28:20

¬†“And surely I am with you¬†always, to the very end of the age.‚ÄĚ

Jesus will always be with us.

I would also like to share a song that has meant so much to me. It is My Prayer for You by Alisa Turner.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Don’t Judge A Person by Their……..

You know the old saying don’t judge a book by its cover? A version of that has come to mind for me recently of- don’t judge a person by their title.

Four years ago I told my GP that I thought I had psoriatic arthritis because it runs in my family and I had a large red patch on my elbow. My GP said it wasn’t psoriasis. However, he referred me to an orthopedic specialist, who in turn, referred me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist diagnosed me with Celiacs but said I did not have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. A dermatologist said the same.

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Two years ago I was referred to a different rheumatologist who diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and who also said I did not have psoriatic arthritis.

What did all of them have in common? None of them looked at my scalp.

In March this year I went to a different dermatology clinic because that red patch was back again on my elbow. It had been coming and going. But this time it was accompanied by pain in my elbow. I did not see the doctor. I saw the physicians assistant. At first when the appointment was made, I was concerned I could not see the doctor first. I was WRONG.

The physician’s assistant was the first medical provider who looked at my scalp. He was very thorough. When he looked at my scalp, he said, that’s psoriasis. The person with the lesser title was the person who was the most thorough.

Don’t judge a person by their title.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Full Circle Moment with Doctors for me

This story from my life might seem like a weaving and winding road or better yet a maze or perhaps even a jigsaw puzzle,

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Four years ago I told my GP I thought I had psoriatic arthritis. He said the rash I had was not psoriasis but he wanted me to see an orthopedic specialist about my knee. I went to that specialist who told me knee replacement is in my future but he wanted me to see a rheumatologist to find out why I have widespread pain. I went to the rheumatologist who diagnosed me with Celiacs Disease. So we thought that was it.

Two years ago I had a mild ANA test, so my GP wanted me to go to a rheumatologist. I went to a different one but days before I went there I was put on steroids for bronchitis and the ANA test came back negative there but he did diagnose me with Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Disc in my neck.

So after spending a lot of money on specialists, ones I mentioned in this post and others, I decided at my age what is the point. I decided to stop seeing specialists for rheumatology.

My GP had me see an ophthalmologist late last year who diagnosed me with Sjogrens. I thought well that is enough no need to see anymore specialists.

Lo and behold due to a rash on my elbow that won’t go away I went to a dermatologist yesterday. He found psoriasis in my scalp. my elbow and other spots. The issue that started this winding road 4 years ago has come full circle. I was right, I have psoriasis and next I will go to Omaha to the University Medical Center to see a- you guessed it- rheumatologist. Only this time I will have a diagnosis or two, well five, to take with me.

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Such is the life of a spoonie-person living with chronic illness. We bounce around from doctor to doctor. I am once again a pinball patient.

What keeps me sane? (some may question that) One word- Jesus. If it wasn’t for my prayer time with Jesus I do not know how I would cope with it all.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Our Limitations- God Opportunities

Living with chronic illness has progressively meant accepting limitations. Some have mostly accepting an adjustment in life such as eating a strict gluten free diet or using the elevator at the school where I teach in the mornings. Sometimes it has meant not joining activities like playing volleyball at a picnic. Due to fatigue being a constant issue, I always have to consider if I will have the energy. That has been on my mind as I think about visiting friends in Canada in July whether I should drive 11 hours or fly there.

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God can create opportunities for us that allow for us to live with in our limitations. At picnics with friends from other cultures, after accepting that volleyball was no longer a good idea for me, I began just sitting at the tables with whoever was there. Those moments often have been divine appointments to share Jesus with people.

At first I was concerned about explaining my need for gluten free food to my refugee and immigrant friends when they would invite me to their homes. I have found that when I explain why, they have been very willing to accommodate my needs. Not only that but by explaining about my life with chronic illness, it has led to opportunities to share with them.

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My prayer life is the key to living within my limitations. I have had mornings that I wake up, drink coffee, and while drinking coffee barely pray-“Lord I am so fatigued today. Please help me be a blessing to my students and fellow teachers.” Those are often mornings that turn out to be some of the best in class and in interacting with my fellow teachers. It has helped me to accept that I have limitations and give them to God.

I still have my moments such as thinking I could dig my car out of 14 inches. After 10 minutes of trying I realized it was not a good idea. So I am not a perfect role model of accepting limitations.

However, by inviting Jesus into my life with limitations, it has created many God opportunities. Paul wrote about his experience in 2 Corinthians 12:9


But he said to me, ‚ÄúMy¬†grace¬†is sufficient for you, for¬†my¬†power is made perfect in weakness.‚ÄĚ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about¬†my¬†weaknesses, so that Christ‚Äôs power may rest on me.

Jesus reveals himself through our limitations. Joni Erickson Tada is a classic example of this. After becoming a quadriplegic, God raised up so many ministry opportunities for her. She has written books, spoken in large meetings, had a radio show, and more.

So if you are living with a limitation or one is new to you, give it to Jesus and day by day see what he does through you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Dealing with Doctors

“I don’t know why while I take prednisone my joints feel much better and as soon as I am off prednisone, I have such intense pain.” I shared that with my then GP. His response was to ignore my comment and focus only on what he wanted to go over.

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That is called Medical Gaslighting. It is when a doctor downplays a patient’s concerns, ignores them, or tries to convince a patient it is imaginary or due to something else.

Anyone who has lived with chronic illness has probably experienced this at least once.

“I don’t want an autoimmune illness. I am not a hypochondriac, but these things run in my family. My older brother has M.S., my older sister has Psoriatic Arthritis, asthma runs in my family, I have relatives with Type 1 diabetes.” I told my current GP that a few years ago. After I told him that, he began to take me seriously.

An excellent book for anyone about dealing with doctors was written by a doctor whose blog I follow. Phoebe Chi is a doctor and her blog is phoebemd.com. Her book is Being Empowered,,,, for a healthy heart. Just the first chapter on being an empowered patient makes the book so worthwhile to buy and read.

After reading her book, I changed how I approach doctor appointments. I kept a symptom log including how often, when, triggers etc. I also began asking more questions during appointments. I became an informed and empowered patient.

Since 2017, I have seen 2 different rheumatologists, a gastroenterologist, two different dermatologists, two different orthopedic specialists, two different physical therapists, spent half a day being x-rayed, seen an ophthalmologist, had so many blood tests and more. In only 3 years, I have been diagnosed with Celiacs Disease, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Disc is my neck, and Sjogrens. That is on top of the Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid and asthma I already knew I had.

I share all of that just to let you know that I KNOW the frustration of dealing with many doctors.

What has helped me?

1- I pray before I go to a doctor. I invite Jesus into the process. This helps me to focus and also asks the Great Physician to come along with me.

2- I keep a journal of symptoms such as when I have a low grade fever and for how long, rashes, pain, etc.

3- I let each specialist know that various autoimmune problems run in my family.

4- I ask questions.

5- I read information from reputable sources such as Web MD, Mayo Clinic website etc.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Story Time- Adventures with a Frozen Pizza

Yesterday after my morning class, I stopped at a small market near my place to buy some food. One of the items was a gluten free frozen pizza. The young woman who was the cashier asked me if they were good. She wanted to know because she is gluten sensitive. I told her, “This one is good, but the key is to not forget you put it in the oven.”

Well the rest of the story is this. I came home and put the frozen gluten free pizza in the oven and lo and behold, I got distracted. It was not a noble distraction such as an important phone call or deep studies in the bible. I was playing a word game online. Then I remembered the frozen gluten free pizza in my oven.

It was still edible, barely, but a bit overdone. lol

In my defense, the pizza did not tell me it was done, so really it is the pizza’s fault. ūüôā

Fortunately for us, God is much more mindful of us than I was of the frozen gluten free pizza. Jesus said in Matthew 6:

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.¬†Are you not much more valuable than they?”

and in Luke 12:

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.¬†Don‚Äôt be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

God knows the number of hairs on our heads. He pays attention to every little detail about us. He will never overlook us.

Now I wonder whose kitchen I should cook in? Dawn, Jenny, or Brenda?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Interviewed on Instagram about Chronic Illness

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CFnFsQ0l9F8/?igshid=r6gvlo6wax0q

A few months ago, I felt the Lord impressing on me to share about chronic illness in my Instagram. Because of that I have been able to connect with other chronic illness spoonies from various countries. One of them is a woman in Sweden who goes by funniebunnie on Instagram. She does live interviews on her Instagram with people. She asked me to do one.

We did it today. It is a but long, but I wanted to share it with you. If you click on the link, you can view the interview.

Thank you

God Bless