Doctors and More Doctors

I think I will hit my insurance deductible by February. Here we go again. Well might as well get it out of the way. 🙂

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I started Physical Therapy yesterday. They hooked me up to some electric nerve stimulator machine. I had images of Frankenstein in my mind. I will have six more appointments.

In a few weeks, it will be back to the Orthopedic Surgeon for an MRI and a different electric nerve test. That one will involve a small needle. I may end up with an electric personality. 🙂

In February it is back to the Rheumatologist for a follow up appointment. I don’t think anything new will come out of it other than continue current treatment but one never knows.

After all of that I will have met my deductible, so future appointments will be paid 90%. Hey time to go for it with doctors off to the races.

One big downside to these appointments is they have to be in the afternoons due to my schedule. That means no naps until Friday. I got hooked on daily afternoon naps last semester. Hopefully I can make it. 🙂

Such is the life of a spoonie, person with chronic illness, go to doctors who send you to other doctors and they all want to do tests. They all seem to want to move the parts that you tell them hurt. For example, at Physical Therapy, he kept wanting to move my shoulder every which way.

One day Jesus will either return or he will take me home to heaven. Then I won’t need doctors anymore. For now, Jesus has work for me to do here in this life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Fitting Way to End the Week of Teaching

On a Friday at the end of another crazy COVID week teaching, what is a fellow supposed to do? If you guessed chill out at a coffee shop you would be correct. Normally on a Friday I would come home right after my afternoon class because Friday is my methotrexate day meaning nap time. But I went to the coffee shop.

The coffee mug they gave me to use was so fitting for my mood.

Yes Tigger from Winnie the Pooh was my coffee mug. The bouncing crazy cartoon character so represented my brain after another week of teaching during this pandemic. 🙂

Today I will meet my friend from Venezuela to help her with her English, so she can achieve her goal of becoming a dentist here. Then I will meet my friend from El Salvador to eat Pupusas. Then perhaps back to the coffee shop to hang out a while and do something maybe a little constructive like tell people some of my jokes

What are your Saturday plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Almost Done with Doctors for the Year

My early Christmas gift was seeing the dermatologist and finding out my scalp psoriasis was clear yesterday. So I asked her if that meant I could stop injections, but she said no. Well 1 out of 2 isn’t bad. Something about it was prescribed by the rheumatologist for arthritis, so I need to keep doing them.

Next week will be my last doctor appointment for 2021 when I see the orthopedic surgeon again. Then it is clear sailing until next year. 🙂

This year was relatively uneventful on the doctor front. I only saw the rheumatologist twice, the dermatologist three times, and the orthopedic surgeon three times. Oh and the GP I saw three times.

With all of that going on, I have not missed a day of work, so my sick pay is accumulating. I am thankful the Lord gives me strength each day.

So as the year is fast coming to an end, it has not been the worst year for this person with chronic illness. It has not been the best either. But thanks to Jesus, I have stayed in the game.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

A Sleepy Weekend

Friday was cold and cloudy and add to that I was in the middle of a pain flare up, Friday evening was spent mostly laying down watching movies. Well sort of watching movies. I slept about 14 hours Friday evening/Friday night. Saturday afternoon it was time for a power nap. Just woke up this Sunday morning after sleeping 9 hours. Now I am ready to go to church, have burgers with a friend and perhaps go to a coffee shop. Jesus blessed me with feeling well enough to go to church. 🙂

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Such is life with chronic illness one never knows when a flare up will hit. Fortunately, I did not have big plans for the weekend. I did manage to meet with one student Saturday morning, but other than that my bed was a good companion.

I probably would not have crashed and burned so much if I did not power through a few days in the midst of the flare up. Dummy me. I have sick pay but don’t use it to take a day off. lol

So let me live vicariously through you. What did you do this weekend?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Grateful I Didn’t Kick The Doctor Yesterday

I receive injections in my knee trying to delay knee replacement. I will never forget the first time I had one. It was with my GP. When he started the injection, I had a reflex and would have kicked him, but he was holding my leg, so I didn’t.

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Each time I get an injection, I wonder if I will kick the doctor unintentionally. Yesterday I went to the orthopedic surgeon for an injection and thankfully I didn’t kick him. I think it helped that he has me lay down whereas my GP does it while I am sitting.

It is the minor victories like that help me keep a sense of humor about doctors. 🙂

I don’t see a doctor again until February when I go back to the rheumatologist. Well, except for the eye doctor but they don’t poke with needles, draw blood, or any other things that make doctors visits a bit unpleasant.

My previous four injections his Physicians Assistant did for me, but yesterday the surgeon did it. He also checked my knee and spoke doctorese into some dictation thingamajig. I thought about asking what it all meant, but a meme I saw explains it well. The message was:

When I was a child my parents dragged me to the doctor. Now I avoid the doctor and hope I don’t die.

So I am keeping some intentional ignorance of his doctorese. Why? Because I figure if it was really bad, he would have told me I need tests. He only gave me the injection. So off I went to return home. 🙂

Moments like that and all of the moments of living with chronic illness make me selfishly long for the return of Jesus, so I can have a new body. 🙂

But then what about all of those who need to come to know him first. That thought along snaps me back to the right mindset.

Do you like doctors? Which is worse, the doctor or the dentist?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Gratitude While Living with Chronic Illness

I used to hear the passage in every circumstance give thanks and think I needed to give thanks for the chronic illnesses I live with. It felt masochistic to me. In 1st Thessalonians 5:18 we read”

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

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Upon further inspection I realized we are called to give thanks in all circumstances. This may sound like I am debating semantics, but please bear with me.

There is a difference between me thanking God for psoriatic arthritis, Celiacs, hypothyroid, Fibromyalgia and thanking God for Jesus and for the blessings in my life even though I live with chronic illness.

I am grateful that God has given me strength to rise above the pain and fatigue I have lived with since 1993. I am grateful Jesus has led me to share his love in other countries and among the many cultures in my city while living with chronic illness. But I am not grateful I have chronic illness.

Whatever circumstance we are in, there is someone we can give thanks for- Jesus, and blessings we can be thankful for.

When Jesus spoke to his disciples in John 16, he told them:

In this world you will have trouble but take heart for I have overcome the world.

Jesus was telling them to focus on him in the midst of their troubles. The reason to take heart is because of Jesus not because of our circumstances.

So I am very grateful for how Jesus has given me strength these past almost 30 years of living with chronic illness. I am very grateful for how he has blessed me to rise above the pain and fatigue to share his love with the nations.

I am thankful for the doctors especially the ones at UNMC. I am thankful for my friends at church who have helped me.

Thank you Jesus.

What are you grateful for?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

My Friday Morning Routine

For me each Friday begins with coffee and worship/prayer, but there is something I do only on Fridays. Friday mornings are the time I inject my medication methotrexate.

I had actually thought about making a video of me injecting like I see some of my fellow chronic illness warriors do in Instagram, but my friend and pastor told me. “no one wants to see that.” 🙂

It is amazing that only half of the vial can pack so much punch. Thanks to this medicine I can stand for more than a few minutes. It is slowly helping me to reclaim parts of my life. But it also means coming home to take a nap after my classes on Friday because I am wiped out by that time.

Why put myself through that? Good question.

For me it comes back to the truth of Philippians chapter 1

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!  I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;  but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

I want to squeeze as much as I can out this life, so I can share the love of Jesus with others. The daily pain and fatigue cannot compare with the glories of heaven. My desire is for others to join me there. For now, it is more necessary for those who do not know Jesus that I stay in this life.

So I will inject the medication this morning, go to the school and mooch some candy to get ride of the aftertaste, teach, and then come home for a nap. That is my Friday routine, so I can do things like have hamburgers with my friends from Bosnia tomorrow.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

This week is invisible illness awareness week. Invisible illness covers a lot of illnesses that others may not see a person have. They include lupus, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, POTS, chronic fatigue syndrome, and many more.

The cartoon expresses the frustration people living with chronic illness feel when people say things like, ‘you don’t look sick’ ‘maybe you need to try yoga’ ‘do you take vitamins’ etc.

What people living with chronic illness wish friends would say are:

“Can I help you with anything?”

“I understand you can’t make it at times, but I like inviting you”

“Can I give you a ride to the doctor?”

“How about we chill out at your place and watch movies”

I am grateful that most of the time my chronic illnesses do not prevent me from doing what I want to do, but it has caused me to modify the things I do. For example, I used to love bicycling, but can’t anymore. I can, however, walk in an aqua track.

A special shoutout to my readers who live with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

World Arthritis Day

Today is World Arthritis Day. This is a club no one wants to be in. The club of the various forms of arthritis, rheumatoid, psoriatic, AS, etc. Being part of this club means going through a maze of doctors to get diagnosed, living with chronic pain and fatigue, and more.

It is a club I am a member of due to having psoriatic arthritis. It took six years from the first time I asked if I have psoriatic arthritis until I got diagnosed. I have been to ten different doctors, my GP and nine different specialists. I have been x-rayed to the point I think I should have some kind of mutant super power.

I am thankful Jesus has given me the strength to continue teaching and continue ministry. Some of my fellow sufferers have it worse.

So on this World Arthritis Day, I just want to give a shout out to all of my fellow Chronic Illness Warriors.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Got Through A Rough Day

I had not been body slammed with a flare up for a while, so when a nasty one hit me Wednesday and Thursday morning, it was rough. Thursday morning my prayer time was basically- Jesus you are going to have to carry me through this day. That was it.

He came through. The day went well. My students enjoyed their classes. My fellow teachers had no clue I was in the middle of a flare up.

A highlight for me was my morning class. On Thursdays we have speakers come. I arranged for a woman doctor come to talk about breast cancer and women’s health issues. The translators were all women. I left the room, so that only women were in the room. The moms asked many questions and when I returned, I noticed the session meant a lot to them. When I introduced the doctor, I told the moms that I want them empowered with information.

While they had their time with the doctor, I was in the school library getting caught up on some paperwork. By being in the library, I could sit in a comfortable chair not one of the plastic chairs in my classroom.

For me a flare up means pain everywhere and loss of appetite. It means wanting to just lay in bed because of no energy. I lessened as the day went on yesterday, but it was a rough day nevertheless. If you want to understand how it feels, imagine pain everywhere except your hair.

I am so looking forward to the day Jesus takes me home or even better returns for his church-The Rapture. Then there will be no pain. 🙂 Until then there are people to show the love of Jesus.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.