Showing posts from 2014

Three Months Post Enbrel

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I certainly did. Though I've had so many new experiences in the past few months, I don't feel as if I should write about them until I address what's gone on healthwise.  With the last rheumatologist I saw telling me I was in perfect remission and perhaps the pain was just normal muscle ache, I've been a little confused. I even began to question whether the pain I've felt is real or not. Maybe I am normal and I have a very low pain threshold.  But with my Enbrel (which kept my joints very well under control) being discontinued, my body has steadily given more 'proof' that it is indeed not in my head. I never use to notice swelling on my joints, so I'm not sure if I ever did swell before, but I certainly swell now. My ankles are now cankles. My jaw swells a little as well- my professor once excused me from lecture because she noticed it and didn't want my jaw to suffer in class. Pain in my joints has become

Grown Up

It's been a little while since I last posted. Sorry about that, but I've been very busy! My life has been non-stop since September when I went off to university. Yes, your little girl with arthritis is all grown up! Sort of. Kind of. Not really. Regardless, my life has been flipped upside down and I couldn't be happier- I'm studying at a wonderful school, surrounded by wonderful people in a wonderful city. It's wonderful. I've enjoyed the past few months very much, and am excited to return again after Christmas. I've only just returned home for Christmas the other day, and thankfully have a few weeks before my next semester. Though I love my busy life, I need time to unwind and relax. Quite a lot has happened, lots of great things but a few other things that are not so great. One of them was my rheumatologist leaving to work at another hospital. My new rheumatologist shred me to pieces. In only five minutes he told me I was in remission because my hips

At The Moment

I'm more than just a little confused right now. Things change very quickly, and often they are things completely out of our power. I would like to start off that in almost every respect, life is good. And I don't mean 'good' like when someone asks you how your day went and 'good' just pops out: I mean it is good . The powerful good. My classes are amazing, my friends are fantastic, my spiritual side is on fire, and I've even lost some weight. Life is good. There is a lot of joy in my life right now and I'm enjoying the fast pace of it all. I only wish it would slow down so I could savor every single second of it. But it's a confusing time health wise. Actually, it's been more like an emotional rollercoaster. Some things have happened that I only imagined would happen in nightmare or horror movies (Like, the spoonie kind). It's why I haven't posted lately. I just don't know what to write and tell you because frankly I don't kno

The Young Empathy

I've touched base upon this topic before, but I would like to again, just because I find it fascinating. Since I was very young, I've gotten along better with people who were older than me. It wasn't until I was about fifteen that I began to get along with my peers. Regardless, I've had the ability to talk with adults and preferred the company of a more mature person than people of my age (though not always). But the one touchy topic I hate to bring up with adults, especially older adults, is my psoriatic arthritis. Believe it or not, I prefer telling other young people about it rather than older adults. Of course, this isn't always the case, but a good portion of the times. Adults often compare me to themselves, who are beginning to wake up with an achy back or their hands aren't what they use to be. More often than I care to admit, they'll begin to compete with me to see who has it worse; I like to let them win so they feel special. Sometimes they just

I'm Happy

There hasn't been any commotion here on the blog, or on any of my social media. Normally it's when I'm not doing well that I don't write because it's harder to concentrate and I save my spoons for what absolutely must be done. But as of the past weeks, it's actually because I'm doing very well. In fact, the past few weeks have been some of the best I've ever had. With the start of a new school year came lots of changes, but I certainly embraced them rather than tried to keep things as they were: Change is very good, and sometimes you have to be the change you want. There have been lots of nice things that have come my way lately, which I've been very fortunate for. I'm walking and moving more than in the past, and I know I am stronger now: I've even gone out dancing a few times. Instead of feeling like a loner in a group, I feel part of a large community of friends, and there has never been a time in my life when I've felt more accepted


Humans are not usually a solitary species. We form pacts and herds: Sometimes our pacts are brought together by blood, and others a common interest. Some pacts intimidate and others are together because they feel intimidated. It's perfectly normal to want to be in a group and belong. However, there is nothing wrong with being alone. It takes a strong person to stand on their own, though they may not feel strong at the time. In fact, they may not feel confident at all and long for their own group. But there is bravery in a person who walks into a new area, filled with new people for the first time. They know the opertunity that is involved with leaving their group, but that first step is walking alone.  There are many an opportunity we would miss if we hadn't been alone. Our groups intimidate, while one who is not afraid of the idea of eating alone is not. They may find they get chances they would never have if they were in a group. People would be too afraid to speak to the

Blood Donation Blues

I have to admit, I've said "Having arthritis is so stupid" in a serious conversation. It's a very frustrating thing to have. Insulting it doesn't take arthritis away but it does make you feel a little better. I think the thing that's so frustrating is that much of what happens when you have arthritis is out of your control. You really don't get much choice in things you want to do when your body isn't well, especially with a disease that isn't always well controlled.People commonly have dreams, or rather nightmares, about losing control. But it's very hard to deal with something out of your control in real life, especially the way it so intimately is involved in your world. A few months ago my school was advertising a blood drive, and I was very excited. I had always wanted to donate blood, and my friends and I were going to give together. But being the person I am, I did my homework before the day of the blood drive. I found out that people

The RA Lie

I've been told a lie under any circumstance is wrong, but there are times the truth is not understood. I don't encourage lying, but I understand it. That is because I lie about my diagnosis. Rheumatoid arthritis isn't too common, but most people have at least heard it's name in passing. But compared to psoriatic arthritis, it's practically a celebrity. RA is just more commonly diagnosed, so it's more likely to hear about. In fact, many people with psoriatic arthritis will not be diagnosed or will be misdiagnosed with RA due to rheumatologists overlooking psoriasis or because you just don't have psoriasis (my case). I was said to have JIA when I was younger, until another rheumatologist distinguished it as juvenile onset psoriatic arthritis due to my family history, nail changes, and many other distinguishing symptoms. But even then, I've been told many times I could pass as having RA. If you tell someone you have psoriatic arthritis, they look at you

After He Left

I never liked him, and I don't think he liked me. That was fine by me. I was very quiet and an easy target. He was very loud and brash, and even at my ripe age of eleven I found him extremely obnoxious. I was glad when we didn't have classes together- it meant I could get my work done without comments that turned me red in anger and embarrassment. I was often picked on by my classmates, but he made my blood boil- somehow, he always knew just what to say or do to make me angry. One time he sprayed a pungent cologne in my face, and laughed when I scowled. Every day, I wished he would go away. I hated him, and I don't think he ever liked me. I haven't thought about him in years, and I don't think he thought of me either. Why would we when there was no reason to? We went on to go to different schools in different towns, and we never crossed paths again. With no mutual friends- not even Facebook friends- there was no reason we would ever need to remember each other,

When I Lost My Voice

People from my school would say I'm very quiet. I tried not to talk too much because I was afraid that I would come off as some loser. When I spoke, my voice would crack and shake, I'd trip on my words and I would turn red in embarrassment. Speaking tended to be humiliating, so I stopped. I was more open when I was younger, but a few years ago when a class burst into laughter after I spoke, I stopped completely. I didn't want to be judged because I wasn't an eloquent speaker, so I resorted to not talking very much. My exception was for occasional one liners that would get some laughter and boost my confidence. I loved when they laughed, so I would try to open up more to be funny. Even then, there were times that only got me picked on so I would retreat and picked my battles with more care. The only way people seemed to like me is if I didn't have a voice, and I accepted it. It was in January that an academic society I belong to began preparing to induct several ne

Dear Jenni

Dear Jenni , I've read your blog post (found here) a few times now, and though I have not commented on it, I was deeply troubled by it. I hope you do not mind my sharing of your post in my blog, as well as my open response: I do this because the things you wrote about the nonexistent care you have received troubles me. Being without a rheumatologist for 17 months, denied treatments and not receiving hydrotherapy that was promised to you is completely unacceptable. Although getting appointments and such can take an awfully long time, the amounts of time you describe is not only ridiculous- it is very dangerous. Autoimmune diseases of any sort are an emergency- yet, you are slipping through the system, left out and utterly walked on. This is not health care and you deserve far better care. Due to my psoriatic arthritis, I go to  see my rheumatologist once a month- sometimes every two months if I'm doing particularly well. I take Enbrel, which I only found worked after trying

Roller Rules

A good portion of my year so far has been spent at amusement parks. I go so often that I have already paid off my annual pass to my favourite one. I thought it might be a nice idea to share some amusement park wisdom as the summer has begun. Roller coasters affect people different. I can go on rides with large hills and loops- actually those are one of my favourite kind. Somehow the forces don't bother my neck or back, but they do for others. Don't do anything you don't feel comfortable with, but you do have to try things to know. Rides that go backwards, especially upside down, will put a lot of pressure on your neck and back. I don't recommend them if you have any type of problems with your neck, back or shoulders. You would be surprised how much force puts pressure on you as you go backwards whilst upside down: I was very afraid I would get a neck flare right after I rode my first and last backwards and upside down coaster. Be wary of rides that have no neck su

Becoming Ill

Recently I was asked (by the lovely Ms. Rainbow ) if since I got arthritis at a young age, did I have a transition period of getting sick or did I always accept? In all honesty, it was a very long, ongoing transition. When I was very little, I wasn't 'normal' like other kids were: I tired very quickly, my leg dragged, I was very stiff and I always remembered being achy. But I didn't know that wasn't normal until I was eight years old. At eight years, I had what I still call the 'worst flare of my life.' I could barely move and was in hospital for about a week and a half (I'm still a little fuzzy about what went on at that point). I had an extremely high fever and severe hip pain, and all my scans showed inflamed fluid on my joint. Unfortunately 'the greatest children's hospital in the nation' sent me home and said it was viral arthritis, and never followed up. Afterward, my joint pain was much worse in my hips- in fact, they were the only j

"If You Have Arthritis, How Can You Walk?"

"If you actually have arthritis, doesn't it hurt to walk?" That was how the conversation went. I didn't know it at the time, but I had opened up a Pandora's box. Someone ( I'm not disclosing this persons name or relation to me) had just asked me about having arthritis: They heard me mentioning it to someone else. I'm usually honest about my diagnosis, so I told them I live with arthritis caused by the immune system. They asked how I deal with it, so I told them I take immunosuppressants and try to stay active. This person is very pushy and nosy, and I suspect a bit overdramatic. They continued to question me, as if making me prove something. They said, "so the pain isn't all the time?" And I said, "No, it's constant." I was asked, "but if you actually have arthritis, doesn't it hurt to walk?" And I said, "Yes." "Then why...?" "Because either I walk or I live in a wheelchair."

What They Never Mention

What doctors always forget to say to you when you get a diagnosis is, "congratulations, it's a chronic illness." They never mention how ongoing many diseases really are and just focus on the short term. It's often up to you to learn about what's going on inside of you, and trust me when I tell you Google is a scary place to go, especially at one am when you're panicked about what's happening. A word of advice: Google will stop being your friend if you are A)panicked, B) tired, or C) a horrible combination of both.  A lot of people don't realise that they have chronic illnesses, and become frustrated when they are not cured overnight or at least have sufficent symptom relief in the matter of a few weeks. When it comes to months of little to no improvement or even further progression, people can become agitated, anxious and downright depressed. It's a hard pill to swallow, which is why many people with chronic illnesses go through the five stages o

Bed View

Some nights I go to bed and promise myself that in the morning I am going to get up and go out and get things done. But I often break that promise. There are mornings on my days off that I do nothing but lie in bed. It feels very lazy, and sometimes I feel guilty. But it's also very peaceful. I can hear the day starting all around me. I feel my joints gently throb. Pain isn't always something that makes you suffer. In fact, it can be the only thing that lets you know you are alive when the world is cold and numb. From my bed I can look out the window and see the world go by. It doesn't go by without me, though it can feel it. I'm still a part of it, but today I choice to watch peacefully as I rest so later I can join outside. People often call me a homebody. However, this is far from true: I really love to be out and about. There are times I dread coming home, wishing I had time for one last adventure. But it would be no fair to my body to overwork it. I need to rest.

Where I've Been

Where have I been? Right here! I've never left, I've just been less active. I haven't participated in social media nearly as much or even written comments on some of my favourite blogs. If you emailed me, I still responded like usual. But I'm not up for communication at the moment. I haven't for a long time. I'm not tired of all the lovely people on and off the internet. In fact, I miss them a lot. I just haven't felt up to writing. I haven't even been texting with my best friends as often. Even to type is tiring and all I want to do is lie down and stare at the screen. But this isn't even bringing my energy back. I force myself to take a long walk at least once a week (but usually more) but it hasn't helped (nor made it worse so I continue to get out for a minute). I really enjoy being out too, I wander through stores and bring home coffee for my mum and I. But afterward, I need to relax and I end up lying down for the rest of the day and so

An Open Letter to Med Students

To Students Pursuing Medicine (be it nursing, doctoring or otherwise), I think the choice to go into this field is great- you must really have dedication and care for others. That's wonderful, and I say that very lovingly, not sarcastically. I'm even a little envious of you because I fancied the idea of becoming a medical professional when I was younger and still have a medical sweet tooth- I love the reality shows set in hospitals. I know you can do it, and you will be great in what you pursue. But, as a professional patient, I ask for you to learn some things and try others. I want you to try and put yourself in your patient's shoes. Think of how you would react in certain situations- and no, you would probably not be as calm as you imagine. I know it's easier to separate yourself from your patients, but do this at least to understand the way your patient reacts to your words. There are tears, held back sorrow and anger, frustration, guilt, confusion and feeling l

Fast Forward Fears

I try to stay very active in the community of fellow autoimmune disease owners. I'm actually part of a group on Facebook (My Immune System Hates Me) for young people who own autoimmune diseases. I really love being a part of it: Even though I'm not very active on it, I've really gotten to know everyone and I really care about them. My heart breaks for them, too. As just the other day, my heart was torn in two for one. Though I won't say who for privacy reasons, this person talked about graduating university just the previous year with hopes of going on to a bright future. However, she is now struggling a lot with her health and it's so hard for her to get by day to day. It's amazing how fast your life can flip. Scratch that, it's scary how fast your life can flip. Especially when you're only so young. Life doesn't get to be put on pause until you can feel better- time keeps ticking and dreams collect dust. I think it's funny how our brains are

My Absence of Sitting

I haven't been very active on the blog lately, even my Twitter and Facebook have suffered. I'm terribly sorry about that: I've been here the whole time, I just haven't been posting. I've even been writing, but I just haven't posted. I've felt immensely guilty about not posting either, but as of recently  I've found myself busy and wrapped up in other things. Like sleeping. Or eating. The past week I was invited to work on a project that has required me to sit on the floor and paint. I like the painting part but not so much sitting on the floor to do it. I'm very much like a baby because I can't sit up by myself so I've had to hold myself with one arm or sit in a way that kills my legs. I've been coming home very sore. But even through that, I've been taking very long walks afterward. I know how important it is that I keep moving, so after a day of sitting uncomfortably a walk seems as though it would be smart. Unfortunately after I

Psoriasis is so Easy to Treat

Updated October 2022 Lately, I've spent a lot of time reading articles online. One of my favourite places is All Women Stalk: I like the beauty and hair advice, and I really like the name. Last night I was on All Women Stalk and one article was very interesting to me: 7 Skin Problems That Are So Easy to Treat. I expected this article would talk about things like dry skin, but I was proved very wrong. One of the problems that are so easy to treat is psoriasis. Psoriasis?! Easy to treat?! Over my dead body it's easy to treat. The article states that the number six easiest skin problem to treat is psoriasis. This is what the website says: "You might not realize how common psoriasis is. In fact, it’s one of the most common skin conditions that affect adults. It produces red, scaly, dry patches of skin and can appear most anywhere on the body. There are several types of psoriasis, and some require nothing more than taking a prescription pill. As long as you remember to t

Shoe Rules

I love shoes. Shoes can really dress up or down and outfit, just the way you want! Having arthritis, or just chronic pain, can make finding good shoes really difficult. It's taken years, but I've finally found ways of coping. Years of wearing ugly, clunky shoes that are so comfortable or pretty shoes that hurt like no tomorrow have gave way to finding great shoes. It just takes a little effort, but here are my shoe rules. 1. If you are able to, invest in your work and dress shoes. This is most important for women, as the two types of shoes can often be one of the same. Heels may not be possible for everyone, but some women actually can: They just need a very thick, small heel and a well made shoe. Consider saving for a quality pair of shoes that will last, give your feet support and most importantly give you confidence. 2 . Get proper shoe equipment. Get arches if your doctor recommends them, especially if your feet are flat. You don't need to spend a fortune on gettin

Fight for Your Life

Whenever I'm introduced to a new doctor or present doctors with new, odd symptoms, my mum likes to tell them "she's going to give you a run for your money." That's completely accurate. Most times, doctors can't figure out what's wrong with me- at least, not for the first two visits. I think the only time I ever got a diagnosis in one doctors appointment was for a classic case of bronchitis (that I walked around with for a month or so because I just didn't want to see another doctor). And I know I'm not alone in that either. Lots of people I know walk around for years not knowing what's wrong with them. I went about a decade. I know a lot of GPs are not able or don't know how to properly treat many autoimmune and other chronic illnesses, but I can't understand why patients aren't refered to specialists faster. It's cruel to make someone suffer and ignore it. I also hate when specialists dismiss patients quickly. Maybe it's

Blue Fingers from Standing

Lately I've had incidents of my fingernails and toenails turning blue. It's not as if the skin was blue, which would be terrifying, but it was still a little concerning. I brought it up with my rheumatologist the other day and showed him numerous pictures I took of it. After he examined my fingers and toes and felt how cold they are, he gave me a diagnosis: The blue was caused by me standing or sitting up. The treatment? Lie down. Best treatment ever. I took this with a grain of salt. Lie down every time? I can't wait to lie down in class, on the train, randomly in stores. It's literally a dream come true. Doctors really don't get it. They don't listen. Even the best of the best can be dismissive sometimes. I really like my rheumatologist and I've been with him for years, but sometimes he's just a pain in the butt. Did not listen to me explain that it happens when I can't warm my fingers or toes? It's obvious I probably just have a very mil

Adults Treat Me Different

I find it funny how adults preach to children that they should treat those with disabilities no differently from others, however adults tend to do the opposite. When I tell my peers about being chronically ill, I don't usually get treated differently after. It does happen, and sometimes it's with extra consideration. It's really nice. Adults, on the other hand, usually treat me differently from others. Occasionally it's just to make sure I'm doing okay, which is always appreciated. Other times it's as if they don't believe me. But more often than not, it's just different from other kids. Adults are often surprised I lead a more normal life than they expect. I would like to set the record straight: People with chronic illnesses are normal people.  I'm not a hypochondriac. I'm not a saint. I'm not looking for attention. I'm a teenager with a chronic illness. I'm a girl who loves her friends. I think homework is the bane of exis

Things I Wish They Told Me

I was about eleven when I began being treated for juvenile arthritis. As clever as I was at eleven, I didn't understand everything. Sometimes I wish doctors would sit there and tell you more, or at least give you a little pamphlet called "All the Things I Don't Explain." Even if I was beginning treatment and diagnosis now, I wouldn't have known these things. And I admit I'm still learning. 1. We're Not Treating Symptoms. We're Treating a Disease. Treating the symptoms doesn't treat the disease, but treating the disease does treat symptoms. It may not mean your symptoms are relieved for a long time, but it could mean that damage is prevented. For example, if your doctor says it could take six months for a medicine to take full effect it means that you're body will be completely using the drug against the disease. It doesn't mean your symptoms will completely disappear by that point. I really wish they explained that. 2. This disease is

Disgusting Patient Care

 I go to school with a wide variety of characters. And no, it's not because they're art students. Actually, at least half time time I go to classes with -gasp- other people. Oh the horror! Yes, there are kids studying for every type of profession. I've noticed the most popular is nursing. In fact, I would bet money on saying that for every ten students I've met, at least two are going to be nurses. Nursing has been a very popular career choice for a long time, and many think it's a stable, rewarding job. And I agree with that: Sometimes I wish I had what it takes to nurse. But I know I couldn't, so I moved on. I just wish others would too. The other day I sat in class, quietly reviewing for an exam when I heard person loudly talking about their job. I found this person is studying to be a nurse, and is working as a nursing assistant in a dementia and Alzheimer's ward. What I also found was that I'm horrified of what's happening there. This person

Blue Nails

If you know me, you know that I'm always cold. I've always wondered if this was the arthritis or if it  means I have a cold heart. Regardless, you tend to see me bundled up at all times. Sometimes I won't even take my coat off when I get  home at night. The cold instantly makes my body stiffer and more painful: if I'm out shopping, I'll just walking around looking so I don't have to move too much. And let's not even  go into how cold my hands are at all times (eve in the summer). But recently, I've had the oddest thing happen to me: My fingernails are going blue. The first time this happened I text my mum a picture. She instantly became frightened and called my rheumatologist. He wasn't in, but the nurse wrote it down in my charts. I see him next week anyway.  I've been taking pictures of it to show my doctor as well. Everyone in my family who has been told is obviously a little startled and then goes on to suggest it's just the cold. Obv

Arthritis Life Q&A

Hi guys! Lately I've gotten a lot of questions about having arthritis and I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy! "What did you do to get arthritis?" What did you do to get brown eyes or red hair? You got a specific set of genes. Science seems to point that autoimmune arthritis and other diseases are hereditary and passed on through genes and come out due to triggers like being ill or an injury. "Why can't you just get a hip replacement?" I don't need one! Yet. My joints are damaged, but the damage isn't what causes all the pain: it's the inflammation caused by my immune system. Getting steal hips and knees won't stop the pain. "Did you know apples are good for the immune system?" Next question. "Why are you so tired all the time?" Alas, it's a symptom of autoimmune arthritis. Not only doesn't hurt to move, I'm too tired to move anyway! "I heard arthritis can be caused by not flossi

Heel Cups

Heel pain is very common with psoriatic arthritis. I'm not am exception to that. Some mornings I wake up feeling as if I slammed my heels into the pavement for six hours straight. In fact, sometimes I imagine that cutting off my heel would feel better that living with it. Walking isn't always pleasent either: It can feel like walking on spikes. Recently my rheumatologist gave me a miracle: Heel Cups. They're just like they sound: Little foam wedges that cup and cushion your heels. They're like shock absorbers for your feet. And gosh, it's like a piece of heaven in your shoes. I've worn them in two pairs of shoes and so far they've fit both well. That's surprising considering I already have enough 'equipment' in my shoes as it. Anyhow, heel pain or not I highly recommend looking into getting a pair. They do absorb the impact of walking (or rather, limping) and make it easier on your feet and other joints. Look for foam ones that are thick:

Practical Dreams

Once upon a time, we were all five year old children. Not at once- that would be a lot of kids. But none the less, at some point in time we were all five years old. We sat on the floor surrounded by a teacher who told us something wonderful: That we could do anything we want to be when we grow up. She read us stories about people doing incredible things. We were encouraged to follow our hearts and reach for the moon, because even if we missed it we would still land among the stars. And we were still told this as we got older. But I can't remember when they first said, "Follow your dreams- as long as they're practical ." I don't remember who taught us to question, "Is that actually a real job?" And every time I hear "You don't have to love what you do: You'll love your pay," my stomach does a little flip. This post is not about careers. This is about why we are told not to dream big. Humans push the boundaries of 'normal' ev

Love for Friends

"I love you" doesn't mean "just for now." It doesn't mean "until someone else I like shows up." It doesn't mean "until this is no longer fun." And it doesn't mean "until times get tough." There have been lots of people in my life. A lot have come and lots have gone. They taught me a lot, especially about love. Everyone has 'fake' friends. I've had my fair share of them, and I expect to have more in my lifetime. Fake friends aren't necessarily bad either. Sure, you can't count on them for anything but when they're bored it's always fun to be invited for coffee. It's just the toxic ones you need to avoid: the ones that make you feel bad or talk about you behind your back. But even the toxic ones can help: they make you treasure the real friends you have even more. Real friends aren't the oldest friends we have. They aren't the ones who you talk to the most often. They aren'

To Four Years, and Many More

It's so rare to find a great, cute pair of shoes when you have chronic pain. So let's celebrate the great, cute ones we do have. Dear Shoes, When I first bought you, I never knew we would become so close. Something about you caught my eye: Was it the black suede that called to me? I fell in love and knew you would be coming home with me. And now, four years into the future, we're still together. Through think and then, we stayed together. We made it. I remember the first weeks when we we're getting to know each other. We fought a little: You would pinch and I would insist on wearing you anyway. There were times were life consisted only of swollen feet and ankles. But we got though that. The struggle was well worth it: The support you have given me has been priceless. You protect my weakest spots like ankles and have given me tremendous comfort. Shoes, you have been there through everything. You are perfectly casual, but always clean up well and are perfectly dre

How Elizabeth is Doing Now

Last year, I did an eight week course. It was an art class almost every Saturday morning, from mid October to December. I really did enjoy the class: It was a lot of fun! I made friends within the class and got a lot of good artistic advice, and even more confidence in my work. I don't regret doing the class what so ever. My body, on the other hand, hated it very much. I tend to be busy over the week (and by 'busy,' I mean going to school, coming home and doing homework in bed). But those weeks were extremely busy for me: Things started popping up from nowhere! It was a bit more than I could handle. There was actually a point when I became so stressed out that accidentally spilling coffee on some paperwork I was supposed to be sending out sent me into a hysterical screaming fit. Mentally, I was breaking down. But the physical toll was much more intense. I lost my Saturdays to recover from school since I was out of the house by six thirty in the morning (just like every

Driving Me Painful

Driving is probably the most common form of transportation. Most people learn when they're a teenager, and learning is a rite of passage for many young people. And though it's considered to be a very easy, common thing to do, a few don't agree one hundred per cent. Think about the physical act of driving. Your legs are stretched out in front of you and you have to keep control of the pressure you have on them to control the pedals. Your arms are stretched out in front of you to steer. And let's not forget turning your head to look around. And if you're backing up, let's not forget the painful twisting and turning there! It can be really intense and take a lot out of you! Driving for some is really painful. Some will say you're very lazy if you don't want to drive, or if you never were able to learn. I beg to differ. It's very hard to force yourself to do something that causes pain. It can also make you feel very unsafe: we know pain can be extrem

Fight or Live

 "Do you fight this disease or do you live with it?" I was recently presented with this question. And to be quite honest, I gave no answer. I had to think about it for a while before I could answer it.  Chronic illnesses are very complicated by nature. When you're diagnosed with an illness that is serious and are told that there are only treatments to try to control it, it's devastating. That diagnosis can make your life flip, even if the symptoms already seemed to turn the world upside down. It can be confusing and there are even times you might not know what's really going on. But if there is anything I remember clearly from the time of my diagnosis, it was discussing treatment options that can making living with arthritis easier. There was little talk of fighting, so to speak. I think a lot of the time we use the terms "living with," "deal with" or "try to control" to describe what treatment for chronic illnesses are

Teen Discrimination

Children: Some people love them, others don't. Teenagers: Mostly everyone hates them. Maybe that's an overstatement, but that's how I usually feel. I know, I know: We're annoying. We're these disproportioned, pimply creatures that expect to be treated as adults, act like children and have unpredictable moods. I can't really blame you for rolling your eyes every time you see a rowdy group of teenagers walk by. But, I was wondering if we could stop the 'all teenagers are annoying and rude' stereotype? Please? I don't know if this is a world wide phenomenon or if it's just me, but some adults treat me very... Well, not with the respect I treat them with. For example, I was waiting to pay for something at a store. There were two women in front of me. The cashier greeted the Both of them very kindly. Then it was my turn: the cashier wouldn't look at me and didn't even speak to tell me my total, even though I greeted her. One time I was out r

Don't Order Lemon

 Autoimmune diseases. They're pretty self explanatory: the immune system attacks the body and causes problems. It's pretty obvious that the best way to help ourselves is to try and care for the immune system. A lot of time this can mean taking immunosuppressant medicines. But even when one isn't taking those, it's still important to prevent getting sick since that can make you flare. Lots of people will suggest things you can do to not become sick. My rheumatologist's absolute favourite is getting the flu jab (no, I've still yet to get it). Others will recommend bathing in hand sanitiser, avoiding contact with people completely and living in your house until spring. However, I have one tip that will absolutely guarantee that you won't get sick: Don't order lemon. When you're out to eat and you ask for a glass of water,  make sure to ask for no lemon. Lemon wedges are notorious for being one of the bacteria filled things you can find in a rest

The American Recall Center

Recently I was contacted by The American Recall Center and was asked if I would like to promote their new website. I said I'd love to. The America Recall Center provides Americans with information about things such  as joint replacements and medicines that have been recalled and are unsafe. Even if you don't live in America or have ever had treatments there, you might be interested by their health blog. I hope by sharing this website, I may benefit you:  I would never share anything with you that I didn't believe in.  Joint implants and prescription drugs allow millions of Americans to live their lives to the fullest. The field of medical research has rapidly expanded over the past decade, and new drugs and medical devices are released to the public every day. Unfortunately the psychiatrists, surgeons, and medical specialists that prescribe these treatments frequently have overbooked schedules. This often means they may not have the time to answer all the questions