Showing posts from February, 2014

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