This Crazy Whirlwind of Life

Honestly, those of you with kids in public school, I don’t know how you manage.  My son made the basketball team, so I have had to drive him to the school for either practices or games every day.  Then I have to go back and pick him up.  If there’s a game, I stay and watch.  It is exhausting to arrange my schedule around someone else’s — I’m accustomed to setting my own schedule.  And this is only for basketball season; I can’t imagine doing it all year long.

This has been going on since mid-November, and I’m beat.  The only day they don’t practice/play is Sunday (oh, they also got Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s off).  The season is almost over, but there’s no rest for the weary.  Now that the high-school aged son is nearly done with basketball, the youngest son has begun to play.  I had to quit teaching swimming lessons so that I can transport my basketball players.  Now that I think about it, cessation of swimming probably contributed to the return of my shoulder and hip issues.

Even knitting has become painful.  I drag my knitting bag along to all the basketball games.  All that time I would have wasted, just sitting there waiting for the game to start, has added up to two pair of socks, three hats, and a pair of mittens.  It’s nice to have something to show for all that sitting-around time.  Unfortunately, for the past few days, my shoulders have hurt even while resting my elbows at my sides — that’s worse than usual.

Wouldn’t it be nice to treat ourselves sometimes?  When my animals are sick, I can go to the feed store to buy medicine. Just today I gave a cow two shots s of LA-200.  In the spring I give vaccines to our horses. When they’re injured, I can clean them up and apply bandages. We have a stomach tube for calves that won’t eat.  Yet for some reason, there is no way for me to say, “Look, I’ve had this problem with my shoulders and hips off-and-on for six years.  Can’t I just cut out the middle man and treat it the same way it’s been treated every other time?”  No.  Instead, I have to phone my doctor’s office, make an appointment, spend two hours on the road for a short visit with the doctor who will do the same exam he always does and recommend the same treatment as usual.  Wouldn’t it be nice if I could go online, do the point-and-click thing, and a few days later have a bottle of kenalog show up in my mailbox?  No travelling. No time lost.  Not that I don’t like my doctor.  I do.  It’s just so overwhelming to think about going to see him yet again, that it’s easier to just stay home and deal with the pain.

This is why I haven’t been blogging.  Life has been even busier than usual, and the bursitis & tendonitis have been waging war.  My computer is upstairs, and I’ve been mostly staying downstairs.  I’ve even been sleeping in a recliner in the living room since November (instead of climbing the stairs to torture my hips and shoulders by squishing them against a mattress).  Something needs to change.

Miscellaneous other stuff, since I haven’t posted in ages:

Last month I finally took dear daughter to see her rheumy in Seattle.  The doctor saw why I’d been phoning and pestering her to treat this more aggressively. DD is now on a DMARD instead of just NSAIDs.  She’s also getting some pretty intense physical therapy.  More about that another time.

Both my college kids came home for Christmas break.  It was great to see them and hug their necks.  Our son is planning a service-project trip for spring break, and is applying for an internship over the summer, so I guess that means he’s all grown up and on his own, and we’ll see him again next Christmas unless we go to visit him in Texas (which we are considering).  Our daughter, however, plans to be home both for spring break and over the summer; we are thrilled.  My husband and I are both the oldest child in our families, and really had no idea how hard it is on the younger kids when older siblings grow up and move away.

In other news, totally unrelated to RA (but I could make a case following the RA/food allergy thread), my ducks molted.  Molting means that their feathers fall out and they quit laying eggs.  Not good, since the people in this house without a Y chromosome do not tolerate chicken eggs.  We eat duck eggs.  I finally threatened the ducks, and said that if they didn’t produce, they’d go in the soup pot.  Two started laying.  I should’ve threatened them sooner.  1-2 eggs a day isn’t really enough, so I increased my flock.  Unfortunately, the new ducks are all white, which means that they are much easier than brown ducks for owls to see in the dark.  It’s been most frustrating, but I started shutting the ducks inside at night and haven’t lost any more heads.

AND… if you just skimmed:  IFAA is doing some great chats with blog leaders on the Facebook page.  I am signed up, but don’t even have a date scheduled yet — because, seriously, nobody wants to do a chat at midnight, and I feel like I’ve been running from first thing in the morning until the rest of the household is asleep at night.  That seems to be the only time I’m not committed to doing stuff.  Basketball won’t last forever, though.  Meanwhile, please check out the Facebook page and participate in the chats!

Wishing you painless days!

Quick Update

Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Health BlogsThank you to Healthline‘s editors for  including this blog in The 20 Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Blogs of 2013 list1.  The list, with links, can be found here.  There are some great blogs to check out.  Thank you, too, to my readers; I have come to count many of you as friends.

Obviously I’m a bit behind on reading my email, or I’d have known about this sooner.  It was a busy summer.

Mixed emotions: when your college son doesn’t come home for the summer because he was hired as a researcher by the school’s engineering department.  We did get to see him for a day last month, though, because he flew up to Colorado to spend a day with us when we took the older of our daughters to her college campus.  Colorado.  Yes, that place with all the flooding.  She’s on the third floor of her residence hall, so has stayed dry.  Unfortunately one of the ground-level apartments wasn’t so lucky :(  Two kids have flown the nest, and my house feels empty with only three left.

My child with JIA will be the next to graduate and head for college.  I’m wondering how she’ll do.  In addition to JIA, she is allergic to dairy, soy, and eggs — not sure we’ll be able to find a college that will accommodate her food allergies.  Allergies aside, though, I don’t believe her JIA is well controlled.  Sometimes she’s fine, and sometimes she flares so badly she can’t accomplish anything (unless you need someone to hold down a chair, then she does a great job).  Since we homeschool I can be flexible.  If she was attending public high school, however, she’d definitely need a 504 plan.  I’m honestly not sure how she’ll handle a flare and the need to walk around a college campus.

If you have suggestions about college life for a student with JIA, I’m all ears.

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My blog is listed under its subtitle Rheumatoid Arthritis, Autoimmunity, and Life, rather than itis.

Doctor Rob is Back!

Good news!  Dr. Rob Lamberts is blogging again.  Instead of continuing with more posts on Musings of a Distractible Mind, he has a new website and a new blog, titled More Musings (of a distractible kind).  Pop on over and welcome him back.  If you didn’t read his blog in the past, you might enjoy browsing through his archives.

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I might take my own short break.

Life is a little crazy around here as I’m definitely feeling part of the sandwich generation.
My mom’s having surgery and needs constant care for two weeks, but I still have my own kids.
Pinewood Derby cars to build for the big race coming up, five kids going five different directions,
AND we’re filling out financial aid forms for the first time.
It’s a bit of a trick providing tax info in January, since we don’t file our taxes until May.