It’s been over 2 months since I’ve updated the blog and I’m very sorry for being away for so long. There’s been a lot happening in my life – some good, some bad… and a lot of it unexpected. It seems like it’s been forever….
So, what’s been happening? I’ve been getting back into reading a bit. (Well, listening to audiobooks. Apparently, it’s easier to have someone else tell me a story, rather than my own voice reading aloud in my own head.) I’m not using Audible, either. I had an Audible subscription, but it was just too expensive to just get one credit a month when you can finish a book in a few days. Instead, I’m using the public library’s online catalog.
So far, I’ve listened to:
- Thin Air by Lisa Gray
- What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon (I loved this one!)
- One Day in December by Josie Silver (I loved this one, too! I’m a sap for romance!)
- You’re a Badass by Jen Sincero
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (this is my current audiobook. I’ve seen the movie, but I love the book more!)
- I DNF’d The Host by Stephenie Meyers… I just couldn’t connect to the characters so I ended up stopping about halfway in… oh well.
I’ve gotten a few other books waiting for their turn:
- The Chase by Clive Cussler
- The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (I’ve read this years ago and I loved the story, though some of the characters creeped me out.)
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (not an audiobook, but what I’ve read so far has been good… Might try to find it on audio.)
While I was away, I had been diagnosed with a chronic illness, rheumatoid arthritis. It was quite a shock, but of course, it was also a relief. I had been dealing with joint pain in my shoulder for a few years now, with no relief, and I was beginning to doubt myself about it. My doctor kept diagnosing it as a frozen shoulder and told me to take ibuprofen and ice it. But after a few days, the pain would be gone from the particular shoulder, only to pop up in the other one. That wasn’t normal in my book. Thankfully, my podiatrist suggested that I get a rheumatoid factor test done. Well, yep, it’s Rheumatoid Arthritis.
What’s Rheumatoid Arthritis? According to the Mayo Clinic website:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints. In some people, the condition can damage a wide variety of body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
An autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body’s tissues.
Unlike the wear-and-tear damage of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing a painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.
The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is what can damage other parts of the body as well. While new types of medications have improved treatment options dramatically, severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities.
Thankfully, my RA hasn’t done a lot of damage yet and so the medication I’m on helps keep my immune system in check. Unfortunately, the medication I’m using is also known for its use for chemotherapy: Methotrexate. So, in addition to taking this medication once a week, I’m also on a supplement of folic acid to counteract the standard side-effect of Methotrexate, hair loss. So far, no hair loss that I can notice. My joints don’t hurt as much as it did before I started taking the meds. And the only thing I’ve noticed since taking the meds is that I’m a bit more tired on the days I take it. It hasn’t knocked me out, but it has knocked some steam out of me.
Taking Control of My Life
I’ve started a digital bullet journal, using OneNote, and so far, I love it! I use it practically every day. It helps me stay organized and it’s a great place to dump thoughts and ideas! I may make more specific posts about these topics later. I’ve reorganized my kitchen pantry cupboard. I’m planning on creating a compost bin and I’ve created mini compost bins to keep things in the bathroom. Did you know you can compost cotton swabs (so long as the stems aren’t plastic)? There’s a great article that notes the 100 things you can compost. I used it as a stepping stone to start gathering my greens and browns. I’ll be ordering my Red Wigglers when I return from my trip… or I might see if my local gardening center has them.
I’m also preparing for a short trip abroad to London for a few days and then over to Belfast. I’m sure there will be a later post about it with photos (and I hope I don’t run into someone like those in the GIF). I’m also hoping to catch a few shows while I’m in London. I’ll be catching Waitress with my friend, Kirstie, and hopefully, Come From Away, too. Then, I’m off to Belfast for about a week, where I’ll be hanging out over the weekend with my UK friends, many of whom I met through our mutual love of Game of Thrones. We’re also taking the locations tour running around town. (Not sure how my RA will react to that, but at least I’ll have a foldable cane with me in case.)
Well, that’s my updates for my life. I hope to update again in a few weeks. In the meantime, what are your favorite places to visit?