Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Loving Someone With Chronic Pain: A Caretaker Perspective

So I've been waiting on this guest post for quite some time. It's a really special day for me, and I would love for all of you to please read it. My mom's perspective was incredibly valuable and her post was absolutely outstanding. Here's another guest post take on what it's like to know and care for someone with chronic pain.

I asked The BF to write me a guest post before I asked anybody else. I don't think I had even really started writing regularly on the blog when I asked him. I just knew that someone so close to me should share his story. He put it off for awhile, but he wrote it today and it absolutely floored me, and certainly brought me to tears.

Can't Sleep? Edit Obsessively!

This is an entirely unrelated post, but I wanted to get some feedback from anyone who reads regularly, or stops by sometimes, or maybe even just stumbled across the blog just this once. I am struggling to maintain a solid following, and while advertising for the blog is a different thing entirely, I'd like to keep readers coming back. I've started to wonder if the appearance of my blog has anything to do with the relative lack of interest.

I can't sleep tonight so I've done some tweaking with the blog. I had complaints about the original font so I changed it, but am still not quite happy. I added "Read more" links, since I'm soooooooo wordy and those giant posts are a little unappealing when you just want to scroll past them. I rearranged the layout a bit. I'm thinking about changing up the colors to something a little brighter and more positive.

So let me know! Tell me what you like, what you don't, what looks pretty...etc. I'd love to hear it!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

When you're not talking loud enough, how can anybody hear you?

I learned a valuable lesson this week; the strangest thing about my arthritis is that it's constantly teaching me all sorts of little lessons. I guess that's what makes blogging about chronic pain a relatively easy task. 

I've been living in constant pain. Every day, I wake up and I'm afraid to move for a minute. Sometimes when I'm holding still my joints stay calm, and I can almost pretend I don't spend every day in bed because I can't walk. A year ago, to calm my crazy thoughts at night, I would imagine riding my horse through green fields, and I would fall asleep. The last time I closed my eyes and hoped for happy thoughts, I imagined going for a simple, slow walk, and the pure joy that imagination brought to my mind destroyed me. Even now, almost a week later, this brings tears to my eyes. How could I think, for so long, that this life is okay? How could I wake up every morning and just accept that I would spend my day in bed by myself? How could I let my pain take me over so completely that WALKING is my happy thought?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chronic pain is a big bully. Don't let it win

I always have so many plans for my next post here, and then I suddenly change my mind because something else becomes immediately relevant. Today, it's letting chronic pain win.

I started my new semester yesterday, after five weeks of winter break. The majority of my break, I found myself confined to the bed or the couch, struggling to get up just to take a shower. The BF basically acted as my nursemaid. Now, I love him a lot, and am thrilled that he is so willing to take care of me, but being shut inside all the time really made me crazy. I've been ready to get back to school for days. I'd been out briefly with my mom on Sunday and Monday, and, all things considered, felt pretty good when Tuesday rolled around. I had only an afternoon lecture from 2 to 3:15, so I screwed around online, enjoyed my banana and juice breakfast slowly, and gave myself time to digest my morning meds. When the time came to head for the bus stop, I picked up a leisurely pace and strolled my way there. I made it early, which delighted me to no end. How could I ever have taken WALKING for granted? It is seriously the best!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Your Child Has a Chronic Illness: A Mother's Perspective

While I have played around with the idea of starting a blog since I received my RA diagnosis in August, my mom was truly the inspiration for sitting down to begin this one. Her belief in me is unwavering, and the pride she feels for me helps me to be proud of myself. I always knew I wanted her perspective at some point. Today, as part of my continuing dedication to the topic of living with chronic pain, I want to give you my mom's perspective. Thank you so much for the time you spent writing this, Momma.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rheumatoid Hijinks!

((This is not really THAT related to RA. Really.))

So, I haven't been sleeping that much for the last month or so, right? (I haven't, but we will discuss this in a real post later on...so just say yes and proceed) I am a college student so I'm pretty good at fakin' the smarts after an all-nighter. After a few all-nighters, or many in a row, I am so goofy it might embarrass you. Right now, I am so goofy, I don't even know I should be embarrassed for myself!! I'm a little confused, a lot groggy, and generally kind of lost.

With that backstory, here is a conversation. Followed, probably, by more backstory. Forestory? Afterstory?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Gettin' Sexy Through the Pain

When I began brainstorming blog topics, I had this idea that I could write one blog on living with chronic pain. Thinking back, however, I realize that in all of 2011, I had only one pain-free month. Even in January 2011, before I had any inkling of what lay in store for me, I had already begun to develop symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and I dealt with pain every day. Chronic pain is such a giant part of my life now that I could hardly write one single entry on it and call that good. Instead, I want to start off today with a discussion of chronic pain and intimacy, and continue on in the next few weeks to talk about chronic pain and its relation to a number of important processes and people in our daily lives.

So, let's talk today about something really awkward: S-E-X! But that's not all. Really, this conversation is about staying intimate when you feel like a big sore, swollen cow.