Late For The Tea Party

I was late for a tea party today.  Not just a little late because I had nothing to wear either.  I was late by hours, as in the party started, ran and finished before I could even consider going to it.  And yes it was a party I wanted to attend.

Thankfully a friend attended and managed to bring me back some of the tea I wanted to try!  And she was able to tell me all about the party as well, which was also nice.  You see the tea party was also a tea tasting and I’m always looking for ways to curb some of the side effects of my medication.  I’ve found some fruit teas that help with some of the issues so I was excited to try more.  And I’m blessed to have a friend help me with this.

I hadn’t planned on being late, the only thing I had scheduled in the day besides the tea tasting party was a doctor’s appointment.  And it was this appointment which was scheduled hours earlier than the tea party that created the issue.  Or rather it was my doctor’s decision, he insisted on “just one quick little test” which he swore would be easy and not result in needing anything more to be done.

He was wrong.  His test resulted in a trip to another department in the hospital, I’m,existent which meant more testing and medication.  Oh yes and a scan that required radioactive dye to be injected into me.  The dye needed time to travel everywhere it needed to go so I had to wait an hour or so and then hop in for the scan.  Needless to stay I was at the hospital the majority of the day.

I texted my friend to let her know I wasn’t going to be able to meet her as I had finished a rather long day and just needed to go home and nap.  She stopped by later on with the tea and the stories which helped keep my mind off the test results and the day in general.  Sometimes lupus is like this, no it isn’t all fun and adventure, some days it’s just hurry up and wait.

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Learning Always Learning With Lupus

One of the lessons I learned after spending so many years in school is that just when you think you fully understand a subject, you discover some obscure fact that leads you down another rabbit hole of learning!

Lupus also ensures I am reminded of this lesson, sometimes by making me juggle symptoms and specialists.  And other times just when I think I understand my relationship with lupus something new comes along and forces me to reflect and reassess.

Today I was reminded of this lesson again, this time from an insurance company that decided not to cover my medical claim because the medication I was prescribed is not listed as being used for lupus.  My doctor prescribed the medication as an off-label means of managing my lupus symptoms.  The insurance company decided that I don’t deserve to have this medication covered as my doctor clearly doesn’t know how to use the medication as it was meant to be used.

Although countless people have lupus, after all it is the leading autoimmune illness, we still do not have a lot choices or options when it comes to medical treatment.  There is still a great deal to learn about lupus, which in turn leads to discovering new means of managing and possibly curing this illness.  Let’s never stop learning, let’s never give up until we have the answers and a cure!

When Too Much Used To Be Fine

The four-footed companion doesn’t understand the concept of “too much”.  As in too much heat because it was beyond war mush today.  Which leads me to the next too much which was too much sun.  Too much sun isn’t good for me, is great for making lupus worse, but my medications have rendered me so sensitive to the sun that when I have too much I swell up and go an odd pinkish purple.  Call me the human puffer fish during those moments.

Now to be fair, the four-footed one found plenty of shade, that which was cast from parked cars and such.  It would be fine with me if the shade provided by parked cars covered more than my feet and ankles.  With the majority of me exposed to the sun I tend to rely on sunscreen and clothing with sun protection.  It also means that I tend to be covered from wrists to ankles.

So today was a day of too much because the weather forecast indicated cloudy and so I packed different clothes for this trip.  And thus it took only a short period of time to reach my too much threshold.

I wasn’t always like this, I used to enjoy the sun and the heat and never grasped the concept of too much sun or heat.  Sure I still wore sunblock but I als didn’t find myself relating to Dracula as much as I do these days.  There simply was no such thing as too much sun or too much heat, rather they were just glorious days. I miss those days..

Chipmunks And Me

When I was younger, I used to feed animals bits of crackers and such. If you were a duck or a goose, chances are I would throw the cracker your way.  If you were a squirrel or a chipmunk I would place the bit of cracker somewhere near me for you to come and nibble on.  I might also have nuts or seed grass pieces to hold out to you if you were cute and fuzzy.

My all time favorite to feed was chipmunks, you see I loved how they would pack all the offered food into their cheeks which would get chubbier and chubbier.  I guess back then I adored chubby cheeks, and to a degree I still do, just not on me.  And unfortunately as part of my lupus treatment I take a steroid called prednisone which just happens to give me chubby cheeks.  Well actually what it does besides giving me chubby cheeks is an incredible appetite, which results in the desire to eat all the time.  Eating all the time can lead to more than chubby cheeks.  And chubby cheeks on me are not cute, not like they are on chipmunks.  Thankfully I do not stay on prednisone all the time!

Hey There Sunshine

When I was growing up we had a neighbor who spent every moment she could in the warm sunshine with as much skin exposed to the sun as possible. The minute it was warm enough she’d be sunbathing top-less for hours on end until she reached a golden color I related to well cooked French fries! 😊

I myself did not sunbathe as per say, but I also wasn’t afraid of the sun.  I would acquire a decent tan from playing outside regardless of how many layers of sunscreen my mother slathered on me.  I’m pretty sure I simply out-wore the sunscreen during that time, nothing deliberate and no thought of getting a tan.

After getting diagnosed with lupus and being placed on a variety of medication which made me sensitive to the sun I tend to avoid bright sunlight as if it were the plague.  This means that I am starting to match Beloved glowing white color.  No, actually what it means is that I never go anywhere without wearing sunscreen and having the stuff with me at all times.  It also means wearing sun protective clothing with long sleeves and legs.  And yes a rather large hat.

I didn’t start my lupus journey with such avoidance skills.  As a matter of fact I flaunted my exposure to the sun, because what could really happen?  In case you are wondering what could really happen is that my hands and feet were swollen to twice their normal size.  My skin was sensitive, itchy and a blotchy reddish-purple color.  And yes friends, this had to happen more than once before I clued in that the sun and I have a different relationship.

Now id like to say that since those days I’ve never had a run in with the sun again, but there have been the odd times when it starts off overcast and somehow while I out walking or whatever the sun plays peek-a-boo and I get caught not exactly prepared.  Thankfully those times are very rare.  Also thankfully I don’t run and hide from the sun either.  We just have a different relationship now as I said before, and I still enjoy it in different ways.

Shaking It All Around

I am a pro at making scrambled eggs.  If you need anything mixed together, I’m your girl, provided you don’t mind how I mix it together.  I mean if you insist on having a martini stirred and not shaken, the you better get on that on your own. Shaking, twitching and tremors are all my methods of mixing things up.  😉

Of course there are times when I’d rather have a steady hand, such as carrying coffee or trying to eat.  Unless it is eating with chopsticks, then I don’t mind the shaking in my hands because I’m just awful using chopsticks and at least I can use my tremors as a reason why I drop more food than I pick up when using them! 😊  And I confess, when Taylor Swift’s Shake It plays I feel like she’s singing it just for me.  Granted I don’t think this is the shaking she is singing about, but I will work with what I got!

I’m not sure if I developed the shaking and the tremors from my illness or the medications used to control the illness. And the fact is, even if I knew what created it, I’d still have to deal with the tremors.  So as long as you don’t mind the odd slosh or flying droplet, come on over and see what’s shaking today!

Neo, Nemo, Dory And I

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a memory like Neo from “The Matrix”? Basically you could download whatever you’d need to know and it’s there for you to grab when you need it. I’m not really sure if there is a cap to the capacities or the storage space that would be required if we were to download everything we could ever possibly need, but hey it would certainly make things like studying for exams a whole lot different.

Some people swear by online games designed to work the pathways of the brain. People claim that they have seen a huge change in their ability to recall things since working with these “games”. How much of that is psychosomatic is yet to be determined, but there is something to be said about the power of belief. If you believe by playing these games you will sharpen or hone your memory skill than surely that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, a subconscious shift of effort dedicated to a desired outcome if you will.

Sure I could use a bit of refreshing on some memorization skills. Heck I have probably forgotten far more than I even realize through the simple process of deciding I no longer need to know things. I can accept this. What I struggle to accept is having a memory less like Neo and more like a character from “Finding Nemo”, namely Dory! 😊

I don’t have anything against Dory, and she certainly was a good friend to Nemo, but I honestly am worried about not being able to remember anything. Rather not being able to move things from my short-term memory to my longer term memory for recall later on I should say. I guess we all fear losing memories about who we are, what we enjoy and suchlike. But when you have a condition like lupus, one that can cause cognitive issues and you tend to make your living using memory and such, it becomes scary on a whole new level.

I find myself struggling to recognize if lupus is impacting my cognitive skills or if the haze I sometimes must stumble through is a side-effect of my medication. I confess of all the things that lupus has changed in my life, this whole potential to mess with my mind and memory is what I cannot on any level accept. Okay so technically, technically it isn’t going to care whether or not I accept the changes, but you catch my drift. A well-meaning specialist who told me that as we get older we have so much going on at once that we struggle sometimes to find the right word/thought/concept in a moment of pressure, and therefore I shouldn’t worry about what is a natural state. But if I don’t worry when I’m not seeing the results I want, will I forget to worry further down the road? Will I miss the signs that should cause me to worry? Perhaps, just perhaps, Dory was on to something after all, provided you aren’t preparing for a test or such.