Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Grinch Got Me

It is 3 nights before Christmas. I have 2 young boys who will be anxiously creeping down the stairs to see what Santa has brought them in a few days and unless I get my act together and get some energy going they will be most disappointed. The Grinch got me this year. The Grinch this year is my RA.

I first noticed a change when the tree was going up and I could not finish. This is not normal for me. Normally , I am the one to do all the decorating. The tree, the house, and this year I stopped after one tote of ornaments was done. Even most of what got on the tree my 8yo son did. I just helped unwrap. Using the excuse of my 18mo youngest son I said we should not put the breakable ones up. I was just to tired and sore.

The next night my older son was asking about the singing animals, pictures, candles and other funny Christmas cheer I spread throughout my house without fail every year. The Grinch got them this year. I could not do it. It is three days before Christmas and I still have to find which tote the stockings are in as they are still in the garage somewhere.

For days the kids were begging to put lights up, put out the deer, sleigh and inflatables. I could not let them down. With the help from my mom, we managed to get two strands wrapped around the porch rail. Not the glorious display we normally have but enough to make my son smile.

Today, we  tried to make cookies. Normally I make tons and tons of cookies of all kinds to give out, munch on, and make everyone happy. I could only get one batch of sugar cookies done. As my son was decorating, instead of sitting by him and decorating with him I had to lay on the couch. Every year we make homemade ornaments to give to all my family. Needless to say this year I did not even buy any supplies. My hands cannot take it.

People invite me out. Family is getting together and I am sitting here thinking how hard this is going to be.  I never thought that the Grinch would get me. I never imagined what RA would do to change my life. I never knew that every night I lay in pain I would lose more of me. There is nothing worse than knowing just how often I disappoint my kids when I cannot do the things I could. I know that I am supposed to think positively and I do try. Its just that it is too much right now. The Grinch got a hold of me and I cannot shake him off. I hope someday my Christmas traditions come back. I hope someday I can play ring around the roses with my son and fall to the ground in laughter. For now, I will get through it. I will do what needs to get done, just not a lot more.

60-Second Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis

This is a great short easy to read gudie to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Reading this to my 8 year old helps him understand why I can't do all the things I once could.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quest for Shampoo....

I am on a quest. It is most serious. I must find a shampoo and conditioner bottle that I can easily squeeze in the morning. Impossible? I will find out!

Winter makes my bones scream, more so than normal. Every day things are so tough! Recently, I am finding that winter morning stiffness is a whole different ballgame.

I must find ways to make life easier! After talking myself out of bed, I head to the shower. Once under the hot steamy shower I think ahhhhhh that feels good. Then I go to pick up the shampoo...I drop it...more than once. Now I have to bend down and pick it up! AGH! My hands are stiff, my fingers hurt. Once I do have a good grip I try to squeeze...and squeeze....and squeeze. Ummmmm, it takes me about 8 squeezes with little breaks in between to get the amount needed!!

Now to get it up and into my hair since currently I cannot reach above shoulder level! Then to start over again with the much tougher bottle of conditioner. So much for my feel good hot shower. I am now aggrevated, near tears and just want to go back to bed.

I have tried numerous different types of shampoo/conditioner. Some are better than others but I still must find one that does not make me cry in the morning. I know this seems stupid but if you were in the situation you too would like to find something that helps your shower go smoother. I did try the salon spout ones. These you do not have to squeeze but you have to pump it up and down a ton to get the right amount and that is just as painful! Tear-free Shampoo takes a different meaning for those with RA. I just want to find one that is easy to use, does not hurt to squeeze, does not slip, does not require a pep talk to myself about how I can do it,  and does not bring tears to my eyes!!!


My quest is to find it. Along the way I will share tidbits of what I find that makes my life easier. As that is what living with a chronic illness makes me look for. If you have advice feel free to comment! I was diagnosed less than a year ago and struggle with day by day things. I am off to work. Day by Day.