Cats and chronic disease


I am repeating this post because, believe it or not, while I was at the doctor’s office today, the Arthritis Today magazine had an article about pets and arthritis. Ironic, but I figured it made for a re-posting of this older post. Enjoy!


I have a cat. Her name is Shelby. She was a foundling who adopted me. She is also so much more than just a feline friend.

Shelby has an intuitive nature that allows her to see when I am ill and respond to me. When I am in bed, like now, she is laying next to me. When I am asleep, she lays either next to me or above my head. Some days, she is not around and that is usually when I am feeling good. She goes about her business as she normally would do.

When my lupus is acting up, though, she is right by my side, purring and rubbing on me and trying to help me feel better. It is uncanny, (or should I say, uncatty) how she knows without me saying a word, that I feel awful. She is not overly in my face, but she is on the periphery should she be needed.

While my cat is unique, she is not the only one who is intuitive. I read a story a few years back about a nursing home that had “adopted” a stray cat. The cat was allowed to roam the halls and “visit” with the residents. This cat had an intuitve nature too. It was discovered that the cat would go to a particular resident who was imminently ready to pass away. When a resident was at this point, the cat could not be coerced to leave the room of the resident. It would stay until the person passed away. It became noticible to the staff and they would know by the cats behavior, whether there was an impending death or not. They felt that the cat didn’t want the person to be alone, so it would stay on the bed with the person until after they passed.

I also saw a story about cats and patients with AIDS. The story said that those patients who had cats, tended to live longer than those who did not have a pet cat. Cats were the pet of choice because they did not require as much work as dogs and chronically ill people may not be able to give a dog the exercise they need.  Who knew?

So, my Shelby has this same empathy, but for me. She has been a true and loyal friend in my down times and always helps me with her presence. She is not a “talker” type of cat, but she is always here, by my side, when I need her most. She does not judge me, or make me feel I am worthless when I cannot do things. She is just here, faithfully, making me fell loved.

Funny that a cat can do that and so many humans can’t. We should take a lesson from the animals on this one!

Sleep and Sleep and More Good(?) Sleep


Yup, it’s me again. I loved all your responses to the last post about sleeping! It truly does help knowing we are not alone in this battle we are in!

As I am writing this post, I have the overwhelming urge to go back to sleep! Again. Considering all the sleep I have had lately, it still surprises me that I am so fatigued. Yet, I made myself get out today and get a few things. By the time I got back home, I was totally wiped!

Now I am sitting here with my puddy tat in my lap, in the recliner, and will probably fall asleep once I sign off. At some point I truly would like a day with no fatigue or pain. Just one! Yeah, I know, pity party for one here. I just wish I could do the things I want or need to do!!! That being said, I am thankful to have another day of life and I really do appreciate it! Even on these bad days, I am thankful to know that at least I am here! There are others who would trade me the chance if they could.

I hope you are all well and happy today! I am up and down. I will survive this day (hopefully) and think about a better day tomorrow! Keep the comments coming! I love to read your comments. Please do not feel neglected if I do not respond to each of them. Some days it is hard enough just to post and if I missed replying to your comments, please know that I read each of them and when the energy is there, I respond. Just have had a bit of bad flaring so not all that “chatty” online. It really means a lot to me when you share because I know that I am not alone too!  Thanks to you all for your comments, encouragement and personal stories! ~Jen

Wolfie we are gonna fight!


I am having one of “those” days. It has been rough trying to be as normal as possible and my treacherous body is not cooperating with me at all. The big bad wolf has decided to rear its ugly head again. My lymph nodes are swollen in my neck, and my face is puffed up on the left side. My hands and feet are swollen. My joints are hurting and a migraine topped off the day for me. This is getting ridiculous I tell ya.

I am beginning two new meds this week. One is topamax for my migraines, and the other is cymbalta for my depression and my rheumy said it would give me some pain relief as well. I need some relief for sure! I am sick and tired of being sick and tired… and winter is just beginning so the pain and suffering almost always gets worse in the colder weather.

Well, I have vented and hope it helps me feel better… sorry for the negativity but it needs to get out of me so I can clear my mind and feel better. Hope everyone has a pain free day tomorrow and every day!

Spoke too soon


Yes, I did it again. I spoke too soon. I was in such a great mood and felt so good that I did a bunch of things today. Guess what happened next? For starters, it started raining. Rain is a good thing but with the cold front, it brings more pain and believe me, I am feeling it. Next I started feeling like I was coming down with something and found my lymph nodes are swollen again. Add my hair is falling out and you can see the wolf is punishing me for today.

I hope that tomorrow will be much improved. I am making my mind up that I will have a great day tomorrow! The mindset of thinking positive definitely helps. I have a question though….do other lupies feel like this when it rains? That would be a nice poll question. Ok, will make the poll then and see what the concensus  is among those of us with lupus.

So for now I will just post this short note. Have a great night everyone and think positive so our days are quality!

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?


Some days I am! Today would be a perfect example… I am watching four of the grands, at different times of the day, and I am reduced to napping in between several times because of the wolf. Am I surprised? No. You see, last night, as I posted previously, I had begun to have pain, acute and chronic. It was a harbringer of the day today. Try as I might, the more I wanted to keep going, the more my body fought me to lay down. In the end I gave in and rested whenever I could. Tonight, I am going to post this blog, watch a couple of shows I have dvr’d and then off to bed.

My lupus friends out there will understand the above paragraph quite well, because most of us have had days like the one today.  It is my hope that a good nights sleep, coupled with the rest today, may find me feeling much improved tomorrow. Here’s to hoping!

In the meantime I will stop fighting my body and listen to it and succumb to the fatigue this once. Who knows? Tomorrow I may find the big bad wolf has passed me by! Somehow, even with hope, I doubt it. UGH!

06.23.2010 Doctors visit


Well, I have had two doctors visits in the last two days. First one was yesterday, when I saw my rheumy. He told me that I am indeed in a flare, go figure. He does not want me to continue on the prednisone though. YIPPEE!!! He put me on ultram for the pain and told me to rest and hopefully I will feel better again soon and get this flare under control again.  I sure hope that happens because I am getting tired so much and really need my strength right now. As most of you lupies know, that is when we get our flares it seems, when we need it the most (our energy).

Now on to todays doctor visit. I saw my neuro. I had an emg done to determine the extent of the neuropathy in my legs/feet. He told me that my feet and hands have small fiber neuropathy that does not show well with the emg. He does not doubt it is present though, and that lupus is the culprit for it since I have no other things to cause it. So, continue on my neurontin and off I go.

Did I mention that the emg was very painful? Did I mention that needles going into the muscle is unpleasant? Well, then I won’t say how it felt…lol.

So, the basic things to tell here are that a) I am in a flare and b) I have periphreal neuropathy in my feet/hands and c) I am a mess…

I could have told them that!