Weather Forecasters

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I would like to preface this post by saying I think we need to overhaul the meteorology in this country. For example, last week we were told that we were getting snow here in the ohio valley  How much? Oh, no more than a few inches up to four inches. What did we get? More like eight inches! Who comes up with these forecasts?

Fast forward to today. Yesterday we were issued another winter storm warning with predictions of amounts from four up to twelve inches. Stores were packed with people getting supplies and an overall feeling of dread was present. As the day progressed, however, forecasters started slowly lowering snowfall totals. As of this morning, our winter storm warning has been cancelled and we only have an advisory with forecasts of one to three inches of snow. Seriously???

If I did such a horrible job at forecasting at any other job, I would be fired. How do they get away with inciting panic and then shrug their shoulders and say “woops”? I think its time to refine and shake out all the “forecasters”, and I use that term lightly, and hold them accountable. It’s just me though, so nothing will change  

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Stress Much?

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It’s a new day. New stress. Oh well. Suck it up buttercup. No matter how many times I get yelled at, it seems there are always many more to find. I apologize and it gets thrown back in my face. No reasoning allowed. Heaven forbid I actually finish what I am saying. Interrupting is the name of the game. If only ears would listen to what I am attempting to say, then how much easier would it be to discuss. I do not call yelling at someone and not allowing them to try to talk, a form of communication. I call it bullying and belittling. Well I am going ahead with plans to work on the house. Apparently if you pay all the bills it entitles you to do whatever you want, or don’t want to do. Forget that I buy all the food, etc and am basically the cleaning lady, cook and secretary. Among other things. Oh well. I try. Pushing me away and verbally assaulting me is not my idea of a good day. Sad.

As you can see, things are not good right now. I wonder if this is the “dry drunks” you hear about alcoholics having. I hope so because if this is his true self, I am in trouble.

Stress Much?

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I know we cannot control a lot of things around us. I mean, if we did, we would have to live in an insular world with big walls and no outside contact with anyone else. While it would be nice to not have to worry about anything, we must face that this cannot be for now. So, how has stress affected you and your autoimmune disease?

I have found that for some reason, different kinds of stress affect me differently. For example, when I get unwelcome news or some unpleasant revelation from someone in my life, it absolutely can send me into a worse flare than I was in. When confronted with this type of stress, for instance when I lost my job, it can send me spiraling out of control and manifest itself by joint pain, mouth blisters, severe fatigue, migraines and gastrointestinal issues. In other words, I become incapacitated, bed bound and there is nothing I can do about it.

However, I have found that when my stress involves an emergency of some sort, I can rise to the situation and be quite capable despite the big bad wolf (aka lupus). My body goes into control mode and I can react quite like a normal person would. It is only AFTER the event or emergency is over that the wolf bites me again. It seems to bide his time knowing that whatever it is will be over and then he can attack at will. Mind over matter. Um, I don’t think so. It is just a fight or flight trigger that carries me through the event and once it has passed, here comes ole wolfie to get me for helping out someone else.

Much of the literature that is out there about lupus mentions stress quite frequently. Stress is a known trigger for flare ups or worsening of flares.Almost everything I have read on the subject of stress in lupus patients tells us to avoid stress as much as we can. Not easy in this world today! If they can tell me how to do that, then they should win a nobel prize! Stress is unavoidable today but we, as lupus patients, have to minimize it as much as we can. How can we do that you ask? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Avoid situations that you know are stress laden if you can. 

2. if you can, vent your anger on paper and then throw it away. (This is one of the techniques I use).

3. Indulge in a nice, hot bath with candles flickering and soft music. It is amazing how much this can help you.

4. Avoid the people who bring you stress if you can. We all have friends or family that call you up and rant and rave and then by the time you hang up, you are a bundle of nerves. Don’t do it!

5. Read a book. You can go to the library and stroll around checking it out and finding some good books to read. It helps me a lot to do this.

6. When times are stress laden, I sometimes will chant a meditation in my head, not out loud. It can be something like, “I refuse to let anyone bother me”. I repeat it over and over until I believe it. It works too!

7. When stress is off the hook and heavy, stop for a minute and evaluate if you are contributing to it. Seriously, sometimes we can do ourselves more harm than good. 

8. Take a nap. 

9. Enjoy a hobby. I love to scrapbook and when possible, I go to my craft room and scrap away! I find it to be very therapeutic and it calms me right down.

10. Put some headphones or earbuds in and listen to some calming music. My preference is celtic music but listen to what makes you serene and stress free.

We will call this my top ten stress busters. If you are able, exercise can help as well. I like to dance when my joints aren’t hurting so bad. I put on some old time disco music and shake my groove thing, well, I attempt to shake it anyway…ha ha. I don’t recommend this one in the company of others.

Ok, so I ended up with my top eleven, but these are a few of my favorite ways to de-stress from whatever this old world throws at me. Now, as I asked before, what do you do to handle the stress in your life? I would love to know and then I can find more ways to get rid of it. 

 

No More Stress Please…I said please…

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Ok, I know that I am not immune to stress…we all have stress. Waking up in the morning is stress. Eating food can be stressful. The whole world is filled to the brim in stress. I mean, we are literally swimming in it every moment of every day. Just once, though, I would like to say something like this…”Stress is not welcome here, go away!”. I know, wishful thinking indeed. So, bring on the stress wolfie…I can take it…. 

There are stressors that we get without trying at all. Here is an example… just because I have kids, it is a given that there will be things like car accidents, drama and such. Stress also does not magically stop when they are adults, the stressors just get bigger and more costly.

Our parents are aging too. It is that time of our life where we have to think about and act on taking care of our parents as they age. We are officially middle age and that is the bridge between raising our kids and taking care of our parents. These two things are loaded with stress, but it is a stress that we expect from the time we are aware of life and living.

Now to talk about other stressors. Having a chronic disease can by itself cause major stress because of the symptoms and the impact on your life and family/friends. When you get diagnosed with a chronic, incurable disease, you actually go through the stages of grief. Yes, as if the old you has died and the new you is trying to come to terms with it.

Today was not a good day at all. Stress began before I was out of bed. It has wound its way into most everything today. Maybe it is me, and I am bringing the stress on myself. I don’t think so.  While I am sure that I can shoulder some of the blame, I also allowed others to influence my day with their stress.

In the end, it was a day in which I feel like I should have just stayed in bed, covered my head and maybe no one would notice. It will never happen, but a girl can dream.

well well well

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Today was my doctors visit. To start off, I had to have fasting bloodwork. I hate when that happens. I am not hungry until I hear that I cannot eat at a certain time. All of a sudden, I am ravenous. It is a mind trick, since my tummy does not need it but my mind is telling it that it does. Anyhoo, got the bloodwork done and we then discussed a few of the issues I am dealing with in regards to the flare I am in.

The first issue is my over/under sleeping. As many of you know I typically suffer from insomnia several times a week. When I am in pain, like now, it happens more often. Cruel joke, but that is what happens. On the other hand, I can also sleep around the clock at times as well. It is a cruel irony that when I need to function and would like to have that insomnia, I am usually in sleep mode and vice versa. It is to the point my hubs wanted me to mention it to the doctor.

You see, he is concerned that I am not normal and something is wrong. Hmmmm, guess what? I am not normal and something is wrong…I have lupus! After discussing this with doctor, I realized that the feelings of being wierd are really pretty normal for lupies. This whole sleep/not sleeping thing is typical for us lupies. It is not normal per se, as far as normal people go, but it is indeed quite normal for those of us with lupus. I knew this all along, but hubs would not shut up about it until I asked the doctor. So, I am a “normal” lupie. Not a “normal” person but a “normal” lupie.

I sometimes think others forget that I have lupus and expect things out of me that I cannot provide. I wish I had support for these issues, but it seems that lately they have been swept under the rug and “forgotten” and it has certainly not helped me at all. You see, when I need rest, it means I need rest. If I do not rest, then I will pay for it. If I rest, then the chances are that on the other side of the rest, I will feel better, not necessarily fully productive, but better.

I am also suffering from depression as well. When I bottle up these feelings of inadequacy and inability to function “normally” it makes me sicker, which makes me more depressed, which makes me sicker and so on. A vicious cycle gets set into motion and in the end, I pay a heavy price for it.

That being said, I have resolved to stand up for myself more and take frequent rest breaks if needed and to the devil with those who do not or will not understand. I have to look out for my health and since it seems at times I am the only one who is doing that, it is imperative that I stand up to those who belittle me or make me feel useless. I am striking a blow for others out there who deal with this as well. If I can do this, so can you! We deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I am not the only adult int his household who can do the things I do, so when I can’t, then I will get help.

In the end, this journey is really getting me down. However, I am resolving this one issue once and for all. I cannot and will not be made to feel unworthy because I am not “normal”. I am sick, with a chronic incurable disease, and if you were ill, then you would be treated with dignity and respect. That is all I want too.

Okay, I am getting off my soapbox now and will move forward. This blog is such a great thing because it allows me to vent these feelings and helps to not internalize them more so that I get sicker. Thanks for all the support! I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

Stress and Lupus

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I am writing this post because I have become overwhelmed with stress lately. Big dramas in our family, big sicknesses, big deaths, I mean, it has been some few months lately. I tried to take a time out day and turned my phone off and all that, but they found me! It ended up being more stressful than if I were not having one (a time out day). So, in the interest of research, I went looking for something about lupus and stress. Here’s hoping your stress is mild and short duration… I would just like a smaller load please…

This first bit is from the Womens Health Zone.

Lupus Flare-Ups Brought On By Stress

It is known that women who have Lupus can experience flare ups due to stress. Lupus symptoms normally include fatigue, stiffness, joint pain, fevers, or a general lack of well being. When stress is experienced, these symptoms can become worse, or flare up.

You may be feeling perfectly fine and then one stressful episode will throw you into the throws of several lupus symptoms. Doctors are learning that stress has a significant impact on the disease.

For this reason many doctors are recommending stress management as a treatment to alleviate lupus symptoms.

While stress may or may not be a direct cause for lupus it is widely believed that it does have an impact on the quality of life Lupus patients experience. While stress cannot always be eliminated from daily life, it is possible to reduce it.

In order to live a healthy lifestyle, with less symptoms of lupus, you should try to learn stress management techniques, and reduce or eliminate stress triggers from your life.

You may find that exercises such as yoga or meditation can help to reduce stress levels and therefore reduce the symptoms of lupus.

From the website about.com comes this information:

Daily Stress Must Be Managed in Lupus Patients

Monday September 3, 2007