(To blog or not--it had become more complicated than it should have been, in my mind at least. And so I sat out for a while, deciding, reordering, fixing priorities and myself until I could either shut this down for good or continue without what other people thought or said (or didn't say) creating such problems for me that I couldn't write or think about the blog with any decisiveness. I am continuing.)
When people ask me these days how I'm doing, I give one of two answers, depending on how the day is going. Either "ok" or "well." "OK" is for those days when to say fine or great or anything else would be lying. I used to do that, but finally gave up the ruse. I am ok, no matter how I feel. At my core, I am doing ok but my body may not be following along. Some people will say, "Just ok?" Their tone may be concerned or accusing. They may want to know more, or they can't believe that I'm not putting on the perfect face and pretending all is well.
But lately, more and more, my answer has been "well," or "really well." And some people want to know more. "A new medicine?" "What has changed?"
And the answer I give them? Grace. It's just grace. A reprieve, finally. Some time to breath in and out. There are things I do, things I've learned to do that I think help. But I do those same things on the bad days. And so I answer Grace. If they want to know more than that, then I tell them the rest.
I'm taking 4 mg of prednisone and plaquenil. I've added fish oil and turmeric. The turmeric definitely helps with pain, though it is a bit hard on my stomach so I don't take it daily. I've also added some magnesium citrate (a low dose), as I could no longer take any pain medicine without a rebound headache. Guess what? Can take a low dose of pain meds again when I need them! There's a lot being written now about magnesium and our body's need for it. Give it a google. Don't buy the cheap stuff--unless you want to spend your time in the bathroom.
I make sure I get enough rest. This is difficult for me--there is so much that needs to be done and getting extra sleep gets in the way of that! But the less I sleep the sicker I am. If I sleep I have less pain, more energy and I'm happier. I get more done when I am awake. For years I saw my kids off to school every morning, but two years ago, during my shingles bouts, I started sleeping in. I've never stopped. The kids at home are 16 and they get along just fine without me in the mornings. :)
And, of course, I eat gluten free. I also jump into a paleo diet occasionally. Right now I've cut out dairy for a bit. Only the gf is permanent, but I try to feed my family fresh and organic. Some of them are happier about it than others!
My gp helps me stay on top of my anemia, which I find makes a huge difference in how much energy I have. I take B12 shots every month and make sure my iron stays up.
All of that doesn't mean I'm completely well, but I'm better. I feel good much of the time, even when I'm hurting. My hands won't stand much hard work and my feet won't walk even a mile without becoming really inflamed. But they'll get me through my days without complaining too much. I've gone to most of my kids' activities this year and am teaching a Wednesday night women's class at church for the first time in years!
Yesterday morning I got up early and joined my family in downtown Oklahoma City at the OKC Memorial Marathon. I cheered while most of the fam completed the 5K and my son ran the Half Marathon.
Many wore red socks in honor of those in Boston. My oldest daughter ran in honor of a close friend who died last year. We were all there together. Even Mom. Oklahoma City seems such a special place at Marathon time, remembering a horrible event but making something so good out of it. I was happy to be to be part of it, even in such a little way, proud to watch those of mine cross the finish line even if I couldn't.
Grace. And more than enough of it.