When it rains…..

So my heart is still aching over losing my cat, Isabella.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping. It’s so difficult holding an animal that you adore while they pass away.  Things got better when I knew her ashes were back home with my parents.  I know she had a good life, but not being able to sleep was a way my brain was processing things.  Lack of good sleep takes its toll on my body.  The fatigue has been cumbersome.

I returned to my home after the holidays and we were hit by a “cyclone snow bomb” in the NorthEast.  I have to laugh because the meteorologists predicted 1-3 inches of snow but -0 degree weather with windchill.  When you live with RA, you have routines to make life easier, especially if snow is in the equation. I should know by now that meteorologists are hardly ever right!! I live in a town home and have a driveway that butts up to a shared alley/driveway.  Normally, if there is going to be a lot of snow, I will park in the driveway so I don’t have to shovel it and can focus on the alley.  Well, 1-3 inches is no big deal, so I parked in my garage.  Five or six inches of snow later, and I am kicking myself because I had to shovel a LOT of snow.  Thankfully, my neighbor helped me out.  Regardless, my elbows, wrists, and shoulders ached terribly and guess what…..I couldn’t sleep again due to the pain.

Then the dog got sick.  Georgia was refusing to eat.  I was almost late to work multiple days because I had to spoon feed her before getting insulin into her.  I was thinking it was due to diabetic ketoacidosis so I rushed her into the vet.  Nope.  Not her diabetes.  She has a massive ulcer on her tongue.  What it is from is still up for debate.  Could be a chemical burn from licking/eating something (rock salt, or possibly essential oils my cats knocked over) or it could be a cancerous tumor. We’re treating it as a burn and taking it from there.  I get the dog home and now she is on 18 pills a day, 2 shots of insulin, a “pain relieving mouthwash” and two blood glucose tests daily. All of this in addition to taking care of myself.  Seriously, enough is enough, right??  Nope….

I wake up on Saturday feeling like a brick house fell on me and I’m coughing a lot.  I hadn’t been feeling good but living with RA, I always feel like I am sick.  I drag myself out of bed and go to a walk-in clinic because it is a weekend.  Turns out I have bronchitis (that was my guess) and a sinus infection (I didn’t see that one coming but once I was told, then I felt it).  The doctor looks at me and asks why I didn’t come in sooner.  I almost fell off the table.  I always feel like I have the flu.  The cough made me think something was wrong but if I wasn’t coughing, I probably wouldn’t have gone in for a few more days.  I think the doctor thought I was crazy.  People have no idea what it feels like living with chronic illness.

So, life is a bit overwhelming right now.  Focusing on getting rest, drinking liquids, and taking it easy.  The body aches are pretty serious and of course, I have to stop taking my biologic drug until I get better.  It kind of stinks to be me right now.  Nursing Georgia is going well because she is a good patient.  We have a follow up tomorrow and hopefully, the tongue will be healing and we won’t need to see an veterinary oncologist.  Here is a photo of Georgia before diabetes and just the other day.  She’s been through the ringer but still smiles when she sees me, even at the vet’s office.  We are quite the team.  Wish us luck that we both get better sooner rather than later.26730652_10215857483896208_2554054361533709398_n

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

10 thoughts on “When it rains…..

  1. I’m so sorry you’ve had it tough, sounds like a pretty rough time of it of late. Just wanted to send a hug your way – and “awww” at Georgia, so beautiful! I used to have a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with similar colouring, even had the same gorgeous eyes! 🙂
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Georgia is so beautiful, both before and after the D. I am hoping by now you are feeling better . I know with the flu season in full bloom we have to be so careful. i think so many times we forget we are not 100% and when normal folks catch a cold, we have pneumonia. All of it is rotten no matter the source.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rick. I’m learning a lot about diabetes through Georgia. There is quite a passionate online presence for diabetic dogs. Unfortunately for me, I do not respond to augmentin. My bronchitis got worse. Out of work this entire week. I fine these upper respiratory infections really get me so run down. No idea how to fight the germs. I hope you are well!


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