You ain’t no copper penny…

Recently, I’ve been going through a lot a stress.  Health, family, pets, household issues, etc….if I wasn’t for bad luck, I’d seriously have none.  On top of it all, I’ve gained a ton of weight from both inactivity due to my broken foot and stress eating.  Then I ended up getting sick.  The kind of sick that starts out as a virus then moves into an ear/nose/throat infection. I’m feeling rotten. I’m feeling exhausted.  I’m feeling overwhelmed.

Two weeks ago, I learned that my 5th metatarsal fracture has healed (YAY!) but my toes are broken (my cat tripped me….seriously, I think he really believes his name is “Dammit Milo” b/c that is all I yell as he tortures me….but I digress).  So I’m out of the non-weight bearing boot and into a surgical shoe. 50022295_10218923861753738_3764648721682268160_n Schnazzy, right?  It’s a huge step up from the clunky/heavy boot, but still has my tootsies cold in the sub-zero weather we’ve had recently.  Shoes are out of the question right now because of my toes and also because I am not able to walk well at all right now.  I’m actually surprised at how difficult it is for me to get walking again.  It’s painful, which I expected, but it’s also hard to get my foot to remember how to function.  My ankle is still locked a bit. My three little toes, well, they aren’t moving well at all. It took me quite a bit of time and concentration to be able to move them again in PT. One of my adorable students even noticed my poor gait by saying, “Not to be mean or anything, but you are walking like a zombie now. Is this how you are going to walk or can you fix it?”  Kids….gotta love them, right? I assured him I would try to fix my zombie-walk.  Unfortunately, due to my virus-from-hell, I couldn’t make a second session of PT this week.  I put on a brave face, but I am truly struggling to get through each day.

Recently, my friend tagged me in a post about a unique penny on Facebook.  Why, you may ask?  Well, about 20 years ago, I was at a bar with my friend Sue.  A man was flirting with her non-stop, but she wasn’t interested.  She left to go to the restroom and the man turned to me to continue to rave about her.  He said, “Your friend is just gorgeous, I mean, they don’t make many women as beautiful as her.”  He went on and on until suddenly, he looks at me and says, “Don’t get me wrong, you ain’t no copper penny.”  You ain’t no copper penny.… was that a compliment?  Maybe??  Kind of/sort of? Regardless, it became a story and a phrase that Sue and I have joked about for years. It still cracks me up.  The day she tagged me, I was really feeling down. But the copper penny reference always makes me laugh and on that day, I needed something to laugh about.  Autoimmune arthritis, a broken foot, three broken toes, and a virus-from-hell have really taken a toll on me physically and emotionally.  My spoonie dog, Georgia, has had non-stop UTIs which are adding to my never ending stress. I hate when she is sick even more than I hate when I am.  I keep trying to take things one day at a time, but some days, it’s really hard to stay positive….especially when I don’t feel good combined with hating how I look now.  It may be superficial, but weight gain is definitely adding to my funk.  I feel like I am always making plans to keep myself motivated and focused.  Plans for what I will do when I am feeling better…..but right now, I’m so damn tired that the only thing I can plan for is my next nap.  I’m going to rest my body (from the virus) and my foot (from the broken toes) and hopefully wake up Monday morning feeling like a shiny copper penny….penny-2007

….or at least  1/2 way to normal.

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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.

8 thoughts on “You ain’t no copper penny…

      1. We are. My foot surgery is Feb 13. I have developed charcots foot. It may be wise not to look it up. Uggh the pictures. So far just a few broken bones not yet accute. We are in NYC this week getting cold but having a little trip pre surgery.


  1. Thank you for sharing. It makes me feel less guilty for being such a wimp. I feel the same, like everything will be better tomorrow, but tomorrow never seems to come. Not having insurance makes managing my RA more of a struggle than anything else. I’ve fallen between the cracks of Medicaid and Obama Care. I’m not sure if I should apply for disability, because I do work from home as an online teacher. I don’t think I would qualify, but I’m an adjunct so I don’t get benefits, and the chance to make more money is just not there. But, I love what I do! I do it for me as much as I do it for my students, and that is something I’ve never had. Something I love and being able to help others too is the joy in my life, but my RA doc wants me to get insurance, that means quitting my job, and doing something I hate. I don’t think I can work full-time sitting at a desk all day. I need freedom of movement, which is what I have working from home. I’m lucky and cursed at the same time. I’m having a love hate relationship with my career, like you are struggling with MIlo! My dog’s name is Milo. I love that name.

    I apologize for rambling on. I feel the need to vent a little. So many people don’t understand that RA isn’t just painful joints. It changes our lives, our goals, and our abilities, which changes how we see our world. It is crushing mentally and physically.

    Hope all goes well to Rick Phillips. I won’t look that up. I too scared.


    1. Thank you so much for commenting. I have to admit, I sat on this post for a few weeks because I was afraid to post it. Afraid of how people would see me. Afraid people wouldn’t understand. I also work in education and am dying to do some online adjunct stuff. I work part time jobs to pay for my dog’s medical needs. I’d love to be able to do it from home. I work full-time just to maintain my insurance…..but it is getting so much harder. I wish you well. xx


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