Daring to believe…

I just recently started to feel like my new medication is working.  It’s kind of shocking.  My pain level is so much more tolerable.  I still have pain, but I can make it all day without taking extra meds.  My swelling is also getting better.  I still swell when I overdo it, but for the most part, my cankles and fuckles (fingers/knuckles….I’m trade marking it! LOL) are not as bad.  I’ve also been able to do things lately.   This past month, I traveled for a wedding and a mini-vacation while working regular schedule.  I even met people for dinner after working all day…..that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is one.  Today, may have been my biggest feat in a long time.  I attended a charity walk today and I actually walked the entire 1.5 miles (while pushing my 28 pound dog in a stroller).

Georgia and I attended the annual Paws Mutt Strut Charity Walk at the Philadelphia Naval Yard

It was not easy.  I prepped by getting a good night sleep and wearing good shoes. My toes began cramping about 1/2 mile in and pushing the stroller really aggravated my shoulders.  I had to stop a few times for Georgia and the more I walked the slower I went.  We were practically the last two to make it back to the starting point….but I did it.

Walking has been my nemesis for so long.  It may seem like a weak victory to some, but for me, it was an accomplishment.  I’m hoping it is the start of a new beginning. A better accessible life??  A healthier life?  Time will tell.  My struggle with fatigue is still pretty tough.  I’ve been overdoing it, so I’m going to make a point to prioritize rest as much as living.

Next up:  Getting this girl back to tip top shape.  Seems like she is hitting bumps left and right with her health.  We are in her twilight years and dealing with syringomyelia, heart disease, and diabetes (along with blindness and other ailments).  She made me a mommy, an author, and a dog rescue advocate.  Today’s walk was for her. She is the happiest girl I know and I’m glad to be on this ride with her.

Georgia Grace just melts my heart.


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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.

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