Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Furry/feathered babies, stop trying to make me sad!

Little furry and feathered babies are out to make me sad. It all started several weeks ago with a little homeless opposum, who showed up on my doorstep. So strange. He looked absolutely lost and confused, and very skinny. I brought out some cold cuts and watched as he ate his meal with his little fingers. He hissed at the mailman and hung around my front door for quite a while before he moved on. We saw him again later that night in the middle of our dark street, with the same expression of confusion. Condominium construction down the road likely evicted him from his comfy home. Poor guy. I just know that he didn't make it. He was the perfect target for a dog, a car, or just starvation.

My sweetheart ran over a nest of baby rabbits with the lawn mower, and shredded one. He won't tell me, and I won't look to see if the others are still living.

My daughter's big, goofy lab mix, Delilah, caught and played with (shook to pieces) a small squirrel. I got her away from it, but it only got as far as halfway through the fence when it expired.

We had some major rainstorms last weekend. Actually, all weekend. The hard rain and wind knocked down a nest of baby birds from one of my big pines. They were just starting to get their feathers. Three of the four were already dead, but one was still holding open his red mouth on his pencil neck, waiting for his mama to bring him some grub. I didn't see the actual nest anywhere around, or I would have put it in the tree and placed pencil neck in it. But, there was nothing I could do to help the little one.

All these mortal little babies have made me sad, but that sadness is buried beneath such a joy at feeling well that it hasn't had the impact on my mood and mental health that it would have a few months ago.

I'm not going to let the sorry state of my finances, the mess this country is in, the evil I hear on the news every day or anything else keep me from smiling. I'm asking, very sincerely, for all helpless and hopeless furry or feathered things to find someone else to give last rites and to worry over you. I'm going to be happy.

Feeling stronger every day

It has been a very long time since I could actually say I felt strong, but I’m feeling that way now. I’ve been thinking lots about the things I haven’t been able to do and how this summer may be spent working on getting back into living my life, actively.

Since my diagnosis, I’ve been through lots of medication changes, complications, pain and I’ve had to give up so many things that made life interesting and fun. I can’t say for sure what has really made the difference now. Although my elbow still bothers me, and will until I have the revision surgery in July 2011, my RA pain has been more intermittent. I’ve also bought myself some really comfortable Clark's shoes that have helped my feet immensely. I’m ready to plan some hiking and camping trips. I’m ready to pull out my mandolin, guitar, fiddle and banjo, restring them all and set to work to get back to jamming and maybe even gigging again.

I always feel that I might jinx myself by actually saying outloud, that I feel good. It seems that the minute things get better, I’ll have a flare of disease activity and get pretty depressed. But, I haven’t felt this good in 4 years. The only medications I’m taking are 400 mg Etodolac 2x day, 7.5 mg prednisone and 200 mg plaquenil. That list is so much shorter than it has been for a while. It makes me wonder if that has anything to do with it. It did seem that the more medications that were added, the worse I felt. When I stopped the methotrexate, piroxicam and prilosec, I started to feel better right away. Of course, that is also about the time that I fell and broke my elbow.

I hope that I won’t have to add any new medications. I hope that I can enjoy feeling “normal” again for a while. I won’t count on forever. I’ll hope for the summer at the very least. With RA, you just never know.