Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis; Nothing Normal

RA – Rheumatoid Arthritis:
I suffer from this disease, yes it is a disease not just an “aching” problem caused by old age. People see me and notice minor differences to my “outer” looks than a few years ago but they cannot “see” my pain. People automatically hear “arthritis” and think “oh I have a touch of it myself, my knee, or my finger, etc.” I think once people understand that osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are as different as night and day it will be understood. The difference between the two always make me wish – rheumatoid arthritis be called by a different name, maybe get rid of the word arthritis and replace with disease. It may have people think in a different direction. Without the word arthritis, there won’t be the automatic connection with osteoarthritis. RA is more than arthritis, it is a systemic disease, which means it can affect other organs in the body.

The list of  Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms include - joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, and depression. Rheumatoid arthritis stiffness can make you feel like you are moving through wet cement. Your joint pain can feel like you sprained your knees, shoulders, neck, and wrists all at the same time. That’s because rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects your whole body.  Having an unpredictable disease liker rheumatoid arthritis can be an emotional roller coaster. The toll that active rheumatoid arthritis inflammation takes is often under-appreciated. 
First let me say. There is nothing normal in my life anymore.”  I have sense of imbalance in life due to the increased need for rest and sleep and feelings of frustration and shame. I used to be able to open a bottle cap from my water bottle without thinking, now it is a chore. I am fatigued most of the day; my body hurts in ways that unless you can really “feel” it, make it difficult to comprehend. I cope as best I can, but at times it overwhelms my daily life and thoughts. Some days I want to walk into the closet with my fur-babies and block away the world. I want to be “normal” again, but there is no going back, this is a progressive disease without a cure. I fight the fight when I have the strength, and I deal with the pain, what is the most difficult to deal with is knowing that outsiders (those who don’t have the disease) around me are unable to appreciate what I deal with every day; you look fine, you have no scars or deformities, so you must just be getting lazy. I saw this portion of a recent study, and because it mirrors my feelings and should make me sad, it helps knowing that I am not alone, and that makes me feel pretty good today.

“A 2013 study published in Clinical Rheumatology reported on participants who took part in six focus group discussions on fatigue and RA. Researchers found that rheumatoid arthritis fatigue was unpredictable, overwhelming, and often associated with frustration, fear, and negative emotions.”
There are many people in my life that don’t see it, but I don’t imagine they want to. They just notice that I move slower and wear more practical shoes. They don’t see my morning shuffle or my cabinet full of pills. And though it’s easy to joke about the aging process and how it sucks to get old, I’m only 49, and I’m worried about what is yet to come.

My fur-children get me through each and every day with their unconditional love and understanding.

Always remember, Only God loves you more than your dog.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Irony (incongruity between what actually happens and what might be expected to happen, especially when this disparity seems absurd or laughable.)

I was told a story last night that I had to share. A woman’s daughter, who loves all animals, decided to take a job working in a local pet store. One day the parents went to visit the daughter and in the guest bedroom they were staying a very rancid smell was emulating from the closet. Mom, being the curious type and wanting to eliminate the smell if possible, opened the closet door to see what the culprit was. To her surprise was a cage with mice inside! When she asked her daughter about the mice, the daughter’s reply was, “I just had to save them. I could not bear the thought of someone purchasing them for snake food.” Mom, being an understanding mom of her daughter’s feelings just shrugged and asked that the cage be removed and placed in the garage during their visit.

Well, the next morning mom went out into the garage and yup, it is so…a snake was in the cage and his belly was so swollen from swallowing one of the mice was trapped as he could no longer fit through the cage bars. The mom let out quite a laugh at the irony of the situation; needless to say the daughter did not share in the chuckle.

Ah... life doesn’t always work out the way it was planned; so all we can do is tidy up the messes, wipe them out of mind, smile (and chuckle if you’d like), and continue on.

Remember: Only God loves you more than your dog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Hurting Heart Does Heal with Love

Love will heal a broken heart...
I can only pray that someday all the people who hate, lie, and willfully hurt will vanish from the earth and leave the kindred spirits a beautiful place to be. It doesn’t matter how many of “your” friends respond to the lies you write, of course they are going to support your lies, they are YOUR friends and they only know ONE sadly distorted version of the past. It is the guilt you have of your multi-men cheating, child alienation, and hate for a man that has found happiness that has finally seen its Karma.
A relationship, no matter if it is husband and wife, brother and sister, or parent and child, has one door and that door must be opened by BOTH parties in order for the relationship to work. If a child refuses to call, see, communicate, or share their life with one parent simply because they have moved out of state, well then, the guilty party of the lost relationship lies with the child, not the parent who continually and tiredly tried to save the relationship.

A human has a heart, and hearts break; so when a dad has tried to keep the relationship with his daughters alive and flourishing and in return gets an ultimatum, move back or we will not treat you like our dad, to whom does the blame lie? The “dad’s” heart will always love these children, but the relationship is broken just as the heart is. An adult child has a responsibility to initiate and continue to grow the relationship as much as the parent. A parent is still just a mere mortal and he can only be kicked in the gut and beaten down so many times before he simply stops getting up to take another beating. It is human nature that after years and years of loving and supporting his children and being rejected that his soul and heart breaks and he must go into self-preservation or he too will be lost forever. He picks himself up, finds “real” love, buries the hurt, and begins to live life to the fullest surrounded by those that choose to have him in their lives.
Now that Karma has awoken, how can a child expect this dad to be at one event, on one day, when you have forgotten and hurt him for close to fifteen years? This child never even invited or even called to tell “dad” of other major events in her life such as high school graduation, college graduation, getting engaged; so why now do you want him there for just one day in your life that YOU choose him to be there? To me mocked at, to be looked at like a loser? It certainly wasn’t to be an active participant in her “big” day. This I know because he had to find out on Face Book that she was engaged, he never received a call of excitement from her to announce the wonderful news. He never received a call to say, “Dad, I can’t wait to see you at my wedding!” He instead was never even asked to “save the date” as others were, he was finally just sent an invite, as simple and normal as 250 other guests; nothing special at all for “dad”.  He was not asked to be a part of the wedding in any “special” way a dad should be. Such as knowing about the engagement party and being invited, or advised when the festivities of the pre-wedding events will take place and invited to be a part of them like a “dad” should. Hell, he wasn’t even listed as a parent in the announcement!

Finally, I have to ask, when this wedding announcement (shown here) was placed for the entire world to see announcing your big day, where was mention of “dad”? It seems as if this was when YOU choose to think of your “dad” as just a sperm donor, it wasn’t anything “dad” did or didn’t do. So sadly, it is with justification that “dad” will not be in attendance, he can’t be, your announcement clearly shows no love, respect, or acknowledgement of even having a “dad”.
So to those that wish to judge this man in a harsh and hateful way, continue to do so, because you don’t know the truth, the history, or both sides of this tragic story which details a dad who did all he could to save the relationship with his daughters but was always pushed away and never wanted unless it was on their terms - in their state of residence, not where dad worked and had a decent job and ONLY if he left the one true love and soul mate of his life; his new wife.

So the wedding will go on, and life will go on, and yes “dad” is hurting, but he has been for so long now it is just a numb feeling in the bottom of his heart. “Dad” is happy, loved, respected, and should have NO regrets at all for what has taken place over the years, he did not choose this path, he was placed on it by those who wanted revenge against him and to make him pay for leaving a woman that cheated on him and disrespected him for many years. No man has stay in such a despicable and miserable marriage. He left his ex, but he never left the children, they abandoned him long ago and now cry foul when he chooses to no longer get kicked in the gut and have his heart stomped on. He will be here, at our home, on her wedding day where he is wanted, respected, and so loved, verses sitting in a chair as a “guest” as plain and ordinary as the many other guests will be. When you want a “dad” and not a sperm donor, it takes communication, respect, but most of all a desire to have a loving relationship with “dad” no matter where in the world he may be.
For me, I thank God every day that He gave me this incredible, gentle, supporting, genuine, and loving man to care for and share the remainder of my life with. My husband deserves to have all the wonderful and fulfilling happiness life has to offer. God has truly blessed us with all His glory; He has given us fourteen blissful, incredible, and truly loving years together. With God’s love, my love, and all our friends and family’s support, we will continue to comfort this great man and heal over some of the scars left behind by those that tore him apart.

I will protect those that are mine, I will always love those that are mine, and I will always, always, stand by my man.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Dog's Will

When humans die, they make a will
To leave their homes and all they have
To those they love.
I, too, would make a will if I could write;

To some poor wistful lonely stray
I leave my happy home,
My dish, my cozy bed, my cushioned chair, my toy, my human's bed, my big back yard,

The well-loved lap, the gently stoking hand,
The loving voice,
The place I made in someone’s heart,
The love that, at the last, could help me to
A peaceful, painless end,
Held in loving arms.

If I should die, Oh! Do not say,
“No more a pet I’ll have
To grieve me by its loss”.
Seek out some lonely, unloved dog
And give my place to him.
This is my legacy I leave behind
‘Tis all I have to give.

My "baby" Otis will be 13 in October, and I can't fathom losing my Otis who has brought me such joy and love from day one when I saw his fluffy beautiful face at the RI shelter. I know if he could write, this would be what he would write to me. May God look over my boy and give us a few more years of snuggles and laughs.

Remember, only God loves you more than your dog.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Blessing From God...

God promised at the birth of time, a special friend to give, this time on earth is short, He said, so love him while he lives. It may be six or seven years, or twelve or then sixteen, but will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me? A wagging tail and a cold wet nose, and silken velvet ears, a heart as big as all outdoors, to love you through the years. His puppy ways will gladden you, and antics bring a smile, as guardian or friend he will, be loyal all the while.
He'll bring his charms to grace your life, and though his stay may be brief, but when he's gone the memories are solaces for your grief. I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return, but lessons only a dog can teach, I want you each to learn. Whatever love you give to him, returns in triple measure, follow his lead and gain a life, brim full of simple pleasure. Enjoy each day as it comes, allow your heart to guide, be loyal and steadfast in love, as the dog there by your side. Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain, nor hate me when I come to call, to take him back again?

As I myself am a true lover of such a creature I believe each of us should say, "Dear Lord I’ll shelter him with tenderness, I’ll love him while I may, and for the happiness I’ve been blessed with, forever grateful stay." “I will never again awake in fear with a cold nose in my ear, give me patience without end.” Help me be my dog’s very best friend.

Always remember, Only God loves you more than your dog.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day

To Our Master:

Today is Father’s Day and although you’re our master, we like to think of you as Dad. We know there have been times we’ve let you down.
There have been accidents. Mistakes have been made. We do things we are not proud of; and we feel bad about that, we really do. But there isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for you, except maybe go to the vet, and other things we’d rather not talk about.
But if you wanna play ball, we are your dogs. Need a squirrel chased? Ha! Let us at ‘em! Need the heck chewed outta something expensive? Okay, bad example.
But the point is, WE LOVE YOU! We understand each other and we want you to know we will never leave you…well, unless somebody leaves the gate open.
Always remember, only God loves you more than your dog(s).

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Dog's Plea

Treat me kindly my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful than the loving heart of me.  

 Do not break my spirit with a stick, for though I should lick your hands between blows --Your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me those things you would have me learn.

Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my ear.

Please take me inside when I am cold and wet. I am a domesticated animal and no longer accustomed to the bitter elements.

I ask for no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beneath the hearth.

Keep my pan filled with fresh water - for I can not tell you when I thirst.

Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding - -to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.

And, my dear friend, when I have grown old, or become very ill, no longer enjoying good health, hearing and sight--do not make heroic efforts to keep me in this world. Please see that my life is taken gently.

I shall leave this world knowing with the last breath I take, that my fate was always safest in your hands.

Author Unknown

As always, remember only God loves you more than your Dog.