Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Our First Place

I am super excited to finally share with you our apartment that is finally put together.  I shared pictures of the space when it was empty, and now I'm sharing pictures of it all done - until I come up with another project.  

Now on to the virtual tour.

This is what you see when you first walk in the door.  We have this cute little bar which doubles as storage for a lot of our cooking stuff since the space in the kitchen is limited.

This is a place to throw bags and is decorated with scrapbook frames that I made.

Right hand side of the kitchen.

Left hand side of the kitchen.

A's knife contraption.

 Kitchen art.

Living room and dining room.

Living room and dining room.

 Living room and dining room.

 Dining room and bookshelves.


Bathroom art.

Bathtub and towels.  I like feeling like I live in a hotel, so I am anal about towel folding, much to A's chagrin.

Bed and accent wall that I created.

My dresser.

Well, that's that.  I am so glad I finally got the chance to share this with all of you.  Moving seems to take more time, energy, and money than you originally anticipate, and this post was no different!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

HealtheVoices Conference 2015*

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the HealtheVoices Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey.

I’ve never been to Jersey City before, and it was fun to see New York from the other side of the river.  I have to say, it looks better from that vantage point.

I think the best thing about these types of events is that it’s a chance to get to see each other in person. 

I got to hang out with friends Hurt Blogger Britt, Titanium Triathlete Dina Neils, Rheumablog Wren, Carla Kienast at Carla’s Corner, Mariah of From This Point Forward, and Angela of Inflamed, and I got the chance to meet Aimee Espinosa (Fit Aimee RA), who also has RA.   

I also had the opportunity to see Jenni Prokopy, aka Chronic Babe again.  And I got to meet Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me, who I have followed for years, even though I don’t have diabetes.

I also got to see some of the Janssen folk that were at the Joint Decisions Empowerment Summit in Boston in November. 

The unique thing about this conference is that it brought together various disease groups, including, aside from RA, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, and metastatic breast cancer. 

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to interact with so many other people from different illness groups.  What struck me the most was that, despite having different diseases, our experiences are very, very similar. 

This was the first year of this conference, and overall I think it was a good start. 

There was a relaxation room, plenty of blankets and hot and cold packs were on hand, food was always available, and overall, it felt like there was an effort made to understand our needs. 

Our RA group had some issues with the chairs.  I felt a little high maintenance having to get up and stretch every hour practically.  But then we commandeered some comfy chairs that were much more manageable. 

I learned a lot of useful information during this conference about the importance of social media, the importance of what we do as bloggers by sharing our stories and advocating for others, and how to be the most successful at blogging. 

I hope that the Everyday Health and Janssen folks got to understand a bit more about the illnesses that were represented at the conference, especially RA. 

It was sad to say goodbye to friends at the end of the conference, but we’ve built lasting relationships that have been fostered both online and in person. 

And the in-person aspect can continue to be fostered at conferences and events such as the HealtheVoices Conference.

*Janssen paid for my travel expenses for the conference; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Biding My Time

The last few months have been a combination of busy and not busy. 

We found an apartment and moved.  I’m still working on my last few projects and then I will share the finished product with you. (Busy)

I changed medications and got a cortisone shot in my hip. (Busy)

My job ended. (Not Busy)

I’ve been applying and interviewing for jobs. (Busy)

I’m just finishing a break from school. (Not Busy)

As busy (or as not busy) as I’ve been, I have days where I am just at home.  It’s not that I have nothing to do.  That’s not the issue. 

The issue is that it feels weird not to be going to a job everyday. 

It feels weird not to be constantly around other people. 

I’m okay on my own.  It’s not like I can’t handle it.  It’s just a matter of feeling like I should be doing something besides sitting at home getting school stuff done.

I’m also still trying to take advantage of having no pain in my hip.

Every week, my therapist asks me if I’m still feeling good.

And I say yes.

But in the back of my mind, I know that answer will someday be no.  I’m hoping that some day will be later rather than sooner.

And I’m trying to figure out how best to take advantage of the lack of pain. 

It would help if spring would get here already and give me a reason to just go outside and walk around. 

I’m also wondering if the Imuran is working.  It’s only been about a month since I started it, and as we all know, these medications can take several months before we see their full effects. 

But I know that at least I don’t feel any worse than I did before getting off the Tacrolimus/Prograf and getting on Imuran. 

I guess right now I’m in a holding pattern. 

Trying to find a job. 

Trying to finish school. 

Trying to figure out what no pain means for my life and what I will do when it comes back. 

Trying to figure out whether or not the universe has a plan, because if it does, I’m not seeing it right now. 

Right now, I’m doing okay.  I’m hanging in there.  Things could be better, but they could also always be worse.