One down, two to go……

Wednesday morning:

After receiving three calls from the orthopedic doctor over the past seven days, (all automated, reminding me about today’s appt. I was certain they were calling to cancel or relay some massive problem), I’m currently on my way for injection #1. This has been an exhausting process and I haven’t even had one of them yet.

My palpitations are OUT OF CONTROL today. I feel like my heart is bounding out of my chest. I’m wearing a fitness monitor (steps, miles, ridiculous heart rate). It’s gone from 80’s into the low 100’s, back to 70-something. Back up and then down again. And the fact that I’m so focused on it isn’t helping. Seriously. 😞

To make things even more fun, I’m on the subway, in a car surrounded by coughing, sniffling people. Ugh. Noooooooooo! And the conductor actually just said that our train was “being held because of delays on the train behind us.” What is happening?!?! That doesn’t even make sense. Welcome to a day in the life of a subway-riding New Yorker.

Just get me there already. Please!

Ok, I’ve finally arrived. After being set up in a treatment room, I begin waiting. And waiting. It probably wasn’t very long, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, a knock at the door. But it’s not my doctor. It’s a staff member. She told me that the doc had been called over to the main hospital for an emergency case. Would I mind if the physician’s assistant did the procedure? At first, I agreed. But as I waited for the PA, I started to panic-text my mom and sisters via our ongoing daily chain. Was I making a mistake? Should I wait? They convinced me to stay. If I trusted the PA, I should let him do it.

Turns out, it was the really nice guy who’d first interviewed me when I came to the office in September. The one who’d said that at least I was a nice person. LOL. He was very kind and explained everything he had to do for the gel injection. After being in the room for a minute, he said, “You look really anxious, so let’s get it over with. You just have to keep breathing.” Apparently both he and the nurse were under the impression that I wasn’t. I was made aware of that when she kept saying, “Breathe, my dear.” I thought I was. 🤷🏻‍♀️

The set up:

The sonogram machine:

The gel-filled syringe: 😬

After they’d cleaned the knee, set up the sonogram and used freezing spray that’s supposed to keep you from feeling the worst of the injection (I call BS on that, it doesn’t), Rob (the PA) did the procedure quickly and sat with me for a moment afterward. And – only because I asked – we talked about worst case scenarios, as in what if someone reacted badly to the gel? What do they do? The answer wasn’t pleasant, but it was logical. After that, they told me to wait a few more minutes before I got up, which I did. When I went to the office to retrieve my insurance card, I started to feel the skin on my left knee itch. A lot. Before leaving the office, I asked the receptionist to call Rob and ask if that was normal. Suddenly, there he was. After he reassured me about it, I left.

What I remember after that is spotty, mainly because the adrenaline that delivered me to the office had run out. I felt like lead. My exhaustion was so intense, all I wanted to do was lie down. I remember knowing that I wanted to take a shower. Before arriving at the hospital and after I left, it seemed like I’d been sneezed on/at/around, since I’d left my apartment. No amount of tiredness could stop my serious aversion to germs. 💁🏻‍♀️ Hey, at least I admit my complete overreaction to them. But aren’t people glad when I’m carrying a bulk pack of Wet Ones. LOL.

I got home. And then nothing…… I must have fallen asleep. The next thing I knew, my daughter was home from school and it was late. Thank goodness we had leftovers! That baked ziti was delicious the night before. It tasted even better last night since I only had to reheat it. ☺️

Although I didn’t go to sleep right away, I couldn’t even watch the pairs figure skating finals. I had to lie down. We’d all already exchanged our valentines and my daughter had gone back to her work. So I allowed myself to rest.

Thursday morning:

Sporadic sleeping……. woke up at 2:45…… back to sleep at 4:30….. up at 6:05 to get the day started.

My knee isn’t as swollen. Although the site burns to the touch, the stiffness and overall soreness has gone down a lot. So that’s that.

Friday evening:

We went into Manhattan and, even though I’ve mostly rested over the past couple of days, my knee is sore. And it’s weird. The pain is on the inner aspect, under the kneecap. And the injection site (on the outside of my leg) is uncomfortable. The swelling is up a bit. I’m watching it closely. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done a lot of walking? Hmm.

Saturday:

Back to work! I’ve immersed myself in the show again. This time, I set up my table. No more laying everything out on the floor. In my defense, it was easier to use my extra-large cutting board on the floor. Laying out yards and yards of fabric on a flat surface. But sitting on the floor now would just be stupid. So I won’t.

So that’s that. We pick up where we leave off, just like always. This week, I had someone say how surprised they are at how normal I look, with pain and health issues happening underneath. It’s something that I’ve heard dozens of times over the years. Anyone with a so-called “invisible illness” will attest to that. “You look so healthy!” “You look so normal!” Whatever normal is. Yeah, I guess I do.

This was round one. Two more to go. 🤦🏻‍♀️ At least I know what to expect.

Wishing each of you a calm week. ❤️

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

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Bilateral aggravation….. but the costumes are a hit!

Hello friends. What a week! I feel like I just posted the last blog to find that it was that time again. Wait…. the other one was late. LOL. That’s why I feel like I just did it. Wow. Way to be alert, Becky.

Anyway. Much of the past 7 days was spent sewing. And sewing. And sewing. On Wednesday, I met the professional dancers I consult with. This will be an exciting few months with them. There are moments when I pinch myself, (figuratively speaking), in complete disbelief that I get to live this amazing, creative life. Take that, RSD!

Thursday was a blur of seeing my pain management doctor and getting back home to sew. I had a serious deadline on Friday. The kids were having their playbill photoshoot – in costume. So certain things had to be finished-finished.

En route to my doctor, the subways were a mess and I wound up in a car service. It was peaceful enough. But then my heart started racing. These episodes are scaring me. It wasn’t like last Friday, but still. It usually happens once a day, sometimes more. So I mentioned it to the resident who saw me first. I have to say, in the last 15 years of meeting countless doctors in various stages of training, this guy was one of the best. He was kind, knowledgeable and took everything seriously. He explained that a number of things could be causing the sucking sensation in my chest/palpitations/occasional dizziness: Medications, stress, the PFO.

One of my meds, despite the low dose – and the length of time I’ve been on it – has been known to cause arrhythmias. I forgot about that. It’s been so long since I looked all of these meds up, it didn’t really cross my mind. Ridiculous, especially for a registered nurse. But it’s been at least 8? 9 years maybe, that I’ve been on all of these medications at this dosage. And every time I’ve had side effects, it’s happened within a month. Not nearly a decade in! But who knows?

My last EKG was before the pump explantation, back in 2016. So that definitely needs to be repeated. And I need to see a cardiologist. Appt is set for a week from Wednesday. I’m seeing a doctor who specializes in people with congenital heart issues. They’ll also book blood work and imaging studies. Possibly a stress test. (I’ll be failing that😬, being as out of shape as I am). Ugh.

In other news, when I mentioned the nerve pain that’s amping up in my left hand, (from the tip of my index finger, along the edge of my hand, to the tip of my thumb), he examined my hand and said that it isn’t only the RSD. He believes it’s carpal tunnel syndrome. Immediately, I started saying that it doesn’t feel like the right hand. Blah blah blah. After listening to me rambling, he said it doesn’t always present exactly the same way. And it doesn’t matter that I don’t use the hand as much. Or practically at all. How infuriating. Carpal tunnel in BOTH hands. How fun for no one. 😖

This is where I’m curious. Both docs mentioned an injection procedure that, done under sonogram, bathes the inflamed nerves in anesthetic. It’s done with a “needle that’s smaller than that used for a flu shot. And only takes 15-20 minutes.” Has anyone done this?!?! If I didn’t need my right hand, especially as I’m working nonstop, I would have done it then. If I could risk it, I would. Please let me know if anyone has had this fast, magical procedure. To feel relief in my right hand and wrist…… (sigh).

Of course having any procedure, regardless of the speed or needle size, is a huge risk for anyone with RSD. And there’s the catch. They also made it clear that there were no guarantees about flaring or complete relief in the entire hand. Dang it. It would be amazing to NOT deal with pain and spasms. There’s not really anywhere for me to go with that right now. It requires research, testimonials and thought. And I have no time for any of that. Right now…….. But soon.

On the upside, the costumes have been a HUGE hit with the kids. The boys asked if they can keep their gold pants. (They cannot😞). The girls want to wear the purple jumpsuits around the clock. (They also cannot😞). But they’re so happy! It makes ALL of the pain worthwhile. I love seeing how excited they are, running around and wanting to be seen. It’s incredibly fortifying. And so I continue.

Before I sign off, I’ll hopefully have one knee injection done by this time next week. Fingers crossed, Wednesday will go well and I’ll finally get on with this. It’s ridiculous at this point.

I hope we all have relief, rest and calm in the coming week.

Be kind to one another. ❤️

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

Reflections on things sketchy and sparkly…..

Last week ended on a strange note. It was a busy week, sprinkled with stress and a few things that concern me.

[a time lapse of trim being attached to one pant leg. It looks way more fun this way. 😁]

I’ve been sewing nonstop. One of the most annoying things about my creative process is that I often – unintentionally – choose fabrics that have to be hand sewn. Running them through my machine would result in something that resembles a tumbleweed. Plus the base I’m working with, pants from the dance department’s archive, are slippery and stretchy. Not great for hemming and trimming. But I had an idea I love so I’m trying to make it all work. As a result, my right hand/wrist are blown up and both hands are really hurting. Inevitable, I guess. It’s a slow process but the end result is beautiful under the stage lights.

Midweek, I started getting organized for a small performance on Friday afternoon. Our eldest students would perform two dance numbers. Thankfully – they only needed costumes for one of them. I was working on that in between rehearsals and sewing duties.

At some point on Friday, I got a super sketchy call from the orthopedic office. My immediate reaction was confusion and irritation. By the time I had a chance to listen to the voicemail, it was after hours. A nice voice asked me to “please call the office back. It’s about your injections.” Of course it is. Sure. Why not? That aggravation would have to wait until Monday.

In the meantime – (and before the ortho call came) – while I was setting up in the dance studio, my heart started pounding really hard. It was slightly terrifying. I’ve been having palpitation episodes on and off for months. Yes, I mentioned it to my pain management doc. No, I haven’t had two minutes to find a cardiologist. But I know I should. On Friday, the episode lasted about 45 minutes, on and off. I felt a little bit lightheaded. But I also attribute that to the intense heat of the room. I was steaming shirts and usually set up a fan, but didn’t bother that day. The dance studio is in the basement of the school, next to the boiler room. Combine that with a group of sweaty middle schoolers…. exactly. Most visitors ask how I can stand to work in there. For one, I’m used to it. It isn’t always ignorable, LOL, but I manage. Plus, I usually have my fan.

Anyway, the episode lasted way longer than I was used to and I had to step out into the cooler hallway. After getting the kids set up, I sat in the auditorium with my head between my knees. The lights were off so no one saw me. Between thinking of the small patent foraman ovale in my heart and stressing about everything I have to get done, the palpitations were amplified by a lot. At the first sign of calm, I left for the day. Unfortunately, I’d waited until Friday to bring home a ton of costumes that needed work over the weekend. Even with my trusty cart, they were heavy and cumbersome. When I got close to my apartment, I remembered that my husband was working from home. He came to meet me and took over carting duties. After that, I just got into bed to rest.

The weekend looked pretty much like that short clip. Except it was hours of work. That effort will result in three pairs of pants, three shirt/vest combos and six jumpsuits. Oh, and a wedding dress I have yet to start. (Ugh. I forgot about the wedding dress until I started listing stuff. 🤦🏻‍♀️)

On Monday, I called the friendly voice back and was surprised to learn that my insurance changed their mind. Again. Now they will cover the injections. ????? They decided that since the approval came after they’d changed their policy (no longer covering gel injections of the knee/shoulder/elbow in cases of severe osteoarthritis), they need to honor it. For real this time. So, as of right now, I’ll have the first of three gel injections next week. Of course I’m not holding my breath. 🙄

There’s obviously a lot happening right now. This is how my life looks in little surges throughout the year. Right before the holidays in winter. A couple of months before the end of the school year. Pockets of activity when the professional dance company has shows coming up. They actually have five this spring. Although I’m focused on the school musical now, I’m planning those costumes also. (Small gasps for air).

My heart will get checked. Costumes will be completed. Life will go on.

(Mom, and the rest of my wonderful family: I’m ok. I promise I’ll make an appointment. I’m seeing the pain doc this Thursday. Please don’t worry.❤️).

And now, I’m off to trim more gold pants. Note: special glasses should be worn when dealing with large quantities of holographic fabric. 😬

Be kind to one another.

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

The things that drive me…. Forging ahead when the pain amps up – and fear sets up roadblocks.

Hello friends! This has been a busy, intense week. I’ve immersed myself in the middle school musical costumes. It’s especially fun since I’m using sequined fabric…. lots of it. ❤️

The joy of my work is usually accompanied by pain. Unfortunately. Hands, swollen from pinning, cutting and sewing. Shoulders, hunched over my cutting board. Lower back, very sore from… well, all of it. But it’s worth it. Sewing has always brought me solace. From the time I learned how to connect and embellish fabric with a needle and thread, I’ve discovered peace in each strand. That’s not to say that show prep isn’t stressful. Those creative moments are tinged with urgency and mistakes. But still, peace.

As I was planning fittings over the coming weeks, I realized that it’s been two years – TWO years! – since the pump broke. It didn’t seem that long ago. I’ve been accused – rightly – of perpetually saying things happened “a few weeks” or “a few months” ago. Meanwhile, it was at least six months to a year, LOL. I have a warped sense of time. Even the students I costume notice it. Those moments are slightly more embarrassing than when the family corrects me. 😬😂

(Stopped typing for the moment….)

(Restarted the next day……)

Resting for a bit. My hands hurt too much, so I’ve given myself the morning to rest. It’s a tough time to do that but, sometimes, the need to stop outweighs the want to work.

As I sat in my living room (a.k.a. my “studio”), looking at the rack of purple jumpsuits in need of trimming and refitting, I was also forced to look at my right hand. From my fingertips to my knuckles, the nerves are screaming. If I could pluck those blasted nerves out, I would. Please accept my apology for the grossness of that image. It can’t be helped.

And, just to add to the picture, it seems that when one project pops up, twenty more appear. My mentor is constantly trying to push me out into the world, to bigger jobs and influential people. Sometimes I even think I’m not in complete control of my professional future. It’s hard to picture because I worry about my health.

This very topic was part of a larger conversation I recently had with a new friend. My fear of flares and a major relapse keeps me from committing to certain things. It’s something I’ve been grappling with for years. Even as I complete my certificate from FIT this spring, I need to remember what prompted me to go for it. Fear didn’t stop me then.

It’s good that I have people in my life that see me more clearly than I can see myself. They believe in me when I find it difficult to do so. But the downside is that they don’t understand my pain. They see creative me, the hard worker, who makes their costumes and enhances the shows. Not the me who struggles mightily with pain and fatigue. I work hard to keep those two apart. My health certainly isn’t their problem. It’s mine. It’s like living two lives sometimes!

Despite my complaints, I wouldn’t change anything because all of this – the sewing, the costumes, school – saved me. Having a career-ending illness that flips your life upside down might have ruined me years ago. It might have, but for the invite to sew dresses for my friend. It refocused my energy from feeling sorry for myself to trimming beautiful gowns. Don’t get me wrong. My daughter and husband got me out of bed every day. But my nursing career was mine. It was my vocation, my dream, my future. And then it was gone.

I believe each of us, sick or well, need something that is ours. A goal, a plan… something that enables us to be our best selves. That makes it all worthwhile and enables us to feel useful. That’s what I needed from life, after I no longer had patients to assist. And that needle & thread provided a world of hope.

It still does.

Be kind to one another. ❤️

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

Did I jinx myself?!?!

Ok, the next time I have something big going on – especially when the lead up to it is super sketchy – I’m going to blog AFTERWARDS.

On Tuesday, after a surprise costume fitting for six middle school girls worked out PERFECTLY – (six sparkly jumpsuits all fitting everyone fabulously!) – I left rehearsal feeling very positive. I’d only brought back fabric swatches for their input. I definitely didn’t expect anyone to try the jumpsuits on. But they were excited and everyone was happy with the look. My purple-glittered joy was short lived.

I maybe got half a block from the school when my phone rang. I think some of you may see where this is going. It was the ortho office. Since the injection was supposed to be on Wednesday, I figured it was a last minute reminder. Nope. No. That’s not why they were calling.

“I’m really sorry to do this to you again. But I called (insurance co.) and wanted to double check a number. They told me that the procedure was denied,” said the voice on the other end of the call. It was windy. I was walking over the highway. Maybe I misheard. Nope. Noooooo, I didn’t.

Is it me or does this level of nonstop interference follow me around?!? Was I upset? Was I getting more and more enraged with each step? Yes. Yes, I was.

That voice. She said she was sorry but it didn’t seem genuine…. at all. Almost like there was a script in front of her.

“How to handle angry patients.” Step one: deliver bad news with half-hearted apology and absolutely blame another party. Step two: when the patient asks what went wrong with (fill in the issue. In my case, the knee injections), give a weak “I don’t know. (insert name of blamed other party here) didn’t respond to our requests, so its as much of a shock for us as it is for you.” Is it really? Somehow, I think my shock outranks their shock. And my knees will pay for all of this, theirs won’t. Step three: when the patient asks, “so what happens now?” Start to apologize again, then trail off incoherently. Step four: Hang up the phone and get on with your day.

And that’s exactly what happened. They’re sorry. Great. That – and their shock – gets me exactly NOWHERE. Supposedly, an investigation has been launched. I don’t care! That medication is sitting in that fridge with my name on it and I can’t have it. Out of pocket would be over $2000. (Thud) That was my jaw hitting the floor again, thinking about that LUDICROUS amount of money for three injections.

According to the shocked and sorry woman who called me, my insurance company’s new policy is to not cover injections for “severe osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder or elbow.” So I guess the alternative – knee replacement – will be covered?? Less invasive = nooooooo. More invasive = possibly? Ugh.

At the moment, I’m trying to compose a letter to advocate for myself, to be sent to the case manager. There are some things that worry me about this. But I’ll keep them to myself, lest they find their way to happening somehow.

If anything comes of the “investigation,” I’ll be sure to update. For now, my sore & crackly knees will have to make do. Meanwhile, I have six glittered jumpsuits to tailor and trim. There is a silver lining! 😉

Be kind to one another.

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

KNEEds must….

During the last few months, I’ve been caught in the middle – in an alleged battle – between my orthopedist and my insurance company. All because of my knee. Yes, the knee that popped, then bruised and would have been replaced by now if I hadn’t said the words, “I have RSD.”

When I said it – and my doctor subsequently read about my history of lupus in the chart – he returned to the room and explained why he won’t operate on my knee unless the situation becomes desperate. I’m not there yet.

He had a plan of giving me a cortisone injection then, (OUCH), and three gel injections over the course of three weeks. But there was a catch, as there usually is. “It usually takes about six weeks to get approval.”

Let’s back up for a moment and talk about the timeline here.

I got hurt in early August.

Two weeks later, 8/22, I felt my knee popping and the pain was excruciating. Getting home was an ordeal. I couldn’t put any weight on it.

That led to an ER trip on 8/23. The X-ray was negative, as I anticipated. I got referred to an orthopedic doctor since they felt it was tissue/nerve related, not bone.

After waiting because the doctor was away, I finally got to see him on 9/6. That’s when the cortisone was administered and they supposedly started the process for the gel injections. I was told that they’d call me when everything was settled.

That brings me to 10/25. No call, no word about the gel injections. Technically, I should have been notified the week before. So I called….. and was left on hold for a while. Then told, “can I call you right back, Mrs. McClintock?” Those words aren’t usually a good sign. But sure, sure you can. She called about ten minutes later saying that, somehow, the insurance company didn’t get back to them. They’d call me back. I called my insurance immediately and was told that the office had filed for my medication but was missing information, so no one could approve anything. I was getting more annoyed by the minute. But I calmly called the office and relayed what the insurance agent said to me. She fumbled a bit but said they’d sent everything over after I called and I’d “have approval in about two days. We’ll call you as soon as we have it.” Sure, sure you will.

So on 10/28, I waited. And waited. No call. Friday came and went without a word.

On Wednesday, 11/2, I received a letter from my insurance company, explaining why they were denying the request for injections. It had to do with the medication my doctor asked for. They wanted him to try other meds first. Sure, ok.

I called the office, since no one had called me, and told them about the letter. The response was, “Yes, we know. They want the doctor to order something else. It’ll get approved this time.” Wait, what?!? Why not just request that med in the first place?!? Once I recovered from that nonsensical conversation, I agreed – again – to wait for a call about approval.

On 11/21, yes it took THAT long, I received a letter from my insurance company approving the shots. Finally. The only issue was that the approval expired on 12/20. When I asked about it, the office and the insurance said that the shots had to at least be started by 12/20. When all of this began, I’d asked how fast I could be seen once the approval was given and the meds were delivered to the hospital. Apparently, these injections have to be administered in a timely manner. The answer? “We can see you that week, don’t worry about that.” Ok, I won’t. Until I have to.

The meds got delivered. They had to get my permission to deliver them to the orthopedic doctor, it was a lot of hoop jumping for knee shots. Calling the office to make that quick appointment I was promised, I was told, “the doctor is in the OR this week & he’s the only one who can administer the shot.” How about the following week? “He’s at a conference, then he’ll be away for the holidays.” Wait, what??!?! What happened to “we can see you that week?” Now what? Well, they’d have to ask for an extension from the insurance company. At that rate, I couldn’t be seen until January. Wanting to be certain that everyone would be honest about why the appointment had to be put off, I made sure the insurance folks knew it wasn’t my doing. At the rate this whole mess was moving, I’d never get these stupid injections done at all.

This leads me to 12/19. A hectic call from the orthopedic office saying that the extension was denied. Then the approval was completely rescinded. This time, I got a letter saying my diagnosis “didn’t meet the requirements of medical necessity.” Huh?? They’d already approved it based on my medical diagnosis! This was ludicrous. The manager called me back to say that the doc was scheduled for a peer to peer conference call with someone from the insurance company. After that, they were certain everything would be worked out.

They weren’t counting on the denial that followed. Approval wasn’t happening. In fact, policy was changing at the start of the new year that would affect all of their patients with severe osteoarthritis. It meant that countless patients who could get less invasive gel injections – to avoid surgery – would be left in the lurch. Not good at all, Meanwhile, the meds were sitting in the fridge at the office, waiting to be administered. And in a tug of war between both parties. At the end of the day, I’m the one who was being punished.

A call on 1/4, letting me know that the denial was still in effect. They promised not to give up. That was at around 10 a.m. About an hour later, I received an automated call stating that “the prescription ordered” by my doctor was approved and in effect until April 2018. What med was this and from which doctor? Minutes later, the phone rings again and it’s the ortho office. “We don’t know what changed or why but we’re not asking. They approved it!”

I have NO idea how it happened that a decision could be denied in the morning, then completely flipped in the afternoon. But I’m not asking the powers that be about it. Apparently, the universe wants me to have these injections. Denied. Approved. Denied. Approved. Sure, ok. Why not?

This new phase begins on Wednesday. Supposedly. Update to come……

Be kind to one another.

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️

Starting fresh…. the best of intentions…

Happy New Year, friends!

I was dismantling Christmas in our apartment and started to think about the ornaments we cherish.

We’d collected five years worth of loved decorations when our daughter arrived. Then – happily – our annual tree became a time capsule of her favorite things. Great examples are two special ornaments. One is a beloved “Blues Clues” figurine from when she was two. (It was a popular show about a young man named Steve, who lived with his dog, Blue. Their house was filled with sweet, talking objects). The other is a framed picture of her at around three years old. The frame is made up of Disney princesses, a major favorite at that time.

As she got older, my daughter became enamored with fairies. So, each year, I’ve purchased a new fairy for the tree. This year included! It’s one of our traditions, one I intend to keep up for as long as possible.

The word “intend” reminds me of my focus this week. I don’t make resolutions, I make my intentions known – to myself! – and do my best to stick with them. I’ve been told that my way is a “cop out” of sorts, I disagree. I’m never disappointed and usually meet my own expectations each year. Let’s compare definitions:

Resolution – 1) a firm decision to do or not to do something. [2) the act of solving a problem, or a contentious matter].

Intention – 1) a thing intended; an aim or plan. [2) (medicine) the healing process of a wound].

There’s something less intimidating about having an “aim” versus a “firm decision.” When we falter with new year’s resolutions, we punish ourselves. Is it worth feeling bad about whatever the issue is? Or just start again? I prefer the latter.

As people dealing with chronic illnesses can attest, sometimes the biggest daily goal would be considered minimal to the average person. Perfect example? Getting dressed or taking a shower. Showers are major since it’s not uncommon for water to hurt, especially with RSD. Imagine the simple act of a shower, or even washing your hands. Now imagine if that water felt like thousands of tiny ice picks or knives hitting your skin. Or the feel of water hitting a sunburn. When my RSD flares up more, my skin tends to feel like it’s sunburned. It gets very sore. Water being painful….. that’s something no one counts on. It’s a terrible shock.

So my goals for this new year are realistic and doable: 1) keep the weekly blogs coming! (There’s a project in the works that I’m really excited about). 2) to creatively take more risks. I get very nervous when colleagues say they want to tell people about my work. Mainly because I feel like it’s not good enough. That has to stop. It’s not productive and puts me in a rut. So the goal is to work hard and let that speak for itself. 3) Walking. Although I walk everywhere, I used to walk around more and enjoy it. I’d even dance a little bit as I washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen. All while wearing my Fitbit, counting steps and miles. Then the Fitbit completely stopped working. I didn’t replace it and what had been a fun quest, sort-of died out. Tracker or not, I need to get myself up and moving for fun again. Goals!!! 4) Read more! I’m currently into about 8 books. I enjoy reading a lot, I always have. So taking time for it is important. It would also pull me away from binging on great Netflix shows…… briefly. (I mean, seriously, the newest seasons of Stranger Things” and “The Crown?” AMAZING! 😉)

What I intend for 2018 is positive. No one knows what the future will bring. But I plan to make the most of these twelve months. Let’s see where I am, this time next year.

What are your intentions?Or resolutions, if you make them? Let me know in the comments.<<<<<<<<<<<<
f you a productive, joyful year & doable goals.

Be kind to one another.

Peace and painlessness,

Beck❤️