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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Honey Colony Superior CBD Oil

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I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

First things first, what is CBD? CBD stands for Cannabidiol which is extracted from the Cannabis plant. Although CBD does not have any euphoric properties, there is the possibility for a drug test to result in a positive test for THC. Although this product contains .03% THC (federal limit is .3%) you should still use caution if you are planning to get tested. The product is legal for sale in the United States.

I’ve been using Cannabidiol products topically for the past few months- they have been very helpful in reducing my Rheumatoid Arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. I was asked to try Superior CBD Oil, made by Honey Colony, which is a custom made CBD oil that nourishes my body’s endocannabinoid system, also known as ESC. The ESC is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the brain and the central and peripheral nervous systems. When you have a decrease in the functioning of your ESC, you can have chemical imbalances throughout your entire body. The Superior CBD Oil acts on the ESC to increase its function and promote whole body health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Pain Relief with Quell

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Disclosure: I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. 


First things first, what in the world is a Quell (aside from a really cool word!)? In short, the Quell is a 100% drug free, wearable pain relief device. It’s designed for use by patients with chronic as well as widespread pain. But how exactly does it provide relief?

  • the Quell is worn only on the upper calf where it stimulates sensory nerves
  • while wearing it, Quell taps into your body’s natural pain relief response
  • those stimulated sensory nerves carry neural pulses to your brain
  • those neural pulses trigger a natural response that blocks pain signals, leading to widespread pain relief

Sounds similar to a TENS unit, right? Here’s what sets Quell apart:

  • The technology that Quell uses, called WINS (wearable intensive nerve stimulation), is five times more powerful than traditional, over the counter TENS units
  • Quell is the only over the counter electrical nerve stimulation device that has been cleared by the FDA to be used a night. This means that you can use it twenty four hours a day, seven days a week
  • Quell’s OptiTherapy customizes and adjusts therapy so you receive optimal pain relief

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Type 1 Diabetes

DKA

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My father was 68 years old when he passed a few days ago. He had Type One Diabetes for almost 60 years. Sixty years of urine test strips, insulin injections, fingerpricks. Sixty years of low blood sugars and high blood sugars.

This is a portion of his death certificate.

Three little letters that mean so much. D. K. A. And why was my father, a diabetic who for years had his A1C never higher than 5.8, in DKA? Because nursing homes and even hospitals don’t know anything about insulin dependent diabetes. His nursing home didn’t get his insulin from the hospital when he was transferred there. They had him wait a day to get it. A day. An entire 24 hours without insulin. And no one batted an eye. Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a medical assistant. No one.

This has to change. It has to change starting with educating the public, medical school, with each other. As diabetics we have a responsibility to explain our disease every chance we get. I owe it to my dad to try to make sure those  three little letters aren’t on another person’s death certificate.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA patients deserve better bandaids

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It’s 5:00am on Sunday morning. As the rest of my house soundly sleeps, I’m awake. I’m exhausted, woozy, easily confused. One look in the mirror shows that I’m as white as a ghost. I’m so nauseous, there is a diet ginger ale bottle within a foot of me.

Last night I injected methotrexate (see the gorgeous color of this chemotherapy medicine). This is the cause of most of my symptoms right now. 

In addition to all of my methotrexate hangover symptoms, I still have my “normal” RA issues. I’m in a lot of pain right now but unsure if taking pain medications would upset my stomach more than it is already. Just holding my phone to write this post is causing the fingers on my left hand to swell. Continue reading

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Family Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes is Scary

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This photo is of me and my dad (yes, it was the 80s). My dad has had Type One diabetes my whole life.

My early memories of diabetes weren’t good, they were scary. My dad would have low blood sugars a lot and often need assistance. An ambulance had to come to our house more than once. I can remember my dad biting his tongue so bad during a low that there was blood all over his bed.

I used to have nightmares about getting diabetes. My dad used to always tell me there was a “one in a million” chance of me getting it. In 1988, I won the Diabetes Lottery.

Over the years, I have watched diabetes own my father. He had a brief stint working from home when he had passed out from a low, at a PGA tournament. The department of motor vehicles considered it to be a seizure and briefly suspended his driving license. He later decided to work from home full time. That fueled his “diabetes OCD”- the need to eat the same things at the same time every day. He planned any outing around his meals and his diabetes. He could not and would not go off schedule. Dinner was at 6:30pm every single night of my childhood.  Continue reading

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

Savor

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This morning I plugged a few numbers and answers into a form on JDRF.org and was presented with this:
Whoa. These numbers are estimates, they don’t include rollercoaster days and nights where I’m not sleeping and pricking my finger over and over.

They also don’t account for my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The injections, the blood tests, the pills, the infusions, and the time, not just sleep, that I’ve lost to pain.

They don’t account for the cost of medications and copays, the countless hours spent in doctor’s offices. And the time I spend worrying about my diseases now and what life will look like with them in future.

When I look at this, it reminds me that life is hard. Really hard. If you are in good health, savor it. Enjoy your sleep, your freedom. Appreciate your life, every minute of every day. Because, like my diagnoses of Type 1 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis, poor health can come out of nowhere.

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Hope Rheumatoid Arthritis

I am not my burden

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Steve Rosenfield joined fellow Rheumatoid Arthritis advocates at our Joint Decisions Empowerment Summit in  Philadelphia almost two weeks ago. Simply put, the What I Be Project by Steve Rosenfield is a “photo project which focuses on building security through insecurities”. If you haven’t heard of this project before, do me a favor and click on the link- it’s an amazing idea.

molly

“I am not my burden”

My biggest insecurity? Asking for help. Accepting help. Feeling deserving of help. My diseases are a burden to myself and to everyone around me- family, friends, coworkers. They are a financial, emotional, physical drain.

My medications are so expensive, why should I feel that it’s ok to spend extra money on getting my hair done or buying lunch? I don’t deserve “treats” because I am a financial drain on my family. Continue reading

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

It’s Not Pretty

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This is what I look like after:

  • Spending my commute screaming f*ck because the sciatic pain was at its worst
  • Trying to work all day with a fever
  • Being unable to get my blood sugar down because the pain is causing it to rise
  • Drinking a ridiculous amount of caffeine so I don’t fall asleep driving home later
  • Sitting on an ice pack all day because I can’t get my back to stop hurting
  • Getting ready to drive home with my sciatic nerve feeling like someone is stabbing me up and down my leg

Just living with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Type 1 Diabetes is hard enough but working full time and caring for a family is a battle a lot of patients, like me, fight every day.

I’d be disrespecting myself and my community if I only showed my “good” photos and didn’t share my struggles. So here I am. It isn’t pretty.

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Knitting Rheumatoid Arthritis Type 1 Diabetes

Self Care

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This is a sponsored post for Self Care Catalysts. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I couldn’t stop asking “why?”. Why did this happen to me? What did I do to cause this disease? What could I have done to prevent it? The truth is, there isn’t a reason. I know that. But four years ago, I needed something tangible to tie my diagnosis to. The year right before my diagnosis, I was busy. Busy with a husband and two young children. Busy working full time in a job that required me to work early in the morning and late into the night. It required weekends and events that had me on my feet for almost 24 hours. In between meetings I would rush home to say goodbye to my daughter as she was getting on the school bus or quickly help with homework. I was exhausted but I never stopped.

I look back on the few months leading to my diagnosis and realize my body was trying, trying so hard, to tell me to slow down. I didn’t listen. Eventually, my body just stopped. I literally could not walk. It took another serious diagnosis (I already have Type 1 Diabetes) to realize that I needed to take care of myself. And that’s where self care comes in.

When I first saw the term self care, I thought it had to be a certain something. It had to be an appointment and it had to cost time and money. Like a spa day. Sure it can be a day getting pampered but that doesn’t fit into my life or budget. Continue reading

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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Biologics

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Today is day three of the 2nd annual RA Blog Week! Here is today’s prompt:

Biologics can be scary – What did you think the first time you Googled your biologic medication? What advice would you give a person just diagnosed when it comes to biologic medications? Give your readers the scoop on biologics.

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A year ago, I wrote the following post and looking back, I can say that without a doubt, I am glad that not only do I have a choice of biologics, I am also lucky enough to have an insurance company that pays for them. I have spent time off of biologics while waiting for surgery or recovering from an illness and that time is not fun. I just recently had my second Simponi Aria infusion and can definitely say that I need these drugs. Since my second infusion, my “rheum flu” seems to hit me a little later and a little weaker than it used to. I am getting better sleep at night and can definitely feel a bit more energy in my body. I don’t feel amazing by any means but I feel better. And better is my goal. Continue reading

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