Wednesday, June 22, 2011



Except it doesn't really work this way.  It was a cute T shirt I saw the other day in Cambridge.

The last 24 hours have been the most incredible of my life.  The opportunity to share in the birth of my first grandchild is a blessing I am so happy to have experienced.  My daughter Lora had to have a C section due to her placenta covering her cervix, which made for a strange introduction into the world for little Taylor. Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge England did an outstanding job of his birth   and due to my 'act like I belong' attitude I was able to be included in the whole process except the actual surgery.  Daddy Rob held Lora 's hand, and even had a peek over the screen.   he was able to hold Taylor immediately then put him on his mothers neck.  Taylor then leopard crawled up and latched onto his mummy's chin. Bless.  The surgeon had a little shock when Taylor immediately peed in her face when he was lifted out, the funny little guy.  Taylor weighed in at 7 lb 5 oz much to the medical teams shock.  Lora had a very tidy little bump that was all baby. One midwife asked if she was full term.  It just shows you that you don't have to get fat to have a healthy big baby and Lora's strict healthy diet paid off with a strong little man.

The experience on the ward was difficult though, and despite my desire to tell the nurses and midwife's off, I kept my mouth shut as I wasn't really supposed to be there the whole time.  If it hadn't been for Rob and I Lora wouldn't have had anything to eat or drink.  they seem to have forgotten that she was a section and told her that her meals were in the kitchen,,,she had a catheter in at the time and couldn't get up!  Luckily we had packed a cooler of healthy additive free food for her to eat and made use of the kitchen facilities.  After all the tests were done we then insisted she get released to go home and begin their lives as a family.

Right now Mummy, Daddy, baby Taylor and Indy are all cuddling in their bed, comfortable and together the way it should be,   Nanny is next door waiting for Lora to ring her bell for assistance if needed.  The hard part for me is to back off and let them figure it all out.  Lora had a few tears last night when the house was full of well meaning family and she just wanted she and rob and babe to be together.  It's a very narrow line to walk...doing enough, without taking over, or making Lora feel inadequate.  But we will all figure it out.  The feeling of love and contentment in this house right now is making it pulse with peace.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Currently I am about 25lbs over MY ideal weight.  I am specific about the 'MY' because allot of doctors weight charts would tell me I am only a few pounds over.  I use my mirror to access my condition, and trust me, you don't get back fat unless you are over weight!  Equate my extra weight to carrying around the bag of cat food in the barn, all day, everyday.

 So I am trying to trim down for a number of reasons.

1) Health:  Carrying these extra pounds is not good for my heart or my joints, just for starters.
2) Looks:  I want to look good!
3) Mental Health:  If I look good, even if I hurt, I will feel better about myself.

There is only ONE WAY to lose weight.  STOP EATING SO MUCH AND EXERCISE!

I won't go into my diet in detail, but suffice it to say I have cut out allot of the foods that I really like, substituting stuff I don't really care for.  Yes, it hurts my feelings a little to choose fresh fish over that Big Mac, but it is necessary.  It always amazes me when people say they don't like vegetables as their excuse for not changing their high fat diet.  Really?  You know it is going to be a little unpleasant at times to seriously lose weight, right?

That brings me to the BIGGY!  EXERCISE!  Easier said than done when you have RA.  Keeping your body moving is an important part of managing any arthritis, including RA, but is important to be careful to not do further damage to the joints at the same time.  It is a real balancing act.  The question is HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Many experts recommend using pain as the cut off point.  Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?  Well if I never exercised a joint because it hurt, I may as well stay in bed, because they a pretty much always hurt.  Sometimes only a little, sometimes they seize up and moving them is agony. Worse than that, is that many times I can achieve quite allot of quality exercise time, only to have all my joints seize up the next day.

The conclusion I have come to is simple.  Many of the meds we take for RA and other auto-immune diseases are a compromise.  They endanger our health in many ways with these medications, including greater risk to our heart and other organs, as well as very unpleasant side effects.  But we take them to help stop some of the damage that the disease does to our bodies. 

Exercise has to come under the same heading.  COMPROMISE! I may do some damage to my joints by using them when they are hurting, but the benefits far outweigh the possible (and not proven) damage to the joints.  By exercising and losing weight the benefits to my general health, less stress on my joints and muscles, fitter heart capable of fighting off the damage from the meds, and over all feeling of well being far out weigh any of this possible damage.

So my line in the sand is AS LONG AS THE JOINT IS FUNCTIONING I am going to exercise it and build strength and fitness. 

The down side, is that getting fit is going to hurt a bit!  It is not easy or everyone would be an Olympic athlete.  Like eating stuff you don't like so much, there is no easy way to do it.  Your muscles that are not accustomed to it, will be stiff and sore and actually hurt like hell, until you build them up.  Your joints, without the firm muscles, will also hurt a bit, even if you don't have RA.  You have to work through this. It does get easier.

If I choose to use pain as an excuse not to exercise then I am accepting a life of limitations, and condoning myself to poor health and being fat for the rest of my life.  No thank you.  Besides, isn't that what they make pain meds for? LOL

(Please understand I am not suggesting you go out and run 5 miles the first day, but do some gentle physical exercise that your condition and level of fitness allows you to gentle stretching, yoga, swimming, or walking. In time you can build from there and run a marathon if you are able.)