Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You Wore What?

I have an extremely hard time getting going in the morning and I tend to just throw on a t-shirt, jeans, and a sweater. I have been trying to break out of my fashion rut and decided to take pictures here and there to share.

Brooches have definitely been a recurring theme lately, which I picked up at a flea market and Etsy.

I was feeling exceptionally fashionable on Monday and felt like wearing a cute, frilly dress. It was made of several layers that just made me want to twirl. I also put away my usual Converse for a pair of ballet flats. The sad thing is that my feet seem to have gotten larger over the last year and most of my flats are pretty tight on my poor toes. I guess I will have to go looking for new shoes!

I would love to be able to still wear heels, but it bothers my feet to even stand up in them plus they do not really fit my job, etc. I found a pair that I absolutely love the other day at TJ Maxx. Oh, how I wish I could wear these! I doubt my husband would agree to the $179.99 price tag though (it even makes my heart stop a little).

Monday, February 21, 2011

KROQ Acoustic Christmas - A Little Late!

I woke up around one o'clock this morning and could not fall back to sleep for the life of me. Even after taking a warm shower, I just laid there thinking about anything and everything. I spent quite a bit of that time thinking about my blog and I realized that I never posted my pictures from KROQ Acoustic Christmas, which is crazy because it was such a huge event for me! It was a great concert but the real reason it meant so much to me is that I never thought that I would be able to go to a concert again without having a panic attack. But after five years of not being able to be in crowded places and some hypnosis, I was able to do it! And I had such an amazing time too!

The pictures are not the best quality, but I had been determined to document the night so that I could go back and remind myself what I accomplished.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros were so much fun and a great way to start the evening.

Broken Bells were amazing live and it was so cool to see them considering they had never intended to tour for their album.

I was really excited to see Neon Trees because I was all about loud upbeat music at the time. It was great to jump around and sing along to their best songs.

And Florence and the Machine - it was hard to describe. Just amazing.

My favorite of the night was the Black Keys! LOVE THEM!

And Brandon Flowers! I am totally in love with him and his solo album.

Vampire Weekend was great too!

I did not manage to get pictures of Temper Trap, which was kind of annoying because Rommel kind of looks like the lead singer. I wanted to compare their pictures.

When we left the theater I was seriously floating. I was so excited about the concert and that I was not only able to get through it without a panic attack, but always really enjoy it.

As we left an extremely kind couple took our picture by the Christmas Tree at the entrance of Universal Studios City Walk. It was such a great night!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This is so beautiful ...

I am not necessarily a big fan of Lady Gaga's newest song, but there is a version on You Tube by a young girl that is absolutely incredible.

Then this morning I heard the radio interview with Maria where she was surprised by Lady Gaga.

Whether you like Lady Gaga or not, the whole thing was heart warming and I could not stop from tearing up.

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Not RA, So Now What?

I finally received the results from the x-rays on my cervical spine. The good news is that the x-rays were normal and my upper back / neck are not being affected my Rheumatoid Arthritis. The bad news is that the rheumatologist could not give me any answers whatsoever.

I have been doing everything I can to release the tension in my back but nothing has helped at all. I have tried heating pads, ice packs, hot showers, baths with Epsom salts, muscle patches, cervical spine pillows, stretching, working on my posture, and pain killers. I also tried a muscle relaxant that the doctor gave me over the summer for the same problem, but it just took the edge off.

I went for a massage yesterday and a hour later I was over the moon to feel semi-normal again. By the time I went to bed I was tensed up again and barely slept.

I made an appointment with my primary care physician to see if there is anything else we could do. We went over everything and he was pretty much at a loss. It is not my bones or joints and he does not think that it is nerves because I am not experiencing numbness. He examined my back and said that my muscles seemed pretty soft, yet all I feel in tenseness and pain.

He offered me stronger pain killers, which is definitely not the direction I wanted to go because it would not be treating the cause. After a long discussion, I finally asked about a stronger muscle relaxant. He told me I could double up on what I have been taking and I told him that I wanted to stick to the pain killers that I already have. I did agree to try a lidocaine pain patch that I have not tried before and maybe call a chiropractor.

In the end the doctor told me that if this does not work he wants me to see someone about pain management and possible injections. I just hope that this helps enough that I can go back to doing yoga and exercising, which will hopefully help even more. Plus losing weight will help a lot.

Fingers crossed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Seven Years

I cannot believe Rommel and I will have been married for seven years tomorrow, Valentine's Day. It has gone by so fast and has been absolutely amazing! I have the most incredible, loving, adorable husband ever.

To celebrate our anniversary, Rommel took me to Disneyland on Saturday. I will admit that I was very worried about getting exhausted really quickly or developing pain. And even though I have been doing great lately, anxiety is always in the back of my mind. I tried to prepare for whatever I could and I set my mind on having an incredibly time no matter how long it lasted.

We showed up early and did not have to stand in any lines very long, which was awesome, and the first thing I did was purchase some fabulous sequin Minny ears. Then we rode the carousel, the tea cups, It's a Small World, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

After about three hours, I began to get really warm from the constant sun so we took a break with some funnel cake before browsing all the wonderful little shops on Main Street Disney. Finally we walked through Downtown Disney, which now has some very great pop art, before leaving in the early afternoon.

We may not have stayed the whole day, but we had a wonderful time and I was not falling down exhausted when we walked out, which was nice. I even had enough energy to hit the outlet malls, where Rommel found a limited edition pair of Air Jordan's for less than half the price (which made me very, very happy).

It was truly a great anniversary and I am an incredibly lucky woman.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snow Days at the Los Angeles Zoo

We wanted to try and spend as little money as possible this last weekend to save for our anniversary. It just so happened that the Los Angeles Zoo was having their snow days where they cover certain animal habitats with snow. This was perfect for us because we have a membership to the zoo and the only money we would spend would be any food, etc.

The elephant, tiger, brown bear, giant otter, and snow leopard habitats were not really covered in much snow since it was pretty warm that morning, but there was some and the animals really seemed to be enjoying it. On previous visits, the tigers always seem to be sunning themselves and enjoying a lazy day, but on this occasion they were incredibly active. It was interesting to see this amazing animal behaving just like our six pound house cat behaves.

We also went to the bird show, which we almost always seem to miss. The best part of the show was the crow named Jack. He had been trained to find a hidden aluminum can and then place it in a recycle bin to show the children the importance of recycling.

After two hours of walking around, we came home to our own little zoo full of interesting animals. I was in some pain and wiped out for the rest of the day, but as always it was worth it and we definitely enjoyed ourselves.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Joker, Penguin, Green Goblin, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

A year after my diagnosis and I am just starting to put a face and persona to the invisible illness that is RA. It is like a comic book villan whose life long goal is too destroy the hero/heroine and is always waiting in the shadows for the perfect moment to attack. The heroine endures battle after battle with her nemesis and just when she thinks she has escaped its evil clutches, RA strikes again.

Even though they are constantly at war, good shall prevail! I will just have to find a cute cape to wear for this current battle. Would pink sequins be too much?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dr. Zen and the Sobbing Mess

It has been a couple of weeks since my last rheumatologist appointment which was just enough time to scrutinize, dissect, and over think what happened. If I had written about it at the time, it would have been a huge bitch fest, but now I feel like I have a better perspective on the whole thing.

An important thing to mention first - I refill my pill organizer every Sunday evening to get ready for the next week. Apparently the Sunday before my appointment, I ran out of an anxiety medication. The problem is that I did not realize it until Thursday morning when I looked at the pills in my hand and thought there were not enough there. Over the course of the week I had been getting gradually more anxious and hyped up, like I was drinking more and more coffee. That Thursday I felt like I drank a whole case of red bull and it turns out that it was from the withdraw. Even though I realized the medication was missing the morning of my appointment and took a pill as soon as I went to the pharmacy, it would take a couple of days for my body to adjust.

Now the appointment - I was extremely prepared to see my rheumatologist and had a list of the most important symptoms/problems to speak to him about. My upper back/neck pain has been so bad lately and I honestly feel pretty much the same as I did when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis a year ago. I also have not had a decent nights sleep in forever. I felt like this was the appointment where I needed to get answers. Even though I have been doing really well with my anxiety lately, the withdraw and the importance I placed on the appointment added up to a really panic-inducing situation.

The physicians assistant usually makes me feel more comfortable, kind of like a mother, and is one of the reasons I decided to go to this rheumatologist. But after asking me if I was seeing a therapist about my anxiety (which she does every time), she proceeded to ask me if I ever considered Overeaters Anonymous for my weight. I know that my weight is a big issue which I am working on. But instead of addressing the issue with concern, it felt like I was being attacked.

Then Dr. Zen came in. I tried to explain how bad my upper back problems have been and that I was actually missing work because of it. Plus there was all of the cracking and grinding noises that my spine is always making when I move. He told me that my blood tests showed that the inflammation is going down and he wanted to double my dosage of sulfazine. I asked about my back again and he told me we would just have to wait until the inflammation was gone to see if it had to do with the RA or not. I asked what am I supposed to do for now and he said, "you have pain killers." But I try not to take them, were there any other options? Not right now. I asked about the fact that I have not had a good nights sleep in months and he said again that I would have to wait until the inflammation was gone.

I was so tired from the anxiety, the pain, not sleeping, and not getting answers. I was so tired of feeling like no one was listening to me that I pretty much lost it and began sobbing. And I do not mean watching a sad movie kind of sobbing. I mean making scary primal noises sobbing.

They handed me some Kleenex and waited for me to calm down, which I eventually did. Dr. Zen finally decided to refer me for an x-ray of my spine to see if there was any damage, etc, but I honestly think it was just to placate me.

After a long walk with the dogs and some time to think about things, I started to see the bigger picture and also the doctor's point of view. He cannot treat all my symptoms without knowing if they are due to the RA or not, which we will find out once the inflammation is gone. My most recent blood tests show that the newest medication is working and the inflammation is still high but it is the lowest it has been over the last year, which is really good news that I could not appreciate at the time.

But I am not sorry for the sobbing mess I became in that office because that is how I really felt about this whole situation - tired and hopeless. It was a little embarrassing, but I think they got the point.

As for how I feel now, I am more optimistic about the whole thing. My upper back is still causing me a lot of problems, especially with work but I had x-rays done on Thursday and will hopefully hear from the doctor this week. If they do not show anything, that means it is all muscular and if they do, we will take whatever the next step is. I am also trying to do as much as I can to make life more comfortable for myself. I joined Weight Watchers online and have already lost a few pounds (more on this later). I am still not sleeping well, so I am coming home at lunch and taking a nap if I need it. And although it has only been a couple of weeks, my joint pain seems to be getting better now that I am taking a larger dosage of sulfazine.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I follow quite a few blogs on a regular basis. Everyday I run through my list of bookmarks never knowing who which ones have new posts, etc. To make things a little easier I decided to join Bloglovin', which keeps a list on the newest posts from my favorite blogs.

You can also follow me on Bloglovin'!

Follow my blog with bloglovin