writer elise

I'm Elise. I write. Because I must.


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Overwhelmed

Y’all I am overwhelmed. In a big way. Which totally explains why I’ve been ignoring this blog and all my lovely followers. If I still have any. Y’all are still there right? I’m pretending everyone just shouted yes.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. I’ve got too much on my plate these days. Which I think it totally normal in this world. I can only speak for myself though so I’m saying it isn’t normal. I don’t like feeling like I’m drowning in life. But I do. And it sucks.

I’ve got a to do list that would choke a horse. My dad is facing heart surgery in a month so I’m trying to be a rock for him and my mom. I’m trying to be supportive for various friends as they struggle with life stuff. On top of that I’ve got new duties at work, volunteer work with both my church and The Arthritis Foundation, one book to market, a second book (out August 1st!) to prepare to market, a third book to write, a newbie writer to mentor, animals to take care of, a house to prep for sale (hopefully in a year but I’m starting now), and… well the list just goes on from there.

I know I’m overdoing it. I know I’m right at the edge of my own limits and that if something doesn’t change or get crossed off my list I’m going to break.

I am empty.

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I’ve seriously got nothing left to give anyone else.

So I’m going to start being selfish. I’m going to save myself. Friends will need to learn to prop themselves up without my cheerleading. Okay, I’ll still be there for them but I’m going to start turning off my phone each evening and saving that time for myself. I’m going to go through my monster to-do list and turn everything I can over to someone else. I’m also going to look at author marketing services and see about hiring someone to handle book promotion for me. My sales have been terrible so clearly my efforts aren’t working.

I’m going to watch more sunsets with my animals.

I’m going to have more dinners with my friends.

I’m going to write more and Facebook less.

I’m going to take better care of me.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed too I encourage you to do the same. Simplify. I’ve already starting working on this and it really helps. I don’t miss the things I’ve let go of. Instead I feel more free and more me.

Hugs, love, and blessings to each and every one of you.

~Elise


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2016 RA Blog Week – Final Day

Happy Friday world! We made it through the week. And, because it’s been RA Blog Week, we’ve learned and raised some awareness. Together, myself and the other bloggers have spent the week making this invisible illness a bit more visible. That’s a great thing.

I’m picking another wildcard today so that I can pass on some advice to all of y’all. I hope that my experiences walking through life with Rheumatoid Arthritis will help someone out there.

Thing #1: Don’t look back. Well, at least not for too long. Don’t dwell on the life you had before RA came to live with you. Look back at the happy moments. But don’t compare that life to the new one you’re living. Focusing on your pre RA life, especially on that pain free body you once had, is toxic. Accept your new normal.

Thing #2: Redefine normal every chance you get. An RA life is a rollercoaster. RA changes your body almost daily. You might become a human barometer like I have. Any weather change and my body sends out warning signals in the form of pain. That’s my normal. My normal used to be weakness and exhaustion. Before then it was pretending to not be sick. With RA you get the opportunity (yes, you read that right) to redefine normal over and over.

Thing #3: Find a support group. Maybe a face to face group that meets at a local church. Maybe a group of random strangers on Facebook. Maybe a network of bloggers. The point is, find people who are living an RA life too. Only people walking this walk can really understand what you go through every day. That level of understanding is vital.

I could go on and one but I won’t. Instead, I’m going to close up RA Blog Week with a second topic. The other folks who have been blogging this week with me. Our fearless leader (hi Rick!) has put together a great list of links to everyone’s blog. You can see it here. I highly recommend checking out the other blogs. You never know, one of my fellow bloggers might be writing something that will touch your heart.

I hope you all have had a great week. It’s been a blessing to spend it writing about RA. It has given this writer a much needed boost to her tired creativity.

Have a blessed weekend y’all.

~Elise

PS. I have a book coming out! (Yay!) Restoration Road will be released in October. If you want to know more about it, click here. And keep watching my blog for more information on when and where you can get your own copy.


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2016 RA Blog Week – Day Three

Afternoon to all you out there on the interwebs. Hope your day is treating you right. Today is a high pain day for me which is why I’m late writing my post for the day. I had to wait for the brain fog to clear a bit.

Today’s topic is biologics. For those of you that don’t know biologics are a special class of medications made from genetically-engineered proteins derived from human genes. They’re used in Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment to help suppress our over active immune systems. They can help halt the progressive joint damage done by our own rampaging bodies. They carry a long list of scary side effects but for lots of patients, they’re nothing short of magical.

I’m one of those people.

I started on Enbrel roughly 10 years ago. I had failed all the other meds that were the last steps before a biologic. Or rather they’d failed me. Methotrexate (a chemotherapy medication) made me lose entire days to the overwhelming side effects. Sulfasalazine made my liver freak out. I’d taken Prednisone off and on for so long that it wasn’t really effective anymore. There were more meds, but those were the big three that really tipped the scale for me.

My doctor let me pick the next step when those meds all proved to be wrong for my RA. I got to choose between Enbrel or Humira. My doc sent me home with literature and a follow up appointment for a few weeks later. And I did what I recommend everyone else do with possible new meds – I researched the hell out of them. I spoke to nurses and doctors about them (thankfully, I once worked in medicine so I have a great network of folks). I went to friends in support groups. I read everything I could about those two medications. I wrote pro-con lists. I prayed about it. I made sure that when that follow up appointment came I was ready.

Choosing Enbrel was the right thing for me. I don’t regret it one bit. I haven’t had any troubles on it, not once in 10 years. The only thing that isn’t fun is that it suppresses all of your immune system. Not just the part that attacks your joints. So I get sick at the drop of a hate. And stay sick way longer than other folks. I can’t give blood. I have to stop my meds for any surgeries or major illnesses. I don’t regret it at all though. Right now I’m on it and one other medication. That’s it. No other prescriptions. I take a few supplements to further support my body and control the RA, but over all, this is the least amount of medication I’ve been on since I was diagnosed way back when I was a kid.

Like I said, for some folks, biologics are magical. I’m deeply thankful that they are for me.

~Elise

PS. I have a book coming out! (Yay!) Restoration Road will be released in October. If you want to know more about it, click here. And keep watching my blog for more information on when and where you can get your own copy.