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Showing posts from November, 2012

Foggy Morning

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Last week I had an early morning appointment and got up at an entirely unreasonable time. It'd been a foggy night and by the time I got out of the shower, it was still early enough that the sun didn't have enough power to burn off the fog yet. Not surprising that close to it getting up. I don't have that much power immediately upon rising, either. 

And it was beautiful. I didn't have a lot of time to get ready, so I had to choose between putting on makeup and popping outside with my camera. Given the title of this post, you can probably guess what I chose.

I am so not a girl.

Herewith the best of the bunch:







Rediscovery

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Seven or eight years ago, I stopped being able to read regular books. My neck and shoulders couldn't handle holding the book or the looking down part. Before that, and for as long as I can remember, I carried a book with me wherever I've gone. Reading was my first love. I didn't so much read as inhale books and it started when I was a child. Every month, my mother would take me to the library in the next town over and I’d fill two large bags with books. The librarians loved me because my lending habits worked so well for their stats they were able to get extra money in the budget. Before I stopped being able to read regular books, I'd devour 3-5 books a week and suspect it may have worked equally well for the libraries I've used as an adult.
I remember hours, even days of disappearing into a book. I remember finding every opportunity, even if it was just 5 minutes, to dive back into the adventure and then somehow persuading myself to read just for another 2 minutes,…

In Which Writing is Like Living with RA

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2 1/2 years. 67,000 words. 268 pages.
The Book is done. At approximately 12:37 PM, Saturday, November 17, 2012, I closed down the finalized manuscript. And then I said out loud to no one in particular - Lucy was ignoring me - "I am done."
Well, not entirely done, but it’s now in the hands of my copy editor for a final ripping apart. I'm kind of excited to see how well my instinctive approach to grammar stands up.
And it's weird. It is really, really weird to be done. For so long, it has been about finishing one chapter or one section and then picking up another, being done, but never Done. And now that I am, there is this odd, restless silence, both in my head, my heart and my apartment (I keep expecting confetti and marching bands, but so far it hasn't happened except through lovely digital pictures and cards with confetti from friends).
Wait… what’s that? Ah. There they are




That’s better.
Anyway, so there I was, flailing about for something to think about, plan and…

A Study in Santa

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I almost didn't yesterday. There were things I had to do, documents to review, Lists to vanquish.

And then, at the last minute, I found myself running out the door without quite realizing I'd made the decision to scuttlw work. Because it's where I've been for 15 of the last 16 years on a special Sunday just around now. It's the start of my Christmas.

It's the Santa Claus Parade.

I knew I was getting closer when I found exhausted band detritus littering the streets


and the crowds made it official. I was in the right place. By the way - thanks to the Toronto Police for excellent crowd control that meant I - and other short people, like children) - could see the parade



There was even an errant elf


I missed most of the floats, but the bands were excellent. This one was especially stirring - there's something about flags waving in the wind with the sun streaming through them that lifts your heart.


I got up close and personal


Mrs. Claus' float signalled the almost-…

Safe

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FDA Approves Xeljanz (tofacitinib) to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Really great news in RA treatment! I wrote about the new drug in more detail on HealthCentral:

"Last week, the FDA approved a new drug to treat moderate to severe RA. Pfizer's Xeljanz - brand-name tofacitinib - is the first in a new class of medications called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. It is also the first new RA medication in more than a decade that is taken orally, not by injection or infusion. This is good news for everyone who lives with RA. There is now one more treatment options to explore, increasing the chance of going into remission.

What is Xeljanz?
Xeljanz (pronounces Zel’Jans’) approaches treatment of RA through a different pathway than the Biologics. There are many processes involved in creating inflammation within body. The Biologics inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines from outside the cell, blocking receptors for various immune cells, such as T and B cells, interleukin and the tumor necrosis factor. The JAK pathway is another inflammatory process. J…

Last Leaf

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Fuzzy Brains: RA, Pain and Cognitive Issues

Earlier this week, I had a medication-related senior moment so profound that it was the driving force behind the idea to write today's HeakthCentral post. Write what you know, right?

"In 2004, I was in one of the worst flares of my life, the pain so intense and omnipresent it cast a shadow over everything. For the first time in a long time, I had problems focusing. Where I once was able to relate a conversation in detail, now I couldn't remember what someone said half an hour ago. Where I once could have a vigorous debate lasting an entire evening, now I couldn't follow someone's argument from point A to point B.

Cognitive problems are the dirty little secret of RA. Many of us have problems with short-term memory, logic and focus, but no one talks about it. Admitting that your brain is not sharp as it used to be is really scary."

You can read the rest of the post here.

Vote in the User's Choice Awards

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The nominees in the User's Choice Awards have been chosen and voting is open until November 18, 2012. 

Help the Arthritis Foundation to develop a list of arthritis-friendly products and services - vote now!


2013 Calendar, Cards and Gifts

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It's that time of year again: the Shop has been updated and new products added.

There's the new 2013 The Seated View calendar



Several holiday cards and note cards in different quantities










There are new prints. 




I call this one Still Standing. It may be creaky and rusty, but like so many of us, it refuses to fall over



My signature piece Mystic is still there (also available in canvas print)


 Gifts such as a mousepad with a view from Sugar Beach


A keepsake box with a curious swan

A mug especially for people with RA. What looks to be a funny saying on a blue and purple mug is really a quiet reminder of why you take the meds.



 And there's more - hop on over to The Seated View Shop to check it out!

Road Closed

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Emergency preparedness with a Chronic Illness

Sandy's made everyone re-think what they need to do in order to be ready for a potential emergency. Earlier this week, I wrote a post for HealthCentral about some of the extras you have to consider when a chronic illness is in the mix:

"As I write this, hurricane Sandy is gearing up to hit the Northeast part of the US and Canada and all those stories of a Frankenstorm are more than a bit unnerving. Every talking head on every channel is telling us how to prepare. There is video of boarded-up windows, long lines of cars headed out of coastal areas and empty store shelves, but not a lot of information about preparing for an emergency when you have a chronic illness or other type of medical condition.

Getting ready for a potential emergency such as hurricane Sandy involves planning ahead in several different areas of your life. Some of your plan will be the same as your healthy and able-bodied neighbors, but you will also need to make plans that specifically consider your…