My RA Costumes

Self-portrait, October, 2018

October is my favorite month of the year, and I’m sad that it’s already halfway over already. What happened to it?! We’ve had an unusually warm fall this year in Minnesota, but the weather has finally cooled down to the crisp, chilly October temperatures that I love. Halloween is also my favorite holiday (well, I think it’s a tie with Christmas) and I’ve loved it so much ever since I was a little kid. I didn’t get a chance to write and publish anything Halloween-related for RheumatoidArthritis.net this year, but here are a couple of older articles I wrote that have an RA-Halloween connection.

“My RA Costume” (2013)

“This Year’s RA Costume” (2014)

Enjoy and…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Covid-19 Vaccination #3!

August 18, 2021

I got my third Pfizer vaccination two weeks ago yesterday at a local CVS. It was super fast and easy and I was relieved to get it. My first set of vaccinations were back in March, and with the nasty Delta variant that’s causing an explosion of cases and hospitalizations, I had been growing more and more nervous about if or how much I was still protected. I’ve also been holding off on going back on my Humira until after getting a third vaccination (plus a two-week wait). I just really do not want to be on any immunosuppressant medications right now with Delta running rampant and there are still so many people who refuse to get vaccinated or follow safety protocols.

Speaking of the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, I am furious with them. I’m disgusted at their stubborn selfishness and unwillingness to DO WHAT THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO DO to protect the health, safety, and well-being of us all. I’m so tired of listening to people, grown adults, yelling about their “rights being taken away,” and spouting off about ridiculous conspiracy theories and dangerous disinformation. If you live in a society, rights are shared. And nobody has the “right” to make me or anyone else sick or dead from Covid-19.

I’ve been saying this since Day 1: Covid-19 is a PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE and NOT a political one. It shouldn’t be a political issue at all, but it’s too late. It’s become heavily politicized. So while people continue to refuse getting vaccinated, burn masks, and protest against schools trying to keep their students and staff safe, people are continuing to suffer terribly and die. And now it’s not just older people or those with underlying health conditions. No, it’s young healthy people. It’s kids. My mind is constantly blown by all of this; nothing makes sense. And Covid-19 is DEADLY. It’s nothing to play around with. Why don’t people get this?

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Say “Yes” to Life

“People can’t unhappily, invent their mooring posts, their lovers and their friends, anymore than they can invent their parents. Life gives these and also takes them away and the great difficulty is to say Yes to life.”
                                                                                                       –James Baldwin

                                                                                   

Always Fight!

Minneapolis, MN, July 28, 2021

Always fight for your health and care.
Always fight for your rights as a patient and a human being.
Always fight to be listened to and taken seriously.
Always fight to be treated with respect and dignity.

I constantly have to remind myself of these things, because I know that nobody can advocate for me better than I can.

YOUR health and life matter! Don’t ever forget it. ❤️

Enough of Drowning

The Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, 2013

This is an excerpt from a poem I love by David Whyte: “The Truelove”

If you wanted
to drown you could, because finally
after all the struggle
and all these years
you simply don’t want to
anymore
you’ve simply had enough
of drowning
and you want to live and you
want to love and you will
walk across any territory
and any darkness
however fluid and however
dangerous to take the
one hand you know
belongs in yours.
                          –David Whyte

A Cherry Nice Snack

For months I’ve been trying really hard to only eat whole foods as best as possible. No preservatives, chemicals, packaged crap, junk food, sugar, refined carbs, fast food, artificial sweeteners, “natural flavors,” caffeine, alcohol, or pop (sorry, soda). I’ve been drinking 99% water (a little real orange juice sometimes) out of a stainless steel water bottle (with stainless steel cap) or glass, not letting any of my food or beverages touch plastic, and I’ve been eating organic cage-free eggs, spinach, mushrooms, beans, other vegetables, organic hummus, nuts, and guzzling good olive oil like a maniac.

And FRUIT! Real fruit. I’ve noticed when eating real fruit instead of sugary carb junk, that the fruit tastes so much better than it used to. Is it psychological? Maybe. But I think my body and tastebuds are possibly rewarding me for giving them real food consistently. Oh, and berries. Lots of delicious blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Today, cherries!

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The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain

Photo: TWOMEOWS/GETTY IMAGES

I was recently interviewed for Marie Claire magazine about living with chronic pain and what a heavy financial toll it can take on a person. The article was just published yesterday! It’s a bit embarrassing (ok, a lot) having my personal debt and financial information flung into the open for all to see, but I think it’s an important issue to recognize and talk about.

Here’s the article if you’d like to check it out. My friend Leslie is also featured in it!

“The High Price of Living With Chronic Pain” by Alice Oglethorpe

Too many people who live with chronic illnesses are staggering under the stress and weight of years of outrageously expensive medical bills. It’s ridiculous and frankly unethical, in my opinion, that we live in a country where you have to decide between caring for your health or sinking into debt. I didn’t ask or choose to have this disease. I did nothing wrong to deserve it. So why am I and countless others constantly being punished by an unfair healthcare system? It’s more wealth care than health care, if you ask me.

Sadly, for the most part, sickness is an expensive, lucrative business in the United States. And we desperately and urgently need to change that.

P.S. I have paid off even more debt since I was interviewed for this article 😊