Covid-19, You Really Got Me Now

Mayo Clinic, Cannon Falls, MN, 11.30.21

After over a year of severe anxiety, paranoia, frantic hand-washing and sanitizing, masking, social distancing, lockdowns, self-quarantining, and three vaccinations–Covid-19 finally got me. I’m on Day 11 of being sick with symptoms: a strange constant throbbing headache, low-grade fever, major congestion in my nose and head, scratchy/sore throat, fatigue, body aches, junk running down the back of my throat. Luckily, I’m not coughing so I think (hope) my lungs are OK. I have a little cough here and there due to all of the drainage in my throat, but it’s barely anything. And I’m not having any problems breathing. But this awful throbbing, full, sickish feeling in my head is driving me crazy. Tylenol isn’t doing much to help it.

I still can’t believe that I finally got it, even though I know I shouldn’t be that surprised. Minnesota’s cases and hospitalizations right now are shockingly high. Thanksgiving week and maybe the week before, I believe, we were the worst state in the entire country, which blows my mind. I asked a doctor recently why, and she said it’s because of all of the unvaccinated people who are mostly outside of the Twin Cities metro area. I looked at the case numbers and statistics again today for Minnesota, and only 62% of all people here are fully vaccinated. That’s ridiculous and not nearly enough. This infuriates me, but I won’t go into that right now.

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Affordable Healthcare, Now!

Minnesota senator (my senator) Amy Klobuchar posted this on her Twitter feed two days ago. I just reposted it on my RA Instagram page (@inflamed.ra) with this comment:

Thank you to my senator for saying this! It’s not just medication but ALL medical care that needs to be affordable yet still of high quality: doctor’s visits, lab work, diagnostic tests, ER care, surgeries, mental health care, dental care, vision care, preventative care, physical therapy, integrative/functional medicine care…and anything else that the patient needs to be as healthy as possible and live a normal life as much as possible.

I stand by these statements.

Chronic Anemia

I’ve suffered from anemia for a long time–ever since getting RA, I believe. During these 20+ years of having RA and struggling with anemia, I’ve tried just about everything to raise my hemoglobin and other iron labs, including oral iron supplements and I.V. infusions. Taking iron supplements and receiving iron infusions helped somewhat in the past, although only temporarily. Sometime during the pandemic, I think I may have accidentally figured out the “cure” for my chronic anemia and iron deficiency. I wrote an article about this for RheumatoidArthritis.net, which was published last month.

“Anemia, Chronically Gone?”

Check out the article to read how vitamin B12 helped my iron labs return to normal and remain stable! Covid-19 has really wreaked havoc on my life, and continues to do so in many ways, however I’m grateful for the surprisingly good things that have come from this devastating pandemic. This small “victory” (or maybe it’s a large one?) is one of those things.

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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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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