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Are You Man Enough?

This is a “ramble” by Himself, not by me – but I love it. It SO expresses his unconditional love for me, and his desire and hope that other men will unconditionally love their wives/mistresses/girlfriends/shackmates/fiancées, also. He’s not known for beating around the bush or being particularly “politically correct!” But, you may have noticed that…

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I’m gonna’ ramble a little here about being a guy whose wife/mistress/girlfriend/shackmate/fiancée has RA (RD). I can’t say what does or does not obtain in the case of being a gal with an RA guy.

Tombstones of women before 1900 in this country – particularly rural areas – would frequently have something in the nature of: “She was a good worker” amongst the other yada yada. Sometimes you could see where two or three women had been used up by some farmer, either though childbirth or from constant overwork. Hooraw – these days are over. Or are they? Some men seem to think their mate is just being lazy or some such and expect her to clean the house, cook the meals, do the yard work, and so on. Why – she just needs to get busy while I’m earning a living. If you are just going to abuse her to death, why not just retire her to a back room and get a concubine as they used to? Are you so desperate that you have to marry a maid or a yard man? There are plenty of people out there who will work cheap today. If you are too sorry, too busy, or too worn out to do all these things yourself, then hire them done or let them slide. Reasonably decent meals can be done in a microzap nowadays. If your taste buds are a bit more demanding (mine are) then cook stuff yourself.

Rheumatoid Disease is one of a sheaf of horrible, vile, debilitating autoimmune baddies that I think are all related. (lupus, fibromyalgia, etc.) I’m no doc, but several I’ve talked to are of a similar opinion. One of the things that you can pretty much bet on is that this nasty thing will take whatever is dearest away. Dancing – the feet get hit early. Just about any hand activity – crafts or such. If your girl likes singing, then it will probably hit the voicebox eventually. Bet you didn’t know it could do that. It can. It can hit every joint in the body. It can hit soft tissues. It can hit heart and lungs, liver and kidneys. There is nothing in the body that cannot be attacked by this horror. One of the other cute tricks that most of the autoimmunes like is chronic fatigue. Hard to do anything when you are worn out. All. The. time. Totally. Exhausted.

This little gem causes more pain than you can possibly imagine. These women live with pain that would have you whimpering in the corner. It takes more courage than you have just to get out of bed when your feet feel like they have knives in them.

Most people are married with the standard vows. So you got the drill about honor and love in sickness and health. If you are just shacking there are no vows, but there is a certain moral commitment implied. Are you going to man up and honor your commitments?

There are some women who complain all the time and drive people off. Mostly, though, when guys run out, it is because there is no commitment there. But – there is also another reason: Caring for someone that you love and watching them deteriorate and not being able to help them can crush you. Sometimes guys run because they cannot stand that frustration any longer. How about this for a novel idea: Why not TALK to each other? Sit down with a good cup of coffee or glass of wine or whatever and talk honestly to each other. If you are a decent human you will at least be honest. If there must be a split why not provide as much financial support as possible? You know that you are breaking your commitment, but don’t be a total louse. She will have a really hard time make ends meet when she has such a hard time working. She will have an almost impossible time paying for doctors and medication. If you think that the government will pay for chronic disease care, think again. Keep her on your insurance.

Even better – why not be enough man to honor the commitment and stay with her – as she would stay with you.

Oh yeah, sex. Well, if you are a good enough lover, considerate, gentle, and so forth – you will find that she is pretty receptive when she is not knotted up with pain or nausea. You will also find that slow and gentle love-making is about the best pain medication she could have. Before long you will find that you both can benefit tremendously. Bring her to five or six orgasms and it will be better than the best sleeping pill. Communicate and your whole life will be better.

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You may have a clue, now, why I love Himself so much!

I support RPF {Rheumatoid Patient Foundation} because:

1) There is no other charity just for Rheumatoid Disease {formerly known as Rheumatoid Arthritis}.

2) On a personal basis, as I have RD, and follow rawarrior.com, I am very much aware of the gaps in the support available for PRD. My husband, who has cardiac and lung disease, works hard to help me with my activities of daily living (ADLs). We cannot afford homemaking or personal services and don’t qualify for govt-supplied services. Only through increased public awareness will these kinds of services ever become more available. We don’t qualify for drug assistance, so I cannot get on any of the biologicals. So far, I haven’t qualified for any clinical trials, so I am “stuck” with “older” medications which are inadequate to my disease state.

3) Although we are personally blessed that nearly all of our family members and many of our friends who are both understanding and supportive, there are many people who do not have these blessings. Only through public awareness will these gaps begin to be closed.

4) Many rheumatologists, especially in the USA, don’t seem to have a clue (!) as to the pain and disability we PRD experience. Only through professional education will we bring them to the level of understanding found in Europe and other areas of the globe.

5) Drug companies don’t seem to realize the suffering experienced by over 2/3 of PRD. Helping them see the need for additional patient support and reduced cost of drugs for RD is absolutely necessary!

6) The RPF addresses these needs and more through public awareness, professional awareness and education, and PRD support.

7) The RPF can ONLY address these needs if we provide the money to support RPF!

So, my husband and I support the RPF!

RPF is a 501(c)3 non-profit that can receive tax-deductible end-of-year donations. Often, people have been conditioned to only think of the Arthritis Foundation in this light, even if they are members or supporters of RPF!

Points to Ponder:

RPF is the only charity just for RA
RPF is a non-profit [501(c)3] organization by patients, for patients – Our vision is a world where no one suffers from rheumatoid disease: help our vision become a reality
RPF works with patients, doctors and industry to address patients’ needs and create pathways to better care
RPF is volunteer-run, and we rely on support from donors and members to help us achieve our goals
– Please help support patient-driven research – DONATE HERE
BECOME AN INDIVIDUAL MEMBER HERE ~~ OR A CORPORATE MEMBER HERE ~~ add your voice ~~ together, we can do more!

PS – you don’t have to be a person with rheumatoid disease (PWD) either to support or become a member of RPF!!

Two New Articles

Two new articles I found related to RA and cardiovascular disease:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ms/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110814223811.htm

Really good and understandable.

New smartphone and new app to enter and upload short posts. Himself and I got new matching Galaxy S II by Samsung. Not the newest model, but much nicer than our old ones. Easier on the fingies,  too!

New provider – Boost Mobile. Much more economical than our AT&T accounts were.

Lots of great apps. More about them later.

For now, things are looking up phone-wise.

RA, not so much. RA is flaring, and I have a GI “thing” going on. So I can’t take a Medrol DosePak.

Various heirloom tomato cultivars

Various heirloom tomato cultivars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I started gardening recently – well, started trying 3 years ago. This year, however, I have eleven – 11!! – tomato plants in containers on the deck! Yow! Either I’m “getting it,” or I’m crazy! I have 3 Black Krim tomatoes, 1 Siberia tomato, 1 Red Beefsteak tomato, 2 Big Boy tomato, 1 Super Sauce tomato, 1 Better Boy tomato, and 2 Mortgage Lifter tomatoes. (The first Mortgage Lifter plant I ordered arrived looking sick – all yellow and wilted – so the company sent me a new one – but, surprisingly, even with my negligent care, the sick one survived! I probably should send the company back it’s $5.00!)

I started 1 of the Black Krim from seeds, as I did the Big Boy, Super Sauce, and Better Boy Some are kind of sickly, and others are doing fairly well. I had started a Roma, a Super Beefsteak, a Big Beefsteak and a couple of others, but they did not survive – SIGH! Probably just as well – I don’t think I could have dealt with 18 tomato plants!

The Red Beefsteak is nearly 3 feet high (counting the container, I’m dealing with a plant 4 feet tall)! The Siberia is nearly that tall. The Siberia already had a little bitty green tomato on it. Wow! Both the Siberia and the Red Beefsteak have several more blossoms. I’m trimming off little “suckers” as they form. According to what I have read, this will increase the blossoms and the “sets.”

Now,  how do I manage both my disease (Autoimmune Disease) and my developing garden?? Interestingly, this new hobby is making me a little more energetic! Usually getting out in the sun for any length of time exhausts me, but this time, although I am very tired when I stop, once I have rested I have a little more energy! Maybe all this time the people who talk about Gardening being good for you! Even though I do strain my back as I work, my back doesn’t ache as long as it used to.

This is not a remission. There have been days when I haven’t been able to go out and water the garden at all – the Ol’ Curmudgeon waters it for me on those days. But bending, planting, transplanting, digging in the buckets, moving soil, and containers around have not made me flare! Going into the garden for a few minutes (say 15) gives me much more than it takes from me. So I’ll continue with my gardening. My pain is less, my energy is more – DANG! This is working better than the meds have, so far!

Did I mention that I’m also growing spinach, leaf lettuce, basil, oregano, thyme, onions, strawberries, mint, chives, rosemary, parsley, dill, and a little Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin)? They are in the planter containers Himself built for me so I don’t have to stoop. Hmmm, if he built a platform for the tomatoes … they would end up being too tall for me to handle. Guess I’ll need a potting bench one of these months / years soon!

English: A cherry tomato and a beefsteak tomat...

A cherry tomato and a beefsteak tomato, showing the diversity of size among tomato varieties. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tracy Rydzy over at Living With Chronic Pain has a GREAT blog post today, and I just have to share it with y’all! What NOT to Say to Someone in Chronic Pain lists 8 things that are not only not helpful, but actually can be harmful to a person living with chronic pain.

Edvard Munch: The Scream

Edvard Munch: The Scream
For many with chronic pain, this painting summarizes the way we feel!

I’ve had people say each of these things. The people were friends, were well-meaning, and intended to offer support and kindness, but to the contrary they ended up making me feel worse about myself, to doubt God, and often to end up in more pain from the tension sparked by the remarks.

So, please, my friends, take a hint from Tracy! Please, stow those comments (and others like them) in your “Do Not Say” file!!

Toni Bernhard at Psychology Today‘s Blog Turning Straw Into Gold listed a bunch of things TO say in her post: What Those With Chronic Pain or Illness DO Want to Hear.

Positive things are so much better than negative things – don’t you think?

Related Articles:

Show Us your Hands

Arthrite rhumatoide

Arthrite rhumatoide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I visited this site today, because there are some new hand pictures on it. Just thought I’d share it here:

Show Us Your Hands

This is a collage of the hands of real people who have inflammatory arthritis. This is what we are trying to find a cure for. We start with Rheumatoid Awareness Day! [NOTE: the illustration is NOT from Show Us Your Hands]

Please contribute generously to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. It is tax-deductible, and goes toward finding a cure for rheumatoid arthritis – also known as rheumatoid disease.

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