Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009: a review


I haven't been the greatest at posting lately. Life has gotten in the way, and actually I kind of prefer it that way. I'd rather be out and about, or at least busying myself at home than sitting in front of my computer with nothing to do. Lately there have been some very very bad days, but there are always good days to outweigh them. I did put my blog address in a few Christmas cards to let people know how they could catch up with me, so I am going to write somewhat of a review of the year. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I hope you enjoy it.

In January after getting to spend quite awhile with family and friends during the last few weeks of 2008, we returned back to Ohio so Ryan could return to school. I really do not remember many specifics of the winter. It was cold, I'm sure I was in pain, but I know I wore a lot of long underwear.

When Ryan was in school I was at home resting, watching TV, reading, and probably crocheting. Occasionally on Friday nights we got together with friends at Barley's Smokehouse and Brewpub for drinks and good bar-b-que. Friends of ours also moved back into their house after having it remodeled so we all enjoyed get togethers to see the new additions. We also attend Terra Nova Community Church on Sunday mornings and we love our church family.

In March I finally found a doctor who was able to help me out with my Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I'm thankful for my primary doctor who has stuck through this with all of me and given me freedom and a lot of input into my treatments. I began seeing Dr. Goldfarb at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Center in Cleveland and learned more about my conditions and the best ways of treating them. I've always had low iron, but I also had deficiencies in other areas, as well as it being clear my immune function was not operating to the best of it's ability. The basic principle at FFC is to treat the whole body, working right down to increasing cellular health. Besides taking care of some nagging infections, I began a new treatment for the thyroid disorder I've known about since 7th grade. I also started taking a plethora of supplements all aimed at optimizing health and increasing energy. Within 6 months I showed significant improvement, which I consider very good news.

So by Spring time I was walking more, getting out of the apartment more, and getting to see friends. In April I went to Lexington, KY to attend a weekend long course I had been eyeing even before the fibro took over my life. It was called the School(s) for Conversion and it was held with the members of an intentional community called Communality. It was an amazing weekend of discussing new ways (and old ways) of Christian living and fellowshiping with a variety of different and like minded folks.

Since we moved to Ohio Ryan has been a teaching assistant for several different biology courses at OSU. In the spring quarter he managed to continue teaching, finish his master's research, and obtain a part time job. He finished his master's degree in Entemology in June and stayed busy working at Gentile's Wine and Beer and Brewing Supply store through the summer. Not only is this a great job for obvious reasons (the wine, beer, and brewing) but also it is just down the street from our apartment and takes less than 2 minutes to walk there. We home brewed beer before he started working there, but Ryan has pretty consistently kept something brewing for the last several months.

My mom, Ryan's parents and brother all came out for visits during the summer. There were no special events or anything, we just showed them a good time and enjoyed them taking us out to eat at our favorite restaurants. We see Ryan's sister and fiance on a fairly regular basis because they live just over an hour away in Cincinnati.

With the warmer weather and slightly healthier body, I was able to get out and enjoy our neighborhood slightly better. Within walking distance of our apartment we have 2 grocery stores, a great butcher shop, several drug stores, and about a dozen or so restaurants. It's actually fairly crazy after growing up in rural northeastern PA. I've really enjoyed getting familiar with the local coffee roasters, Stauf's who have a nice coffee shop and serve lunch. I got there a lot to get out of the apartment and read or write. I've been known to go to the Dairy Queen for dinner on more than one occasion while Ryan has been at work, but I don't make a real habit out of it. The restaurants and bars are great and the people are usually extremely friendly. We chose where we live because we know people who live close by, and it was certainly a good choice. We are close to friends and even run into people while we are out and about now.

I spent the last few weeks in Ithaca with my sister Stacey and her family. My nephew Johnny is getting to be such a big boy and we played and had fun until he went back to school. This year he is in the 2nd grade!!

Ryan came out for a week as well so we got down to Wyalusing and Tunkhannock. We saw friends we hadn't seen in a long time. Our friends Etienne and Danielle were in from Vancouver and Togo so we got to see them at their parents house on our short visit. It was great to get in touch with old friends. We were also able to make an appearance at the Wyoming County Fair for the first time since we had moved to Ohio.

In the fall Ryan started work on his PhD, began teaching again, and continued work at Gentile's. He's busy enough for the both of us since I still am not healthy enough for much other than taking care of myself. His boss at the store Roger is really nice and I think Ryan really enjoys working there.

I've been crocheting away, reading, writing, going to the coffee shop, and I've found my favorite ice cream place of all time, it's called Jeni's and is local with three or four stores in Columbus. As always we have been cheering on the Buckeye's and the football season started off with our friend's annual block party. Ryan made some amazing pulled-pork for the event and I still crave it.

I still spend a lot of time going to doctor's appointments and have been diligently seeing a chiropractor who is helping me out with my pain a lot. In March when I started seeing Dr. Goldfarb I had been walking with a cane pretty much full time. Throughout the summer I didn't need it till the weekend of the fair when I just walked too much, and now that the weather is colder I have been using it occasionally. I do have a lot of pain sometimes, but it is also an energy saver. The less pain I have, and the less effort I have to use to accomplish a task the better I feel and the better my day is.

Most recently I have done all the necessary paper work to head back to school at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio for the Spring semester. I changed my degree program from Christian Education to a Masters in Theological Studies. Given the limitations set on me by my health this will be an easier program to complete since I do not have to a do a year of field education. I still have a lot of class work ahead of me, but since I had done so much work before I got ill, it will be worth it to finish what I started. I hope to be completed by May of 2011, but it's a completely flexible date.

So here I am, officially the day before my birthday. This week I am battling a bout of insomnia that is very common to those with fibromyalgia. I got this written though, and it's been on my list. Tonight we are going to a Blue Jackets hockey game with tickets Ryan got from a customer (another job perk) and on Friday we are headed to Barley's to celebrate with the normal crew. I still have some crocheting, cookie baking, and Buckeye making to take care of before next week. But what gets done gets done, and I'm not going to stress about it at all.

I hope 2010 can bring more good things to life in our nice little world we are creating for ourselves. I hope things are well with you, my reader.

I have one request for the New Year, if you do not know very much about fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, learn it. It sucks and a lot of people out there are suffering quietly. I'm less quiet about it... but when have you known me to be quiet about anything. I really just want more people to be aware of the life changing effects it has one people.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

More than a month

It's been more than a month since I have posted. I have things to say, especially a review for Unexpected Blessings. But it's been quite the whirlwind of a month. Two trips back to PA, followed by a week of feeling horrible after each of them. With the weather turning so cold and unpleasant I have been in some serious pain. I'm also still trying to learn my limits of social interaction. Needless to say, the holidays are probably going to be rough this year. Just wanted to let you know I'm still kicking, and I'm going to try to make a deliberate effort to write this week.