Skip to main content

I Am Still Me

In the past two years it seems like my medical issues have become part of my identity. I am the girl always on crutches or limping, the one who doesn't participate in gym. No one asks where I am if I am not it class, they know I was probably at a doctor's appointment or if I come in a period or two late my friends know my shoulders are probably having a bad day so I had to take a bath to get rid of morning stiffness. I am not sure when it happened but people are now more surprised when I can walk then when I can't. 

Sometimes it is really hard for me to move past the medical parts of my life, because it does affect all the others, but it is important that I do. I try to do everything I used to do, which is hard but aside from athletic activities I have done a pretty good job managing. I can't always do everything I want to but I prioritize. 

There are a couple things I refuse to let my health affect. Debate is something I don't let get affected, since I have to commit in advance to a partner and I hate breaking commitments I have managed to go to every single debate I signed up for (even though there were a few I just knew I couldn't handle). Another facet of my life I have not allowed to change it my job. I work at an after school childcare elementary school and while it can be taxing I love it, and I know if there is a sub it affects the students, and I can't bare to do that.
My Best Friend/Debate Partner(right) and Me(left) at State Debate Finals

There are two things that really help me, hope and perspective. (and music never hurts!)

Hope is something I refuse to lose. I have kept it for this long and I am finally seeing progress in my treatment. Voltaren seems to be the answer to my prayers because I have been more pain-free this weekend then it the years before. After all if you do hit rock bottom that only means the only place you can go is up.

Perspective is so important. A year ago today I was on the March of the Living. A year ago today I walked out of Auschwitz, that is am amazing statement. I will never forget that, it will always help me look at life in a more positive manner. I walked out of the place my great-grandparents died because of there religion.

Walking out of Auschwitz


  1. Hi Joan, I found your site through RAwarrior's post. You have incredible advice for all of us! If it's okay with you, I'd like to add your site to my blogroll. Let me know. Keep up that great spirit!

    All the best,

  2. I am glad you like my blog, I would be honored to be on your blogroll. Can't wait to check your blog out, I really like the name!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why the ACA (aka Obamacare) Matters

This may be the only place I refrain from talking about politics, which my friends and family can vouch for as most of them are very close to unfriending me on Facebook due to my seemingly never ending post on Facebook about the current political happenings. One reason I am taking to my blog right now is because my blog is all about my health and my health is now being effected by politics. Both in the most immediate sense of how stressed I am and the toll it has taken on my body (PT the day after the election was rough to put it mildly) and the more theoretical looming idea of the possibility of the Affordable Care Act being repealed.

There are so many ways I have benefited from the ACA. Quite honestly it is the reason I currently have health insurance and as an extension of that, healthcare. Fist off my parents are self employed therefore we purchased our health insurance off the exchange (and this year I will have my own exchange plan so I have one in PA). Next off this semester du…

Left Hip Scope Surgery and Day 1 Post Op

I am home from the hospital from hip surgery number two! I probably wouldn't of stayed over night except my surgery wasn't till 3:30 pm.

The big discussion pre-op was what kind of anesthesia I should get because I got a spinal headache from the spinal block last time. My OS was still adamant that he thought I should avoid the general. I was also really scared about the general because I had been told it meant I would need to be intubated which I did not want.

When I talked to the anesthesiologist he had a very different take on the situation, he said I had a very high risk of getting a spinal headache again because I am above normal height, I am a teenage girl, and I had a spinal headache four months ago. He said if I had a general I may have of miserable night, but that would be compared to three or four miserable days if I got a spinal headache. He also used an IV only version of the anesthesia instead of gas which reduces nausea, plus the fact I do not get nausea from pain…

The Essentials

RA Warrior is doing a blog carnival about non-medical things that help ease some pain or make life a little easier. I have a few golden product so I have decided to participate.

I probably could not function without my Sun Beam Heat Pad. Most nights I can not choose which joint to use it on first. When I got it last year to calm muscle spasms after knee surgery I did not know how much I would use it. There is even a pad inside that you can dampen so you can use it for moist heat. I got it from Wal-Mart and I don't think it was even $15.
This Teavana Tumbler is actually my favorite thing ever. I use it everyday for both tea and coffee. Even before I had problems with my hands I have always been a naturally clumsy person, and leaky travel mugs might hold up for most but for me they have always been a recipe for disaster. Now throw in a pair of crutches to that equation, as I had to for three months last year, and I needed help to carry the travel mugs, because in my bag they would l…