Sunday, March 11, 2018

Catching Up?

It's been a very, very long time since I've had the brain capacity or energy to have much to say.  Between work and school I have been running a bit ragged but today is an actual FREE day!  I have no homework, laundry folding is on the schedule but we decided to cancel our plans and not to go out today so we can just get some housework done at a leisurely pace and then hubby is going to grill steak tips that have been marinating in a sesame ginger marinade since last night.  So- that means I have time to sit, look at this blank page and think about what I have to say. 

First, let's catch up! 

As far as school goes, in the Fall term I took a KICK ASS stage makeup class.  I loved it and learned so much!  I also took a professional writing class- which was good too.  I made it out with an A in both classes. 

This term is tougher.  I am taking a Research Writing course that is kicking my butt.  I don't know if it's because it's online and I do better face to face or because I just am not getting what the professor expects but if I make it out with a B I will be grateful.  I am also taking a Visual Communication class.  I really like it but it's challenging as all get out.  I am FAR better with the written word than I am visually.  I am not very artistic and you need an artistic eye to design ad, newspaper layouts and (my current project) magazine spreads.  But- I love learning the different programs.  We are working with InDesign and just easing into Photoshop with the latest assignment.  The next two assignments will be a video and a website- that means more programs to learn!  Knowing my limitations, I am hoping for a B in this class too. 

I am very much looking forward to my Summer terms as well.  In the first half of Summer I am taking a Horticulture class which is also a lab and all online that should mean planting at my house so it's win-win.  My full Summer class is the one I've been waiting for- Social Media Strategy.  I can't wait to get my hands in this one. 

As for my RA and stuff- my insurance decided to no longer approve Actmra.  Since the ONLY drug I have left that we haven't tried is Xeljans, my doc decided to go back to the beginning.  The very first drug I was on, in 2005 when I was diagnosed, was Plaquenil.  She put me back on that three months ago now and I really don't see much of a difference.  Then again- that's the story of my life and why I have been through all of the DMARDS and Biologics.  I never respond.  On the other hand, that's also why my plasma is in demand- my RF and Anti-CCP levels have been through the roof since day one.  That said, I am very, very lucky and I know it.  My body knows it's under attack and my labs show it, but I am doing okay with it.  Other than occasionally needing my cane or bracing, and not being able to walk far because of my back, I am managing.  I wish I could exercise regularly to get rid of the weight gain from 2 years on Prednisone and not being able to do my long walks any longer, but I do what I can. 

My Rheumatologist also referred me to Pain Management.  Because of the opiod crisis, many of the doctors in this area are no longer writing scripts for pain meds and are sending us to pain management.  While I get it- they don't want to be responsible and it cuts down on places that the addicts can go to get meds- it's another DOUBLE added expense for patients.  I have to pay a co-pay to walk into the hospital where it's housed AND a co-pay for the doctor to see me for less than 15 minutes since I am stable.  That is utter crap.  I vacillate between wanting to say to heck with it and go off meds completely and sucking it up, but it still makes me mad.  However- the Pain Management specialist offered up treatment options for my back.  I think next visit I will as if a pretreatment can be done for the least invasive and see what my insurance would pay.  If it will allow me to be without pain in my back for a while, it might be worth it. 

What about you?  What's new in your life?  How are you feeling?