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Type A Parent Conference with RA & Emergency Flight Home!

Lawyers, Money, Disease, Drugs, Friends, Depression!

This year I decided to head to TypeA despite my health not doing so well. The break from my somewhat emotionally challenging life along with the fun times I was sure to have with my comupter freinds that I would now be seeing In Real Life would be like a retreat for my soul.  I was certain I would walk away from TypeA with a new lease on life and ready to take on all things going on in my personal life and beyond. Well, there were other plans for me because I ended up leaving #TypeAConference early via an emergency flight home to Philly on Friday after spending all day Thursday in bed, b/c my RA & Fibro were flaring up in addition to uncontrollable sobbing that I was experiencing. Latter I find out that was depression. Homeward bound to seek medical treatment from my doctors and TLC from my family, I left TypeA defeated and confused with lots questions for my doctors and lots of of decisions to think about for myself on the plane ride home, ahem make that rides…I had a layover in Charlette (which I must say, one of the most beautiful airports, I’m actually glad I got to experience. 
Since my daughter was born, I’ve been torn whether or not to go back on my RA drugs, they are hard core, they are toxic and my feelings are that some of them will run through my body doing more damage than they are able to cure. Of course my doctors warned me flare ups of this nature were in my future if I elected to not go back on the drugs. I’m already in chronic pain and unable to live a normal life without a flare up. A flare up just makes my life even worse. The RA docs urged me to start Remicade right away after my daughter was born and I was so scared to go on this hardcore drug at the age of 36, but I really do think it’s one of my last resorts along with a major diet adjustment. I need to try eliminating certain foods in my diet to see if I can’t bring my body some pain relief. I’m looking to remove gluten, carbs and lots of the sugars. I have a feeling, it won’t be an end all b/c after all, I do have an auto immune disease that’s causing my chronic pain. However, I do think things such as the food I eat and the stress I’m under exacerbate my condition. Just this week I realized oatmeal in its most procesesd form is causing me such inflamation, redness, heat and I’m down sleeping for hours after I eat it. I would normally blame such an episode on my RA, however, I’ve noticed this has happed the last 4 times I’ve eaten oatmeal, so it’s the damn oatmeal causing me to feel like garbage this paticular time. And, how many other food are out thre that I’m sensitive to? How many will I find out that make me sick like this and I’m slowly killing myself eating them and finding myself in the bed in pain, never puttint two and two together. Hey, I was told I have chronic pain from RA & Fibro….who was I to go poking around looking for any other reasons to be causing my pain? Well, I’m poking and I’ll be poking a lot people, so you may want to steer clear of Mama right now as she pokes her way back to health for crying out loud! Jeez Louis….what’s a girl got to do to get a doctor to do some poking around so we kind find a diagnoses already instead of giving me lame answers such as RA & Fibro. Sure, I belive I have them both, but come one….tell me about the poking that can be done, tell me about the food mood connection. Enlighten me, is that not your jobs?

TypeAParent Conference and

I made it to one session and could barely keep my head up during it, I felt like I was going to pass out from the pain I was in. Sarah Phinx and Amanda Jenson did a wonderful job discussing the transition from blogger to social media consultant. This is one of my dreams when my disability gets out of my way. I feel like I fight so hard to have a normal life, a pain free life…a life that I can just get out of bed and go do what normal people do. One where I don’t need to worry if I have all my pain medication with me, one where I don’t need to worry if I can make it through a whole day of Sesame Place with my 3 year old, one where I can work at least part time after my daughter is in bed or while she is with her father. I want my life back!!

Are My Health Challenges Related to My Hormones?

I know some of you will think I’m nuts, but I have good reason and proof to sway your mind otherwise, so read on.

Sometimes I wonder if my health challenges aren’t related to my hormones, such as adrenal fatigue. Seriously, I know when I was going through my infertility treatments (Yes 4 years ttc, 6IUI’S,1IVf/ICSI (great cycle), some of my hormones were replaced and I got different levels of energy back as doctors switched me from hormone to hormone with the hopes of that helping me to conceive, which it did! It worked, their master plan, intense as it was, worked. Side effects were less pain for me during the ttc phase from the hormone replacements and less RA pain while I was pregnant from my own body’s natural ability to produce a hormone to take away my pain. It was great. I’ve also tried hormone replacement drugs as a way to reduce my pain and inflamation with my RA. There is something to be said about giving the hormone replacement significant research to relieving chronic pain. I hope doctors are doing what they can to connect the two and for now we as consumers can do our own research and trial and error.
As I stated above since my return from the conference I’ve been under my doctor’s care for depression. With all my health challenges, my divorce with custody issues, the loss of good friends and others just doing me wrong as they use me to make their way to the top….I caved to the thoughts of sadness. Since I’ve been seeing my seeing my doctor, I feel more like myself each and every day, but I’m not going to kid you…its rough. I still cry. I still feel sad. I’m going to talk more about this in my column in the August issue of Parents Express Magazine. If others can not make the mistake that I made, which was not seeking help when I started feeling down originally especially when my family started noticing the changes and begging me to see the doctor, then I’ll feel like I’ve done my part in educating parents that we, the strongest of them all are susesptable to feeling of depression, so seek help as soon as you notice a change in yourself, even if you think you are fine.
Thank you @GMNortheast for the sweet TahoeHybrid to drive to and from TypeA in NC. What an amazing truck. I want one bad. It was great on gas! I can’t wait to exeperience more vehicles like this in your class. I’m thinking hybrid in my futrue. Thanks :)

Fun Sunday at Dutch Wonderland with RA & Fibromyalgia!

Dutch Wonderland Family Fun Weekend Vacation

Dutch Wonderland

We surprised our princess and wrapped up our Lancaster weekend with a Dutch Wonderland visit! Being too young to enjoy the rides last we visited, the stroller was her ride of choice. If your little one is under 36 inches tall, you should wait until once they rise above this milestone as the rides aren’t as exciting compared to the rides for the 36″ or even more remarkable the 42″ child, that is if they are going with children who fall into one of the taller brackets. It was hard for my daughter last year to not be going on the same rides as her taller cousin as he went running all over the park screaming with delight from ride to ride that she wasn’t tall enough to ride. However, if it’s just them and you (no older/taller children), then the 36″ and under tot most likely wouldn’t even realize what they were missing, because there are plenty of cool rides to keep them busy all day long.

We were headed to Lancaster County to check out the Double Tree Hilton in Lancaster…again, special thanks to the Hilton for the wonderful invite and beautiful accommodation, we were only 6 miles away from DW. Instead of heading directly home, why not head over to Dutch Wonderland for some fast moving excitement, which is right up this 3 year old’s alley.

For moms with Fibromyalgia, moms with Rheumatoid Arthritis, or any health challenges, like myself…trips like this can be scary before you even leave. I worry if I will have enough energy to keep going, how many times I will need to stop, what my pain level is going to be, will it be too humid and my RA really flair up- I pray for little pain so we as a family can enjoy the weekend. As any parent does, you need to find a way to make this happen for your child, so I’ve come up with a few strategies I utilize to help insure I’ll have the best time possible, while staying the longest time in the park as I can.

Healthy Tips for Enjoying Summer Trips to Theme Parks While Struggling with RA & Fibromyalgia!

  • plenty of rest the night before
  • healthy eating to keep energy up
  • limit sugar intake to reduce highs and lows in energy level
  • secure fitting sneakers not only soothe achy feet, protect your back too
  • staying hydrated keeps you feeling well
  • stretch and take breaks (stand/sit) even if you feel well keeps your muscles/joints from tightening
  • pack ice packs or plastic bags to fill with ice you get from the snack shop, use on achy joints alternating different locations
  • bring your China Gel/Bio Freeze/Tiger Balm or whatever arthritic ointment you love best
  • take your anti-inflammatory along with any supplements such as acai berry that reduce inflammation
  • give yourself a mini massage in spots that are exhausted throughout the day, watch you don’t hurt those hands
  • go in the pool (immediate anti-inflammatory)
  • go in air condition buildings to combat tender, hot joints
  • enjoy shows, monorails, sky line or train rides (anything that takes longer than 5 min that can give your body at least a min break without you being a lame duck for stopping to sit at every park bench
  • enjoy a fruit smoothie or another very cold treat that gives you the overall sensation of being cool
  • take a warm bath with Epsom salt back in the hotel room and go to bed early
  • don’t plan for an entire day of walking, just pick the most important rides- get to them and then spend time in the water park in the afternoon

When we first arrive, I was sure to inquire about the special id bracelets (neon green) available free of charge, write my phone number on the inside and put it on my daughter’s wrist in case we are separated. Pointing out all the employees in dark blue and light blue shirts as safe people that she may approach should should find herself lost, I begin my conversation explaining that she shouldn’t get lost if she follows the rules of staying close by Mom and not running off.

Dutch Wonderland Lost Child Id Bracelet

Today was an awesome day to go, because it was a very iffy day for weather, mid 60′s, cloudy and a 35% chance of rain in the forecast kept the park pretty low key all day. Everyone knows this means no lines for anything, food or ride related!! woot! woot!

First stop is the Joust Family Coaster, which was her first roller coaster. Followed by many, many rides, all of which fulfilled her thrill seeking side. We even went on one of the two new rides this year, Leapen’ Frogs. This was a special trip for us, my daughter did a lot of the rides independently, really emphasizing her fast approaching “big girl” world. For me this was bitter sweet, as I want her to be independent, proud of her accomplishments, but be my baby forever!


Thanks again to the great weather, we were able to skip the air conditioned eateries in the park (Castle Cafe & Mill Stream Eatery) an opt for pizza and fries. Potato Patch has fresh cut fries – which can also be a yummy snack to hold you over till after 2pm when the crowds aren’t so bad in the eateries on extremely busy days at the park. As I walked through the park, there were plenty of spots to rest and fill up on my ice as well as the water rides to cool off. This park had a lot of the strategies I utilize to keep me going during my theme park trip.

Free Parking & Free Hours at Dutch Wonderland

What a great time we had at Dutch Wonderland! We will be back for sure! Free Parking! One last cool thing I want to point out is about the Preview Plan they offer 3 hours before Park closing. Purchase a regular admission ticket for a full day at the Park tomorrow – and join them FREE for the remainder of the evening! Also returning this year, is the free wonderland mini golf- just show your ticket stub and you’ll be ready for your hole-in-one! This is one amusement park you can’t afford to not have on your list of things to do this summer!

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