Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Not So Happy Halloween For The East Coast

Hoboken Taxi Terminal. Photo Courtesy of

Happy Halloween everyone! (And Happy Samhain to anyone who calls it such). This post is not so much about RA as it is about what’s going on around here. I’m trying to be positive, but considering that my home is one of the few with electricity, I’m sure not many others around here share my sentiments. I may not have mentioned it in the past, but I live in NJ, and Hurricane Sandy did some real damage around here. The towns surrounding mine are 100% without power, and my block is pretty much the only one in this town with electricity. PSE&G is saying that power won’t be restored in some areas until Monday. Relatives have been trekking to my house to charge cell phones and flashlights. Path Trains and the NY Subway system are down completely, with no estimate as to when they’ll be up and running again. Path says it will most likely be 7-10 days! Guess I won’t be going to work/school for awhile. New York got hit bad too. I haven’t heard from Anthony in two days. He was without power the last time I talked to him, so I’m guessing his phone died. He lives right near the beach, so I’m guessing that things in his neighborhood aren’t too great. Even if his phone is still charged, no one in this area has cell phone service.

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to watch the news anymore. So many people have lost everything. My one aunt who lives down the shore had 7ft of water in her house. The retaining wall on her house collapsed, her pool collapsed, and everything in her basement/garage washed away. I’m probably going to go down there this weekend to help her with the mess. She’s a complete wreck, and rightly so. My other aunt pretty much lost all of the

Destruction at Seaside Heights. Image Courtesy of

beach property she owns and rents out.

I guess I’m telling you this because a lot of people are going to need prayers and Reiki to get through this. If you live outside of an area that was affected, maybe consider donating to the Red Cross. So many businesses were destroyed, and people aren’t able to get their paychecks (Mom’s building is flooded out, so who knows when she’ll get back to work or get paid). The few stores that are open are pretty much empty. There are no gas stations open.

And now that I’ve depressed you all, I’m going to go catch up on all the reading I’ve been neglecting, since there’s really nothing else to do. I’ll keep you posted.




Toothaches and Turmeric

So while this may not necessarily be a post about RA, I feel that it might be beneficial to everyone. I have had the absolute worst toothache for the past month. When I went to the dentist I was told to prepare for root canal, cavity filling, and wisdom tooth extraction (he was also trying to subtly hint that a tooth whitening procedure would be beneficial as well). That’s all fine and dandy, but this work is going to happen over the span of two or three months! I’m in pain now! I’m also in shock, because I’ve always taken great care of my teeth. I guess this is what happens when you don’t go to the dentist as much as you should.

Anyway, when I eat anything hot or cold, my teeth hurt. When I eat anything chewy, my teeth hurt, which absolutely sucks because I need to chew gum to stay awake in some of my classes. When I wake up in the morning, my teeth hurt. Tylenol wasn’t really helping, and I couldn’t take Aleve for fear of overdosing (I take prescription Celebrex, which is an NSAID/sister drug to Aleve). However, I noticed that the pain was not as bad when I took my Celebrex regularly. I only have to take is as needed, but this cold weather has been making my joints stiff.

And that’s when it hit me: turmeric! No, I haven’t completely lost my mind. My logic was this- if  an anti-inflammatory like Celebrex is helping with the pain, then my tooth pain must be mainly from inflammation. I don’t know if this inflammation was due to my messed up teeth or a flare, or if one was influencing the other. All I know is that I prefer natural remedies whenever possible. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory/antibiotic, so why not give it a try? So, I got a bottle of the stuff out of the spice cabinet (we have quite a few bottles, since that was my go to herb when I was sick for an entire month) and poured some in a dish. I slowly added drops of water to make it into a thick paste. Then I took a q-tip and used it as a brush to put the paste on my teeth. You can use your fingers too, but turmeric tends to turn your skin yellow.

I’ll admit that for someone who does not particularly like the taste of turmeric or is new to it, it takes some getting used to. I know that some people like to use clove oil on their teeth instead, but turmeric is just more accessible for me and can be found in pretty much any grocery store. Anyway, I had instant Orajel! You have to keep applying depending on how much you salivate, but it beats the throbbing pain of a toothache.

This won’t be my last post on this miracle spice. I’m thinking in my next post, I will talk about the natural, non-prescription things that help me deal with the pain. Until then, enjoy the rest of your week!

To Blog or Not To Blog?

So I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but I started this blog at the urging of my friend Caitlin. She has a blog called Stream of Caitlinness, dedicated to discussions of physical disabilities and what it’s like to be a one-armed girl. Caitlin recently asked Anthony and me to guest post and talk about what it’s like to be a couple with disabilities. Of course, the both of us were excited to share our experiences, and we were honored that Cait cared enough to want to give us that exposure. Anthony and I each had a separate blog entry, giving our individual sides of the story.

For the most part, our posts received positive feedback. Friends told us that we had them crying, strangers told us they were rooting for our relationship. A very popular, well-known blogger even linked my post to her page, saying that she was inspired by my story. Cait was getting over 150 page views a day, and people were tweeting and sharing on Facebook like crazy. The response was overwhelming, exciting, and slightly flattering, since I didn’t think anyone would care too much. Of course, the one person I thought would support me and my writing didn’t.

Instead, Mom freaked out on me and demanded that the posts be removed, and that I stop using this blog. Her reasoning is that now that I’ve made it publicly known that I have a “disability,” no professional company will be willing to hire me. No one will give me life or medical insurance. There was a whole list of reasons. We’ve been fighting on and off about this. It got me pretty depressed. For awhile, I was actually going to take it down. I removed the posts from my Facebook wall. Anthony had posted about the blog too, so I asked him if he would take them down as well.

Of course, he didn’t want to cooperate with me. He gave me advice instead:”Why are you going to take down something that can help people? You’re a writer, and you need to write. And you need to write what YOU want to, not what someone tells you to. No, I’m not letting you take this down.”

And so I realized that he’s right. I’m already not eligible for life insurance (already tried applying, first question they ask you is whether or not you have an autoimmune disease) and well, I won’t get into the health insurance debate. So, Mom’s point is invalid in that regard. But I also realized that I don’t particularly care that companies know that I have RA. I’m not going to go to an interview and say, “Hey, I’ve got RA,” but I don’t care if they snoop around on the Internet and come across this blog or my post on Caitlin’s. If a company chooses not to hire me because I’m not like everyone else, then that’s not a company I want to work for anyway. I’ll let my resume speak for me. I mean, people with worse and more noticeable disabilities are able to find jobs, so why wouldn’t that be the same case for me? Some people may call me a stupid, naive 21 year old. But I’m tired of hiding who I am and pretending to be something I’m not. I’ve accepted who I am, and I just hope that there are enough good people in this world who can accept me too.

So that’s a long-winded way of saying that I’m sticking around. And that I’ll be more diligent at blogging than ever. And hopefully, I’ll help someone else in the process.

If your interested in reading the guest blog posts Anthony and I did, check them out below:

Anthony’s post

My post

Prolonged Illness

So in my last post I joked that my boyfriend and I have been passing the same cold back and forth for awhile. It’s not really something we should be joking about because it’s actually pretty serious, but we need to make light of the situation otherwise we’d both go crazy. Thankfully, Anthony is feeling better and has been okay all this week. I can’t say the same for me though.

I’ve been battling this cold for 3 weeks. I’m dealing with crazy coughing fits, chills, headaches, nausea, sneezing…you name it. It’s almost like a cold/flu hybrid. I’ve missed a week of school and work, spending my days in bed and only getting up when necessary. I’m going nuts here from being cooped up. I’m also going broke, because I’ve been spending time on Amazon to keep busy. All of my friends keep saying, “Why haven’t you gone to a doctor yet?! It’s not normal to be sick this long!” Well, for them maybe. For me, it’s not a rare occurrence to be so sick.

It’s not uncommon for a person with RA (or any autoimmune disease, for that matter) to be sick for long periods of time. The same cold that comes and goes for a healthy person in two days can last for months in a person with RA. My immune system is weaker than a normal person’s because it is too busy attacking the rest of my body. I also have to be careful about the kinds of cold medications I can take, because they could interact with my RA drugs.

I’m going to attempt to go to work/school tomorrow. I’m not coughing as much, though I am still congested. I’ll let you know how that goes.

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