11 Times Friends Nailed What It's Like to Live With Chronic Illness

I used to be quite the runner. 3 miles one day, 6 miles the next. Even after diagnosis, running helped me clear my mind and maintain a strong body. Then I came off of my biologic due to infection(s). After doing so, I adjusted to new life as a college student, underwent hip/ankle surgery, and entered the recovery period. Between schoolwork, nannying, and maintaining a social life...running got put on the back burner.

That being said, I had big plans for this summer regarding running. I mean HUGE. Without schoolwork to worry about and my best friends scattered all across the country, I wanted to start training for the half marathon I've always wanted to run. I wanted to feel good in my skin again. Then the summer actually arrived. So far, it has been filled with mysterious new symptoms and unrelenting pain. In other words...not running. Sigh. 

I did start Methotrexate injections last Friday and am looking forward to seeing how/if they help me! The injection itself did not burn whatsoever which was pleasantly surprising! Following that injection, my rheumatologist's PA decided to go ahead and give me cortisone injections in both shoulders. I was stiff and sore for most of the weekend but things are feeling pretty good now...again, pleasantly surprising!

Anyway, while I may not be in any place to get my running goals underway + accomplished, I can certainly do other things...like walk on the treadmill in my room and binge watch Friends. ;) Not all is lost!

Today, in honor of nearly wrapping up the 10th and final season (thanks, Netflix), I present to you "11 Times Friends Nailed What It's Like to Live With Chronic Illness."

1.) When someone asks how you're doing and you don't have time/it's not the place to go into actual detail...

2.) When someone says (for the 6 billionth time) "get well soon!" or asks, "so, when are you going to be...erm...like...better?"

3.) When brain fog messes with your memory and you realize you've forgotten to do something (it's usually of great importance)...

4.) When you go in for a routine check up and walk out with a new diagnosis...

5.) When you FINALLY give into those Prednisone cravings...

6.) How Prednisone makes you feel after giving into said cravings... #wired #fat

7.) When you first wake up and think it's going to be a good day, but the second your feet hit the floor your body says otherwise...

8.) When you're trying to function normally in society but it's not working because NOT. ENOUGH. SPOONS...

9.) When you accidentally spend more spoons than you had in the first place and your body begins reacting adversely...

10.) When the Methotrexate, Enbrel, Humira, Orencia, etc. hangover gives you the ability to fall asleep absolutely ANYWHERE the day following...

11.) How you feel after a high pain day + full day of work, school, etc. surrounded by people who don't "get it..."

Because otherwise...

Maybe all we need to navigate this crazy chronic life is a good sense of humor and Friends (the show + real ones, of course)! Or maybe that's the pain meds talking...either way, I hope this post brings a smile to your face and reminds you that someone gets it! Happy Wednesday. :)


Sunday Content

Yesterday was Sunday...my favorite day of the week every week. I don't know if it's the focus on rest and recuperation or if it's the gentle productivity in preparation for the week ahead, but there's just something about a Sunday that makes me feel content.

I spent most of yesterday fiddling around with this little blog layout and updating the about me page. (HUGE thanks to Ashley for another perfect revamp and design...she's amazing!) I was forcing myself to walk on the treadmill while doing so because otherwise I would've just laid in bed doing the same thing...and that's not how Fitbit step goals get reached! ;)

Anyhow, some time between the fiddling and the walking and the blaring of the Dixie Chicks Pandora station, I got all nostalgic in a real Sunday content sort of way. Before I knew it, I was flipping through old photos and grinning ear to ear as I remembered the stories those photos told.

I came across one of my older sister and I eating Snack Pack Pudding cups and sipping on Hi-C juice boxes on the front sidewalk of our old home. A Sunday tradition. Our little blonde heads are ratted messes and our clothes are a special kind of mismatched mayhem. There's a tree in the background that I don't remember ever being that small.

We're tiny and innocent; sitting cross legged on the same pavement that skinned up our knees a time or two. Our dolls and strollers likely aren't far off and the lawn appears to be freshly mowed...something our dad always fearlessly tended to in the good 'ole humidity of a Minnesota summer afternoon. I'd be willing to bet that our mom was the one snapping the picture. It's possible she had just come from the garden with a bucket heaping full of fresh onions, radishes, and green beans. Maybe even a few cobs of corn and a zucchini to fry. The makings of a delicious summer meal.

And there we were...Megan and I...amidst it all...content as can be. Pudding cups, juice boxes, and all.

Perhaps seeing us there...perhaps that stopped our parents for a minute or two. It clearly stopped one of them long enough to wind up the old camera and capture such a simple memory. Perhaps amidst all the things they were working on and rushing to finish up they caught a glimpse of where the most mundane simplicity and the deepest sense of joy meets.

Maybe they saw it in their giggling daughters on the hot pavement with a special Sunday snack. Maybe they saw it in eachother as they worked tirelessly to maintain the home they owned together. Maybe they didn't see it at all...but I do.

I love the memory and mood this photo encapsulates. I love that it reminds me of all the other memories we created in that front yard. From plowing paths through the woods just behind us to pushing our little sister down the hill in the bike cart to teaching our little brother how to ride his two-wheeler in the snow. I love it all and I'm thankful that one of my parents captured it because through doing so they taught me.

They taught me that there is always time to slow down and soak in the Sunday content. Of course, as we grow up, that "soaking in" starts to look a bit differently than this photo of my older sister and I...but it doesn't make it any less important. It might be making a phone call to an old friend or taking the time to journal. Maybe it's flipping through old photos and tearing up at how fast life goes and changes and then goes and changes, again. Whatever it may be, let's not allow these moments...these Sunday's...to slip away without a moment of content.