Sunday, February 26, 2012

Round and round she goes.....

There are times when I swear I am on a carousel going round and round and round. This week has been one of those times. It seems that it is the same thing over and over and over. I get up in the morning, take my meds, wait about an hour for them to kick in and boost me on my slow way to the kitchen, start the coffee process, watch the news for a bit while the coffee makes, prepare a bowl of oatmeal with honey and cinnamon, pour the coffee, and finish watching the news.

I round the carousel corner by getting dressed, checking my emails and blog, and then deciding what one or two things I may be able to accomplish given my pain levels for the day. If I choose laundry then that is pretty much it for the day. If I choose to clean my bathroom I know this will put me out of commission for days on end. If I decide on vacuuming I might as well have decided to fall off a cliff (the dust bunnies just keep growing and multiplying in my home).  If I decide to focus on my health and venture out for that round the block walking trip, I then need to rest but yet again when I arrive home.

Round and round she goes, where she will wind up nobody knows.  I suppose the tedious monotony of it all is what is making me nauseous of late. I want things to be just a bit more normal. Say, could I at least have the option of doing my one load of laundry and taking a walk? Or perhaps, am I asking too much, be able to vacuum and not have my hands, wrists and elbows feel like they are dislocated?

Can someone please contact the ride operator and let them know it is time for me to get off. I am tired of riding this ra ride and would like a reprieve now. I am tired of the same old, same old with the side effects of the medications available and the possible long term implications on my health if I decide to venture down a new med road again. I am just tired.

Ironically, since my car was stolen and taken for a joy ride, I look at her with new found respect. She has been mechanically fixed and runs just fine but her body still has patches which shows the abuse.  Once we finalize her with a brand new paint job, no one will know. Her secrets will be hidden below her new paint job and she can once again zip around with pride. How come I can't get patched up like that? How come we have to wear our battle scars permanently with this disease? And how come we can not return to our old selves? Our remake is constant and never ending. We must ALWAYS be under reconstruction either by taking meds, getting surgeries or trying our darndest to just maintain what is left.

Yep, I am ready to stop riding this merry-go-round. Can someone please notify the operator to let me off?

This way I can find me a human repair shop whereby I can trade in my body parts for new ones and spray on a new set of skin.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Extra Cash

You will not get rich by trying any of these ideas but you may uncover a little extra cash in the process.  Chronic illness not only sucks us emotionally and physically dry but it also can steal every single penny we may own. When and if you ever have the energy to fight back, here are a few ideas on unearthing a few dollars:
* Have a yard sale. I have already written on how to have an ra yard sale and I would suggest you read this post if having one is a possibility for you.
* If you are lucky enough to have some high end fashions such as purses, you may want to try selling them. I had some luck with this website but I am pretty sure there might be other ones out there. This one handled ( my one and only transaction very professionally. I tend to have no name purses and such but was given one as a gift many moons ago. 
* Check in every single state you have ever lived to see if you have any unclaimed money. This is no joke and no gimmick. Recently I found another $100 under my hubby's name a few months ago. I check these websites every year as we have moved a lot.  Try and
* Extra cash can come in many forms and one form is if you can qualify for any government programs that you may not be aware exists. You can start at this website: but if I were you, I would also do a google search with your specific state (or country if you don't live in the US) to see what other services or programs may be available to you from your state government.
* Sell some of your clothing that is in good shape or put it on consignment at a local consignment shop. I have personally sold clothes to (more for the younger set) and they are located now in many states. Their sister store which caters to only women also buys clothes as well Close Mentor and I have also had luck selling to them as well. You can easily check the yellow pages in your area or do a google search to get a list of consignment shops in your area. And don't forget about selling your children's items and household items as well.
* Ebay….oh ebay! Yes, ebay can actually generate a little extra cash and you will be surprised at what does sell on ebay.  Before you plunge in, I would suggest you get familiar with ebay and how to do searches, open an account and a paypal account as well. has lots of information for you to read before you take the ebay plunge. You will also need a digital camera to take pictures of your treasures. The biggest drawback I have found with ebay is boxing things up. I have a great deal of damage to my hands and that process is a killer for me. Oh family…oh family!

* If you have any prescriptions (ok I know you are rolling your eyes at me exclaiming… who doesn't have scripts with ra) be sure you price shop for ALL your prescriptions. And if you don't have insurance…this should be mandatory for you to do! This process is quite simple actually. Even if you have drug coverage (I have a Part D prescription plan) you still should price around. I would try some large box stores such as Walmart and Target and do try Cosco and Sam's. You do not need a membership with Cosco and I have found them to be much cheaper with brand medicines then anywhere else. A lot of brand medications are not covered under Part D plans and I unfortunately must have one brand medicine for my thyroid. You should gather all your prescription bottles that you currently still use, know what you currently pay for each prescription out of pocket, and start calling around. Ask for the pharmacist and explain what you are doing. In some cases you can a big reduction on your med costs but you will need to spend around $30 a year to get a drug prescription card from some pharmacies. We have been paying Walgreens around $30 per year because they are the only ones that carry this one specific generic medication that I take and that I am not allergic to. I save a big amount of money by buying this $30 plan from them…and I mean a big amount of money monthly. And as much as I would love to get all my scripts from one location, I save hundreds monthly by buying from three different locations. Complicated…not really when it saves me so much money. And keep in mind that I do have a mandatory Part D Plan. And if you are completely without insurance, do check out my previous post on where to get help with medication costs.
* If you take vitamins as I do, keep your eyes peeled for buy one get one free sales. A lot of the drugstores have these sales and that is the time to scoop up the vitamins you take. And do search for coupons online or in your Sunday paper as well. You can save a lot of money with coupons when things are on sale and you also can apply a coupon. We tend to eat healthy here and organic so coupons are very hard to find. A little secret I am telling….email the manufacturers (check online for their website and you can usually do it through that) and tell them how much you love their product, how long you have been a customer, etc. etc.  We have often got coupons sent to us in the mail by doing this and for those hard to find coupons (such as stuff at health food stores), this is a good way to go for coupons. And please always and I mean ALWAYS do a search for a coupon or coupon code (if you buy online) before you buy anything. There are coupons and coupon codes for just about every website out there and every store or item as well. I also always search for coupons for restaurants, theaters….for just about everything before I buy it. A penny saved is a penny earned and I can use every penny I can get!
* Sign up for  This website will give you cash back into an account that you can redeem after you have reached $25 for everything you buy through them. Different stores offer different % back but the cash accumulates rather quickly if you shop online at all. It is well worth signing up for to earn some extra cash. Just remember to go there first before you start the purchase. And so far the only website that I have found that I use that does not have % back is amazon. 
* You may consider signing up to do surveys online. I have been using Global Test Market for some time now. I can not attest to any of the other ones out there personally. No, you won't get rich by any means but you can earn a few dollars here and there. It does take some time to start getting surveys that you may qualify for but if you are disabled, every little bit helps.
* If you have children or even grandchildren, you can sign up at to start saving for their college. I did this years ago for my daughter and in the end wound up with a few hundred dollars towards her college. And the more family and friends you get to sign up for you child, the faster the cash grows. You have to register your credit cards, grocery store cards and such there but it is worth it in my book. 

Well that about sums up my two cents for today. If you have any ways that you use to earn a little extra cash, I for one would truly appreciate you sharing it.  I am always looking for new ways to add to my piggy bank.

Other areas that have ideas on how to generate some extra cash:
Note: I have not tested these ideas myself... - Ten Creative Ways to Earn Extra Money
101 Ways To Make Money
25 Ways To Make Quick Money

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrate Valentine's Day by Loving Your Hands...then proclaim why!

Show Us Your Hands! an inflammatory arthritis community project has announced a new project.  Celebrate the Love of Your Hands by submitting your story for possible publication.

Show Us Your Hands! Launches Photo Book Project to Help Raise Awareness of Inflammatory Arthritis

(February 14, 2012) - Show Us Your Hands! is pleased to announce its Photo Book Project, the latest in a series of successful initiatives aimed at uniting the community of individuals who are living with inflammatory arthritis, and increasing the public’s awareness of this group of diseases. This photo book will showcase both the hands and the stories of people from around the world who are proud of the fact that no matter how much pain and damage their hands have incurred, their hands still work, and their hands still do.
Starting today, Show Us Your Hands! invites individuals who wish to be included in this photo book to submit a brief explanation of what their hands do, and why their hands are special. A Call For Submissions form is available online at The deadline for entries is March 2, 2012. Individuals who are selected for inclusion in this photo book will be notified in mid-March.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Valentine's Day! May this holiday be filled with lots of wonderful memories, chocolate if you can eat it, and a romantic comedy or two as well!

I would love to hear about your plans for this day.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Resume of the Chronically Ill


To show the corporate world that the chronically ill and disabled have many strong business, people, and personal skills learned from chronic illness that translate well into fulfilling current and future business needs.

Summary of Achievements

* Successfully recruited a wide spectrum of candidates in the medical, insurance, and supporting industries.
* Managed high volume of accounts payable while negotiating substantial cost savings with medical billing agencies.
* Managed meager accounts receivables to ensure continued food supply chain, housing, medical and all associated accounts.
* Pursued hundreds of health leads through personal and direct marketing campaigns to met health care goals.
* Extensive knowledge of time management and adept at implementing improved practices to shorten turn around time while maximizing return on investment.
* Persevered to overcome severe obstacles to achieve established goals.
* Conducted extensive research and recruiting via the internet.


Rheumatoid Arthritis, USA
Manager of Illness, 1999-Present
Responsible for all aspects of managing this chronic condition while continuing to live, prosper, and ensure the longevity of said family. Said management includes but is not limited to: overseeing the coordination of all financial resources including both A/R and A/P to maximize corporate health goals, research any new health information via the internet, interview and hire responsible providers, set goals with all contributing providers to ensure fulfillment of continued patient longevity, negotiate with contract providers to maximize return on investments, use extensive knowledge of conflict resolution to overcome obstinate front office staff and medical professionals lacking in this professional training, interpret complex side effects not yet documented by research specialists, decipher convoluted medical jargon in prescription inserts and on pharmaceutical research reports, understand and implement improved standard operating procedures to reduce the use of repetitive tasks, research and purchase any supplemental tools that will augment increased productivity, and interpret insurance contracts to maximize ROI that are specifically written to roadblock all of the above.

Thyroid Cancers, USA
Survivor, 2007-present
Responsible for self education and diagnoses after seeing four different specialists who concurred that this problem was attributed to rheumatoid arthritis. Used extensive sales skills to convince regionally recognized top thyroid surgeon to go against peers and execute the requested surgery for patient. Managed aftercare including: interviewing five endocrinologists in NJ who refused to treat said patient unless another surgery was completed, researching out of state providers to find best supplier of needed services, and successfully completed radiation treatment on own in a hotel room. Continues to monitor self while under a professionals care to ensure no return of said cancers. Researches on an ongoing basis environmental, food, and other things that can and do impact the occurrence of thyroid cancer including the lack of use of radiation neck shield during dental procedures or any X-rays and interference of soy products upon uptake of thyroid medications.


University of Arthritis
PHD, Business of Illness, 2012

Endocrinology County College
AA, Thyroid Cancer, 2007

Computer Skills

MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint
Dragon Speak

Footnote: Humor truly is the best medicine, however discrimination against those with chronic illness or those that are disabled is a very serious problem for all of us. Your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

For further reading:

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stress! And does cuzing relieve stress?

It can come in so many different forms...stress.  This particular time it was at 4:30 am with a police officer ringing our doorbell vigorously.  What the ((@##$$%#@ was my first thought as I tried to jump out of bed, find my slippers, and get to the front door. None of this went well with ra and 4:30 am.

The officer began to ask if a Deborah lived here. Yes, of course I lived here. He then continued to explain that my 2002 Chevy Prism car was flipped upside down in a ditch on the other side of town.

My blood pressure immediately began to rise. He also continued on, saying that apparently there was a set of keys in the ignition. I don't leave keys in my ignition!!! And like ummmmm my daughter also doesn't tend to be this careless either. He insisted that there was a set of keys in the ignition.  I immediately suspected that somehow, someway my hubby played a role in that part!

The officer went on to say that it looks like my car was stolen, taken for a joy ride by two inexperienced drivers, run into a curb and then subsequently flipped over and was now lodged against a tree in this ditch.

I was not a happy camper! No, not at all!

My husband then went with one of the police officers to inspect his vehicle which was parked next to mine in our driveway before the theft. Yup, the window was slightly down, the glove compartment rummaged through but nothing was missing.  Nothing, except the extra set of car and house keys (my blood pressure continues to rise) that my hubby had decided to put in his car. And he also left his car unlocked although we have constantly implored him to lock it at all times.  Ummmm...I won't go there on the grounds I might sound mean and cruel. And if I haven't mentioned in a previous post, the only car left for the three of us to share (one that requires a car from 7am-5pm for college every weekday) is a stick shift. Needless to say, only the owner of that car can drive it....grrrrrrr!

Off went my husband to inspect my damaged car and await the towing service that I was to contact.  Now you all know my last name is Murphy. Well Murphy's law is apparently ruling for 2012.

I called our road side assistance service. Quickly they hooked me up with a tow service company here in my home town. Snatchem Towing Service would be there shortly. Yup, Snatchem.

So today, two days later, still with somewhat high blood pressure, still with no car, and still wondering exactly when the repair place will call to let me know if this car is fixable at all. And more importantly realizing I might have to buy two cars instead of the one I was hoping to somehow afford.

And oh yes, we did not have collision or theft insurance on this auto as it was a 2002. And of course Murphy's law would have it...I was intending to add this coverage for over the summer when my daughter was to use this car for her internship.
Maybe the world can go away for awhile. Just a little while...I am soooo tired.

And by the way, cuzing for me only relieves stress when done by a cute fluffy kitty :-)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Croc Pot Recipe....Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

I have always loved stuffed cabbage but with ra preparing this dish has just about become impossible. So as usual, my brain began whirring around (yes this can be dangerous as it creates smoke at times) to come up with a crock pot alternative that I could do.

So here version of stuffed cabbage. Well, actually deconstructed stuffed cabbage.

Your ingredients include: 1 head of cabbage, 1.25 lbs. or one package of lean ground turkey meat (yes you can use hamburger meat if you prefer), 1 handful of rice (I prefer brown but white will do), 1 clove garlic, and 1 bottle of V8 juice (I use low sodium)

After mixing the rice, turkey meat, cut up garlic in a bowl, you form meatballs. Lay these in the bottom of your crock pot or slow cooker. I also add some V8 to the meatball mixture to give them more moisture but you don't have to.

Pour the remaining V8 or all of it on top of the meatballs. Turn on your slow cooker. I put mine on the high mode.  I cooked the meatballs in the V8 for about two hours (on high but if you want to use the low mode you will cook for probably double the time).

Slice and dice up the cabbage. This is the toughest part of this recipe and I am planning on getting sliced cabbage for coleslaw at the grocery store the next time to see if it works. It does have carrots in it but I don't care...more nutrition in my book.

After cooking the meatballs for two hours, I added the diced cabbage on top and cooked for another two hours on high. I am betting you can add it all together but I like my cabbage a tad on the crunchy side and not mushy.

Tada! Deconstructed stuffed cabbage. It tasted just like how I use to make stuffed cabbage and it was alot easier. I am also going to try and just add the meat, rice, and garlic next time without forming the meatballs as they tended to fall apart anyway :-) Now won't that be real simple. Plop in one pot the ingredients and turn on :-) My way of cooking with ra!

How have you modified a recipe to accommodate your ra? Willing to share?

More easy recipes the ABC way:
The Crockpot theory: Tantalizing Turkey Bits
KISS Soup Recipe: I am betting you can use a crockpot for this one