Well, I've not had much sleep tonight due to the incessant wind from this arctic front blowing across the Panhandle. These storms also bring other goodies like uncontrollable joint and body aches.

Why do I not live on a tropical beach somewhere?

It's been a rough 2 weeks in the Burdett household. I got this upper respiratory crud that put me in bed for 5 days, 4 of which I ran fever regardless of taking Tylenol around the clock. I literally slept through the 4 days and have very little recollection of anything that transpired during that time.  When I finally surfaced I felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck. Every bone, joint, muscle and cell in my body hurt. I was just starting to feel better when this dang arctic blast moved in. Now, I'm in so much freaking pain I can't get it under control with any of my big gun meds. Not to mention that after holding down the fort while I was incoherent, Shannon got the same crud too. And now~ to top it off, Erik is home with it too. We are hoping Thomas will slide by with out catching it, however, the odds seem to be against him. When I took Erik to the doctor, I think at least half of Canyon was there with the same stuff. Evidently, this is a real booger of a virus.

So why am I up at 4 am blogging? Well, I'll tell you~ My hips ache so bad I can't get comfortable in my bed. If I didn't know better, I would swear that my left leg is on fire. There is this radiating pain consuming my whole left leg from the hip joint all the way to my toes. It's getting pretty old. Nothing I can take or do seems to alleviate it. My frustration level is at a very high point. The north wind is beating against the house, rattling the fireplace flues like crazy. With every gust it seems to send shock waves through my body. It's so weird how much the weather can effect my body.

I am beginning to wonder if there is more going on than just the UC side effect of joint pain. Fibromyagia keeps coming up, but I'm not anxious to take on another disease. My doctor feels that it's a possibility but thankfully, he's not pressing the matter. I am standing in faith that it will not become a diagnosis. Good grief, UC is plenty to deal with.

Speaking of the UC, I'm on antibiotics for this dumb crud. Antibiotics are like kryptonite for my colon. I've been downing probiotics hoping to keep any flares at bay. I'm having a few symptoms though, which is extremely frustrating. I have Remicade next week so hopefully that will help clear up any lingering effects of the antibiotic.

I just feel like I can't win right now. It's like I'm treading water at the moment and the shore seems very far away. I'm absolutely positive that if I lived on a tropical island this would not be an issue...I can dream anyway.

On a more positive note, the jewelry business I've started has been going well. I am having a lot of fun with it. I had a couple of parties last month and 2 more on the calendar for February. I love seeing women get excited about it. It's so much fun to forget about life's stresses and play with the jewelry. I really enjoy watching the party hostess pick out her free jewelry she's earned by having a home show. It makes me feel like I'm treating her to something special. Some of the pieces can be a little pricey so when a hostess can get several items (that she wouldn't splurge on normally) for free, she gets really excited! So far, of the parties I've held, the hostesses have walked away with a minimum of $300 in free bling. One party even had 2 hostesses so they split the amount and both got some great pieces. My only problem is that I seem to be reinvesting in more jewelry... But~ I started this in November and by January made back my original investment so I guess, even if I buy a few pieces now and then~ I'm still operating in the black.
Having the jewelry business has also been a great outlet for me. I don't work outside of the home for many reasons.
         1. I love being home with the kids and feel very blessed that Shannon is able to support us with out me working.
         2. I don't know if my health would stand up to a job either. I never know what kind of day, or night for that matter, I will have. There are days  where I can conquer the world and days where I crawl back in bed for several hours. I don't know that I'd be a very reliable employee.
         3. I think I'm spoiled. Shannon's schedule is so flexible that we can do a lot of things together during the week days that a job would really hinder.
So the jewelry thing has opened up an avenue to get out and be productive, bring in some fun money, and socialize on my own schedule. Not to mention adorning myself with some great bling!

I went back to the gym yesterday for the first time in several weeks. It was HARD. My endurance was pretty low after being sick and laying in bed for almost a week. However it did wonders for my mind. It's just so good to get those endorphins flowing, pump up the serotonin and strengthen my weak body. I sometimes forget how awesome I feel after working out. Why don't I make it a priority everyday? I've really slacked off on it the past couple of months. After my trip to Rancho Cortez Fitness Camp last February, I was so dedicated. I think with each bad pain day I have I get a little discouraged. My problem is that I want to loose the extra pounds and be able to do an Ironman triathlon yesterday! I have to remind myself that I've been struggling with my health for over 6 years now. I know if I stick with it I can be fit but it will take time. I have to look back now and then and realize that I am so much healthier now than I was a year ago. Winters are just hard on me. The cold fronts really do a number on me physically and mentally. When you live in constant pain, it's hard to always focus on the positive. I must be realistic about my progress too. If I keep working at it, I'll get there.
If there's one thing I've learned from having an autoimmune disease it's this: I am not in control and everyday is a new day. You know the Serenity prayer that 12 step programs use?

Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
--Reinhold Niebuhr
The programs actually only use the first part of this but I think the whole thing is beautiful. I feel that the 2nd part is much more powerful for me. Anyway, I can honestly say that I understand this on a level I wouldn't have with out dealing with UC. It stinks that it sometimes takes something catastrophic like a debilitating disease for us to slow down, straighten out priorities and remember who is running the show. It's a lesson I'm willing to learn though.

I'm always having to remind myself of what's important. It's so easy to get caught up in life's business! I've also found that as time passes priorities change because each new stage in life brings new challenges. I love it too. I think I would get really bored if life didn't keep us on our toes. Life requires you to make the choice to live it. I want to experience life in full color!


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