Monday, December 21, 2009

finals, Christmas, & lupus flare all at once!

First, I haven't been here in a bit due to semi-unforseen circumstances. The last couple weeks of the semester got a bit insane w/ the last minute tweaking of my final research project for English. See below and you'll get MOST of the research I did, minus some editing and revising. Thankfully that was the closest thing we had to an exam for that class as the others weren't particularly Had a ton of spreadsheets and databases to finish up besides studying for finals in my music aprec and office systems classes. The real bear though was that 3rd history exam. It wasn't a cummulative final but was really difficult to prepare for as over the last 3 & a half weeks of the semester we had crammed in about 500-600 years worth of European history including the Black Death, War of The Roses, 100 years War, Italian Renaissance, the French Civil War, & Christian Humanism. I am not Catholic, having grown up w/ a Baptist minister for a grandfather & Sunday school teacher grandmother but I could now tell you more than I ever cared to about the ups & downs of the Catholic Church, the Popes, Cardinals, and Bishops as well as the Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy and Concilliarism. I am sure all of this will come in useful to me as a science major. Not.

Of course at the same time I was wrapping up the semester there was also the getting ready for next semester- registration, trips to advising, making sure all of my transfer records finally got where they needed to, and taking to financial aid to make sure what I need to have ready to review my grants and loans. Plus (this part is very good!) my advisor emailed me a scholarship app she thinks I could get that would cover 75% of my tuition for NEXT semester! So now, I have that to do and get ready to turn back in as soon as she gets back in her office after Christmas.

Oh, and there was Christams to get ready for. Shopping to do, cleaning and getting stuff together to donate- clothes I don't wear, including some (alot!) I have never worn to go to Saint Vincents and a bunch of various new health and beauty supplies and some luxuries as well to send to the girls at Saint Jude's (women's half way house/rehab facility) and some for the Center For Women and Families. Wish I could do more but this year hasn't been easy, especially after getting laid off in march then going into my first major lupus flare in a very long time.

And that brings up the last part of why I have been away and haven't gotten the info I wanted to posted. I was sick with a minor stomach bug which made me pretty sick for about 2 days but in the process of fighting the virus along with alot of stress my immune system went into overdrive and so I have been fighting a flare and resisting the (probably smart) idea of putting myself back on the steroids for a week or 2. Yes, they help but they also are evil. The lupus picked my joints and gall bladder to attack this time so it's been really painful and close to impossible to eat anything more substantial than a banana or glass of SunnyD. On the plus side that could be a good way to not gain wait over the holidays, huh? My last infusion of Benlysta was given to me early b/c I had to skip the October infusion due to the flu and I wanted to make sure that if I had any issues/flare it wouldn't be til after finals. That theory worked but the result has been that just a few days after finals I started getting really sick. Just glad it wasn't durring finals!Also very glad that my infusion is at 12:30 this afternoon.

One last thing. Most people know I am on a study drug for lupus known as BenLysta or Lymphostat-B (bemulab) and I wanted to share an article I read. It was published before the Phase3 trial results were released but has some very interesting information in it. It also shows what LuAnne Novello said in her interview in an earlier post about sometimes Phase 2 trials can make it appear a drug is either more or less effective than in reality due to limited sample size. I just thought it was quite interesting and worth sharing. Let me know what ya think!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

about me! - not that exciting a person really. lol

Still working on scanning & typing up an interviews & surveys I conducted on healthcare reaform as well as the response by the U.s. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch mcConell R-KY but wil probably be a few more days before it's ready to post since I am also wrapping up my end of the semester stuff & studying for a history exam on Renaissance Europe that is worth a third of our grade for the semester. In the meantime, here is a getting to know you kinda survey that's floating around blogger.

1. Where is your phone? right in fron of ,me- it's rarely more than a few feet away. lol
2. Your hair? Blonde & curly, been growing it out lately.
3. Your Mom? is obsessed w/ cake decorating & wedding shows lately. lol
4. Your Dad? has AWFUL taste in sports teams- he likes UK, The Yankees & The Patriots- YUCK!!!
5. Your favorite meal? Pasta
6. Your last dream? That I had to take more history classes- wait, that's more of a nightmare...last dream had to do w/ the Cards winning a basketball game
7. What do you like to drink? Iced coffee w/ skim milk & mocha
8. Your dream? to finish school & go into pharmaceutical research
9. In what room are you? my bedroom, listening to the Vikings game & studying
10. Your hobby? taking care of my nails
11. What are you afraid of? spiders, loneliness
12. Last travel? Seymour Indiana
13. Where were you last night? In bed by 11!
14. Something you are not? Tall, stupid
15. Muffins? cranberry orange
16. Wishlist? a cure for lupus, my own house
17. Where did you grow up? LOUISVILLE!!!
18. Last thing you did? sent a txt, polished my nails in Christmas colors (SH Hearts On Fire w/ China Glaze Emerald Sparkle ring fingers
19. What are you wearing? My flannel football PJ pants & Denver Broncos t-shirt
20. Your television? a 32"inch Samsung widescreen, great for watching football or movies
21. Your pet(s)? Dillon (my AmStaff), Biggie (a maltese puppy) Bernie (Bassett), & Stacey (Boxer mix)
22. Your friends? tend to think I am insane. (they may be
23. Your life? Under construction :)
24. Your temper? is usually under control but not always
25. Do you miss someone? Yes.
26. Your car? needs to be worked on
27. Something you don't bring with you? depends where I am going- usually my dog, most places won't let me bring him
28. Your favorite shop? coffee shops or bookstores
29. Your favorite color? pink
30. Last time you laughed? really hard would have been last night @ my baby nephew- he's so cute & funny!!!
31. Last time you cried? a few days ago I think
32. Your best friend? am lucky enough to have 2
33. A place where you can go again and again? Disney World, the beach
34. Facebook? of course
35. Favorite place to eat? Cracker Barell or Rocky's

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

There is no cure!

Just a quick vent. I have been getting a ton of emails & seeing lots of tweets about "How I Cured My Lupus" or fibromyalgia, MS, RA....etc. Even some claiming to have cured a food allergy which may be the most dangerous claim of all since every allergist I have ever talked to has said they won't even attempt to treat food allergies w/ anything except avoidance because they are too unpredictable & one of the most sever reactions along w/ bee stings and latex. My doctors and nurses have tried everything they thought might help my lupus- FDA aproved or off label- but nobody has EVER realistically thought that eating certain foods will cure lupus, fibro, or anything else these people claim to be able to cure. As far as I know food will not cure anything other than starvation. Yes, it is important to eat right in order to be healthier but there is no magic food and there is no conspiracy by the drug companies or researchers to hide the "Secret Cure" that could lead to people being healthier, more productive...etc. I hate to see people trying to take advantage of someone else's desire to feel better & trying to sell fake cures....especially since those claims often say you'll be able to reduce or stop your meds & if somebody who really is sick stops there meds it can lead to SERIOUS problems. OK, rant over. Just had to say something about it after seeing so many of these "testimonials" (ADS!) the past couple days.