Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sticking with my Health Insurance: Lupus and I are covered!

On March 31st, 2008, I published my very first blog post on Despite Lupus. It was about my victory in scoring private health insurance, despite my pre-existing condition. It was such a relief back then to know that all of the medical procedures, doctor's visits, medications, lab tests, and hospital stays that often accompany a disease like lupus would be covered, to at least a degree. My out-of-pocket costs would be minimized as much as possible, putting me in the best position to manage my lupus and the healthcare I would need. Back then, the insurance was half of what it costs today...but we're hanging in there. Johnny and I realize that my health insurance is not something to skimp on - so we just make room for it in the household budget, and thank our lucky stars that we have it.

Since 2008, I've maintained the same health insurance, and yesterday, I confirmed that my Blue Cross Blue Shield plan has been grandfathered in so that I don't have to seek a new plan under the ACA. Hooray! I'd received a letter at the beginning of the summer, confirming this fact, but when I went to look for it recently in the insurance file, I couldn't find it. Then we got a letter saying that Johnny's insurance (under which the girls are listed) is no longer acceptable under ACA, and I started to doubt my memory of that sacred insurance letter. Then...Johnny sent me a link to a story saying that more than 76,000 BCBS customers in the D.C. Metro area are losing their insurance, and I really began to worry. So I called, and the associate told me what I feared the most...that my plan wasn't acceptable under ACA, and that I'd have to make a switch. But then we talked, and then talked some more. And then she checked, and checked some more. And then she found a copy of a letter (the letter) that I was sent back in the summer, confirming that actually, I do have a grandfathered plan. Talk about a 30 min emotional roller coaster! Turns out their computers only allow them to see a certain chunk of information that indicated that my plan wouldn't comply with ACA. But upon further investigation, she confirmed that I'm in and covered.


Now, in time, will I check out the ACA plans to make sure mine is still the most favorable? Absolutely. Will my premium likely go up once everything shakes out? Most likely. But am I super relieved that I'm "in", and that I don't have to make a switch? Oh yeah.

So almost 900 blog posts later...insurance is still top of mind. Go figure!

Monday, October 28, 2013

LFA DMV Annual Maryland Summit, Saturday, Nov 2nd. See you there!

I can't believe we're almost to November! The Fall is flying by, but I hope you can find time to join me this weekend at LFA DMV's educational summit in Baltimore, MD. I'll be there, making my Pillbags and books available for sale, but I plan to slip in and catch some of the speakers. There will be some real lupus powerhouses presenting on some great subjects. See below for agenda highlights, and you can learn more and register here. See you then!

Saturday, November 2, 2013
Registration:  8:30am - 9:00am
Summit:  9:00am - 3:30pm
John Hopkins University Turner Auditorium
720 Rutland Avenue Baltimore, MD

For more info:
www.Lupus.org/dmv/info@LupusDMV.org/

1-(888) 787-5380
 

Opening Session

Treatment Updates
Michelle Petri, MD, MPH 

A great deal is happening in lupus-related research. This presentation will update participants on recent research developments and their impact on those affected by lupus.  Dr. Petri will provide an overview of current lupus research and the prospects for the future of lupus treatments. Learn how to better manage your lupus and make knowledgeable decisions regarding your treatment plan.

General Sessions

Lupus and the Heart
Adnan N Kiani M.D., M.P.H
Living with Lupus: Managing your Health Through Healthy Choices
Diana Sugiuchi, RD/LDN, ACSM-HFS


Lupus 101
Howard Hauptman, MD

Building Resiliency and Managing Transitions
Lisa Covington, MSW, LSW


Cognitive Issues and Lupus
Sarah Weden Psy. D


Lupus and Navigating the Disability Process
Sharon Christie, RN.Esq


Managing Life as a Lupus Caregiver
Michelle Sun Smith, PhD


Lupus and Men
Paul DeMarco, MD


Afternoon Warm-up Yoga
Lorena Lues Wellness Group Trainer and Certified Holistic Health Coach

Closing Session

The Lupus Secrets
Donald Thomas Jr., MD, FACP, FACR, CCD

This session will provide people with lupus information on tangible actions that can improve their health. Dr. Thomas will go through each “secret” describing the rationale behind each recommendation and what the most important things all SLE patients should do on a regular basis in order to manage their lupus the best they can.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't miss the next US in Lupus webcast - 10/29 at 8pm

The folks at The US in Lupus have an upcoming webinar that you won't want to miss. Their latest Lupus Educational Webcast, Speak Up: Why Effective Communication Matters with Lupus will be broadcast next Tuesday the 29th of October at 8pm.  Experts and patients agree that one of the biggest challenges in managing lupus is effective communication. In fact, over half of lupus patients report minimizing their symptoms when they talk to their physicians. Knowing how to speak up is critical in helping identify lupus-related organ damage early on.
Here are details on the event, and instructions on registration: 

WHO: Lupus expert Dr. Christopher Parker, Chief of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at Austin Diagnostic Clinic, moderator Arnita Christie, Immunology Nurse Educator at GlaxoSmithKline, and lupus patient Persha will participate in the webcast to discuss effective ways for lupus patients to communicate with their physicians.

WHEN: October 29, 2013 at 8 PM ET

WHERE: To register, please visit www.events.usinlupus.com or call 1-855-578-5348.

WHY: From 166,000 to 322,000 Americans have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common form of lupus. The results of a national survey suggest that more than half of Americans living with lupus don’t share all their symptoms with their rheumatologist, and 72 percent of physicians surveyed said they were not aware of patients minimizing their symptoms. Experts joining this webcast will provide the audience with effective methods of communicating with their physicians about all their symptoms to identify potential organ damage as early as possible.


The webcast is funded and developed by GlaxoSmithKline. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Avoiding lupus triggers, especially the ones that are oh-so-tempting when you're stuck at home!

Per Friday's post, you know what activities I tried to focus on, so that I wasn't dwelling on the fact that my rise in symptom activity was keeping me home. While it was vital that I find things to do that were compelling enough to keep my mind occupied, it was equally as important that I NOT do things that would compromise my body. At all costs, I couldn't engage in activities that would exasperate my symptoms. So as much as I wanted to, here's what I didn't allow myself to do:

Clean: When my disease is active, ask me to vacuum a couple rooms of my house, or scrub a bathroom, and you'll see a few swollen digits within a couple of hours. That kind of physical output wreaks havoc on my body when I'm already in a vulnerable state.  So during lock down - I just had to look past the crumbs, and settle for less than spotless. Johnny pitched in, of course, but I forced myself to be okay with a little mess.

Rearranging furniture, hanging pictures, mounting drapes, etc.: As you can imagine, we have PLENTY of things to hang and arrange in our new house. But because of my joint pain, I had to invoke a "no tools" policy to ensure that I didn't hammer my joints into oblivion. Hanging a picture here or fussing with some shelves there would have started a series of "must finish" projects that I just had to avoid. This isn't the first time this has happened, so I was prepared. (See my posts about my previous tool box trials and who had to step in to rescue me. Thanks, Kevin!)

Heavy duty organizing: When I start an organizing project, watch out! I usually prefer to remove everything from the space and start from scratch, and I tend to get a little obsessive about the whole thing about an hour in. So while I allowed myself to "sort" a few odds and ends, I pretty much stayed away from large space/project organizing. I even passed on sorting a ton of kids clothes the girls have outgrown. I'm sure there were some pieces that would have been great for Ebay or consignment, but in this case, I just had to choose where to put my energy. I opted to pass everything on to another family member sight unseen - saving valuable time, and my joints.

Now that I'm feeling better, I've been able to ease back into these, and many more activities. But I still have to be careful. In fact, sometimes, I do best when I avoid an undertaking altogether (like organizing), because I just won't be able to help myself. But once I'm 100% percent, you better believe I'm going to tackle my new closets!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My fall flare report, or what I did when lupus had me housebound

Because of the reappearance of my disease activity starting in August, I had to put myself on lock-down. For me, that means staying at home and doing as little as possible. Blah!

Moaning and groaning aside, I've learned that running around town, to do errands, meet friends, or get work done, is one of the worst activities I can engage when I'm experiencing disease activity. Anything that requires me to get ready and out the door at a certain time zaps me of any energy I have, and so I've learned not to do it.

For the first few weeks in September, I was strict: running only one errand a day, in addition to dropping off and picking up the girls from school. By mid-month, I was able to branch out a little more, but not much. It was imperative that I rest my body - not just in the form of actual sleep, but rather, in the form of inactivity. I ran myself ragged "doing" when we moved back into our house in August, so now I was having to reverse the error of my ways.

This call for inactivity forced me to revisit one of the most basic principles of the Despite Lupus method - altering my mindset for the good of my health. Physically, I needed rest, and emotionally, I need to be okay with that. I needed to embrace this sedentary, albeit temporary, lifestyle if I was going to improve my situation.

First, I decided to focus on what I could do, rather than what I wasn't able to. I wan't going to dwell on the five errands a day I was skipping. Instead, I would concentrate on the one that I could run - choosing wisely, prioritizing, and making sure I made the most of the one outing.

Secondly, I needed to engage myself in home-bound activities that would still allow me to feel productive and accomplished.  If I don't feel like I'm making progress (in whatever aspect of my life), I get frustrated. But if I can find creative ways to still feel like I'm getting things done while avoiding a whirlwind of activity, I stay positive. With a good attitude in hand, I'm able to focus on getting well, and my body responds accordingly.

So what did I do to fill the void of errands and outings?

1) Found things to sell on Ebay or Craigslist: After spending the last 9 months with the majority of our belongings in a storage pod in our driveway, you can imagine how much stuff we realized we no longer needed. (You can read about that post here.)  We donated a ton of stuff, but we did keep a few things to sell online, once we got around to it. Turns out my lockdown is a perfect time to sell stuff, and it was a really good use of my low-key time at home. I found myself feeling productive - snapping photos, writing descriptions, and posting items for sale - while not exerting too much energy at all. We've sold several items from my little Ebay run - and I feel good about my efforts.

2) Baking: I've mentioned before how much I love to bake. For me, it's therapeutic, creative, and I love trying what I make. Especially if it's good! So when I found myself home bound, I decided to try out a bunch of new recipes - to keep me interested, motivated, and "producing." Baking also forced me to be at home, of course, where my kitchen is - but as my cakes were baking or my sauces were simmering, I wasn't dwelling on the fact that I wasn't out and about. I was truly enjoying my time at home.

I also tried to use my baking to feel connected and purposeful. As you'll read below, I ended up having visitors while I was home, and because I always had a fresh batch of something around, it made for easy hosting. It made me feel like I still had something to offer - like I wasn't useless - even though I wasn't able to go out.

My sister also threw a party during this time, and she was thoughtful enough to call me a few days before to ask if I could make a batch of the new mint chocolate chip cookies I'd just tried making. I jumped at the chance, and felt a renewed sense of purpose. I was actually helping...even while homebound!

3) Found ways to socialize, without going anywhere: When prospective play dates, lunch dates, or opportunities to meet up with friends arose, I suggested we meet at my house instead of meeting out. And when people DID come over,  I promised myself I would keep it low key and casual.  I didn't go crazy cleaning the house, getting flowers, or fixing elaborate snacks (see #2 for instant snacks.) Johnny helped tremendously in cleaning up, and we found a quick swipe of the powder room sink and running a quick vacuum over the family room rug worked wonders. If fact, sometimes I subtly confined my guests to the lower level of the house so that Johnny and I didn't have to fret over cleaning the second floor. (Containment is key!) Also employing the girls to pick up their toys, help straighten up the house, and fill in as hostesses was a big help.

One BIG event that I did host was my bi-monthly bookclub meeting. I really didn't want to skip out on hosting, so I told myself that if I allowed myself to still hold the meeting, I HAD to take it easy. Thus, I hired a cleaning crew for the day of, ordered take-out for dinner, and hired a babysitter for an extra hour so Johnny could help run a couple of last minute errands.  Normally, the food would have been made from scratch, from appetizers to dessert, but this time, I just couldn't swing it. But I still wanted to make a homemade contribution to the evening, so I provided a dessert I already had on hand (again, see #2).  Simply HAVING the event made me feel great - like I was still living life, just in slow gear.  And the Indian food I ordered was a hit!

Another solution for staying connected while housebound might be Skype. It allows you face to face time with friends and family no matter where you are in the world. And then it really doesn't matter how clean (or not) your house is!

4) Organizing - While I made sure I didn't tackle any big re-orgs in the house (see next week's post on what I DIDN'T do), I did take the opportunity to do a lot of sorting, outlining, and list making. I knew that reconfiguring my master closet was out of the question, but sitting on my bed so I could see into it, and making a list of how I was going to strategically tackle it was definitely allowed. I made quite a few strategy lists - notating things that were on my "long-term" to do list, but had never been written down. It made me feel like I was still moving forward, because those big ticket to-do's in my head were now down on paper. I felt instant relief, and productive all at the same time. (One of the tasks that I thought of was spray painting a bunch of mismatched frames - a perfect thing to do over the course of a week's worth of home-bound days. Every couple of hours, I'd saunter outside, spray on a coat of paint, and then allow the frames to dry. I couldn't rush it - the paint had to dry on its own. so I...just...had...to...be...patient. The pace of painting, I found, was a good match for my low-key living!

5) Reading magazines: Okay - truth is, I only read a couple pages of one magazine during this time, but boy, was it nice. I NEVER sit down on the couch, flip open a magazine, and peruse its pages. The girls and I are always dashing off somewhere, cleaning up something, or moving from one activity to another - so I never make time during the day to just sit and read. But one day while I was homebound, I saw a home decorating magazine in the living room. The girls were doing puzzles, and while I was just about to start in on a load of laundry. On a whim, I decided to plop down on the couch, and read a few pages. Wow. Was that ever relaxing. It didn't last long - duty called before long, but it reminded me that sometimes, we actually have to force ourselves to stop, relax, and create our own moments of quiet and reprieve.

That's it - just a few things to keep my mind occupied while my body recouped. Anyone have any other good "homebound to-do's" that aren't too taxing?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Post postponed: it's my bedtime

I had a post all ready to go for today, but as I was putting the finishes touches on it last night, I realized I had a few more tweaks to do before it was ready. It was 10:15pm, and I had a choice to make: tweak for what I think will be 15 minutes, but will ultimately be 45, or stop while I'm ahead. As you can see by today's post, I decided to take the high road. I'm attempting to lead by example, and demonstrate that when the clock says it's bedtime, we lupites must listen.

Yes, it practically KILLED me to abandon an almost completed post. It drove me crazy to have to write this interim little ditty when I should be able to post what I want to.

But life doesn't always go the way I want it to. And nor does blogging.

So please check back on Friday. I'll be sure to have posted by then!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Double trouble: My new pillfold strategy

Since the moment I sewed my first Pillfold prototype, I've used some version of the bag to hold my daily medication. I've tried out all of the fabrics to make sure they wear well and look good, sampled the different iterations of plastics to ensure they have the right amount of give as well as protection, and confirmed that the size and design of the zipper pulls, the cord hook, and the pouches themselves are all up to snuff. I use my Pillfold on a daily basis (make that twice daily), and up until the last few months, I primarily used it because it was pretty, and because it kept me and my medications organized and on track.

But since this latest flare has taken root, complete with joint pain and swelling each morning, I've realized that I have to use my Pillfold.  The fact that my pills are already doled out into each day's plastic pouch was and is a lifesaver. At one point, my joint pain was so terrible, it wasn't possible to force open four prescription pharmacy pill bottles each morning to fish out my meds. It would have been too painful and very awkward; when my fingers are swollen and achy, they simply won't move the way I need or want them to! 

What's more, because every second counts when you're waiting for your medication to kick in, the time that I've saved because the pills are right there waiting for me is huge. I wake up when the girls wake up, so I have to hit the ground running. The sooner that prednisone is pumping through my blood, easing my inflammation and returning mobility to my aching joints, the sooner I can start my day, complete with pony tails, breakfasts, jacket zippers, etc.

So because I can't afford to wake up one morning, only to realize that I've forgotten to refill my pillfold after a week's worth of use, I've decided to start using two pillfolds. Genius, right?

(This was actually Johnny's idea...I guess great ideas are hatched when you've asked your spouse one too many times to open your prescription bottles in the wee hours of the morning!)

So now I fill two pillfolds at a time, each with a week's worth of medication. I still have to remember to refill both at the end of the two weeks, but I have to do it less often, and I have more time to remember to do it. It's been working wonders, and I haven't gone a day without a filled Pillfold in months.

So in honor of my new dual Pillfold strategy, I'm extending a discount to those of you who could also benefit from using two pillfolds at a time. Now through October 25th, take 10% off your purchase of one pillfold (for those of you who already have one at home), and 15% off your purchase of two pillfolds. Type in "DOUBLEONE" (for one Pillfold) or "DOUBLETWO" (for two Pillfolds) in the discount code during checkout to save.

And don't worry - if you want to buy one for yourself, and one as a gift, you should still take advantage of the savings. I'll never know!

I can thankfully say that my morning joint pain continues to get better, but there's no doubt that I still need those increased medications to get through each day. The meds are working - but I need them to continue doing so in order to get back to my normal dosages and my symptom-free state of being. A friend with lupus recently commiserated, saying that when you're healthy and symptom-free, it's easy to forget that lupus is still lurking. In fact, you fail to remember that your symptom inactivity is a product of a medicated remission, rather than a natural remission. How true that is.

I tend to forget this fact all too easily. As a result, I get a little cocky. And then I overdo. And then I find myself in a bit of a flare. And then I remember. Ugh.

Be sure to save a few bucks and stock up on your pillfolds today. Your fingers (and spouses) will thank you for it!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Productivity, lupus-style: Sleeping the day away...

On the surface, Wednesday of this past week was a waste: I had trouble falling asleep the night before, Darwin got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (our fault, not his), and Deirdre woke up about an hour earlier than normal. By the time I got up that morning, I felt anything but rested. I took one look at the list of things I'd wanted to accomplish that day, and felt like I was already behind schedule, given the sleepy fog I was in.

By about mid-morning, I was overcome by fatigue (not lupus fatigue, just not-enough-sleep fatigue), so I took an hour cat nap, which helped tremendously. (Thank you, Angelina Ballerina.) Of course, that hour of down-time threw off my morning to-do's even more than my sluggishness, but I figured I'd be able to make it up that afternoon.  I still planned to take my standard afternoon nap, but I'd hoped for a second short cat nap, giving me a solid couple of hours to work while a babysitter was with the girls. 

Unfortunately, that's not the way things happened. When I laid down for my afternoon nap,  I slept not one, not two, but almost three straight hours, including every single minute the babysitter had been there. My grand plans for getting things done vanished; I simply had to chalk up the day as a complete waste.

Or did I? 

Maybe the day wasn't as much of a waste, as much as it was a wash. 

After all, if I'd let my fatigue go unchecked, my lupus activity would have been in full gear by the end of the day. And how productive would I have been then? Or for days afterward? 

I'm actually glad I allowed myself to sleep when I needed to...so that I could keep disease activity at bay. 

I'm also glad I wasn't too proud to let Bernadette watch a movie for an hour in the morning...so that I could rest, and be a better mom in the end because of it.  

I'm glad I had a babysitter booked in the afternoon...so that I could sleep as long as I needed to. 

I'm glad I have a "job" that allows me the flexibility I need...thankfully, my pillbag orders and book requests could wait a few hours. 

I'm glad I'm no longer "blinded by the list", realizing that an untouched to-do list might actually be a good thing...if it's a sign of choosing well, despite lupus. 

And I'm really glad I have a pug dog who makes me feel like napping for four hours in the day is a fabulous idea. 

In the end, I believe that while it might have been a very un-productive day, work-wise, it was a very productive day, lupus-wise. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Nappers in the house: dropping like flies, but the lupus nap lives on

My lovely baby Bernadette turned three yesterday. Boy, did those years fly by!

In anticipation of her third birthday, sweet little Bernie has been toying with the idea of giving up her afternoon nap. Over the past few weeks, she's eased out of sleeping, and instead, sits quietly in her bed, reading books, singing, and telling stories to her stuffed animals. Not a bad alternative, really.

I've continued to put her down around the two to three o'clock hour, mostly because she's still willing, but also because she and I both need a little down time. She can go about 45 minutes without calling out or asking to get up. And every once in awhile, she'll fall asleep, but I've stopped hoping and have started accepting. She seems to still enjoy having a scheduled "nap" time each day, and I certainly benefit from it - particularly because it coincides with my nap time. 

Of course, now that the official nappers in the family are down to a count of two (Darwin and I are still holding steady), we've revamped our schedule a bit. We've been able to adjust our babysitter's schedule to accommodate the new routine for the most part, or when needed, Johnny pitches in. So far, I've been able to still get my rest, despite the fact that Bernie no longer feels she needs hers.

But as we make this transition, it somehow becomes a little more obvious to me that napping in the middle of the day really isn't a standard thing. I know, I know - the majority of adults have never needed mid-day naps. But when everyone in my household was napping except Johnny, it seemed a little more mainstream. Last year, Deirdre dropped off the napping wagon, and now Bernie's slowly moving in that direction. Which leaves me and Dar, now in the minority.

The fact that the girls have outgrown their naps has given me pause. They now have the ability to go through the day without a nap...and, well...I don't. This doesn't discouraged me from taking my nap, and it certainly doesn't make me feel less capable or inferior in any way. But it does serve as a reminder. Napping mid-day isn't a requirement for most people. And hiring a babysitter so mom can sleep doesn't come into play in a lot of households. But it does in ours. And that's what's important.

Managing this lupus thing undoubtedly requires energy. It takes planning and self-awareness, along with a little discipline. I'm thankful that I have the ability to manage it the way I do, but I'm also proud that I've learned to embrace the effort it demands. Years ago, I would have gauged my sleep requirements by what "most" people needed, rather than what I needed. I would have taken cues from my kids or others as to what "normal" people do every afternoon, rather than what I do every afternoon. Today, I welcome the opportunity to explain to people why I take a nap everyday. I know why I nap, and I'm confident in the reasons I need one.

So my sweet, sweet Bernie - sing all the songs you like. Momma's still going to get her ZZZ's.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Progress, progress, and more progress: How far I've come in this lupus flare

First things first: the joint pain, swelling, and fatigue that I've been experiencing over the past couple of weeks (wait...who am I kidding? It's been the past couple of months) continue to get better.
I'm still in slow-down mode...doing only what I have to do, and not much of what I want to do...but it's working. With each morning, I wake up with less joint pain than the morning before, and my fatigue level has slowly returned to a manageable level that only requires one nap a day. So happy my efforts are paying off.

Whenever I get to this point in a flare (where it's clearly on its way out, assuming my body continues to react favorably to the increased medication and my low-key lifestyle), I get a little impatient. I'm ready to be back on top, to be 100%, but I'm quite not there yet. In the good old days (prior to this flare), I didn't give lupus much thought throughout the day. Without symptoms present, it's easy to not to think about it. But when I awake to joint pain, swelling, or both, lupus is unfortunately, the first thought of my day.

So when I enter this "almost-post-flare-impatient" mode, it's time to look at my progress. I need to take note of how far I've come. I find it's imperative to do this - to keep from getting discouraged as the symptoms take forever to subside completely, but also to remind myself of the steps I've proactively taken to get better. I promise you - a double dose of prednisone and some increased plaquenil aren't solely responsible for my decreased disease activity. It's because I worked at it, and concentrated on letting go, and giving in, and asking for help.

So how far have I come? Here are the benchmarks that help me remember just how much better I'm feeling:

Just a few weeks ago, I couldn't reach back to put my hair in a ponytail first thing in the morning. Now, I can whip up three ponies in a row without even thinking about it. I'd do Darwin's, too - but he's been wearing it down. (See? Another sign of progress - having a sense of humor!)

Two weeks ago, I was struggling to make it through my 15 min run without stopping...twice. I kept getting winded, and I simply needed to stop for 20-30 seconds. Now, I'm able to run the full 15 minutes straight...just like the old days.

At the beginning of the school year (first two weeks of September), I didn't have the energy to walk Deirdre home from school (about 15 minutes.) Now, Bernie and I can walk there, pick up Deirdre, and walk back without even thinking about it. In fact, just last week, Johnny was planning to pick up Dee from school, but got stuck in traffic. He had the car seats in his car, so Bee and I had no choice but to take to the sidewalk. With about 12 minutes to spare, I ran most of the way there, pushing Bee's stroller, and made it just in time, feeling great the whole way. Two weeks ago, there's no way I would have been able to pull that off. Hurray for progress!!!

Last month, I was taking consistent morning siestas, simply because I was running out of gas by about 10:30am. Now, by mid-morning, I'm just hitting my stride, with plenty of energy to spare.

Last example: back on September 14th, I spoke at the LFA DMV "Take Charge and Make a Change" Advocacy Seminar in Annapolis. I felt great the day of the event, but I enlisted Johnny (or actually, he volunteered) to drive me to and from the event because I couldn't spare the energy. It would have been physically impossible to have driven myself, spoken, visited with attendees, sold bags, and driven home. I just couldn't have done it.

Tomorrow, I'm speaking at another Advocacy Seminar, this time in Richmond. Johnny is driving again, but not because I can't do it. I could make it there and back no problem - I'm feeling that great. But why push it? It will be nap time by the time the event finishes up, and although I could manage...I would be pushing my limits, and could catapult myself right back to where I was a few weeks ago. And that simply isn't allowed...at least not in my book...literally and figuratively! (Again, that sense of humor!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Pink Ladies are on Amazon!


The Pink Ladies (the Pillfold Colina, Amelia, Winchester, seen below, and the Pillpouch Peabody, at the left) now have their own listings on Amazon. They've hit the big time, and they're feeling pretty good about themselves.