Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Hey Hey We're the Monkees!

I love the Monkees: The show and a lot of the music, so it saddened me to read of Davy Jone's death. Not just saddened me actually, it went more of "Davy Jones is dead! No! NO! Why?!"
And then I got sad again seeing no blog views this whole week...

Monday, 27 February 2012

Live On

This year my school has faced many deaths. In September a sixteen year old boy commited suicide. In the same week, a man who had graudated only the year before died in a car accident. A teacher who had cancer died in October, and she was only in her fifties. And during the weekend, a sixteen year old boy in my art program lost his father in an unexpected and sudden death. This year, I'm learning more of death than I wanted to in a lifetime. I learned how grief is different for different people, and how different it is to lose a friend, a parent, a teacher or the kid you looked up to last year.
When the boy died, the kids cried together and at a favourite hang out spot they wrote notes, placed candles, brought tributes and such. In fact someone brought his skateboard.
When the man (former student) died, we were all shocked. Some of the upper classmen lost 'a hero.' While a few cried publically, most kept their head held high as that's what he taught them.
When the teacher died, her students (and former students) and staff mourned together but they understood this lose. They knew she was in pain from the cancer and treatments.
When the boy's dad died, his whole level in the art program banded together to support him. Including teachers.

The one thing that brough them together is that somewhere, someone missed them and that they were respected in their time of death by these people attending services of whatever sort. I did not know any of these people, yet I still felt sad. It goes to show that when people saying testingly 'If I died today, no one would care,' it is false. I don't know about anyone else but I definatly would feel sad for someone who died whether I knew them or not. Really, if you think no one would care, I would care.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Arthur's Art

When Arthur is giving me a lot of pain, I don't actually paint or draw the pain. I mention this as a family member asked me if that's what I do. In all honesty, I don't know where that question came from as the things I draw are very gentle and do not reflect pain. However, I can tell you Arthur has influenced much of my artistic style. I don't mean that my arthritis has physically influenced it (mostly anyway). I mean that... well, let's put it this way:  When I'm randomly drawing, sometimes I draw people with odd bodies. People in fetal positions, twisted in ways people shouldn't be or even  stretched out in impossible ways. While it doesn't make me feel better, it often shows my cravings for a specific movement and sometimes helps people see that I feel bent and twisted at times. A friend of mine once described the style of which I do the bodies as 'Perfect for a monster or alien design.' Yep, that's what Arthur makes me at times: A monster or an alien.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Been There Before

As a person who is practically on a first name basis with their rhuematologist, when people talk about medical procedures and such I can almost always say 'Yeah I've done that too: Did you get it with contrast?' Or something of the like. I only recently realised it's not the most comforting thing for someone to hear. Honestly when I say 'Oh I'm nervous I have to have this done' or 'I just got this test', to hear 'Oh Don't worry I had it done and it's very easy it goes like this...' or 'I did too! Did they use..' puts me at ease.
But recently my friend had a health scare and I tried to be there for her. I know it's scary and she wouldn't stop talking about it and how afraid she is to go see the specialist. I thought it would be smart to say things like 'Better to know than be left in the dark' when she said she doesn't want to continue on. I would've thought everyone was the same way. Or when she said 'I got an ultrasound' I said 'Really? Did it go alright? I get those a lot.' Turns out it made her really mad when I said those things. I didn't understand until last night thinking about it. I guess sometimes when these things happen, you either want to feel normal and know other people go through the same thing or you want extra attention (I don't mean in a bad way, I mean the 'somethings wrong and I need support' way) and need to feel different. I forgot about when I was first diagnosed and even today. As much as I like being able to relate much more than feeling different, sometimes I just want to feel different because I am different.

I suppose being sick teaches you a lot about life.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Like

'He likes her but she like someone else but that girl also likes him even though she likes him.'
Teenagers are all different. The one thing they have in common however, is that they all like someone at least sometime. Let's be honest here: There are hundreds of teenagers in one building for a large portion of the day, five days a week, for several months straight. It would be hard to find absolutely NO ONE appealing. After all there are actually more boys in my school than girls.
When you're geeky, there are even fewer options however. So it's common when two girls or more like a boy at same time, boys get trapped in the friend zone, or when either gender is just too shy to show their love interest that they like them.
But Spring is going to be coming soon and we all know what that means: Spring Fever! Hormones shall rage more aggressivaly than should be possibly allowed. Soon enough everyone will either be all lovie dovie, heart broken or feeling alone.
I might've been able to tell you how teenagers think, but I'll tell you one thing now: I don't even get it. But I know I'm never alone because Arthur is always there for me.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Arthur is A-Okay!

Arthur is just fine: I doubt he'll flare up anytime soon. Our friend Methotrexate seems to be keeping him under control.

Methotrexate is more complicated than I first thought. I asked my rheumy if the nauesa pill I take before Methotrexate is as strong as most stomach ache relievers. He told me there's no answer because the pill isn't for my stomach: It's for my brain. Turns out Methotrexate doesn't affect your stomach but you brain! The pill keeps the Methotrexate from reacting signals in your brain that make you sick.

You learn something new everyday! This is probably why a lot of people get depression and such.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

It's a Beautiful Day

That is one of my favourite songs and today was a tiring but happy day.
I talked with this boy today. No I don't like him, but he's in most of my classes and I had never talked with him before. I thought that I freaked him out a few times looking at the clock, making him think I was looking at him. But rest assured, we had a good laugh and I hope we can become friends as I enjoy the amusement he and his friends give me in my classes.
Also I had to do gym today, like always. My school has two work out  centers we can use: One with treadmills, bikes and such cardio exercise and the other with weights. As all the treadmills and bikes were taken, I had to use a machine that puts a lot of strain on your back, knees and hips. I was not happy and Arthur made me pay for it afterward. I was so tired and sore that I was shaking so much my hand writing wasn't very good.
And... Well, I listened to good music. Not very interesting but it's the best I can do at times. I'm working on paintings as well that will become part of my project about arthritis.
By the way, want to hear Arthur's full name? Juvenile Psoriatic Arthritis. Try saying that five times fast. ;)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day, or as my friends call it Forever Alone Day.
Everyone who is single says they hate this holiday and it's secular and made up. Sort of. It's actually the feast day of Saint Valentine. So techincally it's a Christain (more so Catholic) holiday. Awkward.
Anyway, some kids got dressed up and it was nice to see the boys in nice shirts and combed hair for a change. ;)
Rather nice day. Being single and seeing many couples, I tried not to get jealous as I know there is tons of time for a boyfriend some day. I had lots of laughs today with my friends and I really think that's all that matters.
This year Arthur was my Valentines.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Catastrophe

Today I had to watch a film for my class about DNA. It told us of a couple who gave their son a genetic disorder. But then 'SCIENCE' Told us all about the wonders of genetic scanning! Parents could simply be checked to see what they MIGHT pass onto their babies, so they can (and I quote many people in the film,both parents and scientists) "Prevent a catastrophe from happening." More or less, they meant they can prevent babies with disabilities or something from being born. I knew this happened but never in those words. They fit really hard. If people born with genetic disabilities are catastrophes, then I am a catastrophe along with millions of other catastrophes who shouldn've been prevented.
Just saying.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Study, Study, Studies

Lately my biggest interest is in if it's possible to 'cure' autoimmune diseases such a arthritis or Type 1 Diabetes. The problem in these are that they are caused by your immune system attacking your body. In my case by taking Methotrexate, a sort of chemotherapy, my immune system is surpressed so my healthy cells aren't attacked by my immune system. But what if we could change this? What if we could reset our immune system?
I've read of drugs in studies from twenty years ago that made miracles happen, so where are they today. In testing or allready being used. But what if, literally, you could shut down your immune system (and you can but it's terribly risky) to the point it is almost not working but re-train it? Inject cells that work correctly?
Like I said, it's just a thought.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Here, There and Everywhere

Sorry I haven't been around much lately: I've been caught up in some business.
My cousin is having her first baby in a few months (a little girl) and my mum and I have been taking care to buy several things she'll need for the baby as everyone is having a bit of trouble getting by.
Also I've been non-stop researching medical notes as I am writing a story about living with arthritis. Though it's not completely realistic it does give you a good idea of what it is like.
And just generally school takes the life out of me and I've been exhausted to do much.
So please excuse me for my pause, I hope my excuse note is enough.
-Elizabeth and Arthur
PS Turns out there is a Counting Crows song 'written about me.' ;)

Monday, 6 February 2012

Me vs. Arthur

As a teenager I naturally have a need to go out with my friends. So, instead of visiting with my regular group of friends, I went to go to laser tag with a group of friends I typically only see when we are in school. We have gone together before but this time was different: This time I knew I could flare very badly after spending the night on my feet. I went anyway. You see, when you know you're different, you look for a sense of normal. And when you have a problem, you want to challenge it. Honestly, whether or not I flared up afterward it wouldn't have mattered because at the time, looking at my friends happy faces and knowing they wanted to be here with me and knowing I was alright in the moment was one hundred per cent worth the risk. Or maybe that's just my inner teenager trying to rebel after a whole life time of obeying every rule with extreme fear, even if it was just playing a game.

I've discovered something quite interesting today: I can draw men and children wonderfully but I just cannot do women well. This would explain why I can do The Beatles easily but have a hard time drawing my mother. Well, I suppose this just means I must practice more and more. In school we're asked to do pencil drawings or pen drawings. I'm alright at both but my favourite mediums are charcoal, oil paints, and water colours. Also we do many pictures on the computer: I am good at that but only on the programs we're not allowed to use. Obviously.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Pardon?

I can't hear. When you are talking to me in a quiet room with my undivided attention, I can hear you. But dare put the television on and I might miss a word or two. Or if you put me in a public area. It's not that I can't hear, but that I can't focus. This is the number one reason I cannot make eye contact with people: I'm concentrating on them and not another sound or conversation. Listen, I'm very smart. This is just me either still recovering from being sick or everyone just getting loud all of a sudden.

Friday, 3 February 2012

'Handicap'

Today was a rough day. I had to go see my rheumy today. We found out some very reasuring things: (1) The fever and  stuff I had earlier could've caused me to go into shock and I would've been in hospital for a very long time, and (2) that because of the fever I'm more likely to have a flare up. A flare up is when Arthur gets really agrivated and annoys me to the point of being in too much pain to move and probably causing fevers and such. I'm very, very blessed I made it through it all at home: I guess it was a way to tell us it's nowhere close to my time (Not that a kid should be thinking that way). These next few weeks we're watching for anything close to a flare. I'm so scared: I've only had a flare once when I was eight and I was sick for months. I don't want that to happen again, especially as I am so close to getting ready to go into remission. I just hope everything will be alright. If it be I'm healthy, I'll hope to get ready to start preparing for remission and if it be I am unhealthy, I'll hope to recover quickly so I don't miss school.

Also today I was riding on a train with my mum. There were no seats but some left for handicap or elderly. We took those and it was good because I wanted to stretch out and those gave us room to. Then some man came over and loudly said "ARE  YOU HANDICAP?" I looked at him as if he were serious. I had just been told I could be in a flare and I just escaped a hospitalization by the skin of my teeth, and he had the nerve to do this? He did not look handicap, and I don't look handicap. Turns out he had a little trouble bending his knees. I got kicked out of my seat so him and his wife and child who could've sat in a regular passanger seat nearby. Did I say "Yes I am handicap?" Nope. I was too upset. I don't want to be walked all over next time. Next time I want to say yes I am, what's it to you? I felt a little better when his wife gave me an apologetic look. But still. What a wonderful example for his child. Sometimes I wish Arthur was more than a little imaginary friend who follows me around: Something people can acknowledge.