Favorite Things Friday

Happy Friday, all! Though, quite honestly the days run together so much after all this staying at home I had to remind myself multiple times it IS Friday. Anyone else losing track of days? If the Hubster wasn’t off on the weekends I’m not sure we’d even have a clue at this point!

Today is a special favorite thing, as today’s favorite is a word, and it’s so meaningful to me. My favorite word usually is “believe”. It reminds me to keep the faith and that things will always work out somehow. I think I’ve mentioned how it’s all over my house in some form or another, and it’s the only tattoo I have.

Believe - holiday word | Holiday words, Silhouette christmas ...
my favorite word, in my favorite color!

Today, my favorite word is “REMISSION“. For my fellow RA warriors/ autoimmune warriors you get that this is the dream and goal and penultimate place to reach with our disease process. It isn’t a cure or even a guaranteed state for any length of time – in fact, as I type this my body could be deciding to wage war on itself again five minutes from now and render my body useless and painful for any length of time it chooses. The uncertainty of it all is why we overdo it on our good days because we never know how many good days we’re gonna get. Drives the Hubster crazy, but it’s the truth.

In the last decade-plus that I’ve been trying to get this disease under control, I have tried and failed every medication on the market aside from the one I’m currently on. I’ve swung like a pendulum between needing a cane to help me hobble along and being unable to perform simple things like dressing myself, to feeling pretty good and fairly functional for varying lengths of time. And I have hit every level of function/non-function in between. Over the last few years since starting my current medication, things have slowly gotten better. I’ve gone from six infusions a year that made me sick for weeks after, to just one this year. And actually not even one, since my last one was in December! Make that NONE this year! WOOT!

yoga, meditation and spending a lot more time in nature also had a hand in helping with stress, which helps with decreasing flares

And during my telehealth appointment with my rheumatologist this week, he said the magic word. Remission. Low to no detectable disease activity markers for a year. No new joint damage. No more infusions until I actually need one. No more appointments for six months unless something changes. No RA meds on a daily basis. REMISSION. (Insert sobbing face, hand to heart gratitude emoji here, if there was one! 🙂 ).

I have to say I have made a lot of lifestyle changes these last two years that have helped in addition to meds -moving to a better climate for inflammatory conditions weather-wise, finding a phenomenal new rheumatologist, weaning myself off sugar and moving the whole family towards a more Mediterranean and cleaner way of eating. That, of course, includes the aforementioned temporary transition to keto with the Hubster these last few months. (I’m still not happy about the work it takes but he’s still losing and so am I, so we’ll grudgingly give ourselves a few more months to meet our goals 🙂 ).

I’ve also been taking CBD supplements, with the support of my rheumatologist, for the last two years. Cheryl was the one who first got me to try CBD, as she had started using it in her cancer self-treatment protocol. She was always ahead of the natural health care trends, like touting stevia and natural sweeteners decades before it was cool. She was my naturopathic guru in many ways. I am in no way giving any medical advice or advocating you do anything without consulting your doctor first, so let’s get that disclaimer clear. I’m just saying I feel it has really worked for me. Here are some links to some of my favorite products from my favorite company (which I researched extensively, and you should always do as well before trying ANY new products).

My favorite company for CBD products is Lazarus Naturals, check them out here: http://www.lazarusnaturals.com. They have quality products that have clear testing guidelines and are transparent about what is in each product they sell. They also offer discounts for veterans, long term disabilities, and low-income customers, which I love. Here are my current favorites:

i LOVE how this smells, and how effective it is versus chemical pain relief balms

https://www.lazarusnaturals.com/shop/featured/portland-rose-cbd-balm. This not only smells AMAZING, but I have found it works great on those random sore muscles I get from doing all my crazy antics, like sleeping funny or bending over the wrong way. I also find it works great on my jaw around my TMJ when that would flare up with RA issues.

a restful night’s sleep in a bottle for me!

https://www.lazarusnaturals.com/shop/capsules/relaxation-formula-25mg-cbd-capsules. I take one of these every night, and I get a much better night’s sleep! I used to toss and turn a lot and wake up still tired, and I find that these help me get a much more restful night. They also have chamomile and L-theanine, in addition to CBD, which at first made me a little nervous to try them. I tend to get knocked out by chamomile tea and wake up with a sleep hangover for whatever reason. Happily, the combination and levels in this one work perfectly for me every night!

I also told one of my cousins about this company and he’s become a huge fan as well. In fact, he sent me a bottle of this cycling frog strength to try for my everyday aches and pains because it worked so well for him. GAME. CHANGER. I of course did my own little scientific experiment between this and the powder capsules to see if it was the dose or the carrier that seemed to work so well. It was both for me, or maybe I just like only having to take one capsule versus two. Either way, it’s on my daily supplement rotation now too! https://www.lazarusnaturals.com/shop/capsules/cbd-100-mg

i haven’t taken any OTC meds for my usual aches and pains since I started this daily.

Again, this is not medical advice and talking to your doctor should always be the first thing you do before trying anything new. I also am not promising everyone will have the same results as me, I am just sharing things I feel have helped support better sleep and decreased my aches and pains since I have been taking them.

I know all things work differently for different people and I truly feel these changes, along with meditation and yoga to help manage my stress, have all culminated in hearing that magic word. I also know it involves some dumb luck, and I’ll take whatever luck I get with this disease. I have not taken a single flare-free day for granted, nor the knowing that the surgeries and damage repair from my uncontrolled disease days are over, at least for a while. I’ll take however long I can get.

I know that remission is a word that probably doesn’t resonate with most of you, but the feelings I have about the word probably do. Gratitude. Relief. Joy. Hope. With everything else going on in the world right now, anything positive is cause for celebration no matter how small. And not that this is small for me, but we are pretty good at celebrating the little things around here and are thrilled to add this to the list!+

How about you? What’s your favorite word (in this time of uncertainty or always) and why? You know how much we love words around here, so share some word love with us!

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