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Showing posts from October, 2013

Yoga and My Body

This past April or May, I started taking a gentle yoga class at my gym. I have been pretty consistent with attending the class, with the exception of a period of time this past summer when I was not feeling well and at the doctor all the time. It is a gentle yoga class with a wonderful instructor, who has gone out of her way to show me modifications to help accommodate the joint issues with my wrists and knees.

Since I started the classes, I have seen some dramatic improvements in my flexibility, strength, and balance. As some of you may remember, I dealt with a bout of Guillain-Barre in February 2012 which required me to go through months of physical therapy to regain full functioning of my legs. However, I continued to struggle with mild balance issues at times. Since starting yoga, my balance issues have all completely resolved. I probably have better balance now then I did pre-Guillain-Barre.

I have noticed in my last several classes how far I have come in the class in terms of b…

Running, Sjögren's, Races, and Disney

As a child and teenager growing up, I was not the athletic type. One of my worse memories as a freshman in high school was having to run a hundred yard dash in gym class. And then a relay. A relay involves team members and after the hundred yard dash, I was known to be the slowest runner. Of course you know what that meant. I was the last person picked for my relay team. I was embarrassed and humiliated; which was a common occurrence for me in gym class, except for when I was playing volleyball. I was, and still am, decent at playing volleyball.

Over the past several years, I have been working on my fitness level. I have lost about sixty-five pounds and I am probably in the best cardiovascular shape of my life. My joints are often a mess but my heart does just fine. I pale in comparison to many other people who can spend hours at the gym, but I know I am doing the best I can with this lousy autoimmune illness, so I try not to compare myself to others; just to myself.

About two years …

The Patriots, The Red Sox, and Me

Yes, I know I am supposed to be writing Disney blog entries right now, but sometimes I just have to go with whatever thoughts are running around in my head and today, it is about sports. Yes, you heard me correctly; sports! I realized as I was getting ready to write this that I don't think I have ever written a blog entry about organized professional sports or sporting events. What a shame.

In all honesty, I have not been to too many professional sporting events. Until this past year, I had been to maybe two Red Sox games when I was younger, a handful of minor league hockey games, and one Boston Bruins hockey game. I come from a family of New England Patriots fanatics, but I never cared too much about sporting events until sometime in my early thirties when I was trying to make my first marriage work by attempting to meet my ex-husband halfway. I thought that participating in some of his interests would help our relationship. That didn't work out obviously, but I did develop s…

Kickstarter Contributors: Tales From the Dry Side

As many of you may remember, I did a Kickstarter funding campaign this past summer in order to raise money to self-publish my first book, Tales From the Dry Side: The Personal Stories Behind the Autoimmune Illness Sjögren's Syndrome. The campaign was an astounding success and I exceeded my fundraising goal of $7000 by raising $7305.

The campaign was based on a rewards program, which provided an incentive based on the dollar amount donated. One of the incentives was that the contributor's name would appear in a special blog entry on Thoughts and Ramblings. This is it!

I feel like I don't have adequate words to describe the gratitude I feel towards my Kickstarter contributors. All of them believed enough in this project, and in me, to donate their hard earned money towards my dream of publishing a book that talks about what it is like to live with this challenging illness. Sometimes I lie awake at night, right before I drift off to sleep, thinking about how many people this…

Disney Honeymoon Part One: Animal Kingdom Lodge

Exactly one week since we have returned from our honeymoon at Disney World and I am finally getting some time to start my blog series about the trip. I am not sure yet how many parts there will be, but I am guessing at least six or seven separate entries. Some of the writing will be informative and some of it will describing my own personal experiences; especially in relation to how I managed my illness while traveling.

Today I will be focusing on the hotel we stayed at: Animal Kingdom Lodge. My husband took his kids to Disney years and years ago and stayed at one of the value resorts. I went with college friends about twenty years ago and stayed at a Red Roof Inn somewhere in Orlando. Because this was our honeymoon, we wanted to stay somewhere special and it was very easy for us to decide that we both wanted to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL).

During a very scary emergency room visit in February 2012, I asked my then fiancé to talk about something good to distract me from the fac…

Home From Vacation

I'm back from vacation. My husband and I were fortunate enough to go on our honeymoon to Walt Disney World for eight days, but I took about two weeks off from blogging and writing. The trip was simply amazing. It has been a crazy couple of days trying to play catch up with medical appointments, unpacking, laundry and all that fun stuff. Today I am hoping to finish reviewing the edits on the manuscript for Tales From the Dry Side. If not, it will be tomorrow. THEN I can start blogging about our Disney adventures. But until then here are some of my favorite moments:

* Spending eight whole days with my husband and the bonding we were able to do.

 * Wild Africa Trek that we took at Animal Kingdom.
 * House of Blues Gospel Brunch: especially watching my husband's reaction to the music/show.
 * Watching zebras and giraffes from our balcony every day.
 * The dinner and evening we spent at Raglan Road.
 * Seating in the first seat of Space Mountain, which my husband graciously let me hav…