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In Absentia

Sometimes saying yes to drugs is the right answer. 
So, where the hell have I been (you would be entitled to ask)? 

1) In July 2018 the monsoon that tears through Arizona every year, literally ripped the roof off my condo in Phoenix. The roof was pealed back like the lid of a sardine can. The event  itself sounded like a freight train, then there were a few days of leaking and battling my irresponsible HOA, then there was the 8am Sunday morning collapse of a huge chunk of my bedroom ceiling - good times. That day my dad drove the three hours from where my parents live, helped me load up my dogs and crucial belongings, and I was out of there!

It took until the end of October for repairs on the condo to finish, then I sold it to my lovely neighbors (whose roof had also been destroyed) in November - deciding I never again wanted to own anything where the maintenance was at the mercy of an HOA I paid every month but which failed to actually maintain the property responsibly. 

Staying with my parents the entire time, I fell in love with the area they had moved to and decided to look locally for my future home. It took me until the following Spring (2019) to find something. But it was such a total wreck of a fixer upper I’m STILL not moved into it yet. So, my 5 small dogs and I are living in one small room at my parents’ house, and have been for about a year and a half. While I am obviously grateful not to be homeless, I am also on the verge of a nervous breakdown as well. 

2) On top of all that, shortly before the monsoon incident, I began to have more than normal trouble with my chronically bad back (osteoarthritis & a herniated disc pushing on my sciatic nerve). Suddenly it was much worse and my normal medication was nearly useless, then my hips and knees began to be problematic as well (I assumed it was just because I was out of alignment due to my back misbehaving). Over the ensuing year and a half I tried the chiropractor, physical therapy, vitamins, glucosamine chondroitin, turmeric, and anything else I found a vague recommendation for on the internet. Eventually, at my wits end, I broke down and went to the doctor. I hate going to the doctor (even though I currently have a wonderful one)! 

In December 2019 I found out that my Rheumatoid Factor was sky high, and was given the official diagnosis of RA. I still think it’s possible it’s actually PsA considering that I began to have psoriasis (for the first time in my life) at roughly the same time as the other symptoms, but it doesn’t really matter since the treatments are the same. 

I am currently attempting my first medication and am noticing some improvement. So far, the exhaustion, brain fog, and full body constant ache have lifted. The knees and hips are also less inflamed than they were. They’re not back to normal, and my back is still a catastrophe, but I’m fundamentally grateful to feel better in any way at all. 

Between the chaos of my living environment and the mutiny of my body, lots of stuff, including this site and my writing in general, fell by the wayside. But I feel a positive trend beginning now. I intend, and hope, to get back into the swing of things soon. 

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