Sunday, 29 August 2010

Bike update!

Phew... 23 miles biking today.

I feel beat. It was a beautiful sunny day and I went out to Loch Lomond which is a lake..well..23 miles north of Glasgow. Gotta say, the last 6 miles or so, the only thought that kept me going was the pint of beer I knew I'd reward myself with at the end.

My foot was sore in the morning but I went out anyway and it got better as the day went on. Now my thumb is complaining... but, hey ho. That's how it goes. I'm rather pleased with my effort. My bum will be super sore tomorrow, for sure!!

So that's like... almost half of what I need to do in 2 weeks time and I can't even train much next weekend because I have a friend coming over from America and he'll want to go sightseeing around castles and men in kilts playing bagpipes and all that stuff you americans go bonkers over!

Anyway here's some pics from today:

Me with a big statue of a bike that I randomly came across..

The map of the route I took today

Most of the journey was along rivers or canals like this

The final destination

...and, my reward

Right..a hot chocolate in bed is in order, I think!

Thursday, 26 August 2010


I recently wrote a post about how I'm always on the go.

I've been thinking about that a lot, and this Tuesday I got a pretty bad head cold and couldn't sleep all night. Now, that I can usually deal with but as luck would have it the next day I had an important work trip to London that I just couldn't miss. This meant getting 2 flights in one day on no sleep (which were VERY painful due to the air pressure causing chaos in my blocked ears and sinuses) and the day itself was generally very busy and I was on my feet, carrying lots of film equipment with barely any breaks.

I got back home about 11pm last night, with ears and sinuses blocked and painful and I just felt beat. This morning I felt a bit better after some sleep, but still not 100%. Usually, I would just push past this and drag myself to work. But this time was different.

As it so happens, when arthritis hit me last year it was just after a work trip to London. I, again, hadn't slept much, been travelling and then gone back to work straight away. Then I'd spent the following few days stressed for a deadline, staying back late at work.

I don't know for sure if that week's exhaustion/stress helped bring on the arthritis, but I am certainly NOT going to take that chance again.

I'm doing very well arthritis-wise lately and I'm going to do all I can to keep it that way. I know that resting won't necessarily protect me from a flare, but it sure as hell can't hurt.

So yes. I took the day off. I slept for 10 hours and am now having breakfast in bed made by my flatmate.

And I feel better and will be back to work tomorrow, refreshed.

I haven't taken a sick day in the 18 months I've worked there, even during the arthritis diagnosis and initial flare. I think I made the right choice today, but why oh why do I still feel so guilty??

Saturday, 21 August 2010


Do you ever think... you're in a race against time? More than most people. Like everything speeds up when you have a progressive disease. I can't stop. I don't remember the last time I took some time out, I'm so afraid to stay still. I don't know if that's a bad thing. Maybe it's a blessing, knowing that everything is so fragile. Or maybe it's just Saturday night and I'm just drunk and rambling...

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Bike Ride Update

I wrote about my upcoming challenge a wee while ago, and so the weeks roll by and September 12th looms closer and closer. Panic? Me?

I had been doing well with my training, I was doing 10 mile rides at the weekends but 3 weeks ago some dooshe stole my bike. That's what I get for living in the ghetto of Glasgow. Well, not really, but there are some dodgy types about. It's Scotland, after all.

So I've only just got a new bike yesterday, which means I am very very behind on training and whatever muscle I had built up is now probably gone. I am a bit comforted by the fact that hardly any of my team-mates from work have done any training either, so at least we'll all embarrass ourselves horribly together.

Anyway the reason I'm posting about this is some folks asked when I'd have my sponsor page up and I finally do now!

Squirrel's Crazy Cycle

I can't back out now...eek. Sorry, legs.


What is this I see?! After being a bit behind on reading the blogs over the last few days, I sat down to catch up on what's been going on - and lo and behold! I've been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award, TWICE!!! That seriously made my evening, thank you so much Pony (Bionic Pony) and Laurie (Frozen Woman: Life with RA)! Glad someone enjoys my rantings...

Can I give it right back? I love those ladies, both are Canadian and I love Canada. And Canadians. And Canadians with RA. But seriously if you haven't read their blogs, go check them out, they're two awesome, funny, strong women who don't let RA stop them.

I'd also like to give it to Rheuma Girl (There's Always Rheum for Improvement). She's a fellow UK lass, the same age as me, who's had a lot on her plate the past few years. Her blog's awesome and she's really getting her life together and kicking RA's butt. It was also her birthday the other day.

Then there's Cathy (The Life and Adventures of Caterpoo) whose lovely heartwarming posts about her family always make me smile. She's been doing a lot better with RA lately and that also makes me happy ^_^

I'd also like to give it to Jenn (Project Jennifer) who is one cool chick who's been dealing with RA for a long time. She always entertains and inspires me with her funny and thoughtful musings. And she has an awesome fashion sense and lives in LA - so jealous.

Last but not least I'd like to award Terry (Dual Sport Life) because I don't want to forget the boys and men out there. Terry is such an inspiration and makes me want to keep pushing past my limits. He's not having too great a time lately but I know things will turn around soon. Oh and he rides motorbikes - so cool!

Is that too many?! Oh oh and I can't not award Amanda (All Flared Up). The first blog I started to read and oh my god that girl is funny. She's having a rough time too just now but she's always in my thoughts because when I was first diagnosed her blog gave me hope that you can be young and fun AND have RA. So yeah. Go Amanda.


Sunday, 15 August 2010


I'm just back from Arthritis Camp!

Basically there's this brilliant course for people aged 17 - 25 with arthritis and it's all free and you get to meet up a few times a year and go on residential weekends. Sometimes it's more about discussing personal growth and feelings and what not and sometimes it's a bit more about fun. This weekend it was an activities weekend up in the north of Scotland in the middle of the mountains.

We did lots of stuff like climbing up rocks in the river and swimming against the current in the FREEZING cold water, skiing (on dry slopes as it would be pretty hard to find snow in august), archery, rock climbing and mountain biking.

Yes.. people with arthritis CAN do all these things, healthy people!! That was the best part of the weekend, seeing everyone achieve so much and push past their limits.

I was totally scared of doing the river stuff because I generally hate being cold and wet. But it was actually great fun, even though swimming against the current was such hard work and I now totally understand how easy it is to drown in a river.

The hard part of the weekend was seeing some of my friends in pain. My best friend is mid flare but came along for the banter anyway, but after a particularly energetic game of baseball he was in quite a bad state. It really upset me seeing others feeling so bad, even though I know it's all part of the process. Still hard to watch though.

But seeing people proud of themselves and clambering up rocks and what not was awesome. Plus the weather was beautiful, which is very unusual for Scotland.

Monday, 2 August 2010


I haven't posted for a while, but I've been in a bit of a weird place.

Nothing new going on with the arthritis, taking my pills and feeling generally fine and not seeing the rheumatologist until October.

So why is it that I'm feeling oh-so-blue?

For the first 6 months after diagnosis I think arthritis is all I thought about. I still think about it a couple of times a day, and some days more than others but it's often not the most overwhelming thought in my head. So that's good.

However, now that I've had a good few months and I've been feeling more 'normal', I've kinda realised how terribly bored I am of the way my life has been going.

When I'm not dealing with hospital appointments, or aching joints or whatever else RA decides to throw at me, all I think about is work. I work all the time and I do love my job but I'm starting to get sick of just work/arthritis, work/arthritis.

I don't mean to say I stay home every night, in fact quite the opposite. I'm a very outgoing person with a large circle of friends and I have lots of hobbies. However, it's been the same hobbies, the same friends, the same bars, for about two years.

I've also been single for two years which is really getting to me lately. I stopped dating when the RA started and recently began again, so I've just been reminded of how much more there is to life. I am 24 and I feel about 40, settled in a routine and all medicated up. I feel like I shouldn't be wasting time just working away or worrying about my health. I want some fun and excitement, something out of the ordinary to distract me from dull every day thoughts.

I guess everyone feels like that at some point, but I think because arthritis had taken up so much of my headspace lately I didn't quite realise it until now. The question is.. what am I going to do about it?