Weddings, family, travel

I’m on a 5 day vacation at the moment. Brought out to BC by my older brother’s wedding. There are a number of reasons that this trip has been good for both my mental health and my physical health, so let’s count them down.

1. You can still get homesick when you live away for a long time. Mostly I miss my family. Have more time to spend with them. Many of my friends from Winnipeg have moved away. I love living in Toronto. I have great friends there, but unfortunately two of my best friends have moved a bit out of the city, which I actually think just made me more homesick for my family. That being said, I’m adventurous and independent and enjoy living in a bright vibrant city. Spending this weekend with my parents, brothers, sister and nephews has been wonderful and long overdue.

2. Weddings are a happy time. Because they are a celebration of love. At times I find myself being cynical – that I’ve already used up my love tokens by 34 and am destined to be alone. But my brother found love again and he’s in his late 40s, so I guess I still have time to go.

3. Solo travel is good for my soul. The last 2 days of my trip I’m on my own. The freedom and peace experienced during solo travel is inspirational. It makes me always want to do more of it. Just little getaways with no restrictions and no one else to worry about.

4. Being by the ocean always makes my body feel good. The ocean water, the smell, the serenity. I probably need to live out by the ocean, I can’t be landlocked forever, Vancouver is just a bit too expensive for me at the moment though.

5. Outdoor exercise. My toe is doing a lot better, though I’m sure it will kill by the end of the day. Getting to walk and hike through Stanley park is always a joy. Again, I always feel good by the end of it. And anything else I add into today will also be great.

6. Finally, eating all the seafood. I’m honestly not a huge fan of meat, and I think that seafood in general is much healthier. Any time I’m near the ocean I always try to eat as much fresh seafood as possible. Chowder or sushi or shrimp dumplings or fish tacos. Fresh and local is amazing.

Chronic Illness and Mental Health… Follow the link

As I’ve had two back-to-back three thousand word papers due for a course in my master’s program, I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging. I did write a guest post for another blog a few weeks ago and they were kind enough to publish it!

Check it out:

They are a great blog for mental health issues, with lots of guest bloggers. Check out some of the other posts while you’re there!

6AE7370F-A025-45A0-8208-F65E59DDEA22Spike approves of study breaks.

One of the things that always stumps my rheumatologist, and one of the reasons she says it’s probably lupus, but isn’t really sure, is because my joints don’t actually swell. They hurt like hell. But rarely do they puff up, or if they do, it’s extremely minimal. Lupus arthritis doesn’t seem to be overly evident, despite the pain.

handDon’t break my hand, my achy, breaky hand…

The few weeks or so I’ve noticed that my hands in particular hurt a lot. A dull, achy pain mostly. The upper half toward my finger tips also tend to be cold and stay cold unless I’m actually out in the heat. But, direct sunlight is known to make lupus symptoms in general worse, and since summer is my favourite season, that could perhaps be affecting the achiness of my hands. Apparently I cannot win.

summerSummertime! Yes, I wore lots of sunscreen, and yes I actually wore a big brim hat all day.

That being said, I noticed on Saturday that one of my knuckles visibly swelled up (left pinky). It’s still swollen, and though there was a sharper pain going through it intermittently on Saturday, it has since left to just return to the normal aches. I should probably also mention that most of this recent hand pain is actually in my fingers as opposed to my hands. I have previously seen a neurophysiologist to make sure I don’t have carpel tunnel.

knuckleHard to get a good pic of it, but yes, the knuckle is swollen.

How do I cope when I spend a lot of time on the computer, writing (this blog, other personal writing, and of course, the current majority of my time on school work)? I think my passion for writing and the necessity to use the computer have a lot to do with it. My natural optimistic mindset, and I’m guessing, high pain tolerance, also probably help. Though I have to wonder how much more productive I would be if I didn’t feel these aches and pains.