Friday, July 17

July 17

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Thanks to all who have offered their caring support recently. Your kind words, prayers, and observations are all very much appreciated. Many have noticed I haven't posted as regularly as has been my practice in the past, and know that I've been awaiting insurance approval for new medication treatment for the chronic pain I experience due to the multi layered issues of auto immune inflammatory disease. I am pleased to report that approval came through this week, and I had my first injection on Wednesday. It could take between 2-5 weeks or so before I know whether or not this will be helpful, but thankfully the answer can at least be pursued!
The process has been in interesting one - I have learned over time that it isn't usually beneficial to push really hard for things that seem to be surrounded by resistance. My experience has shown me that it's when I engage in those highly resistant battles that I end up crawling, rather than walking, away from them in the end.
A simple example is with my art - when I have an idea in my mind of how something should look, and I try to make the idea happen, but it just isn't coming together - still I push, stubbornly - I want it my way even when the materials I'm using don't cooperate, the colors are turning to mud, and the paper is falling apart! Hours later I have a mess, no art and only my stubborn idea unfulfilled. I haven't done that in a long time, but I had to experience more than one disaster before I learned to shift gears at the signs of resistance.
Anyway, when I got mixed messages from my insurance company "yes you are approved, the medication is on it's way","no, we never approved you", "yes, you're being approved","no, your prescription plan doesn't even cover rheumatology medications, but you can have diabetes injections" (what?! okay, will they help joint pain?!), "no, there is no medical reason for said medication"... and so on, I took pause. I had to ask myself if this was one of those battles I needed to step into the ring for, or sit back and wait out. I ended up doing a little of both, knowing that part of the fight was simply about money. It's a very expensive treatment and I'm pretty sure the insurance company didn't want to pay, if they didn't have to.
During the waiting it out period, I thought a lot about what I was choosing to do, by taking this medication. It isn't done lightly. Medications for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn's disease, and numerous other auto immune conditions have the basic function of turning the immune system off. Simplistically put, when we have one of these diseases, our immune systems are over reacting to nonexistent threats, and our bodies end up attacking themselves. The medication stops that process, but it also stops us from responding to real threats - like flu and cold viruses, germs that might enter a scratch, etc. My imagination sees this stripping away of the basic protection that our bodies provide as the ultimate in vulnerability. Of course, having a hyper active immune system is like walking into a pillow fight wearing a metal armor. Both are extreme, yet balancing that internal system isn't something I have had the power to do fully through other means - not through diet, yoga, western medicine, therapy, qigong, acupuncture, etc. (Some aspects of my blood work have changed, and normalized, and I do believe these practices - especially yoga - were a primary reason.)
So, I find there is a kind of irony in the fact that the treatment I have sought out to help free me of pain, so that I may engage more fully in life, will cause me to have to be very careful around others - to take over for my immune system and be vigilant about protecting myself and being present - avoiding people who are sick, keeping my hands clean, and being very careful with kitchen, gardening, and sharp art tools! I look forward to simple things like running errands, going out to dinner, teaching a workshop, going to a museum, and visiting family...


  1. interesting that u say u think yoga has helped u rebalance. i have autoimmune health issues and keep thinking that there must be a way to 'reset' everything. thanks for sharing your words and nice art.

  2. Karin this is going to work.

    You are so brave and many will neveer know what you have gone to, to get to this point. You are strong and wise.

    I love you and am so happy that you can start this.

    Love Renee xoxo

  3. If there's anything I ever learned, its that optimism and smiling does heal or at least it makes life with diseases that much easier - I learned this from my mum who has highblood pressure, diabetes, and underwent quadrouple heart bypass surgery 6 years ago. She went in smiling and came out 7 hours later, smiling.
    I admire your strength and courage, and I love your art.
    Keep :-)ing

  4. This process seems filled with such hope somehow, Karin. I hope the path stays clear for you now, for a good long while ! Sending continued prayers and healing love vibes !

  5. I'm so pleased that something has shifted and that now you get the chance to at least try this treatment. It's a very subtle thing, learning to listen on the inside and do the right thing at the right time and you've obviously found how to do it. Sometimes being ill forces us to sit still and listen - I know I never would have learned to do it without being ill. Funny old life eh?

  6. Karin ... Sending love ... xoxo ... I don't have many words after reading yours ... You are in my thoughts of healing, dear heart.

    "... walking into a pillow fight wearing a metal armor" really struck me ... I understand this feeling ...

    Love you xoxo

  7. wow karin - we are at similar places again in our minds... i loved reading about your thoughts on resistance and not pushing... totally am with you on that! glad you were able to find somewhat of a balance between getting into the ring and letting go... and so happy to hear that your insurance came through... your pages are beautiful:) love you,

  8. Phew Karin you make me think twice before I complain. A heavy load you've been carrying. Praying that you are out and about soon, running workshops and visiting all the places you havn't been able to for too long.

  9. Positive thinking always helps and will help you heal faster. My prayers for you. hope to see you healthy and doing simple things soon.

    Love you

  10. I know exactly what you will be going through, since my sister has Sarcoids Disease. I think you will manage it well and you seem to have a good idea of what truly brings joy to you in this life; the simple things, for sure.
    I love your art, very emotional and beautiful!

  11. Karin my dear friend. How much I love you and how much your words help me.

    Thank you dear one.

    Love Renee xoxo

  12. approval - yay! will inject once a week or every other week? isn't it weird getting used to jabbing yourself? I don't know if you've done it before and it only seemed strange the first few times:)
    I thought you only had to be careful around others after your injection, not all the time, but maybe I wasn't correctly informed?!
    I'm sending vibes, praying, hoping for relief for you and SOON. you so deserve it! and I'm so glad you didn't give up but went running into the twisted up red tape with those giant scissors. oh, and thanks for mentioning psoriatic arthritis - hardly anyone has even heard of it:)
    keep me posted!


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