Thursday, April 24, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Bravest Thing Ever

During Spring Break, we visited one of our favorite places - the Virginia Safari Park.  Located near Natural Bridge, Virginia, The Virginia Safari Park is a magical place where animals such as zebras, deer, antelope, camels and bison come right up to your car for a snack! 

In addition to the drive-thru portion of the park is a small walk-thru area where super turtles, monkees, lazy kangaroos, giraffes, peacocks and budgies greet the public. 

Since Ashley is severely visually impaired, she doesn't always get to see the animals, but the budgie house is a different story!  Fashioned like a gigantic bird house. hundreds of budgies fly around.  They will land on shoulders, fingers and even hats.

As you might imagine, the hubbub in the budgie house could go one of two ways - she could be frightened and over-stimulated, scaring the other visitors as well as the birds - or the way life unfolded during our visit!  For a blind child, this is quite possibly the bravest thing I have ever seen!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Breaking

It's Spring Break for the kids.  It's also time for flower planting, zoo visiting, ice cream eating, napping, and all those other wonderful things we can do when we don't have school and work!

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, and I will see you on the other side!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Special Exposure Wednesday

No, it wasn't a tornado or's my old, rotting shed during its teardown process...otherwise known as "the source for dead rodents to the delight of my two dogs"!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


I wake up every morning with hands so swollen that they can hardly bend.  They ache, as do my elbows, shoulders, and knees.  Every so often, my hips and feet jump in to enjoy the pain too.  I have rheumatoid arthritis.

I was diagnosed about 10 years ago, and have been through a whole range of treatments – Ibuprofen, prednisone, methotrexate, and several biologics.  The biologics have traditionally been the best, but they usually only work for about two years.  And that’s why right now I am trying yet another, my 4th, biologic.

I began four weeks ago on Orencia.  Unlike the other biologics I have tried that are once a month shots, Orencia is a once a week shot.  Usually when I started on one of the other biologics, I would get relief pretty quickly, but so far on Orencia, I feel worse not better.  I’m not sure what that means, but am really looking forward to my next rheumatology visit in a couple of weeks.

It also seems that Orencia comes with its own unique set of side effects – flushing, back and shoulder pain, and a monster headache that I just can’t seem to shake.  I had no side effects on the other biologics, so I don’t know what makes Orencia so different.

I would love to know if any of you have tried these meds, or have RA (or a similar condition requiring the use of biologics).  What’s worked for you, and what hasn’t.  I’m not young, but I’m also not old enough to feel as bad as I am right now…

Monday, April 7, 2014

Competitor - Winner!

Ronnie competed in the Mid-Atlantic wheelchair games this weekend.  He even came in 1st in his age group in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter races!  Way to go, Ronnie!