Growing a Business….. MY BUSINESS!!!! 

Several months back around the first of 2017 I was invited to one of those annoying makeup 💄parties on Facebook. You know the ones I am talking about, the ones it seems like you are always getting an invite to!! I had ignored multiple invites over the previous months. But for some reason I decided to drop into this one. Probably because this one was only like an hour long. So it was quick and to the point. I really liked the host, and the longer that I spent watching her demonstrate the makeup the more enthralled I was. The idea behind this makeup was that the lipstick was kiss proof, smudge proof etc!! You could kiss your spouse or your babies and the lipstick wouldn’t come off on them. Sure I thought? They say that but there’s no way!!! But then she proceeded to show us that it was all those things and MORE.  The makeup is all also smudge proof, water proof and could be worn in the pool even. I was HOOKED!! 

So shortly after I started wearing the product I learned about the awesome compensation plan that the company provides its distributors. So not only did they make awesome makeup, lipstick and skin care products they also provided also compensation plans. So I was falling more and more in love with Senegence weekly. One thing that I liked was that every customer has the ability to sign up “as a distributor,” to receive the wholesale discount, or become a distributor. So just for signing up a person can receive a minimum of 20%  off of all purchases (which is way more than any customer can receive from any distributor outside of 🎉 party). Even at this point I was hesitant I thought okay? I sign up and then they will sock me will HUGE distributor fees or requirements. But true to Senegence style that’s not the case. To join they just require a $55 fee ghat is required annually (much like a Costco membeeship!) All that is required to stay a distributor is to order $200 worth of product every SIX months. Which is so very easy to do!!  And the discount gets better with the more you spend. But you don’t have to and you can just continue to get the 20% off if you choose. If you chose that you want more than the discount this is also the point where you can decide to become an active distributor for the company! 

So I started using Lipsense 👄 sometime around February or March 2017. I can’t remember exactly. By the end of April I had signed up to be a distributor. I had never planned on actually selling for Senegence but like usual God has different plans for my life. Over the course of May, June and July my health continued to go down hill, and I was less able to  keep up with my work schedule. So that’s when I decided after much prayer that it was time for me to try to overcome my battles with health, and my battle with my  inability to keep up my normal schedule at work! I decided that it was time for me to really start putting time into selling cosmetics. Not just any cosmetics,  Lipsense. 

Lipsense, you ask, surley there’s more than just 💄 lipstick? You are right?!?  Lipsense is just a part of the Senegence line. Yes! That’s true. Senegence has a complete makeup line as well as a skin care line.  But the Lipsense is the most common, well heard-of and probably the most lucrative. It seems like most places you go now someone has heard of Lipsense. Which makes selling it much easier. Sometime In June of 2017 I became somewhat serious about selling lipsense. I was shocked at how easy it really was.  The product pretty much sold itself. The best way to sell Senegence products is Facebook!!!! And heaven knows I’ve been successfully using Facebook for many years. So selling on Facebook seemed like it wouldn’t be that hard. But doing Live chats on Facebook turned out to be much harder than I thought.  I can talk with the best of them.  But getting people on to interact is a whole different story. But like anything else the  more LIVE Facebook shows/chats I did, the more comfortable I become with them. And the more comfortable I became with running a Business Page on Facebook. And the bigger my business grew. 

Then it happened. The car accident. In mid August I had a car accident due to a medical event. And due to that event I am no longer able to drive a car or work a typical 9-5 job. So my Lipsense Business became my ONLY source of income.  Now that I was no longer working my 9-5 I was able to really focus on my business. I have been able to grow team and give other women the opportunity to join Senegence and start their own businesses.  I have been so blessed to have Senegence in my life as an opportunity!! Senegence has helped me pay my bills and provide for myself in a time when I had no other means of income. And more importantly Senegence has helped me find my HAPPY!!! Because of this reason I can’t wait to share it with others.  It is the perfect job for stay at home moms, women who love makeup and just want to make a little more money. Or women who want to go full force and go for the big $$.  I am so inspired by the women in this company, they are awesome, God loving, mamas who work this business like a boss. There are women in this company who are making upwards of $20,000 a MONTH!!!!!  Who wouldn’t want that!! 

In closing Senegence is an amazing company that makes long wear, smudge free makeup. But more than that they are a company that is owned by a women who wants to impower women!! Impower women to run their businesses like a boss! The owner Joni wants women to run their businesses however it suits them. Whether that’s just having extra spending money or suppporting their families!!!  Senegence is far more than a cosmetic company. And I am so lucky to be a part of it and would LOVE to share the opportunity with each and every one of you. So you can find Your happy!!!  👄💋👄

Taking Constant HITS

Do you ever feel like we live in a series of hits? Taking one after another after another?  Some may be like a thunderstorm that blows threw almost daily during some seasons leaving very little damage, maybe some downed tree limbs and minor stream flooding. While others feel like a category 5 disaster with live change disaster left behind.  While the hits we take are not really be like a category 1- 5 they sure feel like them. A category one might be something like getting bad lab results. And because of those results you now have to watch your diet intake and might not able to have the meal or sweets you wanted. Or the adult beverage you prefer on the weekend to wind down. Due to the fact they are watching your liver enzymes. Or perhaps you have a small flare and spend one day hurting due to a weather change!  Those things in the scheme of things are small hits. Where as a category 5 might be something like long term illness or hospitalization.  But to everyone the category of HITS will be different for each person. And how you handle these HITS will differ, we all have to find a way to handle things that are appropriate for all of us.  Continue reading “Taking Constant HITS”

Finding Me…

Disclaimer: This was very hard for me to write, it has made me feel very vulnerable! However, I   feel like it’s a story that needs to be shared and hope that in someway my story of finding love for myself again can help someone else do the same. 

When you have a chronic illness it’s no secret that you often feel depressed or you start to question your self worth!  Or even totally lose who you are and  the love you feel for yourself.  Through being sick all the time you have probably lost a few friends over time because they don’t get it or they are tired of all the cancellations!  Your illness may have been a part of a failed relationship, a lost job or career. So then the question is, what do you do to boost your self confidence? To make your self feel worthy? To find you, and the love you have for yourself?  Do these things depend on the comments of others for you?  Or is more about how you see you when you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself? Well, today I’m going to talk about my battle with low self-worth and depression. And the things I have done to improve those things. And mostly importantly how I found me! 
After leaving a bad relationship and being diagnosed with Lupus (and all the other life changing illnesses lupus brings with it) within a few months time I was at a low point. I felt broken and that I would never be worthy of any ones love again. I know it sounds crazy. But I felt that since I was “broken physically” no one would ever view me the same. That was five years ago. I can’t tell you at that point what I did to improve the way I viewed myself other than a lot of talking with my friends and family who really cared about me. And slowly I gained my self confidence back. But it’s taken many years. And many breakdowns along the road. 

Over the years there have been MANY times those bad thoughts have crept back into my mind. “You aren’t good enough.”  “You are broken who would want you!!?” “You are too fat, too ugly etc.” When you have so many illnessses and have been on bigger doses of prednisone which in turn bloated you up like a pig.  It’s hard not to feel those feelings sometimes.  Especially in a society and time where looks matter so much! (And just a side note, whoever said that the prednisone weight will just “fall off” once you come off of it is a BIG FAT LIAR!!!! Because I doesn’t. ) It wasn’t until recently that I found something that has really turned my thinking around and helped me to feel really good about myself for the first time in a LONG time. 

About six months ago probably a friend from high school invited me on Facebook to a MLM makeup party. This party was selling lipsticks that lasted up to 18hrs. I’m not gonna lie I wasn’t really interested I’ve never been a huge makeup person. But I don’t watched the girl do her live schpeal and I was intrigued. Lipstick that stays put with out reapplication for up to 18hrs and it hydrates your lips at the same time???That would be handy to have rather than carrying around my Gloss orchapstick in my pocket. So I thought I’ll try it. What do I have to lose?

I got my color and tried it for a couple days and fell in love. And the more I wore it the more apt I was to put makeup on too so my lips didn’t stand out. And as time went on my self worth started to grow. I was also losing weight during this time which helped me to like myself again because I have been at my heaviest weight for the last four plus years. And I couldn’t even stand to look in the mirror when I wasn’t wearing clothes. So I was overall feeling better about myself. Not that looks should in any way reflect about how you feel. But for me it wasn’t how others viewed me or thought of me. It was how I saw me.  I didn’t feel invisible anymore when I was wearing makeup. I felt like people were seeing me for me and not my conditions. And it’s not the makeup that did that. It was the way I felt and views myself that changed that for me.  I started putting real clothes on rather than just sloppy comfy clothes. And I really started to like myself again. Because there for awhile. I didn’t even like myself. 

After a few months of using the makeup and lipstick. I started selling it. Just to make a little money on the side and to earn the discounts. I never thought that Senegence/Lipsense would become my primary source of income. But it has!  I have watch so many trainings and girls talking about why they got involved and I got inspired. I wanted to own my own business and make it successful. And No this is not a plug for you to come try the makeup or join my team. This is just another little piece of the puzzle to finding myself. Who knew that wearing and selling makeup could help me find the me that I lost several ayears ago! 

I have a fellow lupus sufferer who has told me for a couple years that if I would get up even on the days I was home and not going anywhere I would feel a little better. At first I thought she was a little nuts. But then I tried it. And it’s true!! If I get up and put on a little makeup and my lipstick I do have a little more pep in my step. They have products that actually cover my butterfly rash so it’s not sticking out for all to see. Which I have never found with any other makeup line. But like I said before it’s got nothing to do with how others see me. It’s all about how I see me. If you can’t love yourself. You will never be able to find love in a partner!!  And through this MLM makeup company, of all things, I have found the love for myself again.  And that is something I have not had in close to 10 years. Due to a failed marriage, a horrible relationship and being so sick and overweight due to steroids. Now all these years later I can finally look at myself in the mirror and not see ugly, fat, and sick. I can once again get dressed in front of the mirror and not cringe. I found me and love the me I have become.  

What will it take for you find you?  Or better yet what did you do to find yourself. Feel feee to leave your stories in the comments! And if I can help you in anyway on your journey please let me know!!!

-Amber 💋💋

(Now I will plug. If you are interested at all in the makeup I mentioned feel free to leave me a message and I’ll get back to you) 

MVA – How They Can Have an Impact on More Than Just the Car. 

Man….. you don’t think about how one situation can totally mess up your whole system until it happens. I realized that a week ago today when I was in a car accident. It was nasty. But nothing broken. Just a concussion and a torn up knee. And lots of bumps and bruises. (And the other person wasn’t hurt either.)Then the realization set in yesterday that I am now in a lupus flare. And my adrenal glands are on their way to sending me into an adrenal crisis!!! I wrote my rheumatolgist to see if I could do steroids or anything to prevent the worsening flare. And she told me LIGHT STRETCHING was the only thing I could do. Really?!?!? You hurt as bad as I do everyday and then get on the floor and stretch. If I could even get to the floor there is no way in hades that I could get up. With my knee in an immobilizer and my arms so sore from crutches and the accident I’d be stuck. And they weren’t kidding when they said day two and three would be worse. Holy moly! It’s insane. 

The scariest part of this whole ordeal wasn’t the accident itself. Simply bc I don’t remember it. But THAT statement is the scary part.  I have absolutely no idea what happened. The ambulance came quickly and whisked me away to the Emergency Room. That’s when everything stopped. Apparently they didn’t have any rooms in the back, so they set me in wheelchair with my c-collar, crying like a weirdo in the WAITING ROOM. This is where I sat for about two hours before I saw a nurse or dr.  Ya I get they were busy. But one would think that a car accident with loss of consciousness would trump other things but I guess not.  The whole time I was at the hospital I sat and balled. Like sobbing. I just couldn’t quit. But I am so glad my mom was there with me the whole time. I wasn’t always nice to her,but we blame the pain meds and the accident on that. But she stayed right there with me. Even at 32 it’s nice to have your mom around when you need her!! 

I’m a cryer yes. But I never sit and cry inconsolablely for a hour.  That’s not my norm. So, I can only assume that it was the shock of the accident and concussion I had causing all those tears. The ER Dr told me I had no broken bones or major injuries. Put an immobilizer on my knee and gave me some crutches and sent me out the door. I was glad to go home but the really pain and soreness was just setting in. Man you never believe how much everything is going to hurt for days following an accident until it happens to you. I am still sore and very bruised and it’s been a week today. And I still can’t bear full weight on my leg.  Sigh. We are doing some medical tests and will give my knee another week go see if it heals on its own. 

So not only am I deal with my pain and emotions from the car wreck. I am now dealing with the fact that I lost my job. I understand where they are coming from. My absences make it hard to count on me. And now that I can drive or work until the dr clears me. (We are going to test my heart and do an eeg to see if I’m having seizures.) That means I have no idea how long it will be before I am cleared to work or drive. I am not mad at my boss as I know she is looking out for her patients. And right now they need someone who can be there all the time. She did say that if I ever want to come back I can. That I’ve not burned any bridges. This company was fantastic to work for. And they went above and beyond to make sure I had what I needed. And gave me more chances than anyone else would have with my absences. But It still sucks because I have to go pick up all my belongings thatbwere in my office. Which is sad bc I loved my job and I’m sad that part of my life is over. 

Now the question is what am I going to do for money $$. Because sadly we can’t live free in today’s society.  I have become a distributor for the makeup company Senegence. And in doing so have been able to make decent money. So I’m praying that I can continue to grow my buisness and that I can do this and not have to go to work again outside the house at least not right away!! If not I am not sure what route I will go. Only time will tell!! 

So many emotions and thoughts are swirling through my head. Who would have ever guessed that losing your car in an accident could be so emotional. I guess for most it’s probably not. But buying that car was the last thing my grandpa and I did together before he passed several years ago. So I feel like that car was my last earthly connection I have to him. And that’s hard.  Because I miss him so much everyday. 

Anyway, I’m a little rusty on this whole blogging thing if you can’t tell. My thoughts have been all over the place. Which for a Lupie isn’t that strange but usually my writing is better than this. But I wanted to share my thoughts and what has been going on in my life. I promise I will now be getting back into blogging now that I have a little more free time!!

Love always ❤️


Book Review

“I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company. “

I have recently been reading an amazingly well written book by Edie Summers Called,  “The Memory of Health, My Journey to mindful Living & Concious Comsunerism.” Not only did Edie open up to all her readers about her journey with health, she also provided numerous resources and information that can be used by people in all walks of life. I know the book was about her journey of being unwell, however the information she provided on numerous topics that could be beneficial to a non chronically ill person. I loved how she did not stick to just one form of writing.  She had pieces from her journal, poetry, pictures and of course the informational parts. Her vulnerability was that which is not seen in a lot of book. And something that I really appreciated.  The extra resources she provides at the end of the book at well worth the prices of the book. You couldn’t find a more comprehensive array of resources really anywhere.  Edie pointed out at one point that health is NOT one-size fits all. And this point really stuck with me. It seems like In the medical field the doctors want everyone to fit into this list of checkmarks, boxes and the same mold. And Edie’s point made me really think about how that’s just not the case. Not just with us who are chronically ill. But all people. No one persons health is going to be the same as any other one persons health and that’s something we all need to remember. Every Lupus patient is going to be vastly different from another.  I also really enjoyed that she talked about multiple chronic illnesses. Not just what she has been dealing with. So many books today focus just on one type of illness, and she discussed many and did a great job doing so!! I learned a LOT about conditions I do not have but know people who do!! And this helps me in my profession to be more well rounded and a better caregiver. But I think my favorite part of the whole book was Chapter 5. Which is entitled The Memory of Health. In this chapter she talks about things that we as readers can do to improve our health. She talks about Self-love which is super important and something that many people struggle with, myself included! Overall, this book was FABULOUS. One of the best books I’ve ever read on health. It was so easy to read because of the way she broke it up and because she used so many different ways to convey the information. I would give this book 4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (on a four star scale)  And would/will be recommending it for all to read.  I will be recommending this book to those in my support groups.  As well as to those I know with chronic conditions similar to mine who aren’t in groups. I would also recommend that families or friends of those with chronic illnesses read this so they can develop a better understanding of what we go through on a day to day basis!!!  There is nothing better than having family and friends who understand what you are going through and aren’t judgemental. I feel like there would be less judgement from those around us if they would take time to read this fantastic book!!

If you would like to read the book you can find it on Amazon

Or you can also find it here:

And the link to Edie’s website!
Happy Reading!


Interview With Author Bethany L Douglas of Helicopter Mom 

A good friend and colleague of mine has written her first book this year. An amazing book on learning to live with and letting go of fear. It is mostly geared toward mothers, however that being said I have read it twice and I gained so much from it as a single women. I feel like those of us with chronic illness live a life of perpetual fear and that is why when she origainally talked to me about reading it I agreed 100%. The more ways that I can find to deal with the fears I have in my life the better my life will be. 

 I recently set down with Bethany L. Douglas author of Helicopter Mom and talked with about her book and why she wrote it. After our discussion I put that discussion into writing so you could all read it. So down below I have included my interview with Bethany along with a link to a giveaway she is doing for a chance to win a copy of her book.   

                    Helicopter Mom 

Interview with the author Bethany L.         Douglas


—-What inspired you to write your book? 

Without being too spiritual about it, the short answer is the Holy Spirit inspired it. I talk some in the foreword about the inspiration for it which explains more, but truly this book came out of nowhere for me. I had not been thinking or planning on writing a book, and then one Sunday after a really great sermon by a guy named Jeff Voth, I came home and told my husband Gabe that I felt God had instructed me to write a book. I started that afternoon and it just poured out of my. I wrote it in long sessions while at work at my helicopter base, and the thing literally just wrote itself in about 6 days time over the course of a month.

I didn’t intend or expect to do anything with it. I was quite happy to just have it on paper. I left it that way for almost a year and didn’t think a thing about it. Then this last fall I felt compelled to try to get it published. I felt it was such a powerful and needed word from God for women and moms in particular that I needed to share it with the masses. And the rest is history!

 —-Why did you feel it was such an important message to share with women? 

Looking back on it now, I think God had been preparing my heart for quite a while for the subject matter. I had been a part of several moms groups for a while at that point and had been constantly surprised by how fearful the majority of them were. From the realistic to the crazy, never-gonna-happen stuff, fear seemed rampant in this population. Obviously so much so that society even has a term for it- helicopter moms. Fear drives so much of our lives when you really think about it, especially fear for our kids. I am not naturally a fearful sort of person, as I talk at length about in the beginning of the book, but it struck me how crippling it can be for others. Being an actual ‘helicopter mom’ seemed like a God-given dovetail from a really unique and fitting angle to help women overcome fear.

 —–Do you feel like women who aren’t mothers, or males (fathers) could relate to the book? 

You know, at first, I had no thoughts past just ministering to moms with this particular book, however I’ve had tremendous feedback from non-moms, single women, single father’s, even non-fathers about the book. The book speaks to everyone on some level. I think the key is that the book at its base is really just about overcoming fear. What people fear may be different and look different, but the fact is we all struggle with it to varying degrees. Even the men who’ve read it said that they gleaned a ton of great insight and practical applications to dealing with this giant in their lives. I had one guy tell me he needed to read it because he’s a ‘helicopter husband’! I think the basic Biblical principles will ring true with everyone, regardless of what specifically they fear about; and my ‘non-audience’ readers have all echoed this sentiment which thrills me.

 —-What made you decide to reference your medical training and job in the book? 

Most of that just seemed like the most obvious thing to do. The title for the book came to me immediately and I thought it was a totally different and unique perspective on just another ‘self-help’ book. I googled quite a bit about other books available that addressed such issues and there just aren’t any out there- either secular or Christian. I was really surprised since it seems to be so prevalent in our society. But, as I said before, the manuscript came very supernaturally and yet organically at the same time. I simply wrote what I do know about, the world of flight nursing and emergency medicine, and married that to the core issues that I perceived as being the root of this fear issue. The rest was just a Bible study of sorts to learn how to practically solve each issue. The helicopter background and information fell seamlessly (in my humble opinion) into visual and anecdotal stories that hopefully help the readers get a better grasp of what I’m writing about.

 —-If readers were to take away one thing from reading your book, what do you want that to be? 

More than anything I want this book to glorify God and show that He is the overcomer- and that as Christians we can share in that mantle. The Bible talks at length, from front to back, about not fearing- and yet we still do it. I want people to walk away with really practical, day-to-day steps on how to overcome this giant in their lives. For moms specifically I want them to ‘let go and let fly’ as I say in the book. Helicopters are actually the perfect visual to have as a mom… but we need to understand the purpose is not to hover but rather the amazing qualities that these aircraft have in flight. We can spiritually be the same way with our children and utilize this thing we call motherhood to better and more effective ends with our kids.

 —-What is your favorite memory during the writing, publishing and promoting process? 

By far my most cherished memory was the fact that I was pregnant with our third child at the time. She was flying around with me for the entire pregnancy and all of the writing of the book. I don’t want to give anything away, but as I talk about in the Afterword About the Afterward at the end of the book, she has made a honest mom and an honest author out of me. (You’ll have to read it to see why!) But I have loved the journey that God set me on for this whole, crazy thing. It has been refining for sure and I’ve met some tremendously amazing people along the way.

I love that during much of the writing, I would go back over it and have literally no memory of writing some of the things that were on the page. I still go back to this day and there are sections I read and I’m like, “That’s really good stuff! I should write that down!” Ha!

I don’t at all feel like this book is mine so much as a very special word from God; I just happened to be the typist and entrusted to get it out in book form to people. That in itself has been a sobering, heavy mantle at times to bear. But I am honored and humbled that He would choose me to proclaim the message.

—-What can we expect from you in the future? Are you working on another book? 

Whew, loaded question. I do feel like God is calling me to write and speak much more formally and full-time eventually. I have several ideas for books that I will get around to at some point. I’m working on an accompanying Helicopter Mom Workbook that can be used alongside the book right now. Hoping to get that out by the end of the year. I think my next book is supposed to be focused on helping women overcome guilt and our totally obsession with ‘giving things to God’ and then immediately picking them back up to worry and fret over. We have so much junk we needlessly carry around because we just refuse to put it down and walk away…. I’m thinking of calling it Junk in the Trunk… what do you think? Past that, I would like to start speaking and encouraging people more, as God opens doors. This ‘platform-building’ thing has been an interesting ride for sure… one that this mom still knows almost nothing about. But as long as I let God pilot this mission, I’ll be in good hands. You never know where this chopper may end up! I’m excited to be on the journey.

I loved being able to talk with Bethany after  reading the book and getting to talk to her kind of behind the scenes. Especially because I have known her for, oh boy I feel like I’m dating myself, at least 12 years and really always looked up to her as a person anyway.  I hope that each of you would give this book a chance. It is available to be purchased on  everyone go out and pick one up today! Available at and on Amazon at

And as soon as I can figure out how to get the link up I’ll get the link up for a chance to win a free copy of the book. 

  • -Amber

Just a Reminder 

Short but important post today. Just a reminder!!! This FRIDAY MAY 19 is PUT ON PURPLE day for lupus. So if you know or support someone with lupus and would like to wear some article of clothing or piece of jewelry that is purple this would be the day! The day to show, not only support for that person, but for the whole community worldwide! Leave a comment on this post if you plan to wear Purple for someone in your life fighting lupus! Let us know how you know the person you will be wearing purple for! Is it you? Your spouse? Your daughter? Or your best friend? I’m curious to see who people are supporting!  This would also be a good day to explain why you are wearing purple, to anyone who notices or asks, in an effort to spread information on the horrible diseases. Thanks in advance for the support. #putonpurple #putonpurpleforlupusawareness #putonpurpleforlupus #thelupielife #theworldseesnormal 

Where Did All The Money Go????Bills Pills Bills Pills…..

By Amy Nora
It is the never-ending cycle of what many of those with Lupus and other Chronic health conditions struggle with. The financial struggles that people with SLE face can be a challenge on many levels. According to the Lupus Foundation of America, the average lupus patient spends approximately $12,000 annually on treatments; however, many treatments cost several thousand dollars a month or every few months. There is also the problem of loss of income due to the inability to work full time or the need to go on disability. The average total annual breakdown cost per Lupus patient in the United States is $20K.  

This is an extraordinary amount of money to the average person or family. There are ways to help soften the financial impact though. First, drug manufacturers offer assistance programs for patients that are not on Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare. If you are on any of those three programs, it is illegal for them to assist. These programs offer help with the medications that have copay’s of several hundred to several thousand dollar copays. Second, are organizations that have grants or funding available to assist with various costs associated with various conditions or drugs that are not associated with drug manufacturers so they do not fall into the prohibitive statues under the law. The most heard of and known one is the Healthwell Foundation to those in the Lupus community. Third, if you can meet with a financial advisor to work on medical expense planning. This is now just as important as retirement planning for those with chronic medical conditions. This is not Health Savings Accounts, this is not a specific type of account, this is a strategy based off expenses and potential length of ability to work.  

There are honest and hard financial discussions that must be had if you have a medium to severe case of SLE. I would encourage you to plan wisely. When those expenses come that none of us can plan for, let us make sure we use what resources we can to lessen the impact as much as possible.  

We already have to deal with pills, let’s do what we can about those bills…





Legalized Majiuana…. How it Helps the Chronically Ill….By Tammy Belaire Ford

This month is all about Lupus Awareness. And to me lupus affects everyone differently and everyone is going to use different things for treatment.  So throughout the month you will see posts written from different authors on how Lupus and other conditions affect them. As well as how they treat their conditions. I hope you enjoy their pieces. This is the first of this Pieces written by a long time spoonie!  She suffers with Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome among other things. Here’s her story on how legalized marijuana helps the chronically ill! 

As promised to my pal Amber & since I proudly own the title of the tree hugging hippie Canadian who eats pot, I agreed to write what I know about the miracle wonder weed aka marijuana. I promise you , When I am done, your opinion of the weed smoking ” stoners” were nothing but idiots & uneducated will change! The amount of info they must learn is phd level.  Ok here I go – Have a seat, pot school is in session Ready? The fact that I use it now medicinally surprises me more than anyone. I was anti pot. I may have drank & been a tad loosy goosly once upon a time but NEVER DRUGS. I went to school, became a social worker who dabbled in drug & alcohol awareness, while working with low functioning developmentally delayed clients along side the Main Street bad guys ( that was a trip ) in a halfway house. All thorough out my career I suffered horribly with IC & cyclical Vomiting & what they thought was fibro ( it was not , it was Lupus). Career wise, I started out being a Private Investigator trying to catch the bad guy, to working in a halfway house trying to fix the bad guy, to working at Welfare & no longer caring about the bad guy. By the time I got to the last part of my career,  I was a sick puppy with an undercooked baby with a bad heart for a child. Not my finest hour. I got wigged out on Oxys & Lorazepam, lost my first spouse whom I loved dearly & had to leave my hard earned career permanently. The big pharmacy world was slowly destroying my life. I was asked by my pain doctor if I would be willing to try various strains & delivering systems using MJ. I had tried Nabalone, Marinol & Sativex – all prescription man made alternatives utilizing THC – the main ingredient in MJ. Personally the marinol did nothing, the sativex spray burnt the inside of my mouth & Nabalone helped with constant nausea but did nothing once an attack occurred. I use it as preventative agent now. Because I do not like taking anything I am not well versed in, after I was asked to try edibles infused with MJ , I cracked open the books. It’s important if folks are going to use it properly & get the most out of it to make sure they are well informed. 

First off – there are 3 types of MJ

Sativa-if you are prone to paranoia – don’t use straight sativa as it has invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that go well if you have to be alert , witty & physical active at an endurance level 

Indica- sedating , perfect for going to bed or needing to relax & unwind . 

Hybrids tend to fall somewhere in the middle . Because they work so differently , a patient suffering from depression may use a sativa during the day & someone else treating pain or insomnia will choose an Indica strain at night 

High CBD strains are used for treating seizures, anxiety & pain just to name a few but have no psychoactive effects aka feelings or making one high.

The 2 main ingredients in MJ are CBD – cannabidiol & THC – tetrahydrocannabinol . Many strains of MJ arenknown for having an abundance of THC & not CBD. Case in point. A young girl in the US needed a high CBD cannibis to juice that would reduce & eventually eliminate her seizures. They, in fact named a high CBD strain ” Charlotte’s web” after the little one who desperately needed it. Her parents moved her to another state where it was easier to grow Charlotte’s web due to growing conditions & legalities. There home state wanted to put the parents in jail & take their baby away & put in foster care because some bureaucratic idiot decided they were endangering their child . Family packed up to new legal state, Charlotte took less that 1mm droplet of juiced high CBD levelled Indica 2-3 xs a day at first , now down to 1 dose a day & she is one beautiful young girl whose seizures are controlled by her use of cannibis. I think parents who are not willing to give their kids with seizures juiced MJ should be charged with child endangerment 

. The stigma is beyond ridiculous . 

Here are 5 differences between CBD & THC 

1. the high – while disappointing to the community wishing only to get high , the medical community is realizing CBD actually works wonders as a medicine 

2. THC is known to cause folks to be jittery , anxious & paranoid . CBD appears to have polar opposite effects., studies have proven that CBD works to counteract the anxiety caused by ingesting tHC . Also a number of studies state CBD can reduce anxiety when administered on its own – nature’s Valium. 

3. CBD in addition to being non psychoactive it appears to have antipsychotic properties & is being used for folks with schizophrenia & bipolar . For folks who are having a bad ” trip” making them anxious. Ingesting CBD MJ will calm the person down. 

4. Sleep- this is going to sound confusing but here I go / if you want to sleep & pronevto paranoid – don’t use a Sativa high in THC. However, if you want to fall into a sweet slumber and paranoia is not an issue – an Indica with both thc & CBD works well or just high THC. High CBD strains often keep folks awake & helps with pain. I like a hybrid of both CBD & THC in an indica as sativa makes me jumpy . Induction with CBD & thc helps with pain sleep & nausea . 

5. The last difference between the two will soon be a non issue in Canada when they legalized MJ across the country not just for medicinal use. The difference is there is CBD in hemp – hemp is a food, can be made into clothing etc & because it had no ” high ” effects , it’s classified differently & recently the FDA approved a form of CBD called Epidiolex that can be tested on children. 

There have been many jokes about cannibis use as well as lies & misconceptions that it is the gateway drug to hell. It is NOT!!! It is not physically addicting . People may believe they are chemically addicted or dependent on it but they are not. Anyone can stop without any worries of withdrawal . It does not take you by the hand and lead you to other big bad drugs. In fact they now use it to help with withdrawal from the hard crap out there. If people are going to do hard drugs …. they will despite whether or not they used cannibis first . 

If one is ingesting non heated CBD ( juiced cannibis) they can walk tightropes, fly planes & not be impaired at all. If one uses Indica high THC cannibis that has been heated / cooked at some point – stay off the streets , do not share it with your kids or pets, behave & go to sleep . 

I can’t smoke it. Somewhere along my almost 52 years of breathing , i did not learnt the fine tuned skill of breathing in with my mouth & out my nose without making myself hyperventilate . Add smoke to the mixture & I am just one hot mess. Unless I have been run over by the Benny Bus ( biologic Wonder med for Lupus that can make you feel like you have been run over by a bus or 2), I am having a ” making Linda Blair from The Exorcist look like an amateur in the barfing department ” aka a cyclical Vomiting attack , I don’t use it during the day. My dear pal who was a quadriplegic due to being shot when we were 18 used it through out the day to stop involuntary spasms . In her case & mine- using a Sativa with high THC levels would not work for our needs. We both used Indica with s combo of CBD & THC. When I juice MJ , I use    

The entire plant leaves, stems etc that contains both CBD & THC . Due to fact I am not heating it , the thc levels are irrelevant because they can only be released when heated. 

Because I turned a leaf ( pun not intended) in my views of MJ, I got off Oxys, will never use lorazepam again , reduced fentanyl patch from 200mg to 25-50g & I’m back to me again. Those other drugs rob folks of their souls & true identities : we have an awesome form of medicine right at our finger tips & the fact folks would rather take brain numbing & cell destroying pills baffles me. If I can change my views , anyone can once they have done the research. 

Enclosed are a few more reference pages to read if interested ✌️✌️✌️

A Little Infection For a Normal Person Goes a Long Way For a Spoonie

Last week as I went into the hospital for a hemiplegic migraine I felt like I was getting a respiratory infection. I mentioned it a couple times to a couple different doctors but no one really wanted to deal with it since I was in with a migraine. Well by the time I came come Saturday I really wasn’t feeling good. Sunday was worse and Monday even worse. So I called my dr and and she called me out a prescription. Each of the following days I just proceeded to feel worse, worsening shorteness of breath, increasing cough, and increasing temp. Thankfully I had a hospital follow up with my primary care physician on Thursday anyway. She walked in and said “Oh Amber you look horrible.”  I laughed and said “Well that could have something to do with the fact that I haven’t slept in two days bc I can’t quit coughing or because I hurt like crazy!”  She sent me to the lab to leave a sputum sample and to the radiology department for chest X-ray. By the time I got back up to her office she had decided she was going to admit me to the hospital.  She wanted me admitted for 1. Pneumonia 2. Adrenal insufficiency (because my blood pressure was running low) 3. Low potassium 4. And lupus exacerbation.    ( I haven’t been able to have my IV Benlysta treatment for lupus since February 16 because I’ve been sick. So my lupus is out of control. 

So I was admitted under this really great dr. He really seemed to understand my condition. For the first time ever a dr who understand lupus!!!!   He was good with giving me pain medicine and ordered breathing treatments, iv steroids and Iv antibiotics. He also placed me in neutropenic precautions. Not because my blood counts were low but because I’m very immunocompromised. So, everyone had to wash there hands before coming in or where gloves, the door had to stay closed, no fresh 🌺 or fresh fruit.  Sadly, my pain slowly grew more and more out of control as the evening passed and I had a really hard time asking. I hate asking for more pain meds. It’s a personal thing. And my mom thinks I’m crazy. But it’s just me. Anyway. As the night continued led to more and more years bc not only did my joints hurt but my ribs hurt like crazy from all the constant coughing!!! Finally about midnight I asked for some IV pain meds on top of the pills I was getting. The nurse called and I overheard her calling (two hours after I asked for the pain meds) and told her I was there for BRONCHITIS!! She failed to mention the lupus exacerbation. Anyway. She came back in and said the dr said that since I was in last week for migraines and had iv pain meds I couldn’t have anything on top of what I was getting excepts toradol and IBUPROFEN!!! I literally didn’t sleep all night and spent most of the night coughing and crying in pain!! I have never in all the times I’ve been in the hospital received such poor care. That nurse could have cared less. She told me three times she was calling for a breathing treatment and never did!  

The next morning (I had been up for three days by this point) when my dr came in he asked me first thing what was going on with my pain situation. He said in my chart in the same sentence the provided that was called about the pain medicine the night before stated that I requested and refused The IV pain medicine. So I have no idea what that nurse told her. So my dr gave me IV meds orders first thing that morning. He also informed me that I did not have pneumonia. I had tested positive for the  RHINO VIRUS and also had viral bronchitis. So he stopped my antibiotics as they would not be doing any good. The breathing treatments helped so much. And the iv pain meds helped. And I was actually able to just relax. I finally was able to take some naps. And slept a few hours over night on Friday night into Saturday. 

It’s amazing. The Rhino 🦏 Virus is technically the common cold virus. But for a spoonie it’s a nasty nasty bug. They said it could take me up to two weeks to really get over the bug. I’m home now, but I still feel horrid. No energy, short of breath, coughing constantly and doing breathing treatments and even running fevers. And I’m having trouble getting my insurance to cover my pain medicine scripts. But you gotta love insurance. I’m just so glad to be home and in my own bed.  But I swear if one more person says “It’s just a cold.”  OMG. Yes it may just be a cold. But when you have no immune system this “Cold” is brutal. I’m sure you can all relate to this!!! Anyway. Sorry for this rant. But I just wanted to share my story bc I know I’m not the only one who experiences things like this!!!