It’s Satisfied Sunday! (6/28/20) | #chronicliving #gratitude

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What are you grateful for this week?

Monica with RA Beauty Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogger | Satisfied Sunday, Weekly Gratitude Blog Post Cats PetsMe?

Sunsilk is stable and her appetite is increasing. She has not gained any weight but she is more alert and active!

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


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What You Don’t See 6/18/20 | #chronicliving

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Chronic illnesses like Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Rheumatoid Disease, are often called invisible illnesses because their symptoms, though rampant, are not seen on the outside. You cannot see the fatigue and pain I experience daily. You cannot see the swelling and immobility that happen around my joints. And, often, you cannot see a host of other problems that are adjacent to my autoimmune disease.

What You Don't See Series Chronic Invisible Symptoms Illness | Monica with RA Blog Rheumatoid ArthritisFor this photo, I did a fun smokey eye because I was feeling better after my flare. While the pain and inflammation were a lot less I was still dealing with other issues.

Most notably, every time I moved or fixed my hair, strands upon strands of it fell out.
This is a new phenomenon and if you look at my hair pulled back you can see some thinning and bald spots.
From this photo, you can see a well-placed hairstyle can hide all of that!

Interested in my previous installment of the series? Check it out here.

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Like what you see? Please consider supporting my content by donating through PayPal or Venmo: @Monica-Sengupta!

Satisfied Sunday 6/14/20 || #gratitude

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Blogger Opt Outside Nature Photo Gratitude Blog Post || Monica with RA

What are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments!

Me? I have been very badly flared up over the last two weeks. I am finally coming out of it! I don’t hurt nearly as much. I still can’t walk Affie an hour every day but I am thankful that I have a large yard I can run the dogs through when I feel low.

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Like what you see? Please consider supporting my content by donating through PayPal or Venmo: @Monica-Sengupta!

Satisfied Sunday 6/7/20 | #gratitude

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Sunsilk Sengupta Gratitude Satisified Sunday | Monica with RA blog Chronic Illness Rheumatoid Arthritis Grateful and Love

There is a lot going on and with the discussion of privilege so prevalent in our society, it feels awkward to talk about the good things happening in our lives. But, I think it is important to acknowledge that good things are happening and we are grateful for what we have.

This week I am grateful that Sunsilk (and Affie) are still alive and healthy. They are both quite old. Sunsilk is 17 and Affie is nearly 15. I don’t know how much longer I have with them so I am making the most of the time I have left.

What are you grateful for this week? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

 

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Like what you see? Please consider supporting my content by donating through PayPal or Venmo: @Monica-Sengupta!
(Please note, any contributions will be donated to charities supporting black activism)

What You Don’t See | #chronicliving #rheumatoidarthritis

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What You Don't See - Rheumatoid Arthritis Invisible Illness Invisible Symptoms Blog Post | Monica with RA

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The thing about invisible illnesses is in the name. They are invisible. Most of the time you cannot see the symptoms as they present themselves. From looking at a person with a chronic illness, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, you cannot see the pain, the fatigue, and the constant battle their body fights against itself.

What You Don't See - Rheumatoid Arthritis Invisible Illness Invisible Symptoms Blog Post | Monica with RAI took some makeup selfies the other day with Sunsilk and looking back on the photos you could never guess that I was in a terrible flare.

What You Don't See - Rheumatoid Arthritis Invisible Illness Invisible Symptoms Blog Post | Monica with RAWhat you saw: an ear to ear grin because it was sunny, I was wearing makeup and I was with my cat.

What you didn’t see: that my skin was dry as a desert, that my lips were chronically bleeding and my hair was falling out in clumps.


What You Don't See - Rheumatoid Arthritis Invisible Illness Invisible Symptoms Blog Post | Monica with RAPeople with invisible illnesses are great actors. Even while we feel sick and terrible we have to play “able-bodied” and march on with life.

What you see: I walk my dogs at least two hours a day without a grimace. I clean and change the cat litter. I bend down to pick up Affie and Sunsilk. I climb the stairs to the kitchen to feed them. I cook their food.

What you don’t see: I am in so much pain it takes my entire existence to move. I experience so much of it I seriously consider taking a drill to my foot because that pain is probably less than what I feel right now.

 

What You Don't See - Rheumatoid Arthritis Invisible Illness Invisible Symptoms Blog Post | Monica with RADon’t get it wrong, I don’t always feel THIS bad but when I do, I can’t call in sick to my life. I have to keep moving forward.

Just remember, what you see in a photo is never the whole story. There is always something you don’t see.

 

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.


Like what you see? Please consider supporting my content by donating through PayPal or Venmo: @Monica-Sengupta!
(Please note, any contributions will be donated to charities supporting black activism)

The thing about invisible illnesses is in the name. They are invisible. Most of the time you cannot see the symptoms as they present themselves. From looking at a person with a chronic illness, you cannot see the pain, the fatigue, and the constant battle their body fights against itself.

I took some makeup selfies the other day with Sunsilk and looking back on the photos you could never guess that I was in a terrible flare.

What you saw: a ear to ear grin because it was sunny, I was wearing makeup and I was with my cat.

What you didn’t see: that my skin has been dry as the a desert, that my lips have been bleeding and my hair is falling out in clumps.

People with invisible illnesses are great actors. Even while we feel sick and terrible we have to play “able-bodied” and march on with life.

What you see: I walk my dogs at least two hours a day without a grimace. I clean and change the cat litter. I bend down to pick up Affie and Sunsilk. I climb the stairs to the kitchen to feed them. I cook their food.

What you don’t see: I am in so much pain that I seriously consider taking a power drill to my foot because that pain is less than what I am feeling. Every move I make takes my entire existence but, I keep going because I have to.

Do Better | #chronicliving

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The one big thing that I have learned about myself over the last few days is just how passive I’ve become. I am not just talking about the specific happenings in the United States but about everything.
I have a platform, I have influence (however small) and I need to use it. What’s the point if I don’t speak out on the issues that matter to me? I have gone pretty quiet on my social media and that’s not okay.

Yes, I need to educate myself on racial matters but I also need to speak about other things. I initially began my blog/social media to educate others about living with chronic illnesses. I haven’t spoken about that in a long time. I share my story but that’s it. I can do more.
On my Youtube, I like making “trash talk” videos or, empties, because I like using things up, I don’t like waste, and I try to be nature conscious. I don’t talk about it but I should.

I need to. I can. I should do better.

I don’t know what form this will take yet. Maybe I start with being more vocal and posting more. Maybe I start making nail art videos for IG where I show arthritis-friendly techniques. Maybe I start publicly breaking down my privilege? I don’t know yet.

But, I know that I need to change and speak up.

 

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Like what you see? Please consider supporting my content by donating through PayPal or Venmo: @Monica-Sengupta!
(Please note, any contributions will be donated to charities supporting black activism)

Beauty of Nature | #naturalhealing #optoutside

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Washington DC Spring Storm || Monica w/ RA

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Aside from not going to work, my lifestyle hasn’t changed dramatically with this new world order. I still wake up, take care of my pets, nap, do some online work, read, play my apps, care of my pets, and go to sleep.

I love nature, I love being outside. I used to rock-climb and hike which are two things that are now very difficult for me. However, I’ve been forcing myself to sit outside (even when it’s chilly) and just enjoying being there. I’m not talking dog walks or errands but just immersing myself in nature.

It was almost 80 degrees one day in March (which if you live on the East Coast, hasn’t really happened in years). Before it got too sweltering for words I went outside and just sat on the front steps.

It was quiet. I couldn’t hear anything except for the wind rustling through the leaves. The trees swayed gently. It had just rained and everything smelled fresh and looked green. It was late so not even the birds were singing.

The world (or my corner of the neighborhood) felt happy, safe, and renewed. From where I was sitting, I could never guess a pandemic was ravaging Earth.

I only spent ten minutes outside, letting the sun sink into my skin (of course, with an ample barrier of sun protection between us) and breathed in.

For a moment, I was at peace, my small corner of the world was at peace.

This was the only time that day I was not bombarded with little things: work, news, pets, or responsibilities. It was just me and nature.

There is something absolutely revitalizing about being out of doors. Our species started there so we are wired to enjoy, revel in, and thrive in it.

Just a few minutes a day outside and I feel more alive, more productive, and just a better form of myself.

 

Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.

Like what you see? Please consider supporting my content by donating through PayPal or Venmo: @Monica-Sengupta!