A New Year, A New Attitude

Party Pooper..Who Me?

Party Pooper

Well here we are, almost ready to ring in a new year. For the most part, I don’t get too excited about New Year’s Eve or the coming year. In fact, it’s probably like most other days, I struggle to stay awake to watch the ball drop in Times Square and look at inebriated people scream and kiss.

I suppose people are just into the excitement of the party and fun of it all. I’m not sure what that says about my lack of enthusiasm. Is it age, stage or chronic illness?

Always Hopeful


In any event, while not over-the-top with enthusiasm about what the new year will bring to me, I am always hopeful..and more so now. As I mentioned in my last post, I started low dose Naltrexone. While LDN has not been the panacea that I had hoped for, it has improved my quality of life significantly.

I had such high hopes for LDN that I immediately decided that I would not be needing my Plaquenil or Prednisone any longer. That decision proved to be too enthusiastic and premature. I was quickly reminded of how strong pain in every body part feels. Back on the P & P I went. So what has LDN done for me you ask?

I started LDN on August 22, 2017, about 4 months ago. The biggest benefit of LDN for me has been the increase in my energy level. Before taking the LDN, my debilitating fatigue level forced me onto my lawn chair cushion on my office floor at least once or twice a day on most days. I no longer need to do that (most of the time). I should clarify that both prior to and for a few days after my IVIG infusion (every other weekend), I do still have a great deal of fatigue that may require said use of lawn chair cushion mentioned above. But during my small window of ‘optimum’ functioning, I am functioning with much more energy and that alone has made the LDN worth taking. It has not been as successful at managing all of my pain, but it has lessened a small bit. I will say that I am functioning far better without opiates than with them.

So What’s The Plan For 2018?

2018 colorful

One of the current supplements that I have been researching is CBD oil (Cannibidiol Oil). CBD oil is a chemical compound that comes from the hemp plant. There are versions of CBD oil that do contain trace amounts of THC (the ingredient that causes euphoria), but most CBD oils do not have THC. And as a supplement, CBD oil is legal in all or most states.


I have read that in it’s various forms, CBD oil can be very therapeutic to we Sjoggie folk (or others) with chronic pain. However, one site suggested that many of the versions sold online have been greatly watered down and as such, may not be as helpful to those with chronic pain. This led me to wonder whether there are different strains of CBD oil (such as supplement types sold online vs. stronger versions sold in Medical Marijuana Dispensaries?) I am not even sure if there is such a thing or this type of distinction? In any event, I have decided to obtain my medical marijuana card.

Ducks in a row

I don’t know that I will start medical marijuana, but thought it would behoove me to get my ducks in a row, in the event that I need a stronger CBD oil or would decide to try the medical marijuana. I will discuss it with the MM doc. I still wake up several times a night in pain. I have read that MM is wonderful at helping people get a great night’s rest. Anyway, I am far beyond caring if anyone thinks that SjoDry has gone over the edge is now hooked on “the Mari-ju-wanna”.

No New Year’s Resolutions

Say No to NY R

I am also not big on declaring all of my coming year’s resolutions for myself..it just embarrasses me later. A couple of things that I started and have resolved to continue, are hypnosis and meditation. I have found that both of these practices are very helpful and enjoyable to me.


Personally, SjoDry is a bit Type A and did not think it was possible to even shut down her chaotic mind EVER…but I have actually learned how! Not only that..but it’s a fun, peaceful vacation. Who knew that an escape inside your head and yourself could be so fun and relaxing. I have been using meditation, hypnosis and visualization with my pain as well. Finding the time and forcing myself to do it can be a challenge, but since making the commitment to it, have been more consistent. I find that a nice dark and quiet room (with my great eye mask..you remember the one I bought for our trip to Rome that looks like a black Victoria’s Secret bra), is the perfect setting. Despite the inevitable visit and leap onto my person from our six pound dog, Ivy during most of my meditation/hypnosis sessions, ..I am loving this meditation/hypnosis stuff. If you have not tried it, I would highly recommend it. Nothing to lose right!!

Cheers To You My Sjoggie-Mates!

You'll see it when you believe it

So there it is, my end-of-year update with my planned positive attitude for 2018. I will declare that 2018 is going to be a great one for my health, my happiness, my prosperity and being a blessing to others. How do I know this?

I know this because I know that you have to BELIEVE IT to SEE IT!

Happy New Year!


About VitalSignsPgh

Sandy Burkett is the Creative Engineer, President and Owner of Vital Signs. Vital Signs is a certified Native American/Woman-Owned custom sign and graphics company located in Carnegie, PA.
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4 Responses to A New Year, A New Attitude

  1. Studio Rose says:

    I was diagnosed w/ Sjogren’s and started Plaquenil last July. While it has vastly improved the moisture issue, I’ve had little or no relief from fatigue. Then, just over three months ago, I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. I’ve been using a CPAP machine since late October and it has made a WORLD of difference in that very short time. Before, I couldn’t even walk one block without gasping for air and needing to sit down. Two days ago, I spent almost four hours walking around IKEA and felt great! Maybe there are other reasons your fatigue is still an issue?

    • I also have Sleep Apnea, but was unable to use either a Bipap or C-pap because it dried my head out & gave me migraine like headaches. Certainly,
      that could contribute to my fatigue, but my CVID and AI issues both have fatigue symptoms.

      Take Care.

      • BECKY MCDOWELL says:

        Were you able to use the machine with the humidifier included in it? I’ve been using a CPAP for over 20 years, and last spring I started with a new ResMed AirSense 10 AutoSet that automatically adjusts to my breathing. And I love is that it has a big water tank and I can see how much humidification I get every day! It also has a heated hose so you get warm air, not cold. I must says it’s the best machine I’ve used since I was diagnosed. I also have asthma, congestive heart failure and pulmonary hypertension,,,, and my cardiologist says that my leaky pulmonary valve even improved within 3 months of starting the new machine! He was excited as he says that something like 35% of heart failure patients have obstructive sleep apnea. (http://sleepmedicine.com/blog/archives.cfm/category/congestive-heart-failure) The masks have changed quite a bit in the past few years so there is much less of a feel of claustrophobia than there used to be. You may want to speak to your sleep specialist again to see if any of these new products would now work for you.

      • Thanks Becky.
        I actually tried a couple of versions of a C-Pap & a Bi-pap machine. I had the dream station & a wonderful mask. I could not make any of them work. I had the same response. The company worked with me to make new adjustments, etc. and I just was not able to use them. I wish I could have.
        Take Care.

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