Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I'm going to make you people laugh . . . . Yesterday I bought myself Oprah Magazine because the cover caught my eye. Ha. Good work Oprah people.

"Let your intuition be your guide . . . " yadda yadda yadda. I was first just curious if the magazine could really uncover the answers to my "deepest questions". But I did get kind of stuck on this article about human intuition - how our brain works before we consciously realize what it's doing. That gut feeling you get when you just know.

It makes me think more about how "in-tune" we need to be with our bodies, especially if you have any sort of disease/disorder/health issue at all. Your body always knows what it needs, the question is are you listening to it?

I know I've talked about it a million times before, but my decision a year and a half ago to go off all my medicine was after my body told me I needed a break. It was just a feeling I had. That feeling when things just aren't right. I can't pinpoint it exactly, but it was like a red flag. I needed to make a change because my gut was telling me I was going in the wrong direction for far too long.

So I did. And even though that year was a crazy one, that decision was the best I ever made.

I went from blindly taking a medicine I didn't care for, not knowing the full depth of my disease, to really getting to know my body and what it needs. Yes, I had an awful time after the effects of the drugs wore off, and I was struggling with the worst bout of arthritis I've ever had, but it got me back into the mindset that I have an autoimmune disease and I need to remember that. It's important to not forget who you are and how your body works. You can trick yourself into thinking it's nothing, but that will get you nowhere.

When talking to others with arthritis, whenever there is a problem with their treatment, their doctors, anything in their lives, they always know something is wrong. They have that feeling, but they ask for others' opinions or they continue to live with that ick in their gut without doing anything about it. You know when something is not right, so do something about it. If you're at an appointment with your rheumatologist and you get that feeling in your gut that things aren't going the way they should, listen. Nine times out of ten people ignore those feelings when it comes to their health because they assume their doctor knows what's best. YOU are the one that knows what is best for your body.

The article went on to talk about all forms of intuition, including animal intuition which I found particularly entertaining. How animals seem to know when an earthquake or tsunami is going to hit, so they run for safety. How great service animals are in knowing when their person is going to have a seizure or a meltdown.

My old dog MJ used to just know when I was upset, and he would curl up next to me and give me kisses and snuggles until I felt better. My cats always seem to sense when they are going to the vet. So they run. Damn those little buggers.

And then I lighten things up by thinking how Niki had the gut instinct to jump from shelf to shelf in order to get to the highest point in our closet.

And without being able to communicate to each other, he just knew that his time on the top shelf was up.

Have I rambled on enough for you to not understand a word I'm talking about yet? Good, that's what I was going for. The moral of this story is: listen to your gut. Take some time to think about your treatment, or any issue you're having in your life, and really think about which way your mind is telling you to lean. And then the next time you're with your doc, do something about it.

RA Friends tomorrow! Last week we missed it due to travel, but this week will be a good one! If you are interested in being involved, send an email to me at lydaclark.blog@gmail.com!


  1. I 100% agree with everything you have to say here. When I went off meds for two years, I had that same gut feeling. I went to take my meds one morning and something inside me just told me to stop taking them. The next two years were extremely hard but ones I would never take back. Like you, I learned so much about myself and my disease.

    I have been telling my kids since they were toddlers to listen to their bodies. Only they know what is right for them. The same is true for us.

    Great post!!!

  2. Thanks Cathy! Just something that's been on my mind. I find it so interesting how parallel our experiences have been! :-)

  3. Following my gut or listening to my instinct probably saved my life. Doctors, tests, er rooms, etc. kept telling me everything was fine. I knew better, my instinct told me so and I found a surgeon who agreed to remove my thyroid. I had two thyroid cancers in there even though all things including tests/doc etc. said otherwise. I also stopped many of the ra meds as my instinct or gut told me they were not a good match for me. Again docs kept telling me they could monitor me for possible return on my cancers but I decided against their advice and wanted the odds stacked in my favor. Yes...do follow your gut/instinct.

  4. Thanks Lyda for the article review and reminder. Great writing by the way!

    I wanted to introduce myself. I'm fairly new to the RA community, recently diagnosed in Dec. 2010 with Severe RA. Come and stop by my little corner of the RA world sometime! :)


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