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Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Lupus flare is more frightening than your ware-wolf-witch-or lady gaga costume combined!

Someone you know has lupus... OH SH*T-- its me! -And I can almost guarantee that I am more frightening than any ware-wolf, witch or goblin that will ring my doorbell today! Let's just say on a scale of 1-frightening, I've got this guy (inset left) beat without him even offering me any competition! Maybe I'm exaggerating, but you get the picture! I am definitely the scariest thing in my neighborhood!


I can gaurenntee you that- Waking up with my lupus rash in full force (at 5 am mind you- for NO REASON- thank you lupus) and swollen joints, with minimal hair covering my head ( and by minimal i mean none-thank you lupus again for that one- ) I think i might scare more trick or treaters away today than the other way around? No "Boo" or scary antics necessary- apparently waking up whilst flaring is quite a frightening look- luckily It's just in time for Halloween (Good timing Lupus- as always) Talk about not needing a costume- This takes it to a whole new extreme- but in honor of the holiday and how much i love holidays and the holiday season in general- I have decided to dress up as.... drum roll please...A doctors worse nightmare!


That's right ladies and gents- yours truly is ( mind you I am a very good and obliging patient that takes her meds, plays by the rules (most of the time) and does what her doctors order! But being a lupus patient-basically qualifies you for this category-simply because of the endless unknowns and never-ending new symptoms the disease presents!)-->And the best part is - no costume required! From the moment they take my oxford english dictionary resembling chart out at one of the many of my numerous specialists/ER doctors files- I leave a path of confusion, destruction and sheer befuddlement wherever I take my lupus-writhed body! From tilted heads of the neurolgist, to baffled looks upon the face of my rheumatolgist (always a comforting sight in deed)- I am a doctors worse nightmare. To have a disease -where "you dont look sick" can be tricky enough!


...But with every one case presenting itself differently, and mine being no exception- I seem to have a quite confusing case if I do say so myself- mind you I judge this based on the looks, the discussions that occur outside the door while i wait in the the examination room (my hearing is fine thank you!- at least I think it is- What did you say?) not that they say anything negative or insulting by any means, I have wonderful doctors that I truly love dearly and who truly listen to what I say but - nonetheless it is no less frustrating to have an illness that even specialists and doctors that study the disease for years can bearly decipher.


With that being said- I am the spookiest thing in this neighborhood this halloween no ghouls- goblins- or witches will give me competition today! Happy halloween!


Jolt-of-Java: "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference"- Winston Churchill

Friday, October 29, 2010

MUST SHARE- The Im a spoonie Official Video!

Hello my spoonies! We have the official Im a Spoonie video JUST RELEASED! to share with all of you from our dear friend and lupus sister, Christine Miserando Donato! Featuring spoonies from all stretches of the globe that took part- including myself! It has a story to tell that we all know to well- A great share and truly an amazing video! Please pass it on and share it with everyone to tell our story! So without further Adieu:

Im A Spoonie:



I hope you all enjoyed and learned a bit from it- I cannot think of a better way to close out our World Lupus Awareness month! Thank you Christine! And please be sure to stop by her site- But you don't look sick!

Jolt-of-Java: When I was 5 years old, my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy.' They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life." - John Lennon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Best Costumes for a Lupie!- Use those Lupie symptoms and side effects to your advantage this year!


Hello Lupies and Spoonies! With Halloween approaching rapidly I thought it might be helpful for all of you that have yet to put together a costume, to offer some advice and help--If you're a lupie- you're in luck! No need to run around scrammbling last minute to put together a halloween costume- oh no! you've got more than enough at your disposal thanks to your chronic illness and faulty immune system and Im here to tell you how, fret no more, Your costume is just minutes away!


- If your a lupie, you might at one point in time, have lost some hair (had bald patches etc), this means you probably have a wig or two lying around somewhere- Good news - Lady Gaga is one of the biggest costumes to hit this year's halloween stores- So grab one of those wigs, dust if off, throw on some funky makeup (the more eccentric and elaborate the better!) and an outfit youd never wear otherwise and BAM! your ready to go to your halloween party as lady gaga! (and if all else fails grab some fresh cuts of meat from the deli!) Hip popular and all the rage this year!


- Raggity ann- Good news folks- you've got that build in blush better known as the butterfly rash so use it to your advantage and dres s up as the beloved raggity ann doll! If your hair is a bit brittle and dry from the disease/medication or both...the better- it will look like authentic yarn hair just like the real doll! -and chances are your pale to begin with from avoiding the sun and wearing SPF 100 whenever you leave the house-so youve got that covered, a cute little baby doll dress and your set!


- A ghost- If you are anyhting like me when your feeling under the weather- your paler than.... well- a ghost! Throw some baby powder to enhance your natural ghostlike skin tones (from all those years of avoiding the sun to prevent those darn lupus flares) and go on your way- an added twist- dont brush your hair that morning- if you wake up anything like me- your frightening enough already!


-Have you packed on a few extra unwanted prednisone pounds? Use them to your advatage this halloween! - grab a t-shirt of your favorite color- draw an M on it in white fabric paint/puffy paint etc...and guess what- you are an M and M now! No stuffing or extra work needed- simple- and simply delcious! (Also leaves comfort and some room for some halloween treat snacking!)


- Heres a personal fave or mine- you probably already have a cane and maybe even a walker- throw some baby powder in your hair (if you have any!) and make it look grey/salt and peppered- Pull those pants up to your bra line annd bam! your granny! If your having a tough joint day your probably already moving like one... hell if you are like me your grams could beat you in a foot race any day of week (and probably takes less medication than you do too!) ! So why not use it to your halloween costume advantage -sure to get some good laughs out of your friends and family as well (especially when you are in your earlier 20s like myself!)


-Any costume that comes with a weapon-fake swords work particularly well for jabbing poking and prying/lightly slapping anyone and everyone that may annoy, irritate, or rub you the wrong way on halloween! Things that might warrant a sword slap- Someone says your not moving to the door fast enough to hand out candy! POW! jab with your ninja sword!

"Lupus? didnt they cure that last year?"- SWORAD POKE!

" oh lupus I hear thts not so bad"- SLAP! Sword to the arm!

"Lupus, isn't that like an STD?"-You might need something stronger than a fake sword for this one... perhaps costume nun-chucks would do the trick?


- And then i randomly stumbled upon this guy- that's right... he's a prescription bottle- I personally am tired of looking at mine as much as i have to right now anyway but this is pretty funny! I thought you all might get a good chukcle out of this so figured I would share!


Now this last suggestion is only reserved for those of us really not feeling well or havng a real bad flare day for halloween and really cannot move back nd froth to the door- set your bowl of candy outside and be"not home" as your costiume! lay in bed and get yourself seome rest!




Jolt-of-Java:"You may not end up where you thought you were going... but you'll always end up where you were meant to be..."-unknown and I'd like to share some halloween candy corny humor!


Q. Who did Frankenstein take to the prom? A. His ghoul friend

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Blogging for the LFA- check out the road for the cure!

Good afternoon all! I am running in between doctor appointments (oh the life of a lupie!) but before I rush off to an appointment and Im sure the pharmacy- I'd like to share my guest blog post with you all. I was asked and was humbled to be a guest blogger for the LFA this month- for the topic- living well with Lupus and how to stay positive and manage social relationships. Basically finding a balance- the key is LEARNING to find a balance as I explain in my article posted for today's LFA blog! So swing by their fantastic Blog and check out my article- for some insight-tips and tricks to learning to live well with a chronic illness!


Jolt-of-Java: "To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless."-PS


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

National Apple Month!

Well as you all know we have been celebrating/raising awareness for World Lupus Awareness month but also Breast cancer month, and now... It has been brought to my attention (Thanks to better Homes and Gardens Magazine) That we are also in the midst of NATIONAL APPLE MONTH! Now, I love a good apple as much as the next gal, but in the falltime, there is so much to do with apples and they are dirt cheap in stores because they are in season! So stock up on all of your favorite varieties because we've got some crafty and tasty treats and snacks coming your way for National Apple Month!

Of course, I am going to start with our favorite- The Classic Candy/Caramel Apple! Who does not love a good old fashioned Candy or Caramel Apple. If you don't you might be crazy! (Unless of course there is an allergy involved or you just don't like apples-this post probably won't appease you then!) But you can put so many fun and quirky twists on these classic autumnal treats! How can you jazz up a classic Caramel apple? Any way you'd like! From sprinkles, to melting different colored chocolates (perhaps orange and black/purple) and drizzling it across and over, from
crushed up nuts, cookies, sprinkles, and just about anything your imagination can dream up! Get creative and make characters out of yours! Use M&Ms for eyes and twizzlers for mouths and make little caramel apple monsters! This is fun the whole family can get involved in! Or- if you are a chocolate lover- Take that caramel apple, and give it a generous dipping into a lucious bath of dark chocolate and let it sit- then go for it again- That's right a double dark chocolate caramel apple! A chocolate lover's heaven! Have fun with it! Caramel apples lend themselves to so much! -And do not forget about their mates Candy Apples- a more sweet and sticky version (although the sticky-ness could be debated as caramel makes a bloody mess too!) These apples can be jazzed up and customized the same way! From adding your favorite candies, marshmellows, snacks nuts and treats atop a caramel apple- you can create your perfect Candy Apple of your dreams!

Some other fun apple snacks for fall are:

-The classic Apple slices with peanutbutter and raisins atop it! a great healthy after school snack for the kids that will hold them over until dinner!

- baked apple crisps! Slice an apple into very thin slices, spray a cookie sheet down with Pam, and bake on low (100) for an hour! what will result- a thin apple like chip!

-Baked apples! Hollow out the core of the apple and stuff with brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins/nuts/chocolate chips and what ever your little heart desires and bake at low to medium heat on a cookie sheet at around 275. Keep an eye on them, after about a half hour you should check them every few minutes-when they start getting oozy and gooey you'll know they're done!

- Try adding apple slices to a classic Peanut butter and Jelly sandwhich! A Banana works so why not an apple?

- create an apple slaw- take yogurt, diced apples, cinnamon, raisins and pecans and mix up together in a bowl! What results- a yummy apple slaw that everyone can enjoy for a breakfast treat-add some granola- or for dessert- perhaps some chocolate chips!

And if you'd like to share any of your favorite apple recipes feel free- of course there is always your traditional pie for those of you that love your thanksgiving and fall pies (Im a pumpkin lover myself!) And I hope you got some wonderful healthy and tasty ideas from today's post! I'll leave you all with our daily Jolt-of-Java! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Jolt-of-Java: "Attitude is a little thing, that makes a big difference"- Winston Churchill

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Halloween "How to..." Series- Halloween Scares and Shares from A Reader!

Good morning My Spooky Spoonies!

And the Halloween Fun continues here at CHRONICLYsILLy! I do apologize as my posts have become a touch more sporadic, but seeing as how grad school and my health have me more than occupied, the balance is a work in progress! I am however so thrilled whenever we get posts like these, where the readers/ my fellow spoonies have sent in something to share with everyone! When I saw this email- I was cracking up! I headed over to youtube and sure enough it was better than I had even expected! These are PSA commercials our dear friend and reader Karaly sent us! There are three of them, "How to Kill a Zombie," "How to kill a Werewolf," and "How to Kill a vampire!" They are quite humorous and entertaining and just perfect for a Sunday Blog to keep our Halloween festivities going all month long! So without further Adieu, I'd like to proudly share our reader's videos, she informed me they were PSA local TV commercials, she and her friends had made a few years back! I hope you all get a good chuckle and sit back, relax, grab some spoons and enjoy! (and you might want to take some notes- just in case you stumble upon any of these creatures on Halloween night!)


How to Kill A Zombie

How to Kill A Werewolf

How to Kill A Vampire

I hope you all got a good laugh and some helpful advice in case you run into a Zombie, werewolf or Vampire! There is nothing I love more than some good Halloween Fun! And on that note, I am off to enjoy some Java, some breakfast and my Giants! Enjoy your Sunday, and may they be spoon-filled! And a big thanks to Karaly for sharing these comical "How to" Videos!

Jolt-of-Java- Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend."- Albert Camus

Friday, October 15, 2010

Want to learn about Lupus? - Fun ways educate!

Thanks to our dear friends over at Friends against Lupus, I would like to share with all of you, some wonderful informational animations, video clips, and tons of other great materials on this site! Check it out! And what better month than World Lupus Awareness month to do so!

Diagnosing Lupus- animation to teach all about Lupus!-click here! If you have young ones in your life this is a wonderfully cute age appropriate and very informative video!




Video and Audio Library!-click - Could I have lupus? I love someone that has lupus and much more!



There is tons and tons of other sections to check out here! From advice from medical professionals, patient to patient sections and tons of other great stuff! I highly recommend you set some time aside and check this page out! www.dxlupus.org If you have any other wonderfully educating lupus sites please share! And thanks again to our Friends Against Lupus for opening us up to a new world of wonderful resources this stormy evening here on the east coast!

Hope you enjoy- just a quick post this evening- I was just so excited to share this with you, especially the video clip!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not your average Halloween party treats!

DARK N STORMY Cocktail!


Ingredients

  • Black decorating sugar, for the glass
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime wedge
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup ginger beer or all-natural ginger ale
  • 1 black gummy spider

Directions

Spread out the black sugar on a small plate. Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass; dip the glass in the black sugar, then fill with ice.


Combine the rum and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Carefully strain into the glass, minding the sugar on the rim. Top the drink with ginger beer and add the gummy spider.


Peacan Caramel Spiders

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces thin black licorice strands, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • Chocolate curls or jimmies, optional

Directions

Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Mound 30 small clusters of pecans, about 3 or 4 pecans each, spaced a couple inches apart on the pan.


Make caramel: Warm the cream over low heat and keep warm while you cook the sugar.


Put the sugar and corn syrup and in a deep, heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and simmer until the sugar reaches the hard crack stage, or 305 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.


Whisk the butter and salt into the sugar mixture. Gradually pour in the cream and vanilla taking care since the mixture will bubble up. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar reaches soft ball stage, 240 degrees F on the thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Immediately remove from the heat and cool for a minute.


Ladle a couple tablespoons of warm caramel over some of the nut clusters, to make the spider bodies. Then press 6 pieces of licorice into the warm caramel to make the legs. Repeat with the remaining caramel and licorice. (It's helpful to have an extra hand here, since the caramel can set quickly. If caramel hardens, warm over very low heat. ) Let spiders cool 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, put the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan filled with 1-inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. (Alternatively, put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes more.)


Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each spider. Sprinkle with jimmies or chocolate curls, if desired. Let cool until firm.

Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved


Vampire blood Tomato soup with Muenster sammies

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, chopped, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable broth or low-sodium canned
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 6 basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Muenster Sammies, recipe follows

Directions

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, fennel seed and crushed pepper, if using, and cook until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Drain and reserve juice from the tomatoes, then crush tomatoes gently with your hands. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add the reserved tomato juice, vegetable broth, tomato juice, and basil leaves. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until vegetables are cooked through and soup reduces and thickens, about 30 minutes.

Remove pot from stove and puree the soup in batches, with an immersion, regular blender, or food processor. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Serve.

Copyright (c) 2008 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

Muenster Sammies with Apple Jelly:

  • 16 (3 1/2-inch square) slices Westphalian Pumpernickel, or other thin black bread
  • 1/2 cup apple jelly
  • 8 slices muenster cheese, about 3 ounces
  • 8 slices yellow cheddar cheese, about 3 ounces

Optional garnishes:

  • Dill pickle rounds
  • Fennel fronds
  • Spanish olives with pimentos

Special equipment: Cookie cutters (pumpkins, ghosts, black cat, bats and witches), optional


Toast bread in toaster or toaster oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes (or less if using a toaster.) Spread one side of each slice of bread with apple jelly. Layer the cheese over the apple jelly, top with remaining slice of bread. Cut out as desired. Garnish as desired.


Yield: 8 sandwiches

Halloween Web 2008


I hope you all enjoy these recipes, they are super fun, easy to make and will be the talk of the town! And of course- we started things off right- with the cocktail recipe! I hope you are all well and in good health, and celebrating/raising awareness for World Lupus Month which we are currently in the midst of ! And of course our Jolt for the day to end on a high note!


Jolt-of-Java: "In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins- not through strength but by perseverance."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Awareness Pumpkin Fun!- Your not-so-typical Pumpkins!

That's right folks! It's that time of year once again- I told you we would be spreading the halloween and awareness fun all month long and I was not kidding! But how can you combine the two? Easy! So grab some pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, some purple and pink paint, ribbons, bows, and what ever tickles you fancy (perhaps candy corn-or tasty treats to stick on too!) and get ready to make some pumpkins that will frighten you with how much awareness they're raising!

Our first pumpkin to your left, comes to us from our dear friends at www.cure4lupus.org! They found a beautifully shaped oblong pumpkin and painted and gorgeous purple ribbon for lupus awareness! How can you make an awareness ribbon raising pumpkin this halloween season? Simple! Buy a pumpkin (or pumpkins) usually ones that are a bit more oval and long in shape work well for the ribbon since it runs vertically! Then either use an awareness magnet ribbon like the ones you see on the back of cars (just about everywhere you look these days, whether it yellow, pink, purple etc!) and use it as your stencil onto your pumpkin with a pen! (if you can't find one of these, simply print out an awareness symbol from the computer, to the size you choose and cute it out and use that as your template! Then simply paint in your outline and fill it to your desire- if you wish you too can write lupus on your ribbon or perhaps something like "for the fight!" If you'd like a shiny coat/finish, spray with shalack to coat and protect the pumpkin from weathering affects if it is to be on display outside!

Our next pumpkins take breast cancer awareness to whole new level! - And remember- you can do this in any color for your awareness cause of choice! To make a pink-o-licious pumpkin (or purple!) first paint the entire pumpkin white! By doing this when you put your second layer on of the color of your choice (pink or purple or whatever it may be!) The color will stand out more off the white paint than it would on the darker orange toned pumpkin! (a little trick I've picked up over the years of pumpkin painting and decorating!) Then once your two coats are dry, you can decorate as you please! The far pumpkin free handed a dark pink awareness ribbon and painted the entire stem to match as well! While the pumpkin up front was patterned with alternating rows of white and pink that have been bedazzled with rhinestones (you can buy in any craft store for cheap!) These pumpkin will be sure to catch everyone's attention when on display and bring more attention to raising awareness for your cause!

Our last pumpkin for today is quite unique, as it does not paint nor carve out the pumpkins but rather jazzes them up a bit! Using some beautiful ribbon (From a local craft store/fabric store!) Simply decorate as you please! To make the vertical stripes, use a clear double-sided tape to adhere the ribbon stripes and assure you they stay in place! Have them all wrap around the body of the pumpkin and meet at the bottom (where you won't see them! and secure using your double sided tape!) Then if you wish, buy or create a decorative bow! These videos can be found on youtube to teach you how to make elaborate bows or you can tie a simple bow on top and it will do the trick too! The two pumpkins here are some of my faves as they tie both of our awareness month causes together using pink and purple ribbons!

Don't forget that you can use these images as your baseline or guide but get creative and have fun with it! This time of year lends itself to so many wonderful family and friend bonding and sharing experiences! If your feeling up to it, make a trip to a local pumpkin patch and pick out your pumpkins! Hope you all enjoy creating some awesome awareness raising pumpkins and if you do make one or multiple ones please snap a photo of it (or you with your pumpkin!) and send it in to founder@chroniclysilly.com! I would love to share your awareness pumpkins on the blog for all to see! And on that note, I am off to get some coffee in me after a night where mister prednisone had other plans for me that unfortunately did not include much sleep! So here is our daily jolt of java to keep you moving!

Jolt-of-Java: "When you're a beautiful person on the inside, there is nothing in the world that can change that about you. Jealousy is the result of one's lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-acceptance. The Lesson: If you can't accept yourself, then certainly no one else will."- Sasha Azevedo

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fall Treats and sweets that are delicious and healthy!

My skinny low carb-low sugar/no sugar added Delectable HOT COCOA!

Take 1 and a half to 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (dark chocolate if you prefer), and 2 splenda (or however many you like, if you prefer truvia this works too!) and put them in the bottom of a 12 oz coffee mug! Boil water and pour into mug-add a touch of skim milk and BOO! Your skinny hot cocoa will give you fright because of how delicious it is! Want to deck it out or halloween? Get some ghostly marshmellows for it! (sold in almost all stores this time of year!)



Pumpkin bowl soup

Simply take some chicken broth and pour into a pan on the stove top-load it up with your favorite veggies, squash, cabbage, carrots, onions these all work very well! If you'd like to add some substance brown rice always works nice and is gluten free! Spice it up to taste! :et it simmer on low for about an hour! Nice and easy! Want to jazz it up for fall? Buy medium sized round pumpkins, scoop our all the seeds (the way you would to carve it!) and you now have created a Bowl for your soup-Laddle the soup into teh pumpkin bowl and place on a cookie sheet in the oven on low temperature to soften the pumpkin insides a bit and you have yourself a deliciously healthy and festive treat!


Looking for a lil dessert but trying to watch your figure?

Here's one thats tasty and wont break the calorie bank! Take apples (granny smith or macintosh work well!) and core them- Then stuff the center with brown sugar and cinamon (marshmellow/chocolate chips) and whatever your heart desires- I prefer some nuts, raisins brown sugar and cinnamon! Bake for an hour on a cookie sheet at 275-300 baked apples are tasty and it apple season! Apples are in season too so its always a cheap and easy way to make a nice warm fall treat for you and the family - getting your kids to eat fruit never tasted so good! Want a little added flare? - Get some caramel from the store and as you cut up your baked apples dip it in the sauce!


Grave yard parfaits

A healthy twist on a halloween classic! Take low fat yogurt (greek is my choice because its creamy and loaded with protein-half the sugar of regular yogurt!) and put in a clear glass (about 12 oz) then put a layer of raspberrys (Looks like blood!) then more yogurt add some crunchd up chocolate chex - a great alternative if you're gluten free - Or oreo crumbs if you'd prefer! Add a few gummy worms on top and you have yourself a halloween treat!

Yummy! These are just some of the fall treats and halloween favorites coming your way! Keep your eyes peeled as we are celebrating fall and halloween on the blog- with tips, tricks and fun recipes to make your halloween easy to manage, stress free, and tasty! Also don't forget to rock your pink and purple this month as we are in the midst of Lupus and Breast cancer awareness month! Do your part and show that you support! And on that note I hope you all cuddle up with a nice glass of our skinny hot cocoa!


Jolt-of-Java:


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Discovery of a Cell that Suppresses the Immune System!

Discovery of a Cell that Suppresses the Immune System

Big news in our Lupus Community! Check this out I was so excited to share it all with you! It was sent out in the newsletter as well, but I was so excited to share it with everyone, including those of you that don' receive our newsletter! Enjoy! And I'll be hitting you with our daily dose of Java at the end of our post today my lovies! Stay tuned to the blog, lots of great halloween tips, tricks, fun recipes and ways to keep those flares at bay (well best we can!)

Lupus Research Institute-Funded Investigator Says Breakthrough Holds Potential for New Treatment to Quiet Lupus

Monday, October 4, 2010

New York, NY—Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston have identified a new type of cell in mice that dampens the immune system and protects the animal’s own cells from immune system attack.

This “suppressor” cell reduces the production of harmful antibodies that can drive lupus and other autoimmune diseases in which the immune system mistakenly turns on otherwise healthy organs and tissues.

The discovery, published in the September 16 issue of Nature (H Kim, et al.; Vol 467 in Letters), resulted from Lupus Research Institute funding to Harvey Cantor, MD, and colleagues on a separate immune system topic.

Now the discovery will be used to explore therapies that might control the hyperactive immune system in lupus. “These CD8+ T suppressor cells represent a potential new lever for lowering the strength of the immune response in autoimmune diseases such as lupus,” Dr. Cantor said.

Elements of an immune response to a virus, including antibodies and T cells

Elements of an immune response to a virus, including antibodies and T cells
In autoimmune diseases such as lupus, some of these antibodies, called autoantibodies, react against the individual's own tissues. A newly defined subset of T cells, called CD8 Treg, inhibits production of these autoantibodies.

Staying Open to Discovery

Until now, scientists searching for cells involved in quieting the immune system response had focused their hunt on “regulatory CD4+ T cells”—also known as CD4+ Treg. Some of these cells have been shown to prevent harmful inflammatory diseases and infections.

In the Nature study, Harvey Cantor, MD, and his team reported that not just CD4+T cells but CD8+ T cells as well include a subset that helps dampen the immune response. Instead of reducing inflammation like their CD4 cousins, the CD8+ T regulatory cells ensure that the immune system doesn't produce antibodies that attack normal cells.

Lead author Hye-Jung Kim and colleagues made the discovery as they were winding up unrelated LRI-funded work into the role in autoimmunity of a protein found inside immune cells called osteopontin.

“Our LRI funds allowed us to carry out the early experiments that led to the definition of the CD8 suppressor cells.” – Dr. Cantor

“We were testing osteopontin’s activity against a population of cells known as follicular T helper cells,” explained Dr. Cantor. “We noted that the cells were responsive to osteopontin but also that they expressed what we knew to be the target of suppressor CD8+ T cells.”

As next steps, Dr. Cantor and his team will investigate whether defective CD8+ T suppressor cells actually could be a cause of lupus and might serve as a powerful drug target for quieting the immune system response in autoimmunity.

JOLT-OF-JAVA- An acquaintance of mine who is a physician told this story about her then four-year-old daughter. On the way to preschool, the doctor had left her stethoscope on the car seat, and her little girl picked it up and began playing with it. Be still, my heart, thought my friend, my daughter wants to follow in my footsteps!

Then the child spoke into the instrument: "Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pain Never looked so good!-A spoon finally big enough?

Good morning and do I have somethings to share with you all today!
My new friend Christine, the founder of butyoudontlooksick.com, and I met at blues on the bay last Sunday and got to talking. She offered me the chance to write an article for her about our experiences at Blues on the Bay, and of course I had to put a spoonie twist on it, and add that CHRONICLYsILLy humor and flare. When I sat down to the write the article- I was nervous, usually my writing comes very naturally to me, but I wanted to do the event justice as well as ensure that this was a piece I was proud of and really liked! Low and behold- I sat down and the ideas started flowing, and before I knew it- My article was complete. Christine Published my article last night and I'd love for you all to check out her incredible site, all of which began as a blog years back, and has turned into a mini-spoonie empire- That's right folks- Christine is the writer of the original spoon theory! The bible of us spoonies and lupies alike to help others get a grasp on what we live and deal with on a day to day basis, put into words, in a way no one could have done before! So I would love for you to check out the article --> A Spoon finally Big Enough?[ Well, it's close! And please stop by bydls.com from the link above- You will be awe struck by the number of articles, information, discussions and all of the fantastic resources available, it was one of the first sites I stumbled across after my diagnosis and it was such a help, as I read each article, I felt as if finally someone could relate and not only understood me, but was able to put it into words.

I also purchased some spoonie gear at Blues on the Bay, One t-shirt that reads, "lupus sucks-but youdontlooksick.com makes it suck less" and "Got spoons?" of which I have every intention of ty-dying purple when I am feeling a bit more, stellar shall we say? I also got my orange wristband as well, so I now rock the purple and orange with pride daily, I actually do not take them off-ever! And love when I am asked about them because it gives me reason to say the world "lupus" and usually give a brief explanation which raises awareness and educates one more person about lupus!

I'd also like to share a little background to world Lupus month for all of you today! It's a little blurb about how it got started and I had no idea when I stumbled across it that this was how it
had begun!

HISTORY OF LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH:

The firstLupus Awareness observance occurred in 1977 when President Carter signed Public Law 95-72 which declared September 18-24, 1977 as National Lupus Awareness Week. The week long observance was moved to October in 1982 and the first month-long observance occurred in 1986 when President Reagan signed Public Law 99-365, designating October 1986 as Lupus Awareness Month.

And on that note, I think it's only fitting I leave you with our Jolt of Java! Remember to stop by the TLM (lupus mag!) if you have not done so already and check out our October Edition! I am off to rest up and get some grad work done and some coffee flowing through these vieins!

Jolt-of-Java: So I call my obgyn the other day and the doctors answers the phone: hello Doctor Jones and your cervix!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Tips and Tricks to keep your Halloween Happy and Healthy! - No mess no stress halloween tips for Spoonies!

Good morning and hello rainy weather... again!
Actually, it's fine because other than a few errands and some graduate work I have nothing else to do, and it gives me an excuse to sit down and get my work done... Assuming my body holds out long enough to do so. But, before we get going on school work, I'd like to offer you all something that we included in the first edition (October Edition) of the CHRONICLYsILLy Newsletter, It is some helpful tips and tricks to help all of us lupies and spoonies get through the halloween season, with little stress, little to no mess and no flares (in the aftermath of costume shopping, school parties and trick-or-treating) I love the holidays but I also know they can be stressful and stress is a big no-no for the chronically ill as it usually worsens our conditions. So without further adieu, here we go folks- Listen up because these are some simple and helpful tips!


Helpful tips to get you through halloween- stress and flare free!

With halloween right around the corner at the end of our month, it can be difficult to juggle the beginning of the holiday season, and get ready for trick-or-treaters, and for those of you who have children back to school, parties, and halloween costumes can be overwhelming! Here are some tips to help you stay calm and keep those flares at bay!

- Start looking for costumes now- if you wait you run the risk of them not having the size of the princess barbie dream dress your little girl wants, and you will end up running to 4 different party citys trying to find her "the only costume she wants!"

- Costumes can be expensive- try a semi homemade or stores such as target and walmart! They have really reasonable costumes and a ton of accessories so you can "build-your-own" it ends up being a lot cheaper and still produces an awesome costume- usually with a ton more accessories than the pre-packaged costume! This is also a great way to get creative with your family, kids, neighbors and build your own costumes! The best part is... you can reuse parts next halloween from their costumes this year! Thrifty, frugal and fun!

- Don't buy your halloween candy in advance- This is one thing that you might want to hold off on- especially if mr. prednisone is currently in your medicine routine- Trust me that candy will not live to see halloween day when you get a prednisone hankering!

- Stay involved with class activities, and ask the teacher to start the class list for the party early so there is plenty of notice! I remember bringing home a note the day before a party saying we needed 25 cupcakes for the next day, and the look of terror on my parents faces as they both worked full time! Being a future teacher myself, I know how crucial it is to always plan ahead and leave parents enough time (this also helps keep my stress levels down!)

-Get yourself a fun halloween costume! Halloween is not just for kids folks! Put that lupus rash to use and dress up as a raggedy anne doll (no need to buy the rose red cheek blush when you already have a permanent one from your malar rash!) And no worries men out there, we didn't forget you- put your rash to work and dress up like santa for halloween! It's hilarious and practical (also hides those unwanted prednisone pounds and puts them to good use as a Belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly!)

- Enjoy it! halloween is a Fun holiday and you can add little desserts and tricks to dinner eat night to get you all ready for the holiday-Better homes and gardens has a ton of semi-homemade treats that you and your family will love! They are quick, easy and tasty! So you won't have to dip into your spoon reserves either!

And on that note, do not forget to stop by the Lupus Magazine (TLM- as we lupies like to call it- or maybe its just us writers but im a little obsessed with abbreviations so deal with it!) and of course I will not leave you without our daily jolt-of-java!

Jolt-of-Java:

Suffering from a bad case of the flu, the outraged patient bellowed, "Three weeks??? The doctor can't see me for three weeks??? I could well be dead by then!"

Calmly the voice at the other end of the line replied, "If so, would you please have your wife call to cancel the appointment?"