Changing dreams and determining diagnoses

Someday, I’m going to be a blogger that updates more than once every two weeks. I have the best of intentions and a thousand blog topics in my head, but that’s where they stay firmly rooted – right in my noggin.  Ugh!

So a couple of updates – one about my health and one about dreams and cars and how they all collide.

First, the heavy stuff. I met with the rheumatologist yesterday, then had 9 vials of blood drawn and a bunch of x-rays taken.  Right now, the doctor thinks the issue with my finger is Psoriatic Arthritis. This is a shock because I don’t have Psoriasis, but it can apparently develop anyway.  It’s very similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I start taking Methotrexate today. I see the doctor again in two weeks so we can discuss all the tests and x-rays and figure out next steps to getting this disease under control. He’s not leaning towards Lupus, so I’m thankful for that, although he did order the ANA test again to see what that’s looking like.  My immune system is about to be compromised, so I have to start taking better care of myself. It might mean avoiding public transportation for a while since I’m going to be susceptible to infection.  Also, I’m about to make an extreme switch to a very severe type of Paleo diet that removes a lot of foods that can cause autoimmune flare ups.  I’ve felt so badly for so long and I’ve accepted it as normal. Now that I know it’s not, I’m ready to fight to feel better.

Now, on to happier things….

I’ve had a lot of dreams in my 36 years of life, but the past 15+ years have been guided by just a few: own a Mustang, move to Seattle, and publish a book.

I can check the first two off the list and the third one is now my biggest dream.  But dreams change. And, as I’ve learned, sometimes you have to sacrifice one dream for another.

We moved to the Seattle metro area last summer and were instantly wowed (in a bad way) by the traffic. Bumper-to-bumper, aggressive drivers, people who veer in and out of lanes without a care, etc. Seattle driving is never fun, and it’s even less fun in a Ford Mustang with crappy responsiveness, bad cornering ability, and rear-wheel drive.  I’ve loved my Mustang since I bought it, but I came to a painful realization a few months ago – Mustangs aren’t good in Seattle.  They’re fine for the open roads of Indiana (except for when they’re covered with snow and ice) because you can get the speed up and really let that baby fly. In the Seattle metro area, where top speed rarely reaches above 40, parking spaces are tiny, parking garages are narrow, and people drive like their heads are inserted in their rectums, the Mustang just doesn’t fit.  In fact, I’ve avoided driving it.  I’d take the much-more nimble Cruze when public transportation wasn’t an option because the Mustang was just a nightmare.

Now, my dream has been to live out here forever and there aren’t words to describe how much I love it. And I love my Mustang. But the two just don’t go together, and so I had to sacrifice one dream for another, even though it was a painful decision.

Saturday, I said goodbye to my Mustang. My heart is heavy as I write this, as I have an emotional attachment to that beautiful car. I’ve even shed a few tears since I left her on the dealership lot.

Farewell, old friend.

Farewell, old friend.

I just needed something much smaller, with better maneuverability and gas mileage. I needed something that I could drive with confidence through downtown Seattle, especially now that public transportation might need to be avoided for a while. I’ve fallen in love with little cars since moving out here, and none more so than the the FIAT 500. Of all the little cars, FIAT was the one I just kept going back to, so I bought a brand-spankin’ new, fully-loaded 2014 Fiat 500 Lounge. It’s so tiny that it makes me laugh, and it looks like it belongs in Whoville.  Therefore, I have named her Cindy Lou.  Meet her!

2014 FIAT 500 Lounge

2014 FIAT 500 Lounge aka Cindy Lou

Sporty hatchback

Sporty hatchback

Sassy little front

Sassy little front

The retractable roof might be one of my most favorite parts.

The retractable roof might be one of my most favorite parts.

Very little car in a normal-sized garage bay.

Very little car in a normal-sized garage bay.

I still feel like I’ve betrayed my Mustang, conveniently forgetting that she’s not a puppy and is, in fact, an inanimate object and is not crying over my defection. Making adult decisions is hard. Actually, they just plain suck, and this one was one of the hardest I’ve had to make, but it was necessary. The car payment didn’t change all that much, but my piece of mind is now so much better, and with everything going on right now, I’ll take it.




10 thoughts on “Changing dreams and determining diagnoses

  1. I feel your pain with Seattle Traffic! I commuted for years to and from class at the UW to work in Renton. Oh, how I despise traffic! I would love to get a little car, but with two dogs and my 91 mother in law, a two door wasn’t an option. Not to mention all the chicken feed, straw, groceries and lumber I haul. I also didn’t want a SUV or Minivan. The solution was a AWD 2001 Subaru Outback. So now, I fit in with all the other Northwest folks. But I do miss driving a more nimble compact car. Good for you for evaluating your situation and making a choice based on your environment and needs.

    • Yes, you definitely fit in with a Subaru! Those are everywhere out here! We have Tim’s car, the Chevy Cruze, and it’s a 4 door and can haul our dog around, so a two-door is okay for us. But we don’t have straw and chicken feed to worry about (I wish we did, though!) I’m happy that my carbon footprint is smaller with this car and that I’ll use less natural resources (oil changes are only about once a year in the FIAT!) It was just hard to give up a car that I so dearly loved and wanted for so long. Life takes us where it’s going to take us, though, and we either give in or fight the inevitable. I have enough battles in my life without clinging to something that’s better to let go of. Still… the Mustang was such a beautiful car!

  2. Hubby had a red Pony. He sold it a few years ago as we had a 3rd vehicle that did much better in Illinois winters.

    I hope you are able to get your body in a better place soon.

    When we moved away from the SeaTac area 19 yrs ago, the traffic was bad. I can only imagine what it’s like now.

    • It’s been 6 days, so the pain of saying goodbye to the Mustang has somewhat lessened… SOMEWHAT. But to be honest, I REALLY love the FIAT. And i can’t even explain to you what the traffic is like. I was over at SeaTac yesterday dropping a friend off at the airport and was excited to see that the Link Light Rail, which links SeaTac and downtown Seattle, is now being extended to the Kent/Des Moines area. This place has probably changed a ton since you left!

  3. Take good care of yourself first and hang the dreams out to dry. You’ve achieved your Mustang and, sorry to say, have to let it go. Onward and upward. I have RA and so far it is once again in remission after I removed the ugly cancer I had. I’m much older than you, so it is what it is. I live in the Tri-Cities and our traffic is nothing compared to Seattle. Just keep adding to your bucket list and check them off as you achieve them. Good luck to you.

    • Thank you! I love having goals, and my bucket list just keeps changing! I’m trying to figure out how to manage Psoriatic Arthritis. I’m on Methotrexate, too, which will hopefully help.

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