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It’s the time of new year resolutions and the hope that this year will be a better year than last. When you’re living with a chronic condition, it’s common to hope the new year will be healthier, include less medical bills, or be the year we will find the treatment to go in remission.

After a couple years of these resolutions, and living with the chronic ups and downs of this disease, I have realized that the best thing to do is just to live every day as a blessing, reminding ourselves to be more happy and less stressed — because that will give us our health back.

Speaking of blessed, my new year started out just the way I had hoped. The holidays were not quite as relaxing due to the constant socializing, traveling and adventures, but the 11 days off of work gave me time to rest and de-stress with my family, my love and my closest friends. And my 2011 work bonus helped me pay off almost all of my medical debt before the new year! It really helps to know that I don’t have those medical bills looming over me in my budgeting of 2012 expenses, retirement funds and savings plans.

But it didn’t last long — my health insurance company decided to put a hiccup in refilling one of my arthritis prescriptions last week, even though I didn’t change my insurance plan this year. So I will have to try the usual steps in fighting them on this claim, including getting a new pre-authorization, writing the insurance company regarding my needs/allergies, and maybe even getting a lawyer involved, if necessary. I am determined to continue this particular medication, because after a year of use, it may be the key to how much better I have been feeling…so here’s to hoping the insurance company gets their s#&t together.

And a couple days ago, a very persistent infection decided to show up again, so I had to schedule an emergency procedure to remove it. This has caused the medical debt to already pile up in the new year, but I am determined to stay positive about it. These emergency procedures, insurance hiccups, and doctors visits are something I will probably have to live with for the rest of my life, so I am at least hoping to minimize the expenses each year I am fighting this chronic disease.

Those living with chronic conditions, let’s cheers to a new year of hope — hope that the more natural ways of treating RA continue helping with the pain management — hope that with exercise regiments like swimming and yoga, we get stronger — hope that we continue to stay positive with the little hiccups (a.k.a. emergencies) along the way — and finally, hope that this year, each of us gets even closer to putting our chronic diseases into remission.

Okay, now I’m ready to take on the new year 🙂