Lupe & Brian talk about what they are doing to stay occupied and positive during this time of Self Isolation.
Lupe & Brian: [00:00:00]
Welcome to another episode of Sjogren’s Strong.
This is Brian.
And this is Lupe.
And this is your weekly podcast discussing how to live an active and healthy
lifestyle, despite a diagnosis of Sjogren’s.
Hold up. Wait a minute. I heard you say weekly, what’s up with that?
A that you know, a little birdie whispered in my ear and said.
That was me.
I want to do weekly.
Guess what guys? We are going to start doing this weekly again. I miss doing
it. Brian, do you miss doing it?
With every fiber in my body?
I miss doing a weekly show. I’ve felt like something’s been missing. Yeah, and
so I told Brian, Brian, we’re back weekly. And you know, to back it up a little
bit. I know that I was going through a funk, there for a while, but I think a
lot of it had a lot to do with my job that I just left And right now I feel
like I landed in a really good spot and I miss you guys. I missed a weekly show
and let’s do this.
And of course I support my loving wife,120% so she just doubled my workload.
But it’s all right because we’re doing it for or y’all.
I got the whip and I said, whipchoo, and he’s like all right, weekly it is.
So yeah, we are back weekly. We’re really excited to be back weekly. And you
know, the cool thing is, next week’s episode is already done, and we’re really
excited about that.
[00:01:30] But this week we kind of wanted to circle back
and talk about what everybody else is talking about. However, we want to talk
about what we’re doing and things that you can do to help the days go by a
It’s definitely a weird time that we’re living in right now. And just to talk a
little bit about it, we’re in the studio right now, but we just went to run
some errands, um, grocery store, and it was the weirdest feeling being in
You don’t for me. I don’t want to be outside of the home or my studio. And if I
have to be, I am in, I am out, no lollygagging gets what we need and get out of
there, get away from people.
You know, it’s really weird because for us, Sjogi’s, you know, we kind of like
laying around because of our fatigue. We’re cool just doing nothing, right? But
these days that we have to be inside, I just have cabin fever. I cannot stand
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How to avoid cabin fever.
[00:02:42] Now, I have a little experience with this, having
been stationed in awkward places with not a lot to do and, you know, we actually
trained on it, as well. But a lot of those principles can be applied to what’s
going on now. So, I’m going to fire off, Lupe’s going to jump in and talk about
how we’re utilizing what I just referenced in our everyday life.
[00:03:05] Number one is to have a plan, set your alarm
clock, get up and execute that plan. And a plan can look something like this, I
will get up when my alarm clock goes off, I will brush my teeth. I will take a shower;
I will get dressed. And I will start working on X. And we’re going to talk
about some options that X can be.
[00:03:30] But it can be, I am going to clean out my closet.
I am going to hit that closet in the hallway. Um, something to do that’s
productive. And more importantly, something that can be accomplished within a
relatively short amount of time. So, when it’s done, we feel that sense of
accomplishment. And that sense of accomplishment can help cope with the fatigue
you’re going to feel later because you did just exert yourself.
I think you’re trying to tell me something with clean out your closet.
Well, no, now last weekend you did hit a closet. Actually, take that back, two
weeks ago, you hit a closet. Last weekend you worked on your office.
Actually, yeah, you’re right. You’re right.
Um, we’re executing, we’re picking things to do and we’re executing it.
You know, it’s not something that I could do all day long. I mean, I have a few
closets that I want to get to, you know. But, uh, a little at a time. If that’s
what you can do. That’s what I’ve been doing.
Yeah. You know, it’s easy to walk into a room and go, oh my gosh, I need to
organize. And I’ve got this to deal with over there and my closet and my
drawers. I should really go through those and see what I can get rid of and
make room for new things.
[00:04:39] And, oh, under the bed there’s storage stuff and
oh, over here, and just forget that. Say I’m going to focus on this and whether
it be a drawer, a chest of drawers, or half of a closet, it’s one thing. Don’t
think about the whole room. Break it down into manageable pieces.
Because it can get overwhelming. This is an example, last week when I was
cleaning out the office, because I announced a couple of weeks ago that I
started a new job. And last week was my first week. And so over the weekend,
before I started, I wanted to clean the office just to get everything ready.
[00:05:17] And you know, I take so many notes and I have a three-ring
binder of notes for work, right? Because if you don’t do something for two
weeks, for example, if it’s work related or whatever, you kind of forget how to
do it. So, I like taking copious amounts of notes and they have to be really
[00:05:36] So once I got all that done, kind of, you know,
my binder that I wanted to take to work. I still had so much on my desk and I
was starting to feel a little bit overwhelmed. And I’m like, ah, Brian, can you
help me please?
[00:05:48] And you know, he’s really nice. So, he comes over
and he’s like, what can I do for you? And we just started going through stuff,
you know, he was helping me, okay, do you need this? Have you used it for a
while? No. Okay, then we could chuck it. And I’m like, no, wait, wait, wait!!
And let me jump in there. If it’s something that you’re not currently utilizing.
I.E. Have you used this in the last two weeks? Or something that does not bring
you joy? We can get rid of it. We can remove it.
[00:06:16] For example, she has this beautifully
handcrafted, I’m assuming it was a grandmother type item doily and it’s draped
over this little tiny chest of drawers that are filled with binder clips.
Oh, no you didn’t.
Every drawer, four drawers, every drawer has a different size binder clip.
Well, binder clips have then been attached to this doily on the outside of
these drawers. Now mind you, the drawers are filled with binder clips, so this
is overflow. There are probably 50 flipping binder clips attached to the doily,
then attached to each other, and they’re like, these snakes crawling up.
Get rid of them. They’re in your way. They’re creating clutter. They’re
creating this sense of messiness. And to me, that adds confusion to what I want
to do. So, remove it from the equation.
Well, it wasn’t in my way and it actually looked pretty cool because if you
clip the clips together, they kind of turn into like this little snaky thing.
It was cool.
And they’d provide you nothing to do with productivity while you’re sitting at
But what if I need a binder clip for something?
Open the dang drawer. You’ve got a drawer full of them.
You guys know what he did? He’s like, he just reached over my shoulder and he
unclipped it and he threw it in the trash.
Actually I did not. I threw it into a donation bag.
And he did that to like three or four strings of binder clips and I was like, what
are you doing?
But it looks so much nicer and tidier now. And if you need a binder clip, you
can open your door and grab the appropriately sized binder clip.
Okay, I’m guilty. I had too many binder clips, but uh.
But it’s things like that, removing the mess, removing the clutter.
[00:07:59] You get to sit back at the end of that and
actually see a desk. And feel like you can be productive in that workspace. To
me, that’s very important. My desks are neat and tidy. I know exactly where
everything is and I can reach for it without looking and it’s there.
Every time. If I have something, what kind of getting off topic, but if I have
something that I know I want to keep it in a safe place, I’m like, Brian, just
can you just put this away for me and when I need it, I’ll ask you for it.
Because he knows exactly where it is. He doesn’t even have to turn the lights
on. Oh my God, it’s so annoying.
But that is something that you can do to occupy a portion of your day while
your social distancing or self-isolating.
[00:08:45] Um, this morning we had errands to do, so we get
up, coffee, breakfast. I tidy up the backyard, cleaned up after the dogs, cut
the grass, jumped in the shower, cause now I’m dirty and I just jumped in the
shower with the dogs.
[00:09:03] I bring one dog in at a time. I bathed the dog,
handed off to loop Bay, grabbed the other dog, bathed the dog, handed off to
Lupe then I can use myself. And we were out the door and she was managing a
couple of her two dos while I was doing this. And we were out the door. We hit
Trader Joe’s, and then we went to CVS.
Oh my God. It was, you know what? Trader Joe’s was okay. It wasn’t crowded. I
mean, usually there’s 40 people in there, right? There was only maybe 10 but
you know, in the produce section, people were a little bit crowded and we
definitely weren’t six feet apart. But when we went into, what’s that store
Rite Aid. It was actually Rite Aid. Okay. So, when we went into Rite Aid who
were walking down the aisle, and we were looking, you know, for shits and
giggles, if they had sanitizers, and this lady starts coughing and she didn’t
even cover her mouth.
And at that point, we took the one item that we’d already selected off of the
shelf, we went to the cash register and we left the store.
But you know what was really weird. Being in front of the cashier and nobody’s
really saying anything, right? Nobody really wants to talk to each other. And
I’m like, weird times we’re living in, right? And she’s like, yeah. It’s weird.
It is. We took care of the chores we needed to take care of. We’re now in the
studio. We’re going to fuel up the car and check the fluids on the way home.
But when we get home, instead of just sitting down and flipping on the TV.
We’re going to hit this list of things we want to accomplish.
[00:10:38] Setting a routine, say 5:00 to 6:00 PM you’re
going to do some form of exercise, even if it’s just standing in front of the
TV and walking in place. Jumping jacks, pushups, utilizing your counter in the
[00:10:54] Do things to build and maintain a routine. And
that’s going to help us mentally get through it. It’s going to tire us out.
It’s going to allow us to sleep better, and we know what we’re doing tomorrow,
if we have this routine.
I have my routine down.
Why don’t you share this?
It’s a good thing you’re over six feet away from me, right?
[00:11:15] So you know, I’m home and I get hungry and I’m
just sitting down in my chair and I look at Brian and I say, can you make me a
tea? And Brian’s like, okay, and he gets me a tea. And then an hour later, I’m
like, look up at Brian and I said, Hey, Brian, I’m hungry. Well, what would you
like? And I just say something.
And then I go into the kitchen and say, we had this, this, this. She’s like,
stop, just make something.
So, okay, so I mean, all funning aside, right? It’s easy just to sit there and,
you know, ask for somebody to do something for you. But if you’re a little bit
productive, I think you’re going to feel better. And for me, I think ever since
my Sjogren’s, I’ve become a little bit of a love procrastinator and I leave
things for the last minute.
[00:12:06] How much of last minute? Okay, I have a tax
appointment tomorrow that, by the way, it’s going to be over the phone, right? So,
I have to go and either drop my paperwork off. Or email it to her, and then
we’re going to have our appointment over the phone, which is really weird. And
guess what? I don’t know where my documents are. I haven’t put anything
[00:12:28] So that’s how much of a procrastinator I’ve
become. And I want to work on that. So, I’m going to start.
You know and I’m a big fan of lists. Whether they’re digital or whether they’re
on paper but put together a list of things you need to get done, want to get
done, would like to get done, and prioritize them. And as you accomplish them,
check them off the list.
[00:12:48] The very act of crossing something out or putting
a check mark by it, there’s a gratification that comes with that. That you feel
like you’re accomplished, in accomplishing something. Whether you’re moving
tasks from one day to the next, or you just have this long running list and
when everything on that page is accomplished, you rip it off and you’re on now
page two or page three is satisfying.
[00:13:13] It’s one of those things that if you’re sitting
there going, ah, I want to go somewhere. Well, do you really want to go
somewhere? You just want to do something, whip that list out and accomplish
And by doing something, it’s not like opening the fridge and opening the pantry
and start stuffing your face with junk food, right? Cause I’ve caught myself
doing that a couple of times and I’m like, no, this is not good for a couple of
reasons. I can’t really sugar or junk food if I don’t need healthy, my body
starts shutting down a little bit. And I don’t want that to happen. Especially
not right now that we’re not supposed to go out.
[00:13:46] So instead of eating. Or stuffing my face with
junk. I want to do something productive like, you know, get to house chores
that I’ve been wanting to do for a year or two.
A year or two. And she’s not kidding.
No, I mean, come on, I’m not that bad. But when it comes to organizing my
closet, so now the job that I got, um, I have to dress up a little bit, right.
And I haven’t had to dress up in years. I could just wear Vans or jeans to
work, right? And now it’s a little bit dressier. So now I have to go through my
closet and pull out the nice clothes and kind of put away the casual clothes.
[00:14:27] And I’ve been wanting to do that for a couple of
weeks and I just haven’t bought myself to doing it. So, I’m going to take, I’m
going to take this time that we are in self quarantine and I’m going to, I’m
going to try to accomplish some of those things. And add all those chores into
my daily routine, a little at a time.
And that’s all we can ask, is just a little bit at a time. There’s something
else I want to bring up. Back, this was July of last year, so getting close to
a year ago, nine months ago, we did an episode entitled chronic illness and
preparedness. And there’s a lot of talk right now about Plaquenil and the
market being short because it’s being evaluated to treat Coronavirus.
[00:15:12] And you know, the one of the weird things is one
of the things I’ll Lupe’s list last week, where to go through meds, see
what we have, organized that up and make sure we’re going to be good for a few
months, if we can’t get to a doctor. And fortunately, we are.
[00:15:30] And being prepared for a crisis is something that
we maintain a pretty constant state of readiness, regardless of what’s going
on. When everybody’s out panic buying toilet paper and paper towels, we kind of
did an inventory and we’re good.
[00:15:48] We can let this panic pass and re-up in four or
five weeks. And there was nothing we really needed to stock up on when this
[00:16:01] Now Lupe fell into the trap of panic buying.
Oh, come on now, did I? Oh my God, this was so funny. Right? So, I went to the
store just to buy a couple of things. I don’t even know, to be honest, I went
to the store for. And everybody was in there and they were just filling up
their cart’s with nonsense. And I’m like, what’s going on? I got to buy stuff
too. So, I stopped buying Gatorade and water and chips and whatever I thought
was important to me for when the apocalypse hit and we were quarantining,
what’s important to me? What? What am I going to miss?
[00:16:38] So I started buying chips and Cheetos and Doritos
and Gatorade eight and all that crap. And I wish I would’ve had a camera to
record Brian’s face when he walked in. He just could not contain himself.
So the psychology of panic buying is real and it’s something that, you know,
you can pull back and not fall into if you maintain a state of readiness.
[00:17:02] Now I know a lot of you are really worried about
your Plaquenil right now, and we are trying to find means. However, from our
understanding, you know, it might be hard to come by for a little while, so
whether you call your doc and say, look, is this available? Can I get a script?
Can I get an extra 30 days? What are the effects if I half my doses?
[00:17:34] But put together a plan and execute that plan.
Don’t just sit there and go, oh my gosh, things are going to get worse. No
let’s control the things we can control and have a conversation with the doctor
over the phone and see what can be done.
[00:17:50] Start calling around to pharmacies. Do they have
it? Get that script first, start calling around to pharmacies. Do they have it?
Check the online pharmacies. Can I get it shipped? And build that buffer up so
you can relax and not stress about it. And when this is all over, that is
something we should do regardless. Let’s maintain an extra X amount of days of
meds at the ready.
Several months ago I went to have my eyes checked because I’ve been taking Plaquenil
for a long time and I was., that appointment was coming up. So, I went to this
new doctor because I had new insurance at the time. And the doctor, he looked
at the dosage that I was taking. So, I think like most of you, I was taking 200
mgs in the morning and then in the evening, and he’s like, you know, this is a
little much for you because of your weight.
[00:18:51] So, he said, I’m going to talk to your
rheumatologists so he could half it, and based off of that conversation, I cut my
Plaquenil in half. So, then I will take half a tablet in the morning and half a
tablet in the evening. Because I thought that would be better. Right. It would
stay in my system instead of just taking one in the morning and one the evening
and because I started doing that, I have enough Plaquenil for several months.
[00:19:16] But does everybody want to do that? Probably not.
You know, unless the doctor says
And yes, please talk to your doctor. Don’t just take what I say what Lupe says,
what you read on the internet as gospel. Talk to your medical professional and
you know, I approach medical treatment as my doctor, and I are going to put a
plan together that we both agree upon and execute that.
[00:19:40] That’s what we’re encouraging you to do. Talk to
your doc and see what you can do, especially if you’re short. Especially if you
can’t get it, you know, cause seven days’ worth of meds can turn into two weeks
and in two weeks we might not have this issue. Make those phone calls and um,
control what you can control.
I was a little bit stressed when I kept hearing on the news that Plaquenil
could potentially treat coronavirus because I thought, oh my God, there’s going
to be a shortage. What is that going to do? But if it’s going to help cure the Coronavirus,
I’m all in. I just wanted to be sure that I was going to be good with all my
[00:20:18] And I think that’s why I started going through
all my meds, organized everything. I had jars everywhere, and um, I feel pretty
good that I want to be okay for several months.
Wrapping this up, let’s focus on the things we can control. Let’s not spend a
lot of time contemplating the things outside of our control.
[00:20:39] I can control whether I choose to social distance
or not. I can control who I come in contact with. I can control my daily
schedule. I can be productive. I can continue a level of physical fitness. I
can eat healthy. I can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle despite everything
going on outside of my diagnosis.
And I know it’s hard, but if you try to keep a positive mental attitude, that
goes a long way too, I believe.
You know? And if you need a boost for that, join our Facebook group and search
for Tami. Tami’s got some awesome inspirational videos that she puts up in that
group. And Tami thank you. Thank you for that. Because you bring a smile and
you warm our hearts.
Sometimes you could be going through something and if you listen to Tami speak,
she brings you back to life.
She really does. So, thank you Tami.
We love you Tami Hill. Keep it up.
[00:21:39] Until next time. Sip constantly and stay
Tammy Hill – https://www.facebook.com/tami.hillupchurch
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