Monthly Archives: January 2010

9 miles today

Got up this morning to 30 degrees, cloudy and damp.

It is 2 weeks to my half marathon (I have such a hard time calling it a race since I’m walking in it and since I really don’t figure I will “beat” many people… if anyone) and I know I need to get more and more prepared.  Mentally, I’m not sure I’m prepared but physically I think I will be okay.  Thank goodness for prednisone…

I wore my 15 year old’s sweats (they are nylon and I can get my butt into them now… woohoo) and two, Count them TWO hoodies… and made it 9 miles (including a stop for donuts).

It was a wonderful walk through the park

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i have arthritis, help me

This was, apparently, one of the top searches that landed someone on my blog…

Seeing that, it got me thinking… Now that I’m a sage old veteran of hearing that news (Has it really been almost 2 months already).  I don’t think that having made it through this far, even if I had it a year before I was diagnosed, makes me much of an expert, but I can SO relate to the sentiment of the search.

I had been having aches and pains when I finally got the gumpshun to go to the doctor (I guess my first piece of advice if you have made that kind of a search is… go see the doctor… don’t try to go it alone… don’t guess.  If you have ANY way to get to the doctor… go… they know things that help).  My PCP… or the stand in for my PCP since SHE was out on maternity leave and wasn’t back in the office regularly yet… made concerned noises at my lumps and bumps and swelling and bruised colors… and sent me for blood work. 

“It will take about 48 hours to come back”

yeah… the next afternoon I was sitting at my desk at work when the phone rang… it was the doctor’s office (I have them programmed into my cell phone so they show up as Doctor… not a great omen).  Sitting at your desk alone with dozens of people less than 3 feet away… and lots of people in and out of your cube farm is not the place to have the nurse tell you that you have Rheumatoid Arthritis.   Not being able to really talk to anyone when you find out isn’t great either.  They gave me the name and numbers of In Network Rheumatologist I should call.

I don’t remember much about the rest of that day… but I do remember that the sentiment expressed in the search and in the subject of this entry was what was running through and through and through my mind…. I have arthritis (not only arthritis, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis… yes, there is a difference in kinds), help me.

You are not alone.

I’m guessing that phrase probably ran through all of our minds (or most of us anyway) at some point.

Read books.  If you can find one at the library, read it, if you have to break down and buy one at the book store… it is agreat investment.  Don’t stress over some of the things you read on the internet.  No, there are no miracle cures.  There are no cures… there are only currenly treatments.  They can be quicker to work or they can take a while to work…

Find someone to talk to.  If you can’t find anyone “real” to talk to… reach out to support groups or reach our to one of us who blog… we are not necessarily the font of all knowledge, but we are going through what you are going through and we can at least understand what you are going through… sometimes that is really what you need… that and someone to tell you that it is okay to buy a dog brush if it is designed better for your hands and use it on yourself (I bought one at target yesterday because it looked easier to use, and it is…).

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I must be crazy

Okay… so, reality is starting to set in.  In two weeks, I go participate in my first half marathon… I must be crazy to think I can do this.  As I sit on the bed wrapped in my heavy  fuzzy … Continue reading

Not Affected by the Weather

I’m pleasantly surprised… I haven’t been affected by today’s weather.

It is cold front going through (not the snow.. the FOOT or more of snow) that is north of here, but cold for here none the less… and damp and crappy feeling.

I expected today to be an achy breaky kind of day.  It isn’t.  I’m guessing it is partly thanks to the prednisone.  I am trying to convince myself that it is also due to the fact that MTX is starting to help too… but I’m kind of loosing that battle.   I’m pretty sure that the MTX isn’t kicking in quite that quickly… It is the prednisone… but hey… I can dream.

I’ve started to write more carefully in earnest on my facebook notes… I’m writing about life in Kellyville… the farmville town that I have erected for myself.  I am going to weave in the stories of neighboring homesteads and towns.  It keeps my mind entertained.  I keep thinking that I’m supposed to simplify… but you know what… heck with it.  This is relaxation for me… loosing myself for a few minutes at a time in the digital world.  Am I completely odd?  Am I fooling myself that this is helping?  Am I just being me?

RA and Keyboarding and Mousing (is mousing a word?) article

Was out randomly looking at the internet this morning (I LOVE days off during times when I can actually quietly just surf) and I found a really cool article on the OndIndia website dealing with whether RA impacts people’s ability to type and mouse.

I was a little surprised at the results… or maybe at the way the results were couched…

Touch typing made a positive impact on typing speed for people with RA (pretty sure touch typing helps people without RA, too… .) but that older people with RA had poor-er mousing skills and speed than younger people.  Somehow that isn’t (as an “older” person) come as a great surprise to me.  I’m not sure that the difference is in age or in RA.  I am leaning a bit more towards the age of the person.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that older people without RA don’t do so great mousing either… it is, I think, more of a cultural difference between “older” and “younger” or maybe just a decrease in  response time overall…

I would be interested in reading the whole set of findings…

per the article…

“The findings of the study have been published in the February issue of Arthritis Care and Research, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology. (ANI)”

I guess I realized that RA hasn’t slowed me down any typing… maybe in duration I can tolerate some days, but not in speed… It was suggested that I didn’t actually hurt the way I thought I hurt (before I was diagnosed) but that I was just overusing my hands and wrists (and feet and ankels and…. ) but when the blood work doesn’t lie, that argument went out the window.  Actually, I have found that typing (and crocheting) makes my hands and even wrists feel looser and less stiff if I ease into it in the morning…

It is good to know, though, that “older workers” aren’t being found to be any less capable than anyone else.

Trying to Figure out How I Got RA

I know that everything says that there isn’t anything you can “do” to catch it.

I know that a lot of it is hereditary (Hi Vaughn… this is a weird cousin to your Diabetes!!!)  and I know that I had several great great aunts that had gnarled knuckles… and the day that I got my diagnosis, while I was sitting at my desk at work… that was what went through my mind… their knuckles…

I know that my broken arm and subsequent surgeries and dead guy (cadaver bone) probably made it really happy to have a great place to settle in to…

But in the dark of the night, I can’t help but wonder what I did to cause the RA to find me.

No, there is nothing that you did that landed you in this adventure any more than what I did.  Even though you were assured that cracking you knuckles would cause arthritis and even though you drink caffeinated coffee and all of the  horrible things that you think you might have done… it just… happened.

I think the thing that makes me the most frustrated is that I didn’t show any symptoms until after I started to “get healthy”… after I lost 30 pounds… it just doesn’t feel just feel just that my reward for doing good things is… pain and inflammation and stiffness and lots of meds.

but then I think… lord… what would I really be like now if I was still 30 pounds heavier?  How much worse would I be feeling?  And now… if I wasn’t trying to do right things (except for the divine donuts from the store out by the park that lays waste to my walk and my waist) where would I be now…

Late at night… I just start to think…

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Stress? What Stress?

So… all of the handy dandy literature says to remove stress… HOW do you do that? Yesterday I was peacefully (if a bit late because it was a bad day at work anyway) when the phone rang.  It was a … Continue reading

Looking Forward to Tuesday

Up and thinking that I really have to get ready for work and get the angle girl’s hair ready for Uniform Day (NJORTC).  I have come to hate uniform days… they are days when I grit my teeth and tough out making her bun.  Last year, I secretly actually looked forward to this… although it was wonderful to poke at her about it… this year I do it and it means so much to me to do it for her… but it is hard to do and many weeks it hurts…

Took my prednisone early so I can get the most out of the day.

I’m looking forward to being at the gym at lunch time.

I keep trying not to dwell on how the doctor thought the MTX would be helping more… and thinking that I just need to take this one day at a time, one dose at a time.

Had dreams last night about the fact that my blood work “said” I have inflammation in my system.  My first thought was, well… duh!!!  however I had dreams (nightmares?) about my heart and my liver and my lungs and my stomach (hey… maybe THAT is why I weigh what I do… from inflammation… not because I’m too fat) and that making weird lumps in weird places because the inflammation pushes the organs out.  It’s funny (not really in a ha ha kind of way though) that the inflammation in my system might explain why I have been feeling the way I feel… and maybe taking prednisone isn’t such a bad thing if it takes that down just a bit until whatever meds gets this beast under control.

Another Dr Appt with Rheumy

It is a Back to the Doctor Monday.  Funny… gives “that time of the month” a whole NEW connotation…

Looks like (surpise surprise) I have inflamation in my body (according to my lab work).  I kind of figured that out without actually having to go through the blood work.  My toes, my ankles, my knees, my wrists and my fingers… yeah… pretty sure the bloodwork is right.

Looks like, according to Dr, pill form of MTX isn’t working the way she was hoping. If it doesn’t start helping more (more than… none on a good day… or negative on a ‘normal’ day???), I will have to start on the injectable form… which the insurance won’t pay for if I buy it from the pharmacy… I have to go to the office and have them inject me and then it will be covered after I meet my deductable….

I guess that means I will be in the Dr office every week rather than “just” once every 5 or 6 weeks unless the 6 pills or 8 pills start to do something.

In the mean time, I’m back on predisone… 5mg a day… I’m kind of glad… that will help me get through the race and deal with the swelling and the pain a little better.

I’m trying really hard to stay posotive, but you know… it’s hard.  Knowing that I’m costing so much right now… and that it isn’t likely to get better (did I mention that my HSA card didn’t actually WORK and I had to put the dr appointment on credit card until I can get it all straightened out?).  I am more swelled and achy than I was 6 weeks ago.

I’m just overall sad today… feeling very “poor me”… and to add insult to injury… I gained 5 pounds…

On Taking a Mosey

Today, I probably felt well enough to take a real walk, but the dog wanted to go, and so did both kids.  So mosey it was.

To be honest, the dog ran 90% of the time.  The people mosied, but the dog ran as fast as she could while going slowly at the end of the leash… she reminded of horses in a horse pull… they look like they are going 90 miles an hour but not really making any great distance.

We went to the park.  There is a new “track”… or maybe more accurately walking trail… around the back side of the park. It wanders along beside the creek (the dog LOVED that… we took a side track down to the creek thirty times!  Now the fuzzy white mutt is now gray from the belly down.

The path is great… is isn’t quite finished yet, but it is gravel and windy and peaceful.  It would be great if it were longer… but it is pretty.

I wish I could be less angry at my swelling… I wish I could make a fist.  I wish my toes touched each other… ah… wishing and wishing and wishing.

I have decided that I’m glad that I’m a part of something… I wish it wasn’t RA… but I’m glad I’m a part of something… having people who read this and actually post makes me smile… it means that I’m not alone…