Monthly Archives: March 2011

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Herniated Disk Adventure

Okay, okay, so this morning I can look on it as an adventure.  I’m still a little scared, but not as badly. It turns out that really awesome Rheumy’s know really awesome Orthopedists… Dr Lutz was awesome.  He was honest … Continue reading

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Fear Bites

I have so fallen short of the whole post a day thing.  Life has managed to bitch slap me and I am SO not taking it well. It has been almost 2 weeks since I went to visit my rheumy … Continue reading

Keeping Busy and Distracted

Okay, the weekend is finally coming to an end.  I’m sitting listening to the birdies and the house sounds realizing that I managed to keep reasonably busy for the weekend (including a 4 mile walk this morning which was probably not the best idea).

Tomorrow is back to school after spring break.  It is back to work.  It is the day I find out (probably) when my MRI will be.

I’ve been looking at old vacation pictures (go Disney World!!!) and listening to music and playing with my DS’s iPad.  I’m ready for the other shoe to drop

Stuff Happens…

A little more from the saga of People Like Me…

Warning… this is a little less positive… a lot less Mary Sunshine, and definitely not Pollyanna…

I’m sitting in front of a wide open window, birds are hopping around the back yard.  Dandelions and what daddy called bumblebee flowers are blooming in the grass (what little grass there is, I’m thinking most of it is weeds).  The bedroom isn’t cleaning itself. Oh well, sucks to be the bedroom.  I will get there.

This week I actually caved in and went to the rheumy about my leg.  I got tired of it feeling tired all the time and feeling like I’m half dragging my foot.  Turns out I was right with the feeling.

There is a very slight chance this is associated with my Enbrel.  Better chance it is associated with a herniated disk.  X-Rays happened on Thursday.  Followed closely by pouting and feeling sorry for myself.  I did the requisite mourning… I think… at least for now.  First of the week I “get” to have an MRI…

The look on Dr Booth’s face when she could easily push my left leg down… and when she couldn’t get the desired reflex reaction in my Achilles tendon… is stuck in my head and is one of the things that is scaring the crap out of me.

I wasn’t ready to buy a cane.  But that is something I did today.

I’m scared.  I don’t like being scared.  But I’m back to (almost) being the eternal optimist.

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Out Of The Shadows and In Your Face…

Okay… let me start out by saying I didn’t realize just what a raw nerve this was with me until I read the response to this…and I will warn you this is a rant… This all can be found here… … Continue reading

What Not To Wear

I will admit it, I watch Clinton and Stacy on TLC’s What Not To Wear.  I have a dream that someone will help me to get out of the fashion mess that I am and give me advice on how to buy clothes that I don’t have to cringe when I think about putting them on.  Clothes that make me look more professional and less “lame” (there are days when I feel that way not only figuratively, but literally.

I would love to see someone who has something in their situation that causes shopping and wearing things that look good to be more difficult.

I want to learn how I can style my thinner and thinner hair.

What shoes can I buy that don’t look like Herman Munster shoes and that aren’t the dreaded running shoes that are comfortable flare or no flare.

What pants can I reliably wear that look like they are not “mom” pants or “man” pants?

What shirts can I wear that don’t make me look fatter and fatter but that don’t have teeny tiny  buttons that I can’t fasten?

I don’t even care if I can get the MAGICAL $5000 clothing card… I just want to learn what to do and how to wear something other than elastic pull on pants and t-shirts.

There are a lot of us out here who would love to see someone “like us” to emulate.

Come On TLC.  We want to know too…

Coming Clean

Okay, okay, I’ve been pretty quiet (for me, that sometimes seems like a miracle… being quiet for any extended period of time…) for a bit.

Truth be told, my leg has been giving me some problems.  Okay… it has been beating the crap out of me.  I’m not sure why, and I’m not totally sure how, but something is definitely weird.

My left leg is being stupid.  Bear and I went for an 11 mile walk last Friday.  I got a couple wicked cool shirts at the sporting goods store… obscenely expensive but they are what I got in celebration of actually getting a bonus at work.  It was damp and chilly and my hip was kind of achey.  Not horrible, just kind of… I knew it was achey.  It was causing (well… I thought it was causing… ) me to walk with an odd limp.

The walk was great.  It was awesome.  We stopped at the library, went to the sporting goods store, investigated town, and had a good time.  On the way home, we stopped for lunch at the diner that we used to eat at on my work from home days.  It was a wonderful day.

By the time I got home, I was tired… it was 11 miles… I was tired and feeling kind of stiff but not anything awful.  It got worse.  By Saturday I was NOTICEABLY liming… badly.  I was actually thinking that I might really really want to go find Adam’s artsy fartsy cane and actually use it (even thought it is meant to be a decoration not a real cane…).  Hot baths… Blue over the counter pain relievers… Tiger Balm (the balm and the patches)… Vicki’s Boo Boo salve (I hope she has more of that, I want to order some… )… rest… Sunday wasn’t quite as bad until evening and by then it was starting to be really bad again…

Monday I was starting to feel human.  Not great, but able to walk and able to navigate without noticeable limp.  Tuesday it didn’t hurt.  YAY… it didn’t hurt.

Wasn’t OVERLY willing to whine.  I don’t want to dwell on the badness when the badness is there.  Sometimes it is there.  This time I was really wondering if I will end up riding in one of those Hover Rounds or walking with a walker or… what.  It was hard to deal with.  Reality, frequently, sucks.

But now something new has been added.

My right foot walks “right”.. “correctly”.. my foot stays turned in the right direction and it doesn’t “work” right.  I think this is worth a call to my Rheumy…

On the up side, I’m not itchy or rashy!

Being Gentle With Yourself

I was reading through some RA places (blogs, medical sites, general… stuff) this morning and thinking, at the same time, about some advice I gave someone I met on facebook (who said social networking and general game playing don’t have any side benefits…) who is new to the “adventure” (sarcasm implied) of rheumatoid arthritis.

This young woman has a young son who has epilepsy (again… go go social networking…) which is again how we started to interact.  She is going (hopefully) to see her arthritis doctor (not sure if it is a rheumy or not) soon, but was having an incredibly horrible flare last week.  She asked what she can do for the pain.

I gave her all of the tricks I’ve found (over the counter NSAIDs… hot bath… slink to keep weight off the painful shoulder… use other joints where you can, like open bottom cupboards with feet and shut doors with hip if it is shoulder-elbow-hand pain… oh… and… um… yeah… I had a package of metho-prednisone that the clinic prescribed for sore throat a while ago that I didn’t take many of, you know the ones, the blister packs that have the dosage on the back, if I get really really bad, I take a couple doses of that to try and take the edge off).  Yeah yeah, I know… but technically it was my prescription I was taking and  it isn’t like I haven’t been given the magic prednisone pills before.  There are times that you do what you have to do to keep from living the chewing glass kind of pain.

One of the best pieces of advice, though, that I think I gave her (and advice that I probably ought to take myself more often) is to be gentle with yourself, be understanding of yourself, and don’t just let people help if they offer, ask for help.

So that was the avenue I took down the… I’m up early, it is blissfully quiet but for the wind and the trains, I have warm coffee with cream, and I’m looking for research to help me with my RA book… rabbit trail.  I found some interesting takes on my theme.  Some make me cringe (especially given that my hip hurts about a 9.5 this morning from the change in weather) but in general they were good reads.

The Allegheny Medical Blog has some great suggestions, but not really if you are in the middle of the chew glass kind of pain… and most of it is kind of common sense, this is what will make you healthy, wealthy and wise kind of suggestions.  I always like to be reminded that stretching and gentle yoga can help and mindfulness of my own limitations lets me do this even when it hurts really bad and sometimes helps, but that isn’t something to actually take up when you are in the middle of “what the #@$$ can I do for this pain” kind of day.  And actually the 7 Fibromyalgia Coping Tips entry was more helpful and kind of more accurate.

I think, though, that one of the best pieces of advice is from Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy… Asking For Help Does Not Mean Giving In.  I guess it isn’t just a girl thing that says… I’m going to tough it out.. I’m not  asking for help, they should know I need help… or… I do NOT need help.  Let’s face it world, we all need help.  Don’t be afraid to accept it.  Don’t be afraid to ask for it.  I absolutely love RA Guy’s blog.  It is real.  It is honest.  It makes me have faith that I can do it even on my crappiest day.

And damn it, it isn’t just about RA, but every freaking thing in life.  Get over yourself.  Help someone, even if you don’t realize they need it.  Offering makes the heart smile.

Being Silly

Sometimes it is just the best choice to go with it when the sillies hit.  Granted, there are times and situations where just… going with it… would not be a good idea (like… in the middle of a meeting… or in church… or… oh, lots of places… ) but there are also places and times when silly just seems to work.

The other night the sillies started running through my head… (lately they have been around music).  Mahna Mahna (muppets or better yet early sesame street)

It has KIND of expanded from there to muppets and sesame street and it ended up with my carrying on awesome conversations with people online that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise.