Category Archives: Health

On CBD and Achey Days

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been studied as a way to help with pain and inflammation of RA.  I know that it helps in other things as well, like my mom’s fibro and sometimes when she has chest discomfort from a cold.  I won’t pretend that I had my doubts about how much it could help the RA pain.  I’m nothing if not a cautious convert.

I also have to admit that it takes a lot to make me think twice about using Tiger Balm when I start to get achey.

But… When I won one of Vicki’s contests at Rainbow Sky, the prize I opted for was XXX special BooBoo Salve from Vicki’s Rainbow Sky Trading Company.  Rainbow Sky has some of the most interesting things.  I’ve been a long time fan of her BooBoo oil and salve.  It helps my headaches.  It helps when I have scrapes, bug bites and poison ivy.  She is a close family friend and when I won (one of the winners) one of her contests, she offered to make me up some special booboo salve.  She mixed some CBD oil in with the other oils.  It smells a lot like the regular booboo oil, which is a mixture of 43 (44 with my current mixture) essential oils in an all natural base.  It works really well in its “regular” formulation but the addition of the CBD really gives it some amazing kick.  On days when my back aches, days when my wrist of my fingers scream, it helps.

Only down side to BooBoo oil/salve is that it has a scent.  I like the scent, but since Bear has been having symptoms (and now diagnosis of) IPF, it triggers (so does my Tiger Balm) a spate of coughing.  It’s not so bad when I’m in a different part of the house or not in the same place as he is, but if I’m in the car with him, or in the same room with him, it triggers him pretty badly.  I know that a lot of people have a problem with heavy scents, even if they aren’t “chemical” based (and hey, it’s not like H2O isn’t a chemical or anything… so… yeah).  I’m becoming more and more aware of that sensitivity as time goes on… I try to be gentle with my fellow humans, as much as I can.

There have been times when I have really wanted to put on something to take the edge off.  Booboo oil… or salve… Tiger Balm… SOMETHING… but… I don’t want to cause more pain than I have to.  I have been where I know I would trigger him if I had used anything scented and I have gone without until I could be somewhere where it would dissipate before I was back near him.  The scent isn’t that strong, and honestly I like it as much as I like the Tiger Balm smell, but easing his breathing is paramount in my mind.

About the same time as Vicki was making me my special concoction, I got a sidebar from someone at Outch and they pointed out that Outch Ointment is a CBD and Chinese herb infused topical. And that CBD is widely reported to improve the quality of life of those suffering from RA (as well as many other conditions).  It provides a safe, natural alternative to other methods used for chronic pain relief.

I was chagrined to admit that I had never really researched CBD.  I had never never tried it.  I knew it helped (not really topically,  but orally) with Epilepsy and with chronic pain.  I have professed to be as holistic as I can be and yet I never tried this?

I looked up Outch.  It was started by Brian Bowen, a traditional Chinese medicine herbalist and nationally certified acupuncturist” from Colorado.  I read their “about us” pages and really liked what I read on The Philosophy page.  He kind of reminds me of a doctor version of Vicki.

 So, I let the representative from Outch send me a free sample of Outch.  I got a tube of the roll-on (adds camphor and menthol to the ointment version) and a pocket sized jar of the ointment.  The Outch ointment combines the ease of pain with the added benefit of having absolutely no scent.  I’m not sure how that works or how they managed it, but I can use the ointment in the car or sitting beside bear in the living room without triggering a coughing spell.

Today, I ordered a 1.7 oz jar of the ointment from Outch so I can routinely refill the little jar that came in the mail as the sample and I can just toss it in my bag and use it whenever I am around people.  I will be saving up a bit of extra money over the next month or so to send to Vicki to make me up another batch of her BooBoo salve with the CBD in it, too.  I’ll be saving for a bottle of the roll-on Outch, too because I really like the cool tingle on my back when I rub it into the muscle spasms.

I hadn’t done the research.

I had never tried CBD.

I am a convert.

Am I 100% convinced that it will cure RA?  No, I’m not convinced.  Am I certain that it helps when I ache?  Yes.  Even on the steamy, too warm, too humid days we have been having in up-state Ohio recently. EVEN when I’ve been typing too much or crocheting too much or pushing too hard mowing the grass… it helps take the pain away without resorting to pills.

Haven’t tried CBD?  I highly recommend a trial.  You can get straight CBD from Vicki to try or one of the mixes that these to places have.  What can it hurt?  You might be out a couple cups of coffee from either shop, but if it helps, it’s well worth it.

 

Love and Light
April

7/22/17

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Pre-existing Conditions

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No, mom, the picture isn’t from now, it’s from a couple years ago… just making a statement.

Okay… let me start out by saying I’m trying really hard not to over react. I’m trying hard to think that, even in politics, there has to be some logic involved, some degree of common sense.  I’m trying to believe that a country that has progressed so far in the past dozen or so years can’t possibly slide backwards so far so fast.  I try.  I really try. I want to believe that my daughter (who has kidney stones and epilepsy) won’t be cast adrift.  I want to believe that my son with sjogrens will likewise not be put on his own iceberg.

That said… trying hard doesn’t keep me from being terrified.  I’m terrified.

I read pre-existing conditions.

I read caps on coverage.

I read the rhetoric and the realities.

If there is a million dollar cap on lifetime benefits… and I ONLY get my orencia infusions… those magic biologic treatments that keep me functional… at 10,000 billed to my insurance a month… that leaves me with just over 8 years.  8 years of being able to be a functioning tax paying contributing to society citizen.

There has to be an irony in the fact that 8 years will take me to the maximum possible term that Trump could see.

And I am one of the “lucky” ones.

I hear the people in the infusion center talk about what EACH of their treatment actually “costs” if it isn’t covered.    Fifty thousand dollars a week for one treatment.   They get to live almost 6 months (because their treatments are keeping them ALIVE not just keeping the hot glass shard feeling out of their fingers or their fingers pointing in the same directions, or their knees from being the size of volleyballs).

I’m trying to not be reactionary

Acne is a pre-existing condition

Acne

People who had cancer 15 years ago and are not clean and clear… they have a pre-existing condition.

And don’t even get me thinking about how much the fact that a woman is born with the wrong anatomy to matter.  <<it’s been a LONG exhausting week and I might just tell you>>

 

I don’t want to be reactionary… but…

States could apply for waivers that would allow insurance companies in their states to do three things: 1. Charge older people more than five times what they charge young people for the same policy; 2. Eliminate required coverage, called essential health benefits, including maternity care, mental health and prescription drugs, that were required under the Affordable Care Act; and 3. Charge more for or deny coverage to people who have pre-existing health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes or arthritis.

The waivers could also impact people with employer-based insurance, because insurers could offer policies that have annual and lifetime benefit limits, which are banned under the Affordable Care Act, and some companies may choose those policies for their workers to lower premiums.

Let’s face it… I’m really scared.

I’ve written my senators.

I’ve considered stopping my infusions because they will cost more than I make

I’ve considered moving to somewhere that will allow me to afford to exist.

Yeah… not being terrified and not being reactionary isn’t really working for me so much right now.

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Struggling to find the words

I’ve started so freaking many posts over the last couple weeks.  More than once I just couldn’t find the time to finish.  More often, I couldn’t find the words.  I can’t put two coherent thoughts together most days right now. … Continue reading

Reality Bites

So…

For the most part, I work really hard at being little miss mary sunshine.  Sometimes it takes more work than others.  Sometimes it is pretty much cake.  This early morning I’m sitting in the chilly (62 in the house) morning house… the only sounds this morning are the dog chewing her dry food and burping and the not so rhythmic click of my fingers on the keys of my keyboard.

I’ve been having stomach pains.  The symptoms have seemed to be (to the Dr too) generally related to a gallbladder problem.  Dr poked and prodded and sent me for an ultrasound.  It took a week to get the pre-approval from the insurance (want to be sure the chick without any “women’s” plumbing after that total hysterectomy isn’t just trying to see the baby) and the test was done yesterday.

The lady that did the ultrasound hit some spots that felt like very deep bruises and there were a couple times that I would dearly have loved to hit her.  But I didn’t. She sent me on my way telling me that the Dr would have the results by the afternoon.  And they did.

PA called me with someone’s interpretation of the results.  I also got the test results that were on My Chart (I really like that feature of Cleveland Clinic) and read through their interpretation.  The PA assured me that my Gallbladder is not inflamed, infected and that I don’t have gallstones.  I should keep taking the industrial strength Zantac, stay on a low fat diet (cause there’s nothing wrong so it is a given that I should stay on a bland diet) and follow up with my regular PCP in… oh… about 5 weeks now.

Funny… when I read the results of the test, it showed some accumulation of gallbladder sludge and what seems to be hepatic liver changes.  Technically… it showed “increased hepatic echogenicity”… which seems to be (thank you reliable medical websites) frequently connected to high alcohol consumption (which… I don’t even get a glass of wine at the fancy dinners that work throws when we are on the road, even for the toast… I toast with ‘Coke-a-regular’ or ‘Coke-a-normal’ depending on the country so it isn’t that) or… (insert Daht-daht-da-dahhhhhhhhh) use of methotrexate.

So, I sent of a message to my rheumy to have her look and take everything into account and now I’m waiting to hear from her.

I don’t wait well.

Last night I had an ever so small panic attack.  I took a long hot bath to try to convince myself that it’s all okay… and now I wait.

I’m not sure how to feel… but scared seems to be winning out this morning.

There has to be some kind of irony in the fact that I went because of the pain… and they found the sludge that is probably causing the pain… and I’m looking at maybe now catching MTX side effects reasonably early before there is too much damage… and what there is is likely reversible (no scarring yet).

And… the adventure continues…

 

Updated: September 24, 2014
Author: Figment of Fitness
Keep your dreams alive

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On Taking Shortcuts

Okay, so, this week I did an interview about real life tips and tricks for living with RA for a magazine.  I also read an article in the Wall Street Journal about the Balloon Ladies that are part and parcel … Continue reading

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Because It Makes A Difference

So, I’m sitting here having a text message conversation with someone who I used to work with. She is 4 months down the “just diagnosed” trail. Prednisone for 4 months, MTX for 4 months. She just switched to my Rheumy … Continue reading

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All about the perspective

This gallery contains 5 photos.

So, I’ve been dwelling a good bit lately because I know that people think I’m as dumb as a box of rocks. My post yesterday kind of dwelt on that. I’ve been torn between being dumber than a box of … Continue reading

Training thoughts… Disney Half Marathon 2014

I am fighting a fungal infection, a nasty cyst that needed to be lanced that is trying hard to drain, and getting my brain back into the groove of being “normal” again.  So, right now, I’m not really working much towards lowering weight or anything, but raising my water intake and getting my health stable again.
The doctor is happy that I’m healing so well with the new antibiotics and I haven’t had a pain pill in 24 hours so the end of the tunnel is in sight.
I signed up, yesterday, for a Gold’s Gym membership.  I am going to start training in a more logical and practical way here in the next couple days (as soon as I don’t want to scratch a few inches of skin off).  In the mean time, I’m really starting to think that I can do this, I can finish Disney and not get swept and still have a really special vacation.
I know that I really need to start doing something for me.  I’m starting to stress a LOT because I’m up till midnight answering questions and fixing problems and up at 5 answering questions and fixing problems and if I don’t soon start trying to do SOMETHING just for me, I’m going to start throwing things.  I can feel it starting to creep up under my skin.
You can sleep
HEY… why are you awake
answer this
you can sleep
HEY… what is this
answer this
you can sleep
HEY….
……. sigh… Times like this I really wish I could be like everybody else…

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Fear Bites

So… here I am, faced with my ultimate dilema. I’m starting to feel human again. I can make decent tme on my walk. I can feel like getting out and pushing again. I am looking forward (deranged individual that I … Continue reading

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Long Week

So… here we are again fair reader… (yeah yeah… it is a weird morning… give me a break)… It has been a long week… and my body is reminding me that it has been a long week. This week… Adam … Continue reading