Status

Quickly, now

I’m running around like a mad fiend. Feast time is upon us and I have lots to do. But I wanted to quickly tell you guys that I tried Zumba again and I LOVE IT EVEN MORE! 🙂

2nd Tui Na Massage

I drove out to the little small town nearby for my second Tui Na Massage appointment this morning. It was different from the first in that a) I was fine to wear soft, not-long-sleeved or -panted (is that even a word?) clothing, b) we only went over what was currently painful c) it was only one hour, and d) I did not need to rest afterwards.

We spent some time talking about the things I learned this week. The practitioner was glad to hear that I had learned about how my posture/habits/etc. affected my pain levels. She said that some people don’t take time to notice those things and those are the people that she sees repeatedly for “little issues that have become big.” I told her that I consider myself a life-long learner and that that applied not just to my mental education, but to my physical one as well. 🙂

She went to work on my right foot, which I’d stubbed a few days ago, finished up on my right hip, and re-worked my left spine in the spot that always pops out. Then she told me something that she said she’d felt to compelled to tell a lot of people lately (and may as well tell me): people really need to work on being good at being adults. I laughed, as she had just gotten off an “emergency” phone call from her son wherein she had to give him directions somewhere three different ways before he understood her. Anyhow, the gist of it was this: watch your posture, eat food that makes you feel good (not just full), and wear good shoes. I’m am totally guilty of at least two of those. *sitting up straighter & searching for better shoes & tossing out all the super-crunchy food now* Ah-hem.

At the end of the appointment, she asked me if I still thought I had RA. I told her that while she had, in fact, made me feel better than I had in years, I wasn’t willing to go quite that far. I still am having my morning stiffness (which she said “everyone has that, it’s part of being older”) and I am still low grade feverish, as I am when I am flaring or overworked. She told me that a lot of people with migraines have low grade fevers and that I had one each time I’d been to see her so far (which was true; I’ve been very migraine triggered lately). I will have to look for more information on that because I’ve never had a regular doctor make that particular connection before.

In any case, I’m back to feeling better now. I didn’t have to lie down after this appointment and I don’t have to do the warm clothes & soup thing this time either. I just went to my new favorite bookstore and am back home again. 🙂

Tui Na

I had a form of Chinese massage today to help with my RA. Oddly enough, my massage therapist doesn’t believe that RA is a real thing. She told me that I had basically dislocated most of my joints and set to work putting them back into place. For the most part, I’m feeling pretty good now. Range of motion in my neck, shoulders, and hips is better than it’s been in years. A few places still aren’t up to snuff. One place actively hurts like h*ll. In any case, I get to spend the next three days in pj’s and eating soup. Then, I go back next week to try to finish up the stuff that wasn’t done today..

Arthritis Pain Weather Analyzer/Predictor

I just saw this in a post from CreakyJoints and thought I’d share in case you hadn’t seen it yet: Arthritis Pain Predictor

TMI update

Heard back from my lady doctor, who I didn’t even have to see!! Her hospital got an app that let’s us email questions & get email answers & test results. It is fabulous! So anyway, my hormones are out of whack & I’m doing a low dose birth control pill to see if that helps. It’s been funny having people try to explain BC to me as if I’d never experienced it before. In the past I’d have blushed, but I have finally gotten a bit more mature and just moved on with a breezy “Oh yes, I know about that.”

🙂

Overdid it

There is no end to education.

It is not that you read a book,

pass an examination,

and finish with education.

The whole of life,

from the moment you are born

to the moment you die,

is a process of learning. 
–Jiddu Krishnamurti 

 

Yesterday I did not get called in to work, so I decided to get on track with making my master bedroom more of a sanctuary.  I’d been thinking of it longingly since the beginning of December, but had no time to do anything about it.  It had turned into that place where people dumped things off when they weren’t sure where stuff went.  I thought it would be easy: get the junk out and TADA!  Sanctuary!

 

Not so much.  I had to find homes for everything, which turned into an all day adventure which had me hauling boxes down and making new messes and moving things all around.  While I’m fairly pleased now with how my room looks (it’s mostly done, but I’d like to repaint some bookcases now.  I’ll need some assistance with that.  They are large and I can’t move them alone)  and the fact that everything else found a home (although some found “homes” in the trash, recycling, and donation bins), I ended up with massive amounts of pain.  😦

 

Things I learned from this experience:

1) I shouldn’t ever think that a pile of junk will be easy to deal with.

2) I should not put heavy things up high (I knew this, I really did, but I didn’t think that I had actually DONE it.)

3) If I discover something heavy up high, I should wait for someone to come home and help rather than expose my shoulders, elbows, and wrists to such weight.

4) I need to remember to take more breaks, even if my brain is excited and thinks it can just push through the pain.  I shouldn’t push through the pain.

 

Whee!

Nothing new

Writing is a struggle against silence.

–Carlos Fuentes

Just checking in, keeping up the writing thing, cause that’s part of my ongoing goals this year.  I had a writing retreat with a longtime writing friend/partner in crime this weekend.  We traveled to an undisclosed location and holed up in a tiny studio apartment and wrote, read books on writing, and shared notes on writing related things.  Now we’re trading our WIPs (works in progress- she has one to trade, I’m still trying to get there) for reading and helping along.  🙂  It was a really good weekend.  I’m feeling all refreshed and writerly again.  I organized my writing folder, downloaded the latest version of Scrivener (writing software that my copy of was an old bug-filled beta), and wrote more yesterday.

The downside of all this travel and writing is that I’ve remembered now part of the reason I stopped in the first place: the pain.  Oh the pain.  Wrists, fingers, elbows, shoulders, back.  I’d forgotten how bad it can get.  So now I’m looking into some other ways to get my writing in.  I’ve got a memo program on my iPhone that will translate my words to text; which it’s doing better than I thought it might.  It just doesn’t have a Save function, so then I’ve got to copy and paste by hand.  I’ve just spent thirty minutes with the Speech Recognition software on my computer.  The tutorial made it seem easy, but the actuality is not so easy.  It doesn’t like blogging. 😦  Maybe I’ll just have to copy and paste a lot.  😉

I’ll let you know how it continues to go.

Infusions…oh the joy

IMG_2696

Me in the infusion chair at my doctor’s office. I totally forgot to bring any entertainment today and had to rely on the elderly magazines, as my phone died after this picture was taken. So sad. 😉

I had another infusion of Orencia today.  I was really excited to see my old infusion nurse there. I asked about the old-new infusion nurse, if she was taking vacation days, but she is GONE, which mightily made me happy.  Apparently other people had complained about her.  I hadn’t, as I hadn’t wanted to seem whiny, but the truth of it was that she was not careful with me and she insisted trying veins that I knew and told her would not work for me. *sigh*  So the old infusion nurse is back.  YAY!

Unfortunately my best vein is no longer my best vein.  Something happened to it while she was off working in x-ray land and now it has a kink in it.  It could ease out or I could be left without this happy vein as an option.  Who knows.  I’d like it to repair itself.  Having the infusion in my other arm impedes my ability to get things done during my infusion, like writing, and I’m really trying hard to get back in the habit of daily writing again.

Anyway, I talked to my doctor about the flushing and heat issues I’m having.  He hadn’t heard of anything like that, but the nurse later told me that she hears that complaint all the time from other patients, so now I’m a bit confused.  Has anyone else heard of this?  I’m pretty much constantly feeling overheated and I work up a sweat quite easily.  I can’t find anything on the internet on my searches, but maybe y’all have heard something?

I see my primary care physician next week for my usual round of bloodwork and stuff.  I’m going to ask him about it and also about how to lose weight.  It seems like every time I hit the gym I end up with an infection or complication of some sort, so I’m going to ask for his advice on what to do.  It would really ease my pain to weigh less, but I’m going to need some help.

The Waiting Game

“It is very strange that the years teach us patience – that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting.” 
― Elizabeth TaylorA Wreath of Roses

 

Well, I can now say that my Orencia does help.  It wore off yesterday in the middle of the day.  Just BOOM, no more helpful drugs in my system.  I nearly cried.  My hip feels horrendous, my hands are cramped up, my feet ache terribly, and my shoulders no longer like me sleeping either on my left side or my right.  It’s delightful.  I mean, it really is kind of delightful, knowing that my new wonder drug is, in fact, doing something to help and not just causing a nuisance with side-effects.  My next dose is nearly a week off schedule, due to the office being closed for Christmas and then New Years and them only doing infusions a few days a week.  But it’ll come soon and then we’ll see how long it takes to kick in again.

Other things I’m waiting for: school to start back up so kids can see their friends again (we were actually pretty happy until this afternoon when they realized their break was quite close to ending and they started missing their friends), PTA to start back up so I can start querying for a couple replacements to train up for next year so I can step back and do a little less, and church day to come back ’round so I can talk to the lady in charge of the kitchen so I can bow out for the next year of kitchen duty.  See, my resolution this year is simply to take a bit better care of myself.  To choose ME this year instead of others more often.  Because I haven’t done that in a long time and when I look at myself and pay attention, I see that I am another year older, another 20 pounds heavier, and stressed out beyond belief.  So I’m going to just be good to myself this year and see where that takes me.  🙂

Hope you all are making good plans for yourself for the upcoming year.  I’ll come ’round and check your blogs and see how you all are doing in the morning.  See you then! 🙂

-L

Two weeks

Now I’ve had the pre-requisite two weeks with my meds switched. My blood pressure has gone back down to regular levels all the time now. My nasal congestion is nearly entirely gone and I can smell again (except for the two days that I forgot the new nose spray; those days I got about half way through the day and thought “Why can’t I breathe?! Where are the smells?”). I’m not having the crushing headaches any more, nor the all day vertigo. In short, if it weren’t for this flare I started earlier in the week, life would be nearly perfect.

;

So now a question: have any of y’all noticed a propensity for flaring the week before menses? I’ve not kept a regular chart of my RA pain levels in quite a while (no one was checking it, so I stopped keeping up; sad, but true), so I don’t know if there’s really a correlation other than this month and last month, but thought I’d throw that question out there. Thanks for keeping up with me, even when I’m not so posty! 🙂

xoxo,
me