Too much fun, too much pain

February 7, 2011

NE Minneapolis

This weekend was a bit of a crazy one, for me anyway.  I went out Friday and Saturday night getting about five hours of sleep total.  Alcohol units consumed – too many to want to count.  Surprise, surprise my joints were very sore and painful Saturday and Sunday thanks to the incredibly unhealthy weekend.  Oh yeah, also add in the fact that I ate a disgusting amount of McDonalds and WHITE CASTLE.  Someone should probably just shoot me right now and end the misery.  But! It’s Monday, a new day, a new week.  It’s time to detox and get back on track.  Was the sleep-deprivation and arthritis flare-up worth it?  Yes, I think so.  I feel like I haven’t had much of a social life lately and it was really great to hang out with friends again, even if I overdid it a bit.  The joints seem to be back to normal now, thankfully, after sleeping 12+ hours last night.  Rheumatoid arthritis is such a frustrating mystery most of the time, however I do know with 100% certainty that lack of sleep (and boozing) makes me noticeably flare up and hurt all over.

Sunday afternoon I decided to take some photos in the St. Anthony Parkway area of Northeast Minneapolis.  It was a very gray dreary winter day, but I think I got some good shots. Check out the photos on Tumblr - meinherz.tumblr.com

RA today

February 1, 2011

Sorry for not updating yesterday but I stayed home from work sick and basically spent all day lying on the couch watching TV in my pajamas.  I don’t have that much to report right now anyway.  I seem to be having a small flare-up in my right shoulder at the moment which started sometime last week.  The pain isn’t that bad, it’s just more of an annoyance.  I think I should be able to get rid of it without having to resort to going back on prednisone.  I hope.

Regarding other exciting RA info – I keep meaning to call PANF (Patient Access Network Foundation) to see if I still have available funds from them to use toward my next few Remicade infusions.  I’m due soon for my next infusion and I don’t want to have to put it off, of course.  This shoulder flare-up is making me suspicious of needing the Remicade soon.  PANF helping me out with my deductible/out-of-pocket for the insanely expensive Remicade infusion is wonderful and I appreciate it so much.  However I’m also not looking forward to having to deal with all of the paperwork crap and waiting two months for everything to go through from Fairview billing/health insurance/PANF.  Dealing with all of that is such a huge pain, but I know I shouldn’t complain.  Without the help from PANF and/or the HealthWell Foundation, I would not be able to get the medication I so desperately need.

FLARE-UP

July 21, 2010

Rheumatoid arthritis is such an obnoxious, sneaky disease.  Example:  I went to bed perfectly fine last night (well, my normal “fine” that is).  This morning I was cruelly awakened by a sharp stabbing pain shooting through my left knee whenever I moved it.  My initial thought was, oh no…not this again.  I had had this happen once before when I had to go to the E.R. because the pain was so intense.  Luckily this morning I was able to carefully roll out of bed without passing out from pain.  I hobbled into the living room and noticed that my left knee was swollen compared to my right one.  So now, here I sit writing this blog with a bag of frozen peas icing my knee while I wait for my rheumatologist’s assistant to call me back about a plan of action.  I’m pretty certain that the doctor will order me to go back on prednisone.  Hopefully I won’t have to go into the clinic today.  This flare-up is especially frustrating because today would be Day 3 of me being prednisone-FREE again.  I so badly want to get off of that medication and STAY off of it.  I’ve been tapering down/off for the last three weeks.  If Dr. B puts me back on it, we’ll have to start the entire process over again.  However, I’d rather take prednisone right away if it will knock out this flare-up.  Anytime something like this happens, I get extremely nervous, of course, that damage is being done to my joint and that it will never return to normal.

Another depressing thing about this flare is that I’ve recently been enjoying riding my bike a lot.  I’ve been trying desperately to lose weight by biking but have also come to really love it and look forward to my daily rides.  I’m assuming that there will be no bike rides for a while thanks to this knee.

RA is really a jerk sometimes.  It obviously doesn’t care that I have two medical appointments I need to go to today.  Nor does it care that I also had to call in sick to work for tonight.  I know life is full of surprises and interruptions for everyone, chronic disease or not.  However I’ve noticed that my R.A. seems to get a kick out of rearing its ugly painful self in my life when it’s most inconvenient.  It’s a very helpless feeling when a disease controls you, forces you to lie around with a bag of peas on your leg when you feel perfectly fine otherwise, and stops you from doing the things you love – like those wonderful summer bike rides.

St. Cloud

April 30, 2010

I’m driving up to St. Cloud tomorrow morning (EARLY! auuugh…6:30) to take photos for the Arthritis Foundation.  There’s an arthritis fundraising walk going on there, similar to the annual one in the Twin Cities and the JAM walk I volunteered for in March.  It’s a really nice course/path by the river and I’m looking forward to it.  I just hope I can drag myself out of bed and get there in time.  I am NOT a morning person, and I’ve had to wake up super early every day this week for Census training.  It will be worth it though.  Let’s hope I get some good pictures (I’ll post them on here sometime soon, probably).

Sleep…sleep…I JUST WANT TO SLEEP. uhhhhhh.

And my body is hurting worse as I wait to get accepted for Remicade assistance.  I worked two hours this morning for the Census and then 5+ hours at Dan’s typing/data entry.  By the time I left there my wrists, hands, and shoulders were throbbing.  My right hand is starting to swell, too, which is worrying.  I just hope my application with the Health Well Foundation goes through next week.  Why must these things take so long?  I need my drug now!  I refuse to go back on prednisone.

ok, goodnight invisible readers

Weighting around

November 24, 2007

In a brief effort to improve my health and lose weight a week or so ago, I decided to try lifting these little 3 lb orange weights a few times a day, every day. At first I was huffing and puffing and “feeling the burn” at the end of each mini “workout,” but also feeling good and energized and happy that I had exercised a bit. I really hoped that this would help me lose some weight, too.

I’ve been 20-25 lbs overweight for the last 5-6 years, mostly due to medication side effects and lack of exercise (my suspicion). Feeling fat and ugly and sluggish and like a disgusting old lump on the couch only adds to the frustration and depression of having R.A. But this is a topic that deserves its own post(s), so you’ll have to wait to read about that another time.

Let’s get back to me looking ridiculous pumping iron in my pajamas in front of the TV every night. So yes, hooray! I can lift these weights and shave off some of my fat arse in the process. Good plan, right? WRONG. After about a week of weight lifting I am having an arthritis flare-up in my left shoulder, both elbows, and both wrists. At first I hoped it was only muscle soreness, but now I fear my gut instinct is true and it’s the arthritis (it’s not going away – always a good indicator). I’m off my exercise plan and today I reluctantly started taking 10 mg of prednisone to try to get this flare-up under control.

The presecription: prednisone daily, rest, rest, rest, and wait. Don’t move the shoulder unnecessarily. Don’t move the arms, in particular the elbows, excessively or in a weird manner. Wrists? Well, might as well try to not move the hands either (hands are connected to wrists, in case you forgot – I do sometimes).

What’s the next exercise plan that won’t land me in an iron body cast? Swimming/water therapy could be it. The warm water pool at the Courage Center feels like heaven; it just may be a fair enough trade-off for having to appear in a swimsuit in public. Hmm.

It really is a shame I can’t continue with these weights, though. Anybody have any other ideas?

Take it easy

November 17, 2007

My ankles are worse and have been flaring up these past couple of days. Why? Who knows. My right wrist seems to be experiencing a little flare-up, too. Earlier I was planning to go to a concert tonight, but I’m glad I decided to stay home and take it easy. My entire right leg is throbbing and aching so much because of my ankle. It’s amazing how every inch of our bodies work together, and if one thing is out of sync, it throws everything else off too. I don’t normally like taking any kind of pain medication, because it makes me feel weird, dizzy and like puking (I prefer to reserve these sensations for classy nights out at the bar) but tonight I had to pester the on-call doctor to call in a new prescription for Tylenol 3. I’m minutes away from popping one of those, slapping the ice pack on my ankle again, and then curling up in bed and hopefully being able to relax enough to sleep. This little ankle “charade” is really starting to get on my nerves. It can quit anytime now, honestly. Although sometimes I don’t mind being “forced” to lounge around in my extremely attractive (uhh) sweats while reading books and being lazy on a Friday night.

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