Goodbye coffee, hello green tea
January 18, 2012
Wow I haven’t posted in nearly two months – sorry for that! Things have been crazy and busy and…challenging. I’m still recovering from my ankle surgery in October and I’ve actually been suffering through a pretty bad flare-up for the last 2-3 weeks. BOTH ankles have been really painful making it difficult to walk or be on my feet much. My hands and wrists have also been bothering me during this time, so I’m fairly confident it’s the RA flaring up and not something else. But who knows. My next Remicade infusion is Jan. 27th so hopefully that will help get rid of it. I also finally managed to speak with my rheumatologist’s nurse today and she told me that my doctor wants me to go on prednisone again for the next couple weeks until I see him on Jan. 26th. Great, PREDNISONE. I’ve been trying so hard to stay off this drug; I haven’t taken it since August. Before that I was able to be off of it for an entire year before a bad flare-up forced me to go back on it again. The thought of taking it now is very depressing and makes me feel anxious and kind of sick inside. But what can I do? The pain and swelling in my ankles is driving me crazy – it can’t go on like this.
Anyway, I started a new temp job at the end of December working for a large non-profit healthcare system located at the University of Minnesota. I actually worked here four years ago in the exact same department and I’m filling in for the same woman who is out on maternity leave again. It’s good to be back, for the most part. The hours are pretty flexible, which is really important, and, well, I need the money. Progress has been made, but I’m still working hard to pay bills and get rid of the debt that seems to keep holding me back from moving on in life.
The good thing about this job is that it forces me to get up and move around and to get more exercise. The bad thing is, well, the same. I’m pretty sure that all of the extra walking I had been doing when I first started here is what has caused the flare-up in my ankles. Also since starting the job, I’ve been consuming large quantities of Diet Coke and coffee all day, which makes me suspicious that the caffeine/coffee might be the culprit as well. So! I stopped drinking coffee and delicious lattes and gave up my Diet Coke addiction cold turkey at the end of last week. Has it helped? I’m not sure, but I think so. My left ankle seems to be somewhat better however the right one is still throbbing constantly. Hopefully the prednisone and staying off caffeine for a good length of time will help calm down the RA and inflammation. Of course no doctor will ever tell me that he/she thinks caffeine or coffee would cause arthritis flare-ups, which is frustrating, because I always want immediate answers. However there seem to be no real answers to any of the questions and mysteries that surround this disease. I’m dying for a coffee right now, but my instinct is telling me to stay away from it. I’ve been trying to drink more tea, especially green tea, but it’s just not the same.
So there you go! That’s basically what I’ve been up to in the last couple months. I’m still trying to be patient while my right ankle is going crazy with inflammation. Oh, I’m also thinking of doing some physical therapy in the warm water pool at Courage Center. I know that would be a really wonderful thing to do – I just have to get over my horror at the idea of wearing a swimsuit in public. Maybe I can wear a sweatsuit in the pool? That would look attractive, I’m sure. Ok, I’m ending this now before I start rambling about how I was traumatized in middle school when we had to take swimming for gym class. Nobody wants to hear about that.
Thanks for reading!