Rollercoaster

February 15, 2014

Well, I’m taking prednisone again–10 mg. I’m not happy about being back on it, but at least it’s helping.

Damn foot and ankle.

RA Grrrl!

January 30, 2014

punksinger

I’m a girl you can’t shut up! –said musician/artist/Riot Girrrl/feminist/activist Kathleen Hanna. And I’m really glad that she doesn’t shut up. I recently wrote a blog post for RheumatoidArthritis.net about a wonderful documentary I saw last month called The Punk Singer (2013), which is about Kathleen and her contributions to feminism, the riot girrrl movement, music, and the world in general–as a creative and empowered woman. You should definitely check it out; it’s not out on DVD yet (March, I think), but it’s still showing in some cinemas. The documentary also reveals Kathleen’s struggles with a serious, chronic illness, which came as a surprise to me.

Here’s my blog post regarding my thoughts about the documentary, Kathleen Hanna, and my own passion for becoming involved with advocacy work:

“RA Grrrl!”

I hope you like it! And again, please see The Punk Singer if you can. It’s great.

HOORAY!

January 20, 2014

Hooray, hooray, HOORAY! I’m off prednisone as of TODAY! Cross your fingers this lasts a while. Or, forever.

UPDATE 1/25:
Sadly, it could not last. Back on 5 mg. :(

Tape my mouth shut, please

January 12, 2014

steroids2

So I’m back on prednisone, which is annoying. Right now I’m taking 10 mg, but I was taking 15 mg for a couple weeks. About a month ago a pretty bad flare-up started in both feet and ankles–especially the right foot and ankle. Swelling and terrible, throbbing stabbing pain. I’ve been trying hard to resist taking steroids because of their nasty side effects, and because I’ve been trying very hard to lose weight. But, once again I felt I had no other choice than to take prednisone temporarily until the flare-up is gone. The drug has been helping, which is great, but it’s also been affecting my moods and causing me to have a raging, ravishing appetite. I want to stuff my face with every carb I see, basically. This is frustrating and depressing.

I wrote more about this in a blog post for RheumatoidArthritis.net which hasn’t been published yet (soon, hopefully). In it I ask for tips and suggestions about how to cope with the side effects of prednisone. How can I control my appetite better while taking this wonderful yet awful drug? I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water and tea which is helping, sort of. I’m not sure what else to do other than, yeah, taping my mouth shut. But when a pasta/bread/sugar/chips craving pops up, I’m not sure if I could stop myself from ripping it off anyway. Lock me in a closet instead? Chop off my hands? Joking aside, those aren’t realistic options, of course. Anybody have any good ideas? Please tell me soon, before I clean out the fridge…again.

Brick walls

December 26, 2013

brickwallblog

Most everyone has a “brick wall” (or two or 10, maybe) that can get in the way of fulfilling dreams and goals and living the life you want. I’ve been thinking about my own brick walls lately, thanks to one of the classes at the high school where I substitute teach. In this class we watched a video of Professor Randy Pausch’s: “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking it out, as well as reading his book, also titled The Last Lecture. Pausch was such an intelligent, creative, passionate, and down-to-earth person, dedicated to helping others–especially his students. I’m a few years late discovering him and his lecture, but I’m so glad that I finally have.

I recently wrote a longer post on RheumatoidArthritis.net about Pausch’s lecture as well as the struggles I’ve faced dealing with my own brick walls in life–such as living with RA.

You can read my post here: “Brick Walls & Childhood Dreams”

I hope you like it!

___________________

The Last Lecture links:

YouTube video of “The Last Lecture”

Randy Pausch’s Wikipedia page

Randy Pausch’s Carnegie Mellon page

New York Times article/obituary

Invisible illness

October 23, 2013

Living with a chronic invisible illness such as RA can be tough, for several reasons. Just because you might look “normal” and healthy on the outside, that doesn’t mean you aren’t actually dealing with a lot of pain on a daily basis–physically and emotionally. Sometimes family, friends, co-workers, bosses, and even doctors can be surprisingly insensitive and judgmental regarding this issue. Here’s a recent blog post I wrote for RheumatoidArthritis.net about the pain of living with an invisible illness:

“Invisible Illness, Invisible Friends?”

Thanks for reading!

Drug-resistant bacteria

October 23, 2013

Last night I happened upon a fascinating and frightening documentary on Frontline about the rise of certain types of deadly drug-resistant bacteria (also known as “super bugs”). While this is a major concern for healthy people with normal immune systems, it’s an even bigger one for those who have auto-immune diseases and compromised immune systems, such as RA. It’s not just the fact that these certain types of bacteria are resistant to antibiotics, but the gene mutations that are seen to occur in people to transform “normal” bacterial infections into these super bugs–that’s what’s even more terrifying. Watching and listening to the stories of the people who became infected with these super bugs made me shudder, Wow if I get one of these I’ll survive about five minutes. OK that’s probably an exaggeration, but if these infections are ravaging and killing healthy bodies, I can’t imagine that those who have weak or compromised immune systems could survive them. Or can they? It’s a question worth finding out, I think. I also found it disheartening and rather appalling that the drug companies are not very invested or interested in working to create and bring to market new antibiotic treatments to treat these super bugs, according to the documentary. Why? Spending millions (billions?) of dollars on developing and marketing antibiotics isn’t very profitable because antibiotics are intended only for short-term use, compared to say, cholesterol medication you take every day for years. Or arthritis drugs which are also taken on a daily basis for a long time (imagine that!).

Anyway, this is an excellent documentary and I highly recommend watching it. Here’s the link:

“Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria”

Hope you find it interesting, and please feel free to comment!

Angela

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