Once again I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted on here and how fast the time is speeding by. Can everything slow down a bit, please? Even though I haven’t been posting on this blog that much lately, I’m still keeping busy updating my RA Facebook page–“Inflamed: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis” (like this blog)–and writing for RheumatoidArthritis.net. If you’re on Facebook, please check out and “like” my page! I’d love to have you there. I do plan to start posting a lot more on this blog, too.
In other news, I started another new biologic medication this spring, Rituxan, and my rheumatologist and I are now waiting to see if it’s going to work. I really hope it does because I’m running out of biologic options–which is worrying. I’m also desperate to finally get off of prednisone (and stay off it) after taking it regularly for about three years.
Here’s a recent article I wrote about starting Rituxan for RheumatoidArthritis.net: “Rituxan Ready?”
In exciting/wonderful news, I’ve recently lost about 9 lbs! This makes me so happy and relieved because I feel like I’ve been trying to lose weight forever, and nothing seemed to be working. I’m glad to find out that my body and metabolism isn’t totally broken/defective. Whew.
How’s your summer going? How’s your RA? The heat and humidity drive me crazy and make my RA (especially swelling) a lot worse. If this also happens to you, I hope you can find a way to stay cool and comfortable right now. I’m sick of breathing in central air conditioning day after day, but I’d rather do that than be miserable and in worse pain.
I really need a relaxing beach vacation, I’ve decided.
I received some really happy, surprising news when I went to my last doctor appointment on Monday. I stepped onto the scale for my regular weigh-in and when I saw the numbers flash on the screen I almost fell off of it. I LOST WEIGHT! Crazy. Well, it seems crazy because for the last month or so (or, um, all summer?) I’ve fallen off the weight-loss wagon and I haven’t been doing anything or really paying attention at all to what I’ve been eating. Actually, I feel like since I started the substitute para job at the high school about a month ago that I’ve been eating much worse and indiscriminately scarfing down whatever junk I feel like eating (gallons of coffee, Diet Coke, fast food, burritos, chocolate, pasta, bread, etc.) But hey, I don’t want to complain about this mysterious drop of pounds. I’m ecstatic that I’ve lost about 4-5 lbs. over the last month and I can feel that my clothes are looser too. Now I just have to keep on losing to finally get to where I want to be, which is about 30 lbs less than I weigh right now.
But anyway–my latest blog post on RheumatoidArthritis.net goes more into the difficulty of losing weight while having a painful chronic disease like RA and my personal struggles with it over the years. But I’m going to use this terrific, inspiring news of my recent weight loss to motivate me to get back on track with healthy eating and exercise. I really do want to be healthy. Losing weight is a smart goal to have, for so many reasons.
Well. The good news is I didn’t gain any weight. The bad news is that I didn’t really lose anything either. Ok, I lost 15 oz. Big whoop. I was really disappointed after my appointment Wednesday; I thought for sure the work I’ve been putting into losing weight was going to show some results. A pound at least. Nope. I want to give up and just stuff my face with a million pasta/cheese/bread/chocolate calories. But I’m not going to give up. Part of this makes me so pissed off to try even harder. But I don’t know — it’s not easy. I’m also very disappointed and angry that I can’t ride my bike right now because both knees are flaring up. This happened two years ago when I was biking a lot and it turned out to be a biking “injury” and not from my RA. I think I was pushing myself too hard this time and overdid it. But for now I need to rest my knees and hope they return to their normal, pain-free state soon. Even if RA didn’t cause this particular pain/flare-up, it’s not helping my knees to heal. So yeah, I’m upset. This really makes me want to scream and punch stuff. Ah, that probably won’t help though. I’m going up north tomorrow morning for the weekend for an annual family event, which I’m looking forward to a lot. Hopefully it will be a nice little getaway and will make me feel better.
I have my Remicade infusion tomorrow (well technically today, since it’s 12:43 AM), and in addition to the much-needed medication, I’ll find out if I’ve lost any weight. The last time I got weighed was almost a month ago, I think. I’ve been trying very hard to exercise and eat less. However, I’m afraid that once I step on the scale tomorrow afternoon it will show that I haven’t lost a thing. I swear my metabolism is broken/comatose. I’ve also recently lowered my Celexa dose and I’ve been getting acupuncture treatments for weight loss along with all of my other health problems. Hopefully something will start to work. I would be ecstatic if I could lose even just five more pounds. I’ve managed to keep the 10 lbs off that I lost last spring/summer, which is great. But, I haven’t been able to lose any more weight since then, which is really frustrating. What do I have to do, starve myself? I don’t think that’s a smart or realistic option. Please cross your fingers that tomorrow’s appointment brings some good news!
Hello from Minneapolis! I am actually somewhat glad to be back, surprisingly. Usually when I come back from trips abroad I’m depressed for quite a while afterwards. Since arriving back home from Dublin late Friday night, I’ve felt pretty energized and motivated and in a decent mood. I miss my friends a lot, of course, but I’m feeling positive about finally making some important decisions about my future, regarding my career, moving, creative projects, etc. While the trip was really fun, it was also physically demanding and exhausting, so I’m glad to be home to finally get some rest and to attend to my joints which seem to be exploding with inflammation. This afternoon I left a message for my rheumatologist’s nurse about wanting to discuss with my doctor other treatment options and needing help with what to do next about this stubborn right foot and ankle. Hopefully she will return my call tomorrow and we can get the ball rolling. Strangely, the weather here right now is cooler and less humid than in Dublin and Berlin, so that’s making me feel better.
Also in health news – sadly, I think I have gained back some of the weight I lost just before I left on my trip. Even though I was walking a lot, my careless mass consumption of Croatian/Bosnian/German/Irish beer and delicious bread and pastries probably didn’t help the situation. So now it’s back to tracking calories, self-sacrifice, and near-starvation. I’ll find out what the damage is when I weigh-in Friday. Can’t wait. I did go on a little bike ride today though and that felt good. I’ll have to work my way up to two rides a day again and I’d also like to start swimming on a regular basis, if I can muster the energy to drag myself to the pool (I blame laziness and inconvenience for current procrastination). But seriously, during the entire trip I kept thinking about how much I really do want to be healthier physically and to continue losing weight. It will be a challenge to get back on track after nearly a month, but I think I can do it.
So, that’s the update for now. I took a million photos and I’ll post a link once I get them uploaded if anybody wants to see them.
I received some wonderful news today when I went to my doctor appointment –
I’VE LOST SEVEN POUNDS!!!
Incredible! Especially since I’m currently taking 15 mg of prednisone. Wow. I’m beyond happy about this. And, if I keep doing what I’ve been doing, I should continue to lose more weight (says my doctor). The last time I was weighed there was about three weeks ago. I’m so ecstatic and relieved that my “dieting” and tracking calories is finally starting to pay off. Maybe my metabolism isn’t dead after all?
Well, I just wanted to write a quick post to share with you all my good news. I’m going up north early tomorrow morning for an annual family event and I’m really looking forward to that. However I know there will be a lot of bad food temptations there this weekend and I’ll have to work extra hard to control myself. But I can do it, right? The temperature is also supposed to be in the 90s with high humidity again. Ugh. Maybe it will be too hot to eat. Ha.
I can’t believe it’s July already; so many things have been happening – good and bad, as usual. I’ll get the bad out of the way first, I suppose. With great frustration, I’m back on prednisone again because my right foot (toes, ball of my foot) has been flaring up pretty bad for the last 2-3 weeks. It’s definitely swollen and my toes hurt and are tender to the touch. My right ankle has also been worse, so basically I just want to chop off my entire right foot starting at the ankle. For the past month I’ve been working so hard on improving my diet and tracking calories in order to lose weight, and being back on prednisone is making this even more of an uphill battle. I’m simultaneously really angry and depressed about it. And about the fact that I don’t seem to have lost one single pound yet, despite drastic calorie cutting and an increase in my bike riding. I don’t know what to do except keep on with it and try to have patience. I did make an appointment to see an endocrinologist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s Weight Management Clinic. I have to wait FOREVER to get in to see the doctor though. But once I get in for my appointment I really hope someone can help me. Doing all of this work with no results is really disheartening. I think my metabolism is dead.
I’m so happy. This flare-up seems to be getting better and WITHOUT being on prednisone! I could cry I’m so relieved. I hope it will totally go away. I think I’ve lost a tiny bit of weight, too. Patience is very difficult sometimes.