Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One Year Later 2014

It's been a year since I've been diagnosed. My life is so drastically different. I don't remember the exact day of my diagnosis. I guess that's a good thing. I don't remember the exact date I went gluten free to help get rid of the inflammation. I suppose it is also my gluten free anniversary. This September compared to last September are majorly different. Last September I was flaring at least once a week with major inflammation at the same time. The flares would cripple my hand (or knee or where ever it decided to attack at the time). It was always a 3 day cycle. There were numerous sleepless nights of being up in tremendous pain. I just remember sitting on my bed knowing something was seriously wrong because this was a pain I had never felt before. The numbness took forever to go away. Ring finger right hand, constantly numb and constantly annoying. I thought it would never go away. One day I woke up and it did. My treatment was fantastic at first. Very little medicine, just five little pills once a week. I felt awesome. Then I slipped and fell in January of 2014 and landed flat on my back at a nursing home on wet floor. I remember that date oddly enough (January 11th). It was a nasty, nasty fall. The next day I was on the bike at the gym and that familiar awful tightness in my right hand started. The first major flare. Back on prednisone I went. It took 6 months this time to get off of it. Not an easy road. I switched from methotrexate in pill form and started to inject it around May. If anyone would have told me that I would be doing self injections at any point in my life I would have laughed at them. I despise needles. I always told my mom she never had to worry about me being a junkie. There is no way I would stick a needle in myself. But here I am, drawing out medicine every Sunday, and yes I admit, every Sunday I freak out a little. I have to pep talk myself and remember how much better I feel. The alternative isn't a good thought. I am also glad to say that in July I finally got rid of the prednisone (which even at 30mg a day wasn't working to control my flares). I started Humira. Within the first shot I felt better. I am a tennis player so I rewarded myself by playing about 15 hours that week, sometimes 3 hours a day. The difference is amazing. These are both powerful drugs and the side effects can send me screaming in terror but I just have to eat right, drink lots of water and follow a healthy diet. I tried Juice Plus and hope that will also make a difference. Since I started Humira I've had one flare and that was because of a tooth extraction, but, nothing like last time. I've done quite a bit of research and the proof is there.....methotrexate plus Humira could very well possibly= remission. I am going for it. Going Gluten Free has been the best decision ever. I realize now that not only am I a celiac, it is probably what has caused the Rheumatoid. One autoimmune can definitely lead to another. I wish I knew my polycystic ovarians disease was related to the genetically modified wheat. If I flare now I do NOT swell, though that has only happened once since starting Humira. That is fabulous. My knee problems (which is osteoarthritis) are also better. Try it if you have a doubt. Try two weeks, see how you feel. If you continue to feel better you have an answer. It is so nice not to swell. Another thing I learned to do is not listen to my doctors advise (sorry Dr. Josh if you are reading this) and be still when I flared. It took longer to feel better. Now I fight through it. It goes away faster. Do I suggest everyone do it, nope, but it is what works for me. I tried the "taking it easy" route and I still hurt, I might as well be on the tennis court hurting doing something I love to do. I've been told I'm inspirational with my Rheumatoid disease (yes I call it disease and not arthritis because I cannot control it by icy hot). I'm not trying to be, I am just doing what is right for me. If you are reading this and you are newly diagnosed I say keep researching, keep talking to people, keep hoping. It can get better. How much longer I will feel great I don't know, but, I do know I'll be taking advantage of it soon enough by joining the USTA and playing some league tennis. Rheumatoid sucks, keep telling it that!!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Read Something Interesting

I've heard in passing about the benefits of cinnamon. I had to start a B Complex because I was really tired (come to find out it was my lack of egg consumption, I used to eat them every morning for breakfast) and they had a buy one get one. So I picked up cinnamon. I went online to research the benefits of it and to my surprise I read that combined with honey it can help to east the symptom of arthritis. It didn't say what form but unfortunately I have two different ones. Will let you know the results. I am actually due for more Syn Visc. Hopefully I can keep that at bay for awhile.