Monday, February 8, 2016

Pain in the Snow

When you are rheumatic it is so easy to hit the panic button every time pain increases. After all, our medicine is loaded with side effects goodness. So a year or so ago, for eight months, I kept a journal. I didn't want to take more medicine in a panic or go on a prednisone weening. It helped me to see patterns. Patterns help a lot. After my meniscus surgery rain didn't bother me. I play USTA tennis all summer so I'm always out in humidity. I sometimes think I feel a little better, joints feel more loose. There was one thing that always kept the same pattern.....snow.

Two or three days before I would start noticing an increase in pain. Just annoying little aches everywhere. Take a step and the ankle hurts, reach for a glass and the annoying pain in the middle of the hand that is intense but quick. Those annoying aches that just hit that panic nerve. Then the flare. The pattern was very clear.

It has gotten better. The last storm, Jonas, I had no pain before. I felt really good. I didn't have any problems until shoveling (if I can do it I am thankful). My problem actually didn't start until the middle of the night when my hand was went completely numb. I know that means more is coming. Short prednisone treatment and I was ready to go. I am finding a 10mg followed by 5mg helps these quick short flares without having to take extra medication that I don't want to take.

So if you are feeling frustrated with your symptoms, give it a try. It gave me a little more peace of mind. Of course this disease can evolve and change but it has worked the last few years.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Rheumatoid Arthritis Day 2016/Going for 8 Weeks

I've spent much of this day blasting information about rheumatoid disease. Hoping that someone will think to themselves that they have had these symptoms, lets check it out. I wish I would've read my posts 5 years ago. I definitely would have gotten checked before the flares came.

I spent part of my day at my 6 month check up. How ironic. I knew my bloodwork was going to say my inflammation markers were up as I've had quite a bit more pain and symptoms over the last few weeks. It's been mostly my fault. I've been off of my eating regiment (not eating as natural as I usually do and definitely eating more sugar than I normally do), I haven't been playing tennis as much as we transition to indoors, I haven't been to the gym in months because I really hate it there.

Surprise, they are normal. Normal is wonderful for more than just rheumatoid disease.

I cannot stress enough the importance of eliminating gluten from your diet if you are rheumatic. It makes a huge difference. Even if I have pain I don't swell.

In case you haven't read my other posts, here are the changes I've made.

1. Tart Cherry Juice has amazing benefits upon benefits but none more powerful than fighting inflammation. Usually now I just add it to my Nutriblast in the morning.

2. Nutriblast. As colorful as possible. I always include some honey. I always include spinach or kale. I always include a seed. Sometimes flax, usually Chia Seeds.

3. Go by my body and not what a doctor tells me! I recently just extended my shot to almost 5 weeks. I was 2 days shy , I know I will make it next time. After all, we were shoveling 2 feet of snow. Snow is a reactor for me but this year was not so bad. We also haven't had much snow.

4. Learn to eat a variety of salads. My dressing is lemon juice and olive oil. Get some extra C in from a fresh lemon. I learned to eat Arugala, and Escarole, and Kale with Quinoa. I even added multi color sweet peppers to one variety that is excellent with sunflower seeds. To my surprise shredded brussel sprouts make a fantastic base, especially if mixed with kale.

5. Tumeric. Just go read about it. Every rheumatic should take it.

6. Boswellia seems to be a needed combination with tumeric for me. I've tried to take Tumeric without it and it didn't end well.

7. Reduce sugar, easy is you cut out teas, juices, sodas. I still drink a lot of water to keep things moving in there.

Just because this works for me does not mean it works for you. This disease is tricky that way. That means you have to keep reading and listening and trying new things. I'm sure this combination won't work sooner or later and I will be back to my list of what herbs and trying new combinations.