Tuesday, March 02, 2010
I went to see my rheumatologist yesterday and I told him that I didnít think the Rituxan was working because Iíve been having a lot of joint pain for the last two months (ankles, knees, elbows and shoulders predominantly).
But, he said that my sedimentation rate (inflammation factor) was at 40 when I was first diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) and now itís at 5 so therefore, something is working and he believes it to be the Rituxan.
So, thatís the good news but it doesnít explain all the pain Iíve been having so I asked him about it and he looked at some of my joints and didnít see any inflammation and then he squeezed them and they hurt a lot! So, he thinks that I may have developed a secondary auto-immune disease, which is common apparently and this one he thinks is fibromyalgia, which is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding joints, fatigue, and tenderness at specific sites in the body.
I can definitely speak to the fatigue. Iíve been tired for weeks and it doesnít seem to matter how much sleep I get. And, I know that my shins are tender because whenever the cat stands on them when getting comfortable enough to lie down on them, it hurts so maybe heís right but I must say Iím not thrilled about this new development.
Anyway, heís prescribed me a low dose of Amitriptyline, which is an anti-depressant that is sometimes also used to treat pain.
And, then Iím to go back to see him in a month to see if itís helping.
So, thatís that.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
From Best Health magazine:
"The weekend effect - To combat overindulging on Saturday and Sunday, pay attention to portion size, weigh yourself daily or at least Friday and Monday and watch your alcohol intake, which provides empty calories and lowers your food inhibitions. Researchers have found that people don't realize they eat markedly more on weekends, particularly on Saturdays, when they tend to consume more fat. Those extra calories slow weight loss."
Friday, January 01, 2010
Well, I just figured out how many days I exercised in 2009 and it's 253, which my husband says is good but I'm not satisfied with it so I want to exercise a minimum of 300 days in 2010. Of course, I'm not off to a good start because my back is achy today and I'm wearing my heating pad but if I feel better later, we may go for a walk.
2010 is going to be an exciting year for me with a few trips planned. The first trip is in February (Feb. 5th to 12th) to Jamaica with my Dad. We will be staying at the Rosehall Beach Resort. Here's a link to it:
And, then I'm going to be celebrating my 50th birthday in May so I'm planning a trip to Ste. Anne's Country Inn & Spa in Grafton, Ontario with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and aunt-in-law. Here's a link to it:
My mum took me here once and we had a great time except for the spa treatments I received (massage & facial) because they hurt but the food was good and I loved the hot tubs, sauna and pool so I'm looking forward to going again.
I'm thinking we could book one of their cabins. I specifically want to book the Sentosa because it comes with its own personal hot tub but we'll see:
And, then it's my sister-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary so we have to plan something for that and it's my Dad's 80th birthday in September so we're planning on going to a resort in the Kawartha's for that.
I just hope that Jake (hubby) isn't laid off again this year so that we can afford all of this. Although, I've said that I could pay for my spa myself, if necessary.
Anyway, that's my exciting year. I just hope that I feel better this year than last year and that everything goes smoothly!
Happy New Year!
Thursday, December 17, 2009
This article was published on ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals) website and I thought it was worth sharing:
These days, everyone is under an increasing amount of stress. People who have jobs may be worried about losing them. People who have lost jobs are stressed about finding new ones. This type of constant anxiety can lead to headaches, stomach problems, irritability, fatigue and frequent, hard-to-shake colds, to name just a few physical responses.
Believe it or not, one easy way reduce the symptoms of stress is to eat better. A well-balanced diet can actually help reduce tension, boost the immune system and improve health and wellbeing. Add some of the "stress-buster" foods below to your diet, and see if your stress levels don't dropóand your peace of mind increase.
Carbohydrates trigger the release of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin, which relaxes the body. Complex carbohydrates that can have a calming effect include rice, beans, pasta, potatoes, breads and lentils. Each of these foods soothe without bringing us down as sugar does. (Eating foods high in sugar, a simple carbohydrate, can initially be calming. However, sugar enters and leaves the bloodstream so rapidly that all-too-soon causes us to "crash.")
Fiber-rich foods have the potential to increase serotonin levels. Plus they are digested slowly, which can help control blood sugar, improve digestion and clear up constipation. Excellent sources of fiber include whole grains like bulger wheat, quinoa, oats and brown rice, along with fruits and vegetables.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Green, yellow and orange vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system and replenish stressed-out bodies. Dark green vegetables like broccoli and kale are full of antioxidants, substances that may protect cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Many vegetables also contain potassium, which can calm the nerves.
One of the healthiest foods around, blueberries are high in vitamin C, which has been shown to give the body added reserves to help it deal with high levels of stress.
Low fat or skim milk
Milk is high in protein, which keeps blood sugar stabilized and contains tryptophan, which is essential for the synthesis of calming serotonin. This is why a glass of milk before bed really can help you sleep better.
Because even mild dehydration can stress the body, causing headaches, muscle weakness and lightheadedness, it is essential to drink enough water throughout the day. Drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals, and drink more before, during and after exercise.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
...but very honest with me (I think).
So, last time I went to my rheumy in September, I think, I told him I was really tired all the time and he said that was because my hemoglobin was low, which could be caused by the disease (rheumatoid arthritis) or it could be caused by my medications or it could be caused by a combination of both.
So, I know that my sisters suffer from low iron, which causes fatigue so they take iron pills for it. So I suggested that if I did this, it might help and he completely dismissed it because he said that the conditions I was living with wouldn't react to an increase in iron so there was no point in even trying.
But, I figured it couldn't hurt so I started taking iron pills AND Vitamin B12 and lo and behold, I actually started feeling more lively during the day.
So, I told him about it at my appointment yesterday and he implied that it was his idea and he was glad it worked! LOL!
I also told him that I had stopped taking my Sulfasalazine since it was causing my arms to be itchy all the time but since I stopped it entirely about a month ago, my right ankle was painful a lot of the time and I wondered if he would prescribe Imuran for me, another DMARD? But, he said that although the medication pamphlet he gave me showed very few adverse side effects, he knew from experience with other patients that after about 5 years on it, a lot of them developed skin cancer so he didn't prescribe it anymore. So that's good that he's honest about that, right?
I then asked him to prescribe me Percocet for those days when nothing else works and I'm in serious pain. It doesn't happen often but it has happened. I know it's an opiate. And, I know it can be addictive. But, I also know that I wouldn't abuse it; I would only take it if absolutely necessary! But, he warned me about the possibility for abuse and then told me that sometimes patients accidentally OD on it because one doesn't do the trick. He also was concerned that someone might break into my house to steal them because he said "on the street", 50 of them are worth $2500! But, in the end, he wrote me a prescription for 20 of them and I'm to take them only when abolutely necessary and to only take them as directed and to ensure that I don't broadcast that I have them to prevent someone breaking in to steal them. (I'm sure this blog doesn't count since none of you actually know where I live - LOL!)
In the meantime, he told me to book my next Rituxan infusions, which I have booked for December 30th and January 14th. The first one is when we're closed for the Christmas holidays anyway so I don't have to waste another vacation day on it. However, I have to waste a vacation day for the second one because I'll be back at work then. BLAH!
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