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Hope and a health update

Friday, June 19, 2009

I have been debating with myself.. should I or shouldn't I put my health info in my blog? At the risk of sounding like my grandma's bridge club, lol... Here goes.
Since last summer I have been dealing with bouts of severe abdominal pain after meals. I have been to several doctors, had numerous tests, and the culprit is my gall bladder. However, I don't have gallstones, so they are hesitant to take it out. I also am dealing with severe gastritis (irritation of the stomach lining) and acid reflux. I have one more test on my gall bladder in late July, and then I will know if they are going to remove it or not.
I was going along okay with all that, and staying active, trying to eat better, etc.
Then, in March, I started having joint pain for no apparent reason and have been feeling like I've been run over by a truck these past few months. I also had this really itchy rash on my elbow, so they tested for several other conditions that can have gastric/rash/joint pain symptoms... like Crohn's disease, celiac disease, colitis, etc. So far, I don't have any of those, and it still looks like my gall bladder is the culprit of my stomach woes...
Long story short (I hope!).. Turns out the rash on my elbow is Psoriasis, and my first bout with it was about 12 years ago. Back then, the doctor just told me to put hydrocortisone on it, and after several months it finally went away. Now, it's back, and along with it, the joint pain. After several more rounds with the doctors, and tons of blood work, (last time they took 10 vials.. eek!), They are leaning towards a diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease similar to Rheumatoid Arthritis.
It not only affects the joints, but also ligaments, tendons, and fascia.

Anyway, I'm not blogging this to complain, but wanted to give a little background and also let all my dear Sparkfriends know where I've been all this time!

I am taking this one step at a time, trying to keep my spirits up, and trying to exercise a little each day. I am having joint and tendon pain that keeps me up at night, and I even have inflammation in my eyes.. So, being on the computer, watching TV, driving, and reading are all painful to do for very long.
I feel like I went from a healthy, 41 year old adventurer who could stand to lose a few pounds, to double that age, could stand to lose a few more pounds, with a condition that I have associated in my mind with being elderly.

I have been meditating, and trying to do some gentle yoga stretches, and walking . I still go to the park, but don't go through the ravines anymore, and only go around once, so I am only walking for 30 minutes or so. I'm trying to build on it slowly, and know that this too shall pass. Everything changes... everything.. the good and the bad.
My spirits are up for the most part, even though my body is down, I try to stay positive. Even though I haven't been online, I still think of my gratitude and awakening team. Every morning before I get out of bed, I list to myself all that I am grateful for, just like I would post it if I were online :-)

Thanks dear spark friends, for all your support and well wishes. I will try to check in more often.
I wish joy and sunshine to you all, and hope you are having a happy summer!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Val! I decided to check out your page after a long bout of health issues myself. I'm so sorry about your diagnosis. Just take it slow. I had my galbladder removed in 2004 and I had no stones too. I had a calcified galbladder and it was functioning at 16%! you never know! I hope you are doing better by now, and I must check a more recent blog from you. emoticon kairis
    2938 days ago
    Hi Val!

    Reading your blog just struck a chord with me. I am 55 and a couple of years ago started experiencing so many of the same symptoms you're having. I finally went to my doctor in november last year with a list of symptoms that included stomach pain, joint pain, just overall tiredness. I had all kinds of blood tests and finally an MR scan that revealed a large gallstone. I finally had my gall bladder removed in may of this year and I immediately felt like a new person. Or I should say like my old self! It is really hard to understand how a small thing like a gall bladder can cause so many problems. But I'm really not trying to sound dramatic. I just felt like I had a great revelation, I had no idea actually how sick I was until I felt normal again.

    I also have joint pain, but I just have some arthritis, nothing too serious. I've had tendonitis in both my shoulders, but got much better after a couple of cortizone shots.

    I'm telling you this because after I got so sick I started desperately searching for help and I found out that this is a common situation for many women. I have never felt so depressed and so unhealthy in my life. And I was shocked when I got my life back after removing the gall bladder. No one can really relate to this unless they have lived through it.

    One thing that happened during this process that was positive, was that I started drinking a lot of water. And I started paying attention to what I was eating. And I got on a program of walking for at least an hour, three times a week. I was determined to get well again.

    Now, I am well again. I have slipped back into some bad habits. Not walking as often, eating too much junk again. But reading your blog made me stop and think about how fragile our health can be. So it has helped me to realize that I can't let myself get back in that desperate state again. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Good luck! I hope you feel well soon. Julia

    3048 days ago
    Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your health issues.

    Thinking about all that you have to be grateful for is so positive. It's getting me through the worst of times.

    My prayers are with you.

    3077 days ago
  • CAROLYN4033
    Dear Val,

    I think you disappeared shortly after I started posting on the Thanksgiving Community.

    I am so sorry to hear of your health issues. I hope they find out exactly what is going on with you. I had my gallbladder removed many years ago, (when the new procedure was just being started). I have never had any complications with that, but you really need to watch your fat intake once it is out.

    Regarding your joint pain have you ever considered checking out a Massage Therapist in your area? My sister is one and I used to run her office and the relief that people experienced was completely amazing to me.

    I will be praying for relief for you......Peace, Carolyn
    3077 days ago
  • JLITT62
    I am so sorry to hear that you're having to deal with so much. It's times like these that you need all our vibes the most! But I can understand how tiring/painful it must be to be online right now.

    Just out of curiosity, did they test your thyroid too? Some of those symptoms sound like thyroid symptoms, too.

    Both my mother & my SIL have had their gall bladders out, and I know that can be such a misery.

    I'll be thinking only good thoughts for you.
    3077 days ago
    Oh Val, thank you...THANK YOU for filling us in. Your buds need to know what's going on.

    Whoa!!! Now THAT'S a whole bunch to deal with...this arthritis stuff, do you know if diet can impact it? I'm sure diet figures with the gastritis/acid reflux, as well as the gall bladder. How are you about having the gall bladder removed?Damn! How to have you life turned around, huh. As I said earlier, our health is so precious...AND so delicate. And you're so right, everything changes...continuously, and perhaps you will return to much better health again!!!

    I'm glad to hear your meditation practice has continued unabated...good for you! That's a big'un! There must be some gentle yoga classes around. Viniyoga, from the Desikachar tradition, would be a good alternative.

    I'm putting your name on my altar to send up mantra for your optimal good health, my dear friend.

    Much love,
    3077 days ago
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