Thursday, February 28, 2013

RA... Squared.

I finally had to address my arthritis with my doctor. It was a while ago that my USC doctors asked if wanted to see a specialist, but like I keep saying, I just needed a break from all of the medical stuff... Besides, I figured it was just a little arthritis.
Today I got the call (from a very nonchalant receptionist) that my Rheumatoid factor came back positive. She then gave me the number to a specialist and pretty much hung up... So I guess I will have to wait and ask this guy any questions I have, which is probably better anyway. I did do a little online research, of course. I was not aware that it is an autoimmune disease, similar to lupus. Hepatitis C seems to be a trigger for it, however, some HCV patients have a positive Rheumatoid factor, but do not have RA... I am hoping that I will fall into that category, but I do seem to have a textbook case. The RA symptoms that I have are:
  • Numbness and tingling in hands
  • Pain in forefoot
  • Pairs of achy joints... Excruciatingly achy.
  • Morning stiffness (all day)
  • Swelling/hot/fluid around ankles and knees
  • Nodule on my wrist
  • Fatigue... That could just be from everything
  • Positive Rheumatoid Factor
No fun guys, and it happened so suddenly! No matter what it is though, I am confident that we can do something about it. It will definitely push  me into a stricter diet. I will be saying goodbye to my favorites, like cheese... And bacon. Yes. Bacon. I'm not saying I won't fall off the wagon from time to time, but I will try my best. I am sure that if it alleviates the pain, it will be easier to stick with it. I also signed up for a yoga class. I'm not so sure I will be able to stick with that one at all, but we'll see. I am still trying to "train" for the 5K at the end of April, but I read that I will have to focus more on core strength and stretching with any kind of arthritis, so I'm a little worried that I won't be ready in time...   
Onto another subject, I did get put back on my prozac. I am having too hard of a time without it, especially since I am so achy right now, but if my LFTs go back up, I may have to find another option. I had really thought my depression was gone, but apparently my medicine was just working well. 
I always tell myself that it could be worse, and I know it can, but this is getting a little ridiculous. Just kidding, see, I'm still making the most of life on most days...

We went to Joshua tree earlier this month. I did not know how beautiful the desert is. We stayed in a cute cabin, went hiking every day, roasted marshmallows, and stargazed from the jacuzzi at night. River became very comfortable with heights, and was climbing every rock by our last day. I, on the other hand, have a new found fear of heights. It was a great trip, and needed.
After that trip, I came home and put my notice in at my job. I feel so guilty, but it is getting harder and harder for me to keep up. All I want to do is sleep when I get home, and that is not how I want to live. It is too much, at least for now, especially if I need to take care of this RA, too.
Here is a little information on Rheumatoid Arthritis... I love pinterest. You can find all important information you need in a cute little infograghic. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A little late, but good news.

Well! Just a little update. I had my clinic appointment the week before last, and got better results than I thought. My labs were actually a little better than they were 3 months ago! I was shocked, and so happy.
We are not sure why, but I have made a few changes over the last 2 months that may have something to do with. First, I was weened off of my Wellbutrin. This is proving to be difficult for me. I have been on one form or another since I was 14, but I have heard that it raises your liver counts, so I felt I had to try. I have also started juicing again. Hehe. Well, more like, smoothie-ing, and I love it. I also have cut out most processed foods (I can't give up some things completely) and I have really noticed a difference... My insides just feel cleaner.
I feel bad for taking a break on my health (not a break like most people would have, I still took my pills and protected my new liver, and I didn't really eat unhealthy) I could have been doing more, but I am focused now. Part of me was waiting for me to feel 100% better, and the other part was just waiting for me to get sick again. It is a feeling I have to learn to fight better, and it has gotten a little rougher without my happy pills. My doctor did say, that this is it. My body has reached it's peak. It is healed physically, so this is what I'm stuck with. Hehe, it's not that bad, now I just need to do the rest.
My stomach issues have not gotten better, but they haven't gotten much worse either. I do have to be careful, because I will throw up again in the mornings when it is at its weakest, but my food is still digesting, so I will just be content with that. Speaking of digestion, I found out that the pain I get (along with the embarrassing vacuum sound) where my G-tube was, will not be going away. I won't go into details as to what happens to your insides after a long term feeding tube is removed, but apparently, it is normal.
I think that is it... I am going to go for a run.. Mostly jog... Ok, walk, but I'm building up to a run for this...
Donate Life Run
It's that time again! Saturday, April 27th, is the Donate life run/walk. I'm going to try and do the 5K this year, but we'll see if my arthritic body can take it. Either way, I hope to see some of you there... Running or walking!