Sunday, July 17, 2011

2 more weeks...

I have 2 more weeks until this summer semester is OVAH!  I can't wait!  Finally got results of my 2nd exam back and I feel pretty good heading into the last 3, but I need to keep the momentum going!  After this little note I will be hitting the books!

Had a great weekend celebrating my hubbie's b-day early.  Went to the Chicago Diner for a late lunch yesterday.  De-lish!  Radical Reuben with a shared Peanut Butter Puck at the end.  It was so great...It's truly the best veggie/vegan restaurant in the city.  Topped off the evening with a little bit of shopping.  Got a pretty fun dress for my class reunion (in 2 weeks).  Now I just need to find a fabulous belt, take my old sandals to the cobbler (yep, I said cobbler...they do exist people!) and I'll be good to go.  I've been looking forward to that weekend for months now.  Less so for the reunion, but more so because I will be spending the evening with 2 of my dearest, oldest friends from high school.  We are actually sharing a hotel room and planning a fun evening together, topping it off with a late dinner after the reunion (so we can of course dish about said reunion event! LOL).  I need my girls and am so excited to catch up with them, so much to share.

I've been feeling pretty good lately as well.  I'm sure it's the Prednisone.  I am actually going to taper down a bit starting this week.  I just want to use as little as possible until this Methotrexate hopefully kicks in.  Thor my crazy thumb still likes to make his presence known usually sometime during the day, but my feet and wrists, etc. have been feeling pretty good...hope it continues.

I am making the hubby breakfast in bed this morning so I better close and get some studying in before I treat him to some yummy, blueberry/protein pancakes!  I am just going to throw something together and make it with oat flour and some protein powder to make it a bit more healthy (as he's been hitting the gym pretty hard lately, so I don't want to thwart his efforts).

Here's to another week closer to being done with this semester:)...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and Methotrexate....oh my!

Yep, I said it.  The "M" word.  I'm new at all this but I have gathered that Methotrexate is a hot button topic.  I'm not an expert and I believe that every "body" is different.  It's already hard to make decisions about your health without everyone judging or dismissing your choices, and I know this drug garners a lot of talk/discussion.  I just wanted to say that because I know we all have different and various viewpoints on the subject, but I'm just merely sharing my experience on this crazy RA journey, and I respect and admire all the decisions each of us have to make with this crazy disease.

SO having said that.  I went to the Rheum on Tuesday and am now officially beginning "treatment".  When I first met with the Rheum I was dead set against Methotrexate and I really wasn't happy about the idea of taking Prednisone either.  He gave me his thoughts and info, and told me to research/think about it, but that he wanted me to start with Methotrexate.  He shared side effects, concerns, etc.  So I did research and slowly came around to the idea of trying it.  ESPECIALLY when on Monday I could barely move my hand at all...nonfunctioning pretty much.

So...I took my first dose on Tuesday with some low-dose Pred (to help w/inflammation until said Metho kicks in).  Let me tell you that I've never felt so serious about taking a pill before in my life!  I literally stood there with the pills in my hand and paused, took a big nervous gulp and thought..."here we go".  It's amazing to have hope and fear all in 4 tiny little pills.  It's really interesting but I know that part of my initial reaction to the drug was..."Chemo drug?  Heck no!"  But then I remembered that most drugs have awful side effects and really what was freaking me out was the label "chemo".  It also freaked my husband out.  He's had experience with Chemo drugs as he is a Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor.  But then I remembered how I felt when he was going through his treatment.  I hated what that chemo did to his body, but I also felt that it was the key to keeping my husband with me in the future...and for that I'm grateful.

So now I wait.  I must admit I felt a wee bit nauseated the next day and a bit yesterday...but nothing unbearable.  Thanks to the Prednisone my hands have felt MUCH better, and my sore feet are slowly feeling better as here's to hoping for some relief.

All in all it's been an eventful month for me.  I've been very lucky to have a lot of supportive people around me as it's been so stressful dealing with this prognosis AND school (which by the way ends in 2 weeks! Woo-hooo!).  I am looking forward to a little break before my fall semester begins...catching up with friends, cooking for the hubby and just enjoying life.  Because even with all the STUFF going on in my life I am a lucky gal and to not get up and be grateful for my day is a day's too short, no?

Okay, enough procrastinating, time to get on the bike and get some exercising in...:)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Me and my big thumb...

I've been studying all weekend.  Cardiology is intense.  Up next is Respiratory, which will be equally intense I'm sure!  3 more weeks until this summer course is over....3 more weeks!  That will be my mantra!

Did pause in the action to make the hubbie a delicious Vegan Un-beef stew.  Sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, seitan.  Good stuff.  He very tentatively asked if I could make him "something" to take up with him (as he will be working out of town this week...he's often out of town during the week for work).  Poor guy, he hasn't had a home-cooked meal by yours truly in months.  Don't get me wrong, he can cook.  But as he says, "he doesn't like to, and he's not very good at it".  I on the other to cook, BUT with school we've agreed that all bets are off and I just won't be doing very much cooking.  It's a good thing we don't have kids as they would have to fend for themselves.  Ha!

Did manage to get a really good walk in this a.m with my little guy, Lenny.  Probably about 4 miles or so.  Took about 1.5 hours with all his piddling and breaks that he needed (It was rather hot, and I didn't mind the breaks either).  Am a little sore but all in all feeling pretty good.  Which brings me big thumb.  The thumb is just big.  I may have to nickname my thumb, and I don't mean thumbelina.  Like maybe Horst or Thor, or something big and burly sounding.  It's just so big!  The knuckle is like double the size of the other thumb.  The pinky has subsided but my right thumb is just plain stubborn.  Does anyone else have a perpetually inflamed big, swollen thumb or other digit that just likes to scream, "Mwahahahahah, I am RA and won't be ignored!"?

Yep, Thor it is.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Muscle & Fitness Trainer: BodyBuilding Diet For Muscle Gain And Fat Loss

A good article:).  I'm a big believer in the 5-6 small meals a day (plus it's fun).  You don't have to starve to be in great shape...working out means your body needs those calories to lift all those weights, etc.  Win win:)

Muscle & Fitness Trainer: BodyBuilding Diet For Muscle Gain And Fat Loss

Attack of the left pinky

It's official.  I'm over my left pinky.  I think we broke up around 3pm today when it STILL was hurting and typing at work continued to be difficult (and yes, it still hurts typing this).  Do you know how many words have a's in them?  A lot (darn you pinky!).

Okay, but in all seriousness it feels like I beat my hand against a steal door and it alternates between pain and tingling numbness.  I took ibuprofen.  That was a joke.  Didn't help at all today.  I need to wait until Tuesday and I get my ultrasound before I start the heavier meds.  I guess next week can't come quick enough if this is the downward spiral of my hands!

But on to something nice.  Just got the deluxe special edition goody package of the Beastie Boys new album yesterday.  I dare you to put the Beastie Boys and try to be crabby.  It's just not possible.  You can't help bopping your head looking like a fool amongst the other drivers on the road.  But it's worth it.

Another nice thing?  Taking the day off tomorrow work so I can study all day!  Which means that I can chill out on the couch for the next couple of hours and just watch "So you think you can dance".  It's a quality show people.  I'll admit I was skeptical, but those people are talented!  And the music is great too.  I tend to get teary atleast once during the show.  I know...I can be a total softie.

And I think the night should end with a bubble bar bath from Lush.  Ladies, you know Lush right?  The best bath bombs and bubble bars ever.  Plus a hot bath is good for our achy joints, and really good for de-stressing!

Hope all have a lovely evening and you find a way to relax...until tomorrow (when hopefully I make up with my left pinky:)...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 5th was...not just any other day.

Rheumer has it, it was just another normal day, or should have been.  BUT, it was the long awaited first appointment with the Rheumatologist.  It was basically going to be a confirmation of what I and another doctor had suspected.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (insert dramatic music here).

Well, boo.  That sucks.  But at least I now know.  You see...I'm a planner.  A list maker.  I need and MUST have a PLAN.  While it sucks, I know that I'm fortunate that I was diagnosed early, and I can start meds soon to get the inflammation under control and lose some of the pain and discomfort (hopefully).

It started in February with a really sore palm/thumb that just didn't want to work right.  I thought it was overuse (as did the doctors at the immediate care center I went to when I just couldn't take it anymore!) I proceeded to take ibuprofen and move on.  Seemed okay for awhile, then my thumb decided to become swollen and stay swollen, and painful.  Then my other hand, middle finger knuckle. Finally, when I had a break in between semesters I went to an orthopedic doc...and the journey began.  On the 4th I started my day with dropping a half gallon of egg whites (eggology no less....EXPENSIVE) on the floor/inside of refrigerator while trying to put it back in the fridge.  I guess my stiff hands weren't ready to work so well that early in the morning.  In case your wondering, egg whites on a tile kitchen floor is NOT a good time.  Sticky, sticky sticky.  I swear it took me like a half hour to get that floor clean.  And then my husband was like, "Um, there is egg dripping downstairs."  Seriously?  Yep.  It somehow got through the floor (1940's house, 'nuff said).  Ugh.  Oh, and then there was the phantom drip from the fridge. Turned out I had managed to douse the side door with egg whites as well.  This was also discovered by said husband.  Oh, did I mention that he's vegan?  Ha.  The vegan is an egg white hunter.  I told him it was probably the vegan revolution coming down on me...let's destroy those egg whites! That'll show her!   Moving on...

So that's one part of my current life.

I guess I should give a little bit more about me since this is my first official blog posting.

I am currently in nursing school and halfway done!  This is the most stressful, sometimes fun, sometimes painful thing I've done in my life!  I am making a career change after being in the "entertainment biz" for 15 years.  It's hard to balance it all, but I'm making it work (I think...).  I'm a 38 year old married lady (see loving vegan husband above) with 2 fabulous four-legged boys (Jake and Lenny) and I love to lift weights, keep myself healthy, travel (especially to Maui) and cook/bake (but I don't really have time for the latter lately).

So that's me in a paragraph.  I promise there's so much more though!

I'm starting this blog to have a chance to share my journey, have a record for myself while on this crazy roller coaster, hopefully make you laugh or smile occassionally and maybe make sense of this new aspect of my life  with RA...they say support sustains you, so why not create a forum of friendship and support, right?

Until next time...