Friday, October 22, 2010

What The Heck???

So, as I was talking on the phone and resting my fingers on my desk (bending them slightly backward) when I noticed a big lump on the main joint of my pointing finger.  I poked it and it hurt, I looked at the other hand, and it was lump-free.  People, I think I have my first RA nodule.  Well, not including this weird lump in my left elbow that may, or may not be, a nodule.  Who knows what's going on in there, I do know there isn't much joint left, but there must be some crap floating around.

Anyway, back to my finger.  I hadn't noticed it before today, and now it's the only thing I can focus on.  It feels weird developing a stereotypical symptom after 10 years of having RA.  Anyone else have nodules?  Do they hurt?  Could this be some other, foreign lump?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Even Better Victories

No matter what, no matter how crappy I feel, I will not let RA get me down.  Well, for any length of time, anyway.  Though I don't want to be bogged down in negativity and anger, I do feel it is good sometimes to allow yourself to experience emotions, to own and live in sadness/anger/frustration/helplessness for a little while.

It is always a roller-coaster, this disease.  The ups and downs are extreme and varying.  Sometimes the ups last and last, and sometimes they are short.  The same for the downs.  Though it does seem like the good times fly by quicker than the bad :)

I've learned that my good times are very different than I would have categorized them in the past.  My up time still includes painful, damaged joints.  I still limp in my up times.  I still need help with countless tasks.  But comparing it to my down time less than a year ago, when I could barely walk around my house, when my husband had to literally carry me from our car to our house, and my up looks pretty damn bright.

The key is refusing to give up, and I believe, not knowing there is an option of giving up.  I still remember a visit with my rheumy nearly ten years ago.  At the time I was a full-time university student who also volunteered.  The clinic was a teaching one and he loved having me come in for an appointment when the students were in.  What better way to break the stereotype of only "older" people having RA than by having your 22 year old patient with severe RA in for an appointment.  As he sat there explaining to them the limits of my body, the damage already done, the various meds I was on and had already tried, he quoted, "I don't know how she does it.  She could be at home, in bed all day."  And my immediate thought was, "I could?"  I had no idea that was an option.  Really.  I thought I had to keep living life, pushing through.  And, I do.

The ups come, they really do.  You just have to look at them differently then you used to.  Change your perspective and you will see it.  You may not be the same as you used to be, but accepting that allows you to see your growth and the new "ups" when they come.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Little Victories

I work at a Women's Centre that also has a thrift store at the back of the building (with it's own entrance on the side).  We frequently get people coming into the front offices looking for the thrift store.  And sometimes, just sometimes, people complain or feel the need to instruct us to put up a sign so they know where to go (when I politely inform them the store is around the back).

In a very non-rude, and friendly way I really, really love telling them that we do, in fact, have two signs out front (with an arrow and everything), as well as a sign on the side of the building.  Yup, people, we have the signs covered.  I get it when people don't notice the signs and come in confused.  But what strikes me as hilarious is when they come in and tell us to put up signs when there are three of 'em.  Total fail :)

And that is my pathetic little victory of the day.  Does that make me rude?  It's an internal victory.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Holy crow, I don't think I could have eaten any more crap than I did this weekend.  I won't go into the details (because it's embarrassing), but for someone who regularly preaches about eating healthily, this was absolutely ridiculous.  Especially as our refrigerator was full of fresh vegetables and hours-old, local,  free-range eggs.  No excuse except laziness and cravings (not of the pregnant variety, I might add).

So this week, I am making a promise to myself to eat as well as I can.  I don't feel too guilty about it, as we don't eat out that much.  But, I know I feel better when I eat better.  So, no more take-out this week.  It must stop now.

My friend and I were talking about it last night and she figures it must be a fall thing.  It's getting colder with less sun-light.  I'm pretty sure that is playing a big role in it.  Anyone else finding it hard to eat well lately? 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Short Post of Pride

Just cause I keep bragging to everyone I know, I figure I should brag here, too :)  This weekend my sweetie ran in a 10k as a part of our local marathon, the Trapline Marathon.  He beat his goal time and came in 12th out of 138 runners!  I was pumped to meet him at the finish line, as well as witness all of the other runner's achievements.

Here is a pic of him crossing the finish line.  Note that the clock says "2:49:52".  His time was 49:52, the 2 hours was the start of the full marathon.

I don't think I could be prouder :)  Way to go, my love! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Book Review: Arthritis, Pregnancy And The Path To Parenthood

Let me just start out this post with a little note that I bought this book am discussing it purely of my own choice, and these opinions are entirely personal.

So, I actually read this book quite a while ago and am only now getting around to writing about it.  I'm guessing it's because I had such a struggle reading it.  Honestly this book left me feeling bad about myself.  I think it can be a wonderful resource to those newly diagnosed, or those that do not have severe RA.  I found myself flinging this book onto the floor several times with my husband gently reminding me that I should not be reading something that makes me feel so bad.

The thing is this: the author stopped taking all meds prior to even trying to get pregnant, then remaining off of them while trying, and continuing to do so while pregnant.  I do not have this luxury.  I stopped taking meds for a weekend (and even then I was taking tylenol!) and was unable to move on monday.  I can't imagine the past 10 months with no meds.  The author was also able to take time from work to cope with the pain associated with taking nothing.  A one-income household just does not cut it for us right now. 

In a way, this book felt priveledged to me.  I know that a lot of women cease taking medications while trying to get pregnant, but not all of us can.  I also felt that there wasn't enough depth to the suggestions for coping.  I wanted specifics of great ways of carrying your baby when dealing with RA in your arms, or easier clothes to put on your baby, that kind of thing.  I wanted more meat.

I guess my issue is that I just couldn't relate to this book.  Her experience is so vastly different than mine, and I wanted to read something that spoke to me.   All in all, this book was not for me, but like I said, I think it could be beneficial to women who have low to moderate RA and are relatively newly diagnosed.

I hope this post wasn't too harsh.  I don't want to come across as mean, just that it wasn't helpful to me.  I have to continue taking meds while trying to conceive, and I don't need to feel anymore guilty about that then I already do.  I completely respect Suzie Edward May and the choices that she made, and the fact that she was able to have children without also needing meds.  I just wish that there were a book out there that related to my story, you know?