Thursday, April 29, 2010

YAWN!

A cure for arthritis might not be as far away as once thought. A new antibiotic combination has been used to treat people whose arthritis was cause by Chlamydia. For most of us, this isn't the case. Still, the fact that this drug is really helping people go into complete remission gives me hope for the future.

Also, here's the story of a brave 13 year old girl with RA.

Rash: my face, as always - UGH. Makeup doesn't even help. This is super annoying. I always assume people think there's something wrong with me or that I'm mad.

Pain: I'm starting to get a headache... and my wrist is still being awkward... and so is my right ankle.

Inflammation: nothing actually seems too bad right now, except the ankle.

Meds: none

Stress level: low

Other notes: I'm ready for the summer, but not for graduation, go figure.

Things to make you smile: one of my favorite websites, ZooBorns

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

*SIGH*

I just turned in my senior thesis (aka capstone). It's pretty much the best feeling ever, aside from the anxiousness about the grade I'll get. I always get worried about that stuff for nothing though.

Rash: a little on my chest on face - honestly it's making me really warm and that's super annoying

Pain: my left wrist has just been acting crazy weird... I think it's because I've been driving more lately. It keeps freezing up on me... :(

Inflammation: left wrist definitely, a little in my left knee as well

Meds: none, but I'm seriously considering meds or booze at this point

Stress level: was pretty high, but now I feel SOOOO relieved after hitting that 'send' button, daaaang

Other notes: I've been feeling pretty sick to my stomach lately, but today it's been a little better. It's hard to tell whether or not this is arthritis or if I'm sick OR if I'm stressed. Blah.

Things to make you smile: Umm, did you read the first part of my post?!??

Just kidding!




Also, um, HOLY CRAP

Monday, April 26, 2010

Say Whaaaat?

Drinking in moderation can slow the progression of RA? I think I talked about this a few weeks ago, but it still is a very intriguing topic. The dehydration properties of alcohol could have something to do with this, I suppose. The elimination of water in the body could potentially lead to less swelling.

Rash: none

Pain: slight pain in left ankle, but not too bad; small amount of stomach discomfort

Inflammation: left knee is starting to swell a bit

Meds: none

Stress level: moderately high, but it's also my birthday, so I don't care hahaha

Other notes: In two weeks from today, I will be in Oregon for vacation after graduation. I'm going to try to post a couple of times while I'm there, but don't be surprised if I don't get to.

Things to make you smile: the ever-handsome t-rex

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blah

I'm am like super stressed out right now. Things are going on with the graduate school that are making it really difficult to want to go right now. I also have to finish some papers and revisions before graduation. Just thinking about all of it stresses me out, and then I procrastinate because I'm trying to relax so I can focus.

Also, I'm just really tired. I haven't really had a lot of caffeine lately, so I blame that.

Rash: left knee, slightly, and both pinky fingers

Pain: oddly not really any...

Inflammation: right ankle

Meds: none

Stress level: super high :(

Other notes: I'm pretty sure my ankle hurts because the weird new shoes I'm wearing. Told ya I have a problem, haha

Things to make you smile: my boyfriend being adorable :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Shoes!

Alright, so I'm kind of addicted to shoes that aren't always the best for someone with RA to want to wear all the time - mostly flip flops and ballet flats... and high heels. When I was in high school, I alternated between wearing flip flops and high heels every day.

Flip flops are terrible shoes because they don't provide a lot of support. For someone with RA, this is terrible. You need the right amount of support, otherwise every thing starts to hurt. They're fine for quick trips places where you aren't walking a ton though.

I used to love high heels. I'd basically wear a pair until they were beyond done for, and then get a completely different pair, with different height. They helped take the pressure and pain out of my most troubling joints - my knees. They also forced me to slow down my walking pace, resulting in the same effect. Unfortunately, my feet just can't handle the odd configurations and pressure caused by these shoes anymore.

Ballet flats aren't too bad. The problem is finding some with adequate cushioning or buying the right kind of inserts. My favorite pair finally had to get tossed yesterday (about two months late). I was able to find, though, two very nice looking pairs of flats at Sears for a nice low price. Unlike my last pair, both of these have a nice amount of support and cushioning. I'm not even experiencing a difficult time breaking in either of these.

Rash: small amount in the knee region this morning

Pain: headache lasting about two hours

Inflammation: able to feel some in the left knee

Meds: two Advil for headache

Stress level: fantastic, in a non-sarcastic way today even

Other notes: it was Jackie Robinson day today so I got really confused watching the Brewers/Cubs game earlier

Things to make you smile: lil Prince Fielder!


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finally!

I had my presentation for my senior capstone paper tonight! It went pretty dang well! Awww yeah!

Rash: a bit here and there on my knees and lower thighs; some spots on hands

Pain: large amount of pain today in my jaw and my left knee

Inflammation: left knee and ankle are swollen

Meds: 2 Advil around 4pm

Stress level: SUPER HIGH

Other notes: I have only gotten probably three hours of sleep from Tuesday until right now, mostly in the form of catnaps.

Things to make you smile: me!

Okay, okay, kind of me.



:D

Friday, April 9, 2010

Maybe a New Format?


As I'm able to begin posting a little more, I think I may try to do a physical update sometime during the day - if/where rash is present, any noticeable and painful inflammation, etc. So let's start now!

Rash: right hand between lowest knuckles of the index and middle finger (as seen above); pretty much my whole left arm, from the shoulder down; both cheeks, spreading into the neck region.

Pain: left ankle and knee, but much less noticeable than yesterday; left ear is having pressure problems; right hip; rash stinging pretty bad (esp left arm), except on face - there it's bringing along a feeling of fever (as usual); left hand - stinging, tingling sensations yesterday after leaving DR's (no logical reason for it) occasionally hurting again.

Inflammation: left ankle swollen, also less noticeable then yesterday; presume that pressure problems in left ear are related to swelling; slight swelling in lymph nodes on right side of neck - not visible but sensed by touch.

Meds: I have not taken any medication today.

Stress level: don't even ask, haha.

Other notes: Did not sleep well last night - paper and presentation due this morning. Bound to be similar situation all weekend. Feeling extra nauseous today - prob related to stress, lack of sleep, anxiety.

Things to make you/me smile:
  • It's baseball season :)
  • Almost done with capstone...
  • I graduate in a month
  • Things might get a little worse, but they're always bound to get better



Also,

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rheumy Appointment #2 Results

My x-rays didn't show any terrible changes in the bones themselves. My blood tests were normal for someone with RA - high sedimentation rate, high white blood count, etc.

My doctor is suggesting that I begin taking Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine). It was an anti-malarial drug and then was found to help patients with lupus and RA as well. It's an immunosuppressent. It's not a bad idea, because it's one of the more mild RA medications. It's a DMARD (disease-modifying antirheumatic drug), but no one is exactly sure how it works for RA and lupus. The side effects seem to be minimal, and pretty similar to the problems my arthritis already causes me - stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, etc. As a 21 year old, I'm a little saddened at the caution about drinking alcohol and liver problems, but I don't really drink anyways, haha.

The reviews seem to be really good too. Is anyone else on this medication? Is it working well?

Rheumy Appointment #2

I am nine hours away from rheumy appointment number two!

I get to find out what the x-rays they took a few weeks ago say about the progression of the disfigurement of my fingers, hands, feet, and knees. I also get to learn more about all the freakin' blood they stole from me and what good that did them.

My arthritis has been worse the past couple of days. Maybe I can talk to her about stress management or something? I dunno.

I really hope that everything goes well.