Sunday, January 12, 2014

Broken bones with RA

I have oftened wondered what affact RA ia going to have on healing a broken bone. Just my luck, I get to find out 1st hand.

On January 4th. I went to a birthday party with the kids and was sorta talked into skating. Now I have skated before but just got an ankle brace and have issues with my feet, but I still had to try. I was a little wobbly but quickly skating came back and then my 12 year old fell on the right side of me. I did notice fast enough as I was talking with my 15 year old son, teasing him about tring to skate backwords. So I saw the yongest leg and bumped his skate as I lifted my right leg to miss him. I just couldn't balance long enough on the left foot and fell.

Now it wasn't painful when I fell, but moving my arm hurt. Something was off but I continued skating. As time moved on and the swelling set in my arm got worse. I used the arm to stop my self at the wall as I was getting off the floor and it was very painful. My arm would not extend all the way and my fingers were a little numb, this was two hours after the fall. My husband has to take my skates off and get my shoes on. At the hospital we found I have a radial head fracture. They said I have to call the orthopedic surgeon on the 6th, if the bone moves I may need surgery. It was a crazy amount of pain for xrays and getting my arm in a splint.

I was at least able to convince the doctor to let me go to work. I can type and write left handed, just slower. Now my left shoulder likes to go out from over use and it sure is sore...

On Tuesday I was able to see the orthopedic surgeon. A student took off the splint/arm warp. They both explained I had a fracture at the end of the radial head and it was ok to start moving my arm. I could use the arm sling to rest my arm. So I've done what I could including working over time at my day job, which is on the computer thankfully. Quite honestly I haven't used the arm sling unless I was out shopping, because I have my arm resting on something most of the time. I still can't open my arm all the way and it still hurts a lot.

Hopefully things will keep getting better and my RA won't slow down the process too much. I do see a new Rheumatologist on Feb. 28, so I'll just wait and see what he says. Hopefully I can get full use of my arm by then.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Feets, Foots, and Toesy

Me and my husband
 I went to the Podiatrist on Friday. No surprise, he said I complicated. He sure got that 100% right. Good news there is no erosion signs from my RA. Then he used several larger words that I didn’t quiet catch or understand. He explained that when I walk on my right foot I’m actually walking on the right side of my foot. (I’ve been paying more attention and he is right)

I have an appointment on December 6 to have a brace made for my right foot and ankle. They are also making new insert for my shoes. I have insert already but this insert will go almost the whole foot where the ones I have now only do half.

Hopefully this will help reduce the foot pain I go through. Right now I can stand twenty minutes before my feet really start to hurt and soon after that I just have to get off of them. Not a person to allow my issues to stop me, I use my wheelchair at that point to continue on.

The Podiatrist surprised me a little when he asked me if I had handicap tag, which I do have. He told me to keep moving as long I can and hopefully these will help me to walk longer. I have exercises to do as well. I started right away doing the exercises. So far the exercises have made my leg including knee and hip very sore.

As much as I knew the truth ahead of time and I already use a wheelchair at times. It was still a little heart wrenching. It won’t be so bad once I get a motorized cart and a way to load and unload it from the car. Right now my wheelchair is great if the kids are with me as it is hard for my husband to push with his issue. I can’t wheel myself for long and end up hurting my arm and shoulder. Just makes me worry a bit when the kids move out and we realize how much the kids help us.

December 6 is also the next date for my husband’s outpatient surgery. They will be putting shots into the spine of his back trying to get the nerves ending to stop hurting. We have done this once already and he got one whole day of relief but they think that maybe it will give more days each time we do the shots. We are also waiting for an appointment for a neurosurgeon. Hate to think of another back surgery for him, but if it will help it will be worth.

We sure are two peas in a pod.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Possible Biologic pills?

by meerlap
I'm reading RA article today as I pass some time and see what is new on the market. One article on Web MD talking about if a biologic pill is possiblestuck me funny as I read about what Rheumatoid Arthritis does.

"RA, an autoimmune disease affecting 2 million people, happens when the body engages in friendly fire against its own joints and tissues, causing inflammation, pain, and joint damage"

Friendly Fire now that is a very nicely way to put it.

The article is very encouraging though. I take Orencia. Even with my insurance it would cost me $300 a month. I have 90/10 insurance as well, so I only pay 10 percent after deductible is met. Thankfully Orencia has a program for co-pay helping taking the amount paid down to only $5 a month. Loss of my job would me loss of medical care for myself.

Depending on how long you have followed this blog, I have already done several years without medical. A wonderful toll on my body, but it is what it is.

The article talks about the need for Bilogic Pills. I give myself an injection each week and each week I dread doing it. Sometimes not a big deal and other times I worry if I’m doing it right. I would be happy to sign up for a pill over injections. IV infusions I have tried too. Poor nurses have a hard time starting an IV on me and the cost start around $8,000 per infusion.

Pills would be easier to use, covered more by insurance, and cheaper. I hope we reach this goal soon.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Feeling better

Thankfully we have moved on from the wonderful stomach bug. That was no fun. I also got a letter in the mail from the old Rheumatologist who informed me I was very anemic and my vitamin D is low. No wonder I was feel so horrid. He wanted to come in for an appointment right away, but he doesn’t know I’m waiting for the new doctor appointment in February. So I started to take Iron, Vitamin D3, and Vitamin C. I feel better so I think things are getting better.

So far the colder weather hasn’t bothered me too much. However I’m finding shopping to be increasingly painful as my feet hurt after about 20 minutes of walking. I also had fun with my muscles in my legs just aching. That’s something new I haven’t had before. I’ve been trying to stretch and rub my legs at night. Sort of hoping whatever the issue is it will fix itself.

All of these wonder issues with many hiding from view. You can’t see when my feet hurt or the pain in legs unless I hobble a little. I’ve gotten pretty at correcting myself as much as possible to straighten out limbs so they don’t look different. I had my left arm stuck for a long time unable to stretch out all the way. Lots of painful therapy visits to fix that, but it also taught me tricks that help me to prevent the arm getting stuck in that position again. So with the exception of issues like my arm the pain is mostly hidden.

I try not to get gas alone because I never know when my hands won’t open the gas cap. Getting groceries is hard. Besides walking many cashiers put too much into a bag. While getting soda 2lts to last awhile, I got six 2lt in the cart when a stocker told me if I took the whole box I would have eight. There is no way I can lift eight 2lt in a box without hurting. I’m not even sure if I could just do it and hurt later.

Now I know this sounds like a whining session but not really. I don’t often get down over the issues, I just find other ways around them. However I really want more people to understand what happens. Not only for me but for other people who have issues that can not be seen.

Picture seeing a mother with two kids you see her get out of her car. Walk to the back of the car and get out a wheelchair. See then sits in the wheelchair and the kids push her. You can’t help but wonder why the poor kids are pushing her.

There really could be lots of reasons. I know firsthand how a hard it is to roll yourself in a wheelchair. If I do my shoulder goes out, becomes very painful to move. Motorized wheelchairs are expensive and then there is added cost for how to transport and store the wheelchair. A solution is the travel scooters. Now these are also expensive starting in $500 range. My concern is the weight of getting them in and out of vehicles without extra costs of more equipment. Or course I am cable of walking just not as much as I want to and I refuse to slow down. So I’m saving up.

Just remember not to judge by the cover.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The wonderful Stomach Bug

Going around work is the wonderful stomach bug, it may be the stomach flu but no one has seen the doctor to confirm. My co-workers are so nice and wonderful that I have also picked up this illness. It started on Friday the 25th. I woke up sore and just felt off but I pushed to head towards a podiatrist appointment. I never made it. I pulled over once to be sick and then again a 2nd time. Thankfully my husband was with me and drove us home. I’ll now have to wait a month to get another appointment.

My podiatrist appointment is for issues with my feel. I can stand about 45 minutes before my feet start to hurt a lot. Like standing on pins and I have to get off. Since I love to walk, hike, and go to amusement parks this is another obstacle standing in my way. Thankfully I do have a manual wheelchair but my husband health no longer allows him to push me and my arms are unable to do it myself for long. If I try to wheel myself my shoulder will go out. I’m not sure what the doctor’s would call it, but my shoulder becomes unable to move up. So the mussel gets mad from overuse.

Now that I’m sick, I get the joy of going through the yucky feeling but I also can’t take any of my medicine until I’m done being sick. All the medicine I take lower my immune system. Since my immune system is busy kicking, I hope, whatever is making me sick, my medicine might make everything worse. Not being a big fan of hospitals or the hospital food, we need to avoid that.

Today is Sunday and I sort of feel better right now, which is why I’m typing this. I’ve only ate two crackers as well which made me feel awful. So I’m looking forward to Chicken Noodle Soup (Mrs. Grass brand, my favorite.) for dinner and nice long sleep. I had to go to work today cause we already work skeleton crew on Sundays.. but boy was it hard. I had to visit the restroom a lot this morning.

Looking out the window it is a wonderful grey, cold, and windy day. A perfect day to stay in bed. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be better and won’t have to use up sick time. Praying to feel better soon so I can get back on track with my medicine before the wonderful flare up.

Monday, October 21, 2013

October – Dental work with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I’ve decided to find a new rheumatologist. I just can’t go back to the last one I tried. I feel I need my focus on my RA first. Kind of hard to lose weight when they just want to push more prednisone burst on me. So I’m not taking any prednisone and I’m refusing to ever use it again.

So now I just have to wait until February for a doctor’s appointment. I only have Friday and Saturday off with my job so I found a doctor who is open on Friday. The last Rheumatologist wasn’t. I’m just hoping if I keep doing the blood work I can keep getting my meds refilled until then.

I also have a dental appointment that had to be rescheduled, now 1st week in November. I found out that I had to have doctor permission just to get my teeth clean. Worse part is if I need any more dental work like a filling or anything more extensive I have to be off my Orencia for three to four weeks. I don’t think they understand what kind of pain they are asking me to go through especially through the winter months. I can only hope we don’t run into that issue. Otherwise I’ll be asking how severe it is and if it can wait until spring. No fun at all.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis –Natural Remedies

by jconejo
Natural remedies seem to work for some and then not for others. I have often wondered why. Was it their state of mind? I don’t think so. Personally I have tried many of them. As with the prescribe meds natural remedies can also have side effects. Check out this article on WebMD for more info.

Now I’m not saying natural remedies don’t work. I personally think that is how the doctors got started. There are some things to consider. If you are already take medicine from the doctors then you really do need to check with the doctor. The natural remedy and the prescribe medicine could interact with each other. Especially with biological meds that are being used for RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis).

Another thing to consider is the severity of the disease. There is light, mild, and severe. I have severe RA. According to WebMD article, men tend to get more severe symptoms. Since everyone can have different ways that RA affects them, there are many ways for treatment. Some many different variables explain why some natural remedies will work for some people.

For me I’m giving the doctors a hard time to keep my number under control. So trying anything more at this time we need their approval so we could find out what works and what doesn’t.

I have many friends, family, and readers who tell me about natural meds. Keep sending them in and tell me how it is working for you. I’m happy to share the stories and remedies here. I just hope this explain why they work for some people and not for everyone. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Keeping put

Although my 1st visit with the new Rheumatologist didn't go well, I'm going to stick with him for a little bit. One main reason is that Rheumatologist are so hard to find and this one is less than a mile from my home. So as long as he is good I'm going to put up with a little rude bedside manor. However I am going to tell him to back off on my weight and there is no way I'm consider lapband surgery for a mere 70 pounds.

I have took myself off the prednisone (was 5mgs a day) since the appointment and have already lose some weight. I'm not going back on the prednisone unless I have to.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Doctor, not for long

I met my new Rheumatologist, he is not going to be my Rheumatologist for long. He kept going on about my weight and how being over weight can lead to being Diabetic and it runs in my family. Well I know lots of people who are very skinny and has Diabetes and I know many over weight people who don't have diabetes. Don't get me wrong I know diabetes is controlled well with good eating habits but I don't have Diabetes.. Plus the only reason I put on a few pounds is because they keep putting me on Prednisone. I still suppose to take 5mg a day... well I refuse to take any more of it.

So today I called my family doctor and asked for another referral because the last one is going to work out. So far I haven't been asked for details but the Rhematologist talked very little about the RA and how it affects me and more about Diabetes that I don't have... maybe/hopefully never will. He even mention a lap band surgery... now I am 70 pounds over the ideal weight but I don't think its a surgery issue. I think my weight is because every time I try to workout or just even walk on a daily bases my RA flares up. The doctor respond with a wonderful Prednisone burst. So it very easy to see the circle.

Oh well. No more Predisone and back to the drawing board for a good Rheumatologist.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rough start to June 2013

Its 2 am and I'm awake because I got an itchy side effect from my meds. Its happens sometimes so I took some benadryl and waiting for that to start working. Yesterday morning was horrid. It took 5 hours for my RA to stop hurting in the morning. My upper back is very sore the mussel cramp and hurt to touch. I used a heating pad off and on for the back, shoulder, and legs. The odd part is the pain shoot down my arms and they were shaking. I wanted nothing more but to climb into bed, but that wasn't an option. I made it through work however.

I took a nice hot bath as soon as I got home. Which I could stayed there longer. My neck is sore right now with the itchiness so now fun right now either. I'm interested in either getting some kind of access to a pool or hot tub  or maybe I can get my doctor to get me in some aquatic therapy.

I have an MRI schedule Monday at 7am. This should be early enough so I don't miss work. Doctors at the care today clinic want to make sure it just the mussels giving me this pain and not the bones. The doctor was hoping the pain was due to stress. I usually handle stress better but I wish I could take a vacation, which I have 10 days planned for in July.

We have a nice vacation planned to see family and then go to Cedar Point. My kids have never seen Cedar Point yet. I love it, but I'm concered if my husband and I will be able to handle it. We may need to get a travel scooter... we both my need one is the bad part. Plus I really don't want to seperate from the kids/family so I don't really want to use the handicap enterance on the rides. I'll have to look more into options, if we can get or rent a travel scooter maybe we can park it when we do rides and use it inbetween rides to get some rest. It may be more of a pain than it worth. We did get two days at Cedar Point to give us more time. We used to do it in one day when I was younger but it has been years since I have been there.

My husband has an MRI on Wednesday. Then they will be sending him to an another doctor to talk about what options we have. The X-Rays show the bone above in spinal fusion has moved or broken off so they need the MRI to see more clearly. However we are all thinking it sounds like back surgery number 2. He is in lots of pain and has a hard time even riding in a car. Which worries me about our trip, he may not be able to ride any of the rides. We'll still go and let the kids have fun, but we have to be safe first. I don't want to make things worse for a few minutes of fun.

Our kids are getting much older. My oldest is 15 and ready to get his permit next week. This is a nerve racking time for me to think about him driving, but it will also be a large help. My husband says it hurts for him to drive so I worry about how safe it is for him to drive. My oldest will be a huge help driving his Dad around when he is not in school.

I then worry about how much responsibility I'm putting on my children. They help with so much already. If my husband does back surgery I'll need even more of their help. Last time the back surgery too a year for him to recover, but he was back to almost normal. Which is most likely why we are at this spot because he went back to doing maintenance. We tried to get him an office job, it just never worked out.

I'm thankful I can write and work in an office, but money is very tight with just me working. We have been waiting on an answer from disability since January. I pray we hear something soon. We have had five doctor now tell us he can't work anymore. They are working on just getting him to get around and do things around the house. Even washing dishes causes him pain, and we have a dishwasher.

So I can see there are way too many stresses right now, but there isn't much we can do about them. Only time can fix it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Stress

Stress and Rheumatoid Arthritis are not a good combination. I have a stressful office job routing out tech's route. However, the job doesn't stress me out to the point it affects my health. I actually enjoy my work and look forward to learning and figuring out problems. However some of life's other stresses can really be a pain, really a big pain.

Stress can affect even healthy people. Stress can cause stomach problems, sleepless nights, headaches, and depression. When you have Rheumatoid Arthritis you get to have the added fun of RA flares, mussels cramps, and exhaustion.  When life is stressful there are things you can do to help reduce your stress level.

Water can be a huge help. One day I hope to have a hot tub, but taking a nice hot bath will work as well. A hot bath or using a hot tub is a great way to use heat to loosen up your mussels and give you time to just relax.

Swimming is also a good way to ease mussels because the water takes the pressure off your body. Swimming can also help you to get more sleep. You can move easier in the water and have less pain, therefor you can get good exercise that your body needs which will help you to sleep.

Calm down and talk about it. You can get mad, you can yell and scream but nothing is going to help reduce your stress until you clam down and talk. Even stresses that can't be changed or fixed can be easier to handle if you talk to people about them. This blog and my online writing is my stress relief. I love to talk about life, things I have learned, and share my opinions about everything.

There are many ways to reduce stress doing activities that you love. Singing, dancing, playing music, playing games, walking, shopping, going out, and being with family can all be ways to reduce stress. Seeking medical advice from a doctor is another way to help with stress and the effects of stress. Sometime I have to see the doctor for mussel relaxer or meds to ease flare ups to help reduce the effects of life's stress.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Paperwork, "Last day you felt well?"

I was working on filling out new paper work for the new Rheumatologist. I find the paperwork completely stupid. Why? The doctor is in the same building that my family doctor is in and the same office of the last Rheumatogist, who is leaving.

I hate writing things out on paper, if I could type the info it would be faster and easier. Writing with pen and paper just hurts. Not to mention all of these questions are already in their files. They gave me one little line and ask me to list treatments. I really want to write "Sorry long list won't fit here!"

and then I get to the question that ask "Last day you felt well?" Okay, I couldn't help myself anymore. I wrote "Good Question, This affects my life everyday."  I'm mean gee lets see I was diagnosed when I was 20 (I'm going to be 34 in June) and it does affect every single day of my life. It just something we have to live with.

The next question wasn't much better. "List all medication ever used for this problem." Really I don't think I can remember exactly what we did 10 years ago, nor do I care anymore.

I just hope this new doctor is smarter than his paper work. It listed I bring all my meds to my appointment too. I'll bring most of them. I'm not carrying the Orencia in there. Orencia need to be kept cold and I don't like traveling with it. Really why do you have to see the meds, you don't believe me. Its not like I want to pay you over $100 a visit to just not take the meds you suggest. My appointment is on the 13th. Should be interesting.

picture is by nikareteku