Weaving my way around Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Dairy flarey???

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Something was off yesterday, not sure what. Woke feeling blah, low energy, just no umph. Pottered around the house doing nothing most of the day.

Headed out for a hike around 1. My pack felt heavy, my heart was willing but my body didn’t want to go. I tried to push through, hiked for a while, stopped for a rest, checked the time and realized I’d only gone about half the distance I normally hike in an hour. I was running out of steam, turned around and headed home. Buy the time I got there, I was tired and achy and knew I was headed for trouble.

I told everyone dinner was pot luck, left overs, serve yourself and spent the rest of the afternoon reading and lounging on the couch.

By 8 I was in the middle of a lovely little mini-flare. Everything ached, my wrists wore bracelets of fire, my ankles ached in a whole new place, a lymph node under my arm was tender (and it wasn’t one of the lymph nodes that usually get tender- a new one, oh joy), by big toes ached in a new place. Gotta love the humor of RA, always a trickster. Just when you think there are no new places it can show, it proves you wrong.

Now, this wasn’t a bad flare, this was a run of the mill 2-4 grade flare, but with most joints in my body having a piece of the action and with several new dimensions, it was certainly an interesting flare.

I was talking to my daughter, wishing that the sauna at the gym were closer, when she hatched a brilliant idea. She tossed my cotton quilt in the dryer , on high, for 15 minutes. It came out toasty and warm. I wrapped my achy body in it’s wonderfully delicious heat and went to bed.  Don’t know how long the heat lasted, but long enough to take the edge off the ache and lull me to sleep! This may become a new night-time ritual.

This morning, I woke a little stiffer than normal, but much better after 10 hours sleep.

I sit and worry the variables around in my head, trying to see if there’s a pattern.

I still haven’t played with eliminating nightshades. Potatoes have been a big part of my diet since returning from vacation, but my friend reminded me that we had pasta sauce a couple of times on the trail, and we also had potatoes at the restaurant both meals. I will be very happy if nightshades are not one of my triggers. Potatoes are such a comfort food, and tomatoes are a major part of my cuisine. And both grow well for me with my limited gardening skills. I really want to keep them in my life.

We’ve had plenty of weather changes here the past few days, one front after another, 35 one night, they 50 the next. But I think the weather changes on the vacation trip were even more unruly.

And so, I’m back to thinking dairy is the culprit. I’ve been suspicious of dairy for a long time. I just don’t want to lose one more thing from my diet, so I’ve resisted giving it up. My hiking pal is dairy free, so I was dairy free for several days, by default. I continued dairy free when I returned home.  After a week of no dairy, working on auto-pilot, I added cream to my coffee yesterday morning. I had finished half the cup by the time I realized what I had done. I savored the rest of the cup, and stayed away from dairy the remainder of the day. So, now I’m dairy free – again.

Was it the dairy that cause the flare? Can’t really tell from a one week experiment. But it was dramatic enough that I’m motivated to be dairy free again, and then trial it again and see if I get the same results. At least I have a wonderful friend who is dairy free. Like in all new endeavors, it helps to have  someone to break the trail for you and serve as your guide in new territory.


Written by wovensongs

November 26, 2011 at 8:24 am

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