Weaving my way around Rheumatoid Arthritis.


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Seven, yep seven, pounds in 4 weeks.

Made it through the holidays without gaining anything,  even lost 5 pounds the first two weeks of January.

And now I’m blowing up like a balloon. A pound yesterday, a pound the day before. This morning the backs of my fingers are swollen, my ear canal is swollen (which affects my hearing), my face is noticeably swollen, the balls of my feet, my upper thighs. I’ve gained 7 pounds in 4 weeks.

This is not a path I want to go back down. I’ve spent too much time and money with the PT getting lymph massage to lose ground this quickly. Too much time doing twice daily lymph massage on myself, too much time taking twice daily rest breaks with my feet over my heart, too much time doing research trying to figure out what was wrong and how to get well.

And now I’m back to looking for cause and effect.

Over the last three months, we spaced my lymph massage from weekly, to every three weeks. PT1 has closed her office. She hopes it will be a temporary thing, but at this time, doesn’t know what the future holds. It has been three weeks since I’ve seen her. She was hoping I was well enough that my lymph system could keep going on its own, without manual massage. Maybe not. I’ve set up an appointment with another therapist for Wednesday.

The other variable is that NP put me back on levothyroxine mid January. I felt fine, but my labs came back worse than they’ve ever been, so she was concerned. Edema doesn’t seem to be a known side effect of levothyroxine, but I suppose anything is possible.

Accidental gluten exposure is another possible culprit. I know that gluten and edema go hand in hand for me. I’ve had two exposures since Christmas, both resulted in DH blisters and the whole cascade of symptoms I experience when exposed. But the last of those was several weeks ago. The DH blisters are almost healed, my skin soft and smooth again. The only clue I have that it might be a really low-level gluten exposure is intermittent diarrhea the past few weeks. That would point to gluten, but without any other symptoms its difficult to find the cause.

I really, really, really wanted to get on with my life this year. To leave the weekly PT sessions behind. To spend my time and money and emotional energy living life, instead of trying to figure out how to get well.

I guess I’m not there yet. I still have work to do. Sigh.


Written by wovensongs

February 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

Posted in Edema, Joints

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