heartsongs

Weaving my way around Rheumatoid Arthritis.

2015-2016 update

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My last post was dated February 2015.

In early March 2015, a kidney stone was lodged in my ureter and required laser surgery and two horrible weeks of pain before things turned around and headed in the right direction. I believed the doctors when they told me I’d be “good as new” in a couple of days after the laser – it was 2 weeks of the worst pain ever. Hope I never go there again. All tests since them show no stones and no indication of calcium oxalate in my urine. Hooray!

Other than that little adventure, my health has been pretty stable. The RA flares with the weather, it flares if I do too much and it flares if I get gluten zapped, otherwise I’m able to do normal activities.

My gut is pretty happy unless I get zapped. I still have abdominal bloating most days, mild discomfort with it, and systemic edema. Am not able to lose weight through dieting and exercise exacerbates the RA.

I had a bad RA flare (D’Quervaine’s tendinitis) in my right wrist in September, probably from too much weaving, and spent way too many hours in PT, Chiropractic and dry needle & regular acupuncture. 11 months later and most days I don’t even think about my wrist. The dry needling seemed to be what turned the trick. And he treated both wrists. The residual pain from the D’Quervaine’s in that wrist from 7 years ago has finally disappeared.

I also had a year of very occasional limping. It started slowly, with a limp on my first step on my right foot. Then a few weeks later it happened again, then again. One of those things that started out so innocuously that I didn’t really notice that it was getting more frequent and lasting longer each time it happened, until one day I was limping with every step, all day long. Hurried off to the PT, and she told me it was RA in the small bones in my foot. Lots of ultrasound and manual therapy for weeks and weeks, and I’m walking without a limp again. Next time something small happens, I need to remember to go to her first, rather than waiting to see if its going to go away on it’s own.

In the search for a new lymph massage therapist (it’s been two years since mine beloved therapist moved back to Holland) I discovered the Flexitouch machine – which does automated lymph drainage. My body responded well to it. The down side is that it takes two hours a day. The up side, my insurance company paid for the many thousand dollar machine. I got it near the end of 2015, then lost my momentum with the holidays and planning for my daughter’s wedding. Now I’m recommitting to the 2 hours a day to see if I can tame the edema beast. At least I can nap & who doesn’t need an extra 2 hours of napping each day! I have affectionally named it R2D2.

I’ve been on Low Dose Naltrexone for over a year now, and am finally sleeping. Usually, I sleep 4 hours, wake to use the bathroom, then sleep another 4 hours. Very occasionally, I will sleep through the night. It is an amazing experience after not sleeping for 20 years! I even have technicolor dreams.

My youngest daughter was married in May. that just leaves my son. It was a beautiful wedding in a small chapel with just family attending. A picnic reception in the park followed. I adore my new son in law (and my old one, too). Need to balance it out with a lovely daughter in law.

I’m still working, happily, and doing my art and raising chickens and a large garden, selling art, eggs, herbs and vegetables at the local farmer’s market on Saturdays. Life is good.

I’m ready to embark on another healing adventure to see if I can drive the RA and tummy issues further into remission. I’ve read both “The Paleo Approach, Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body”, by Sarah Ballantyne and “The Autoimmune Solution, Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases” by Amy Myers. Both books recommend almost the same thing. And both reference the scientific literature they base their ideas on. I was actually following Ballantyne’s recommendations in 2015, when my kidney stone developed. That event derailed the entire experiment, and I never went back. Now that I have a new doctor who believes in alternative therapies and diet, I am excited to be back on this path and with a partner to cheer me on and keep me accountable! And maybe she even has some ideas I haven’t discovered.

 

 

 

 

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Written by wovensongs

July 21, 2016 at 10:53 am

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