It has been a long time since the last blog session. That is always a good sign for me. When I feel good I'm busy out living life to its fullest but as soon as frustration or flares creep in... I'm back. I'm actually coming off one of my best winters ever since having this disease...minimal flares,no steroid shots and no pneumonia like last year! I thank my gluten free diet, juicer, Vitamix and change up in exercise for this wonderful year. I am actually doing cross-fit classes at GPP. Check out their website GPP Fitness There have been many, MANY workouts I have finished and cried the whole way home because my body is doing things I was told I would probably never do again. I LOVE IT! I am gaining my confidence back and getting strong! I was feeling all good about myself when a few months ago my rheumatologist decided to check my hands with some xrays. My xrays came back showing further damage occurring in my hands. Bummer! I was so surprised and have been on a mission ever since to try to convince my doctor that I'm fine and feel great! She decided to draw some blood and run a fairly new test called the Vectra DA that would show us how active my disease is in my body. It came back moderate to severe...WHAT THE? I'm so confused.
So here I stand at a crossroads once again. Dr. Dames would like me to start on Enbrel right away and keep taking all of my other meds too. Enbrel doubles the size of my ever growing list of possible side effects and I hate that! I posed the argument to her that I am too young to take that chance of so many possible side effects because sooner or later I will get one of them...why not just live with RA and all the fun stuff that comes with that alone? She argues back that because I am young I need to be proactive and do everything I can to avoid disfigured joints and disability. Awesome...one of those no win Jack Bauer 24 decisions huh?
Side note. I argued with my rheumatologist! That is a little victory in and of itself. I actually stood up for what I was feeling and expressed frustration. I've always just gone with what the doc says and vented to my husband and mom when I returned home. I'm pretty darn pleased with myself. This is big people. Oh and one more little personal victory...I broke up my stupid carpool. After being very unhappy in a carpool for many years I actually pulled up my big girl panties and told them as of Jan 1 I would be doing my own thing! What is happening to me? Yes I ruffled some feathers and yes my neighbor still won't wave or talk to me but I feel GREAT! I'm on to something. There is a big difference between being a complete Biotch vs standing up for yourself and what is best for you and your family..so there!
Back to my dilemma...I have 3 months and then I will retake the Vectra DA test. My rheumatologist has increased my sulfasalizine dose to twice a day to see if that will help. If results come back again in the high to moderate range I need to seriously consider getting on Enbrel. If I was sore and hurting I would be all over this but I'm not. I'm fine and actually feeling great: no morning stiffness whatsoever and full range of motion in all of my joints. When big storms come in I do feel it in my shoulders...I hate those subtle reminders that yes I am sick and have a chronic disease that won't go away. Not to mention every Tuesday I get a reminder in the form of nausea from my methotrexate injection. That stuff still makes me so sick. I swear my body is trying to tell me "this stuff is bad...please don't put this in me!"
Plan of action: There is a man who lives by me who is controlling his RA by diet and herbs alone. He swears by this tea concoction that he found and is convinced that first I must heal my gut lining and then this tea will eliminate all of the harmful inflammation in my body. Heck what do I have to lose? I'm pretty curious and excited to give it a go. As I read through all of this info he has given me I will share this new part of my journey. November 2013 marked my 10 year mark with this disease. My RA truly has been a journey...a journey of physical, spiritual and mental health, a journey of self discovery and reflection and a journey of appreciation and gratitude for the beautiful things in my life. I am happy and content with where I am in life...If only my body would get the memo that I am FINE!