Tags: fasting blood test, fibromyalgia, research study, sleep, spiders, stress
Woke up at 5.30 and my iPod (normally life, or at least sanity … or at least remains of sanity saving at this time of day) was out of charge … because I fell asleep with it on last night!
So I crept out of bed so as not to wake hubby up, thinking I might sneak an early coffee and breakfast as he’s on a fasting blood test (more of which later if I get round to it) and can’t have anything until the nurse has been round at half-past-seven.* Of course I instantly woke him up and now he’s up too … so much for that plan.
So I thought I’d charge my iPod and I put my PC on … only to find a small spider running in and out of the keyboard. Fortunately I’m not arachnophobic … unfortunately I’m a big softy and don’t want to squash the damn thing … and arachnaphobic or not, frankly I don’t fancy the idea of it running up my fingers and down my arms … eeeeeeeeeeeooooooo.
Oh yes, and the reason I can’t sleep is that work is really stressful right now …
So this thing about getting enough sleep and avoiding stress … I think I’m having some problems with it right now. Now where did I put those coping strategies … probably somewhere under that enormous pile of work …
* Before you faint at the idea of a nurse coming round at 7.30 (especially Frankie) she’s not NHS – she’s part of a research study … obviously a well funded one! More on that later though.
“Cat rescued – Firefighters rescued a cat that was stuck up a tree last Wednesday …”
Coming from London, I love living somewhere where this is news!
Tags: arthritis, flare, RA, Rheumatoid arthritis
Yeah, I know; sounds like a pretty dumb thing to say, but here’s the thing … if it WAS a flare then it really was very mild indeed and it’s the worst I’ve got to put up with (at least for a while) I’ll be quite content. I’ve been doing really, really well for the last couple of months, and then a couple of weeks ago I started to get a bit of morning stiffness (and sitting too long in the chair in the office stiffness) and some pain in hands and feet, but not too severe, and then it got gradually worse (although still not THAT bad!) and I thought oh-oh, it’s creeping back and this is the slippery slope … not sure what happened to positive thinking, but that’s what pain does to you!
But now it seems to have cleared up again. Hurrah for that! I suppose it was just a wobble, rather than a flare – there ought to be a name for them … mini-flares, flarettes, sparks … anyone got any ideas?
Tags: 5HTP, arthritis, fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, morning stiffness, RA, restlessness, Rheumatoid arthritis, sleep, stiffiness
Well I got my 5Htp (5-Hydroxytryptophan) in the post yesterday and gave it a try for the first time last night. 5HTP is a plant extract which is converted to serotonin in the liver, and serotonin, amongst other things, helps to sort out the balance of sleep – the lack of which is suspected to lead to fibromyalgia. It’s all a bit uncertain and unproven but my sister-in-law-to-be, who has had fibromyalgia for some time, reckons it does help her, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Well I certainly slept like a log yesterday and feel better for it today. Whether it was the 5Htp or the fact that I had an exhausting, though thoroughly enjoyable, weekend, I’m not sure! I shall keep using it through the week and see how I go.
One thing I did notice was that for the first time in a long time I woke up with quite a bit of morning stiffness. Luckily that was at 5.40am, so by the time I needed to get up at 7.00 it had worn off (and yes, I did have some sleep between 5.40 and 7.00!)
I do wonder if a more solid, deep and peaceful night’s sleep does lead to more morning stiffness, because my usual sleep is SO disturbed that my body isn’t resting in one place for long, so the joints don’t have the opportunity to get stiff. My consultant did one of those looks over his glasses when I suggested this a while back, but it seems logical to me!
We had an American friend staying with us this weekend and I had a very interesting conversation with him about the whole furore regarding Daniel Hannan MEP’s comments about the NHS, made in America with reference to the Obama Healthcare debate.
Just in case you missed it (where have you been?), he said that the NHS was a mistake. It begun with the best of intentions but in reality is it hasn’t worked.
Well the thing that astonishes me is how the rest of the UK is jumping up and down and saying, ‘No, no, our NHS is a marvel,’ and my conversation with my American friend crystallized for me where the misunderstandings are coming from.
Penguin: But you do have some kind of social system in the US, don’t you? Medicare, MedicAid, something like that.
American: Oh yeah, but that’s really, really under-funded.
Penguin: Just like the NHS.
American: Lots of people who need it can’t get treatment on it.
Penguin: Just like the NHS.
American: And of course all the best doctors won’t work in that system – they go private.
Penguin: Just like the NHS.
American: And basically the whole system’s failing. [Pause] Just like the NHS, huh?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I think a national health service is a bad idea; nor do I think that we should jump up and adopt the current American system. In fact I think the NHS has been making strides in the right direction (although whether it can continue that with a proposed 20% funding cut in the three years from 2011 I don’t know), but the fact remains that it’s a bloody mess, and that holding up as a shining example to the American populace is frankly ludicrous.
Tags: dosage, hospital, medication, methotrexate, MTX, RA, Rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatology nurse
Well … I saw the rheumy nurse on Friday … and thankfully it was NOT the same one that I’ve seen in the past, and this one was a) human b) non-patronising c) cheerful and, perhaps most importantly, d) helpful! OK, so she read the doctor’s notes all wrong to start with and got in a bit of a muddle, but I’ll forgive her that given the points above! Although, as suspected, having an appointment in August was a bit of a waste of time in a way, at least this nurse says definitely now she’s met me she’s happy for me to phone in September and say if I feel the MTX needs increasing, in which case she will increase it.
Interestingly this nurse is someone that one of my friends has seen in the past and thought was awful … obviously a personality clash, just like the one I had with the previous nurse I saw. At least I’ve been lucky enough to change.
We also discussed this whole three months/ six months between appointments thing and although the news wasn’t good, at least she was frank about it. What it boils down to is they’re underfunded and under-staffed and while they’d love to see me every three months, it ain’t gonna happen. However, they have apparently improved the helpline (hoorah for that as it was rubbish when I used it last!)
Another reason to be cheerful! (OK, so all the multitude of awards out there maybe don’t mean much, but flattery will get you everywhere I always say … including a link back for the Daily Reviewer.) ;o)
Tags: aches, arthritis, car, fatigue, fibromyalgia, health, joint pain, one injection cure for RA, pain, RA, rhematoid arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), rheumatology, stress
I was just revisiting my first ever post, about reasons to be cheerful, and I was pleased to see that most of them still stand (the last one doesn’t and one other … if you read it, and if you’ve read some of my other posts, I’m sure you won’t have trouble guessing which one no longer stands! But the point is there’s obviously a lot to still be cheerful about!
While I was at it I thought I’d revisit the nearest post last year to today’s date, and guess what? The car broke down then too! Now that time it cost me an absolute fortune, so another reason to be cheerful is that it’s really not so bad this time. (Although to be honest the car really has got to the point where I should be thinking about replacing her.)
And a final reason to be cheerful is that I’m SO much better, health-wise, than I was this time last year! I was having a terrible time with the RA then – giant puffball knees, every joint aching (or at least it seemed that way) and probably as yet undiagnosed fibromyalgia on top of that! This year it seems that maybe they’ve finally got the medication dosage right (for now anyway) and I’m really doing very well indeed. If that’s not a reason to be cheerful then I don’t know what is! Here’s hoping it lasts – and wishing all my virtual and actual RA friends a similar and long-lasting outcome!
Now if only we could hear a bit more about that ‘one injection cure for RA’ that was being so hyped this time last year …
Tags: car, Me
Yes, the car’s back on the road! It wasn’t toooo painful on the pocket either, thank goodness – although with the insurance due, the service due and the MOT due all around now … oh yes, and then there’s the tax … I think I can say goodbye to any spending (or saving) money for the foreseeable future. But never mind – the important thing is I’ve got wheels again and I’m very, VERY glad!
Tags: aches, fatigue, fibromyalgia, flare, hospital, pain, physio, RA
I can now claim to know the car park at the hospital where I have physio quite intimately. I know how many spaces there are, I know what sort of trees surround it, I know the view across the fence over the corn field, I know there are blue tits and great tits and some sort of finch foraging in the trees, I know that the oak tree has a few early common spangle galls on it.
No, I wasn’t doing some sort of strange nature survey of the hospital car park – I was waiting for the RAC! Yes, the car has broken down AGAIN! Having lost my marbles and my rag, I have now also lost my car! (Well, hopefully not permanently, but it’s in the garage.)
My wonderful hubby drove out to see if he could help and,although he couldn’t, he waited another hour with me until the RAC arrived. It was a 2.5 hour wait in total – not fun.
Fortunately the RAC guy (who was nowhere near as lovely as the adverts would like you to believe, but OK) got the car going – but I had to take it into the garage because it was still showing faults.
I was patting myself on the back last night thinking how well I was coping with all this … but when I got home it all finally hit me. I felt absolutely exhausted, headachy, aching all over, sore hands, sore feet … hmm, so looks like a fibromyalgia AND RA flare, I thought. Lovely …
But no – I made myself get an early night, convinced myself that the car would probably be OK,managed not to worry too much and … well, I’d like to say I feel a million dollars today but that would be rather overstating things, but AS YET I am flare free. Yippee!
I can’t promise that’ll still be the case if there’s real car disasters on the horizon, but I’m OK for now!
Could be that having just had physio helped too!