My (Super) Hero

October 29, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Picture the scene: it’s three in the morning and I’m in pain and wide awake. Tim Piggot-Smith has failed me – for once even his dulcet tones reading David Starkey’s Monarchy: The Beginnings haven’t lulled me to sleep. Neither has a podcast of a lecture from the wonderful Dr. Stuart Lee on Anglo-Saxon History – my other failsafe. I’m at my wit’s end.

Suddenly there’s a crash, a bound, and a superhero comes flying through the bedroom window and lands on the bed with an enormous thump. Yes, it’s The Grey Shadow, feline super-hero extraordinaire, to the rescue. A lick, a purr and I’m already feeling better.

Soon the gentle sound of purring has done the trick and I’m fast asleep.

I wake up at around 5:30 and The Grey Shadow has mysteriously disappeared. My ankle’s in agony. Why? Ah yes – Enormous Cat is fast asleep on top of it. I wonder where The Grey Shadow went? He would have been far too considerate to sleep on my ankle.

Thanks to Wren at The Rheuma Blog for reminding me about this incident with her post on wee beasties! What would we do without them? I’d far rather put up with the discomfort of the occasional sore ankle than not have these nocturnal visits from my superhero at all!

Enormous Cat

Enormous Cat

This is enormous cat. You can tell it’s not The Grey Shadow, in spite of the general similarity in colour and size. The Grey Shadow wouldn’t be seen dead on a pile of washing!

Three Golden Rules for Potential GPs

October 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

1. Don’t become a GP if you have the personality of a lettuce.
2. Remember that it’s probably going to get pretty boring by Thursday afternoon – loads and loads of six-minute appointments seeing snotty little people who should have stayed at home – but it’s part of YOUR JOB NOT TO SHOW HOW BORED YOU ARE!
3. When examining a patient it might be helpful to say things like ‘I’m just going to feel your neck for glands’. Otherwise you may one day find yourself pinned to the wall at the back of the surgery by an angry young man who thought you were trying to strangle him.

Yes, you guessed it – I just saw a GP I didn’t really take to. And, as you might also have guessed, I’ve gone down with a stonking cold, probably courtesy of hubby, although mine is NOT flu. (No, I’m not suggesting he’s had ‘man flu’ – he had a temperature of 102 for two days; but I haven’t had a temperature at all.) It went with an equally stonking sore throat. When I looked in the mirror (as you do … don’t you? Well I do), I could see little red wheals right across my throat. When the GP looked he said he couldn’t see anything. Hmm, that’ll be because my tongue was in the way I expect. However, as he’d already decided to give me antibiotics given the fact I was on MTX for the R.A., and as we had had an instant personality clash and I wanted to get out of there a.s.a.p. I didn’t push the point.

So – all the usual drugs plus paracetamol, sudafed, antibiotics (third lot in a month I think). I’m heartily sick of all these drugs … but then again, the MTX is WORKING, so who am I to complain?

Seasonal flu jabs … or seasonal or unseasonal flu?

October 21, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
Tags: , ,

Today Mum and I had our seasonal flu jabs. Because hubby isn’t entitled to one on the NHS he got one privately last Friday. ‘You might get some mild flu-like symptoms two to three days after the jab,’ he was told.

Last night (for anyone having trouble counting, that would be four days after the jab ) he started to cough and a slight sore throat. He went to work today, came back ‘freezing cold’ and shivering, had a bath and went to bed. I just took his temperature – 102.

Now the question is does that constitute mild flu-like symptoms, or are we talking flu, or swine flu or what? I don’t know, but what I do know is that if Mum and I come down with similar ‘mild flu-like symptoms’ on Saturday she’s not going to be best pleased … it’s her birthday!

5-HTP update – hmm, not working so well now

October 20, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I don’t know if the 5-HTP (which I’ve been taking for a while to help me sleep, as sleep (or lack of it) seems to be a probable cause for fibromyalgia) becomes less effective after a certain amount of time, but I’ve just recently stopped finding it very effective. My bro takes it sometimes too and he reckons that if he takes it for a while he becomes kind of desensitized to it, so perhaps it’s that.

It was fantastically helpful for a couple of months, but then I started to find that if I woke up, even if it was only an hour or two after falling asleep on taking the tablet, I couldn’t get back to sleep again.

Now the flipping hot flushes have started again, I’m waking up about once an hour and hot flushing BIG TIME. Of course that makes me feel utterly disgusting and I usually have to get up for a bit, after which I’m wide awake for a few minutes. Only a few minutes doesn’t sound so bad, does it … until you realise that this is happening six times a night or so.

Surprise, surprise – the fibro is coming back. Off to see my lovely cake-recommending physio this afternoon so that will help, but I fear I’m going to have to try the meds that the consultant recommended months ago but that I’ve been avoiding as the side effects include weight gain. (I know, I know, my favourite lecture is about how you mustn’t assume you’ll get all the side effects going, but I know when it comes to me and weight gain I’m doooooomed!)

Any advice on getting rid of the flushes (or packets of roasted soya beans in the post, and instructions on the uses thereof, Maggie, if you’re reading this) would be much appreciated!!

Some good news!

October 19, 2009 at 10:10 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 5 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The hot flushes are back with a vengeance! As anyone who’s ever had them, or has a partner who’s ever had them, will know,that is NOT the good news.

The good news is that although I’m quite convinced from previous fluctuations between hot flushes and no hot flushes, RA pain and no RA pain, that the two are correlated – for me, hot flushes usually means more RA pain and stiffness – this time the RA symptoms remain mild to non-existent. Further indication that the MTX is doing what it’s supposed to be doing.

Even the fatigue has reduced – I’ve had a really busy week – busy at work, making some bits and bobs for a charity stall run by our local sewing group, preparing for my mum’s 70th birthday (the house is full of cake, icing stuff, presents, wrapping etc.) – I had a ‘ladies who lunch’ and shopping trip on Saturday involving 50 minute drive each way to Bury St. Edmunds, and I managed the WHOLE weekend without a day-time nap.

I very nearly succumbed, but just managed not too. I hoped that would guarantee a good night’s sleep last night, but thanks to the hot flushes/night sweats, it didn’t. Oh well … can’t have everything. At least the RA is behaving itself!

World Arthritis Day – Let’s Work Together!

October 12, 2009 at 12:01 am | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s World Arthritis Day and this year’s theme is ‘Let’s Work Together!’ It’s got me thinking about how lucky I am to still be in work considering I’ve got this dratted disease/illness/condition, whatever you want to call it.

I’m very grateful that I can still work, in spite of the R.A. It’s been a difficult road to travel, but I feel not nearly so difficult as for those in employment. Yes, it’s “mild R.A.” but when my symptoms are bad it doesn’t feel mild to me! As a self-employed person I don’t have to worry about breaking the news to the boss, explaining why I can’t play golf with the company, or put up with silly comments or lack of understanding from colleagues. I only have one colleague and she’s very understanding … if she’s not then she does a good job of hiding it, since I’m her boss (at least officially – we suffer from role reversal now and then).

There has been some research, sited in the excellent book on Living a Full Life With Rheumatoid Arthritis by Jasmine Jenkins (a delightful lady whom I had the pleasure to meet in Barcelona – Gosh – who’d have thought you could name-drop in the world of rheumatoid arthritis?), that suggests that self-employed people are likely to remain in work longer than those who are employed. If I remember rightly, since I can’t lay my hands on the book right now, it was suggested that this is due to difficulties with employers. On a bad day I wonder if it’s more to do with desperation – there’s no going off sick and still being paid by the company! On a normal day though I’m grateful that I can take small amounts of time off here and there to cope with a flare, and that I have been able to cut my hours back to normal full-time hours from slightly in sane morning and evening and weekend hours that I used to work, without having to justify myself to anyone except myself.

It would be good if World Arthritis Day, and indeed the My Day for RA site, brought some real understanding of rheumatoid arthritis to those who don’t have it but who have friends, family or colleagues who do, to lighten the load of those people in employment who have to put up with R.A. on top of all the usual frustrations of a job!

I’m suffering from DPS

October 9, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 6 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I was given temporary hope on this post from Warm Socks at Infinity-itis (Sorry, I can’t find the infinity symbol anywhere) on methotrexate side effects. Remicade Dream commented that she always had a mental fog on MTX day. Ahah, I thought, my problems of extreme dippyness (and fatigue) this week must have been caused by my increase in methotrexate.

I felt better for a minute – hurrah, all I have to do is blame the meds.

Then I realised the horrible truth – I take my m-m-m-m-methotrexate on a M-M-M-M-Monday and I was still being just as dippy yesterday … I actually forgot to go to a client meeting! (Thankfully she’s a nice person and happens to work in the next-door office, so a quick phonecall from here and I was there in a flash.)

Hubby has now identified the true root of the matter – I’m suffering from Dippy Penguin Syndrome. Unfortunately it is, as yet, incurable.

This story sums up the silly week I’ve had… and has nothing to do with R.A.

October 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

I don’t know what’s been up this week, but I keep doing the most ridiculous things or having the most ridiculous things happen to me. Here’s one that’s just incredibly silly. I suppose what’s really silly is how long it took me to realise what had happened.

Yesterday I went to the market to buy some fruit. I bought five oranges and three apples (thinking I only had enough cash for that, having misread the apple sign as £1.80 for 3 instead of £1.80 for 3lb.) Tells you what kind of state I was in to imagine apples costing 60p each.

When I got home I put all the oranges in the fruit bowl. They actually filled two fruit bowls, which did strike me as marginally odd, but didn’t really impinge properly on my brain.

This morning I went to pack an apple for my lunch and … no apples! I thought I’d left them in the car. No. Thought I’d left them at work. No. Wondered if he’d given me two bags and I’d left one somewhere – no, nowhere to leave them – I’d gone straight to the car from the fruit stall. I concluded that he’d just forgotten to give me the apples, although I knew I’d paid for them.

And then I got home this evening (feeling fractionally less dozy than the rest of the week) and thought, ‘Funny – there’s eight oranges in these bowls – I only asked for five.’

Then I thought, ‘Some of these oranges look a bit odd … kind of yellowish and over large and slightly squidgy.’

Finally it dawned on me. I’d gone to the fruit stall and asked for ‘Five of the large oranges and three Pink Ladies.’ (A kind of apple, for those not in the know.) Mr Market Man was obviously having hearing problems, because what he gave me was five oranges and three pink grapefruits!

The joys (or otherwise) of spam comments

October 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 11 Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve now been privileged to receive my first two Spanish spam comments, after posting about Barcelona so much recently! Multilingual spam – cool.

On a serious note though, I’d personally recommend that everyone moderates all their comments on blogs because spamming via comments is a popular pastime. Why? Because the spammer gets a link to their site at the same time, and the more links from outside sites to a website, the higher it’s ranked on Googe and other search engines. It’s known as black hat SEO and it’s not funny and it’s not clever.

Some spam is more targetted – for instance a certain mattress is being subtly and perhaps unethically advertised on various R.A. blogs at the moment. Odd that I had an identical comment saying how great the mattress was to one on one of the blogs I follow, and yet purporting to be a different person posting. These guys are taking it to a new level though. Instead of posting a general comment like ‘great blog man. Cool info! So glad I found it’ which can apply to any blog in the known universe, the mattress folk are responding to actual blog posts – must be time consuming but probably pays better dividends as they look like ‘real posts from real people’.

Interestingly I recent saw some information that suggested this was now illegal in America – you have to actually state a material link to the thing being advertised, if one exists. It may simply be that you were sent a free one to review – you still have to make it clear that you received it for free.

So … watch out mattress folk – gut subtler, get out or get your fingers burned.

On the bright side – I kinda get a kick out of spotting them and going ha ha, didn’t fool me … this time!

Oops! Pill trays are NOT infallible!

October 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, fibromyalgia, Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I wondered why I was feeling so peculiar this morning … put it down to the fact that hubby and I both slept terribly last night, as did half of Norfolk if hubby’s patients’ comments are anything to go by. Now I wonder if it was more than that.

When I got home this evening I went to take my evening pills (augmented at the moment with antibiotics for the lump doing Vesuvius impressions on my arm) and found it empty.

I then had a vague memory of taking my pills after breakfast this morning and thinking, ‘Odd that I forgot to take them before breakfast as I usually do!’

You guessed it – I didn’t forget to take them before breakfast. I had my evening pills about twenty minutes after my morning pills.

I think I should probably be panicking and phoning NHS Direct and stuff, but given that that was now nearly 12 hours ago and I’m still sitting here writing this, I figure there’s probably no need. Luckily the only apparent ‘side effects’ were the desire to eat a horse (not literally of course, although who knows what went into the pasty I ended up having, most unhealthily, for lunch) and a feeling of general wooziness which may have had nothing to do with it given that a) I did have a lousy night and b) I’ve been feeling dopey all week!

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99 other followers