Tags: arthritis, doctors, flare-up, joint pain, neck pain, physio, physiotherapy, positive mental attitude, RA, Rheumatoid arthritis, stress
So, are my flare-ups related to stress, or not? I thought they were but I hope they aren’t, because if they are I’m in for a big one any time now!
Yesterday I had my first ever row (maybe too strong a word, but very strong disagreement) with a client, on the phone. I was, to say the least, short with them. I was convinced I was standing firmly on the moral high ground as they’d made a bit of a mess of things, and I told them so… only to realise mid-conversation that I’d also made a mistake. While theirs was more serious, it caused an earthquake in my moral high-ground leading to rather a landslide.
It took the rest of the day to try to repair some of that, and to TRY to stop constantly worrying about it, while also trying to get on with some work.
It was all put into perspective somewhat when I got home to find that one of my friends had lost his job, another’s cat had died and a third’s husband had had a stroke!
All in all not one of my best days. I ended it by telling myself firmly that tomorrow WOULD be a better day, and it has been. (Not that that would have been hard!)
As for the RA, I had practically no problems yesterday and although I was pretty stiff on getting up this morning, it didn’t last too long. My neck and shoulders are stiffening up again now, and slightly achy, but that may just be because it’s been over two weeks since I had physio, as my physio isn’t well and had to cancel the last appointment. Employing positive mental attitude to assume that’s what it is, and not the start of a stress-related flare!
Tags: de-stressing, doctors, guilt, medicine, migraines, RA, relaxing, Rheumatoid arthritis
Well, it’s been a hell of a week, but thank goodness after a three week break (due to my own stupidity in missing an appointment followed by half-term), I’m having physio again, which improved the end of the week no end. On top of milk RA stuff, the week before last I had a migraine every day – I have stuff I can take that actually works, but you can only take one tablet every 24 hours and it tended to recur about every 18-20 hours, so not perfect. I’ve been working like a dawg and sleeping badly too.
Mysteriously, although the doc reckons my migraines have nothing to do with neck trouble, after the physio they melted away … just like they did when I started physio last time … seems like more than a coincidence to me!
But today I just RELAXED. Apart from a brief trip out with my mum (and she drove … I even fell asleep in the car on the way home!) I did nothing but I lie about in various different places, read books, stroke the cats, watch telly … and a teency bit of embroidery.
Of course I feel guilty as hell!! No one’s making me feel guilty – hubby’s telling me how sensible I’m being, even … but I’m no good at this not doing anything lark, although I reckon now and then it’s probably very good for me.
Off to bed to curl up with hubby, a cuddly penguin called Rory (don’t ask, just don’t ask) and my life-saving iPod. (Poor ol’ cats have been banned to the downstairs rooms, although Enormous Cat might plop through the bedroom window later on and wake me up, as he has a habit of doing.)
Tags: alternative medicine, anti-TNF, conventional medicine, doctors, medicine, miracle cure, miracle cure for RA, RA, Rheumatoid arthritis
A lot of alternative medicine is good. It’s ‘alternative’ because it’s not been proven scientifically in double-blind trials, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. It might just mean that no one has enough interest in funding the trials or, more to the point, sees enough profit in doing so. Full scientific investigation complete with clinical trials is an extremely expensive business.
However, a lot of conventional medicine is also good, and that’s something that a lot of alternative medicine aficionados tend to forget … and in fairness vice versa is certainly also true.
The biggest pity, to my mind, is the divide that says the one has to be ‘versus’ the other. Most consultants dismiss any alternative therapies out of hand, and most alternative therapists, in my experience, are pretty keen to dismiss conventional medicine. There are moves to get the two working together, but it’s going to be a long hard slog to get the two practices talking to each other, an then keep them at it, I think.
Something to remember with regard to RA though is that forty or so years ago conventional medicine had no effective treatment. The recommended course of treatment was bed rest, which did precisely nothing to help. Even twenty or thirty years ago, you’d be put on high doses of aspirin and not a lot else. As a rule the patient went from bad to worse, as RA is generally, if left uncontrolled, a progressive disease. In the short time from then to now there are many more or less effective treatments on the market, a large number of RA sufferers have their disease halted in its tracks, and some are even in remission. The medicines might not work for ever, but, for many people, they do work. They might also cause nasty side effects, but it’s important to remember that they might NOT. Reading the list of side effects on a packet of tablets is pretty scary – what it tends not to say is, ‘Only one percent of people get this one’ or ‘only ten percent of people get that one’ and a lot of people assume that if they try the medication they’ll get ‘em all.
Now anti-TNFs have come on to the market too, and the possibilities of treatment, if the costs can be brought under control, look relatively rosy. So, while I’m all for living a healthier lifestyle (if not very good at it myself, she says munching on another chocolate), and it might well have huge benefits for your RA (or rather huge benefits for getting rid of your RA), don’t disregard conventional medicine out of hand!
And finally, conventional medicine doesn’t claim to understand RA fully, know everything about it, or know how to cure it: I think anyone who does make those claims is highly suspect.
(And if you think this is controversial, just wait for the post I haven’t written yet about drug companies and how they’re actually not all a hundred percent evil)