Thank goodness for my iPOD (Yes, this is an RA-related post!)

February 1, 2009 at 9:37 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
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I got an iPOD for Christmas. The main reason I wanted it, sad to say, was so that when I felt really crappy and just had to lie down, hands too sore to even hold a book to read, I could lie back and listen to it and it would take my mind off things. Come Christmas I really thought I wouldn’t be needing it for that, as things had been going so well on the methotrexate, and was hoping I’d be using it instead to make long train journeys less boring … I desperately want to visit a friend in Wales, but haven’t been up to it yet. (She’s only been there three years now!)

Anyway, since Christmas I’ve had several bad nights and one full-scale flare-up so just being able to plug myself in and lie back and listen to music has been a real boon. But last night things got even better, iPod wise … and here’s the point where I read this back to myself and think, ‘Pollyanna Penguin, you need to get out more!’ … I discovered iTunes-U. This is a bunch of free downloads from the iTunes site, from various universities, including some seriously good ones like Warwick, Cambridge and MIT. I think these are ‘open source’ type things that various unis have made available on their own sites, but they’re handily collected together at iTunes-U. Last night I downloaded a fabulous lecture on the History of Cambridge by the great David Starkey (renowned Cambridge historian, author and of course, in this day and age, TV presenter …), and lecture on early social history in America from Warwick (lecturer kind of rubbed me up the wrong way with his jokes, but it was still very interesting stuff and I’ll be downloading the rest of them from him today).

It also helps, if money’s tight, to be into fairly obscure music, because obscure music is CHEAP. Having attended an all day lecture on Baroque Music in The Court of Versailles (Louis 14) yesterday (see, I do get out, I just have odd tastes) I came back all re-fired up about Baroque music (which I did quite a lot of in school, but not so much since) and thought I’d see what was available by some of the composers we’d listened to, on iTunes. One of my favourites from the snippets the lecturer played was the slightly weird and rarified by very lovely Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres by Francois Couperin – a meer snip at £2.99 on iTunes. Far cheaper than being in to the latest pop music!

Since I was awake for several hours last night feeling really rotten, I actually listened to all that lot and more, and it really did help to keep my mind off the pain and keep me sane!



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  1. pp-
    I do the same thing! over the summer my wrist hurt me so badly that it would bring me to tears and i couldn’t sleep. I listened to my ipod and sung out loud to totally worked to keep my mind off the pain!

    you’re probably going to roll your eyes at this, but…as long as your downloading podcasts…I have to recommend this guy: Jon barron. he podcasts about health and everything that I’ve been reading about…I just found him today and if i ruled the world everyone would have to listen to it haha. I’m a health freak. anyway, try it out if you need some more distractions. his website is on the left of the page you can subscribe to his podcast…if you feel like it 🙂 if you get anything from it you’ll at least learn something new!

  2. Hi Natalie,

    Eyes are rolling … how did you know? and yet I suspect that underneath the miracle claims and such like he’s talking a lot of sense … I just get REALLY put off by the whole ‘all current medicine is evil and all alternative medicine is great’ hype – life’s a lot more complicated than that.

    Erm … I’m being unnecessarily judgmental, aren’t I? Sorry, it’s been a REALLY long week and it’s only Tuesday!

  3. pp-
    yea, I understand. I’m sorry if i’ve shoved it down your throat. I know that it comes off like that, but I think I have a good way to explain why (at least why I sound like i think all conventional meds are evil.)
    Well, first of all, those who have become natural healing fans are usually the ones who has a very traumatic or life-threatening experience as a direct result of a conventional medicine. This happened to me. So, we are driven to try something that won’t actually kill us or put us in more pain than the disease itself. If we are successful, we can come off as a little snobbish and against conventional meds. Sorry about that. I do realize that some med do really help ppl with RA. But, because so many of us have found relief without them, we want to share our stories. Perhaps we’re going about it the wrong way. I hope that makes you feel a little better about it. 🙂

  4. No, no, no … there’s a reason why the post you’re responding to here was deleted, Robin – ’cause it was … how shall I put this politely … a load of … well you get the idea. I wasn’t actually aiming at you specifically (although you may find this hard to believe! ) and I was just having a really rotten day, which was part of a really rotten week!

    The great thing about blogs is that you can NEVER shove anything down anyone’s throat and if they don’t like your blog they don’t have to read it. I like your blog! ;o)

    I know I’ve been lucky with the meds so far – and I’ve not had to suffer this horrible illness for nearly as long as you either. And to be blunt you’ve probably got more years left to put up with it than I have too, being 20 years younger (approx).

    Thanks for the diet info – two really, really interesting points for me there – one is that a flare lasts longer than two weeks. I have really struggled to get ANY sensible information from either RA medics or the RA forum about what constitutes a flare. I thought they lasted a few days, but I’ve had periods that have been really crappy and lasted a couple of weeks or even maybe three weeks or so, and I’ve just thought ‘Damn it, don’t tell me the MTX is already not working’ (knowing that it tends to lose its effectiveness after a few years, usually).

    The second interesting point is that you see diet effects within two weeks – I had no idea that it could be that fast.

    I’m off to read your blog now to see how your diet stuff is going – I’ve been madly busy at work (still am) and when I get home the last thing I want to do is look at a PC, so I’ve been quiet for a little while, but I miss catching up on how everyone’s doing. ;o)

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