Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dairy, A Self Experiment

This week I have been doing a little self-experiment. I want to see which foods effect me the most, and if I can handle them at small doses. If you've been reading my blog, the foods that have been causing my pain have mainly been Gluten, dairy, sugar, corn, tomatoes, and potatoes.

This past week I have been testing myself on the every so delicious dairy. I ate a donair plate(GF meat) smothered in cheese and donair sauce. Enjoyed cheese on rice pasta, gf pizza, and on the side for veggie platters. I indulged on sour cream and nacho dip. I tried to enjoy dairy at every opportunity. I know that sounds like a lot of junk, but I managed to keep up with the veggies and yummy, healthy foods, too! Moderation, right?

So, today ends the week of dairy. Most of my dairy consumption occurred over the last two days with home made onion dip, the base being sour cream. Conclusion: dairy is a trigger for my pain.

My shoulders have been achy and I have had a persistent headache all week. My feet have been bothering me, my ankle has been clicking. I feel slightly bloated and am really gassy(appealing, eh?). But the worst of it all happened today. I woke up with my fingers and wrist sore. My index finger on my right hand is stiff, and painful to move. For the first time in months, I needed my boyfriends help...I couldn't turn the key to the laundry room. After trying four times by myself, I went to him for help, and he easily opened it. That was a bit of a shock, it wouldn't have been so bad if he struggled with it, too.

So, dairy is a big no-no. I'm going to continue to avoid all the 'no' foods until my symptoms subside, and then I'll test something else. Maybe tomatoes. I am dying for spaghetti sauce ;) So until then, acidophilus, water and 'yes' foods it is!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Opportunity In Suffering

As hard as it can be to look at the positive side of suffering, there is one. If you've been following my blog, you'll know that tests showed I do not have RA. My doctor still isn't sure if I do have Fibro or not, but on a very bright side, my pain has almost disappeared. Upon the suggestion of a two different people who work in holistic health care, I eliminated gluten, dairy, nightshades and sugar from mu diet. I also increased the meat and vegetable intake. And I feel amazing.

I just wanted to quickly say that no matter how much pain you may be in, no matter how great your suffering, remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You can and will see it, but sometimes you have to wait. A lesson is in every one of our sufferings. In every moment of joy, sorrow, and pain there is a lesson. Sometimes you just have to listen really hard to hear it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Symptoms and looking for a little help!

I decided to do up a list of the symptoms I have been experiencing on a daily basis since June 2011. Since the doctor doesn't think I have RA and suspects I have Fibromyalgia but is not certain, I was hoping someone here could help with any thoughts so that I might be able to bring up some possible ideas at my next appointment in November.

In the mean time, I am making appointments with a highly recommended consultant at The Health Basket, a health store in Cole Harbour. He is known for helping people treat diseases naturally, and I hope he will be able to shed some light on my issues. I am also going for a Bio-Pulse Scan at Casaroma's(Info on Bioscans here) tomorrow, and will post how that goes.

With that being said, here is my (fairly long) list of symptoms. I really appreciate any input here!

·         -Pain in fingers, particularly index fingers
·         -Pain all over, comes and goes at different degrees throughout the day
·         -Sudden feeling of extreme tiredness, like energy has been zapped
·         -Feels like I have a constant flu(minus nausea) with body aches
·         -Pain ranges from 2-8 on a daily basis, changing without any indication
·         -Stiffness in fingers, mostly indexes
·         -Stiff when I sit still for too long
·         -Pain when I sit still for too long or move around too much
·         -Index fingers feel weak, hurt to use
·         -Pain in elbows comes and goes
·         -Wrists sometimes hurt, and when I put too much pressure on them extreme pain on occasion.
·         -Index fingers pop when they bend, painful
·         -Shoulders(mostly left) grind and is painful
·         -Knees ache, above the knee, beside the knee
·         -Ankles and feet hurt
·         -Big toes ache
·         -Sensitive spots to touch
·         -Shock-like pain on forearm occasionally, usually right forearm but sometimes left
·         -Tension headaches
·         -Anxiety, emotional
·         -Constantly feeling cold, usually have to have a blanket over me when at home even when it is hot out
·         -Wake up feeling unrested, regardless if I have slept 4 or 12 hours.
·         -Painful to hold a pen in my hand when I write one line.
·         -Hurts to brush my hair
·         -Hard to do up buttons, zippers, open bottles, use can openers
·         -Occasional shooting pain through the joint where thumb and wrist connect
·         -Can be hard to get out of bed in the mornings, stiffness and pain related
·         -Cannot use the bathroom as easily as before(number 2)
·         -If I bump my hand or knee on something the pain is intense and lasts
·         -14 of the 18 trigger points for fibromyalgia
·         -Sometimes have trouble thinking clearly and focusing
·         -No RA factor in blood work or anything showing auto-immune disorders. Checked for Lupus and nothing came up abnormal. No sign of joint damage or RA in hands. No inflammation indication in blood work.
·         -I constantly bump into walls(clumsy I know), I was clumsy before but it has gotten worse in the last few months
·         -Get words mixed up several times a day
·         -Memory has become worse since June, although this could be caused by the marijuana or the pain.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fibromyalgia and Doctor update

I am so beyond confused right now that I don't know what to think. I have been believing that for the last several years I had RA. I just got back from my doctors appointment and according to my xrays and blood work I do not have an active condition of RA. My blood work showed no RA factor, no inflammation and my white and red blood cell count were all fine as well. My xrays showed no sign of joint damage or inflammation.

He said that I may have RA, but it is in remission. But if that is the case why am I always in so much pain? I don't remember the last time I had NO pain. So we kept talking, and I mentioned I feel like I have the flu when I have a bad flare up, like I hurt all over. So he started to press on a few points to see if they hurt, and most of them did. He(by the way, 'he' is the doctor) said he believes I may have Fibromyalgia. He said my symptoms all match up and that would explain why I am in so much pain on a constant basis.

I am so confused...I don't really understand what is going on. He gave me a few pieces of paper to read and told me to do some research because there isn't much he can do other than prescribe anti-depressants, or medication for seizures to help with the pain.I asked him if me having RA in the past could have caused this, and he said that it's hard to say but possible.

I am relieved but confused and lost...I don't know what to think...

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I normally look forward to change and try to embrace it at every possible moment. Change brings challenges, excitement, and opportunity. Change can also bring hardships, pain and mixed emotions, but it's important to remind ourselves that through these moments something positive will unfold.

Right now there is a lot of change going on in my life, and although the change is positive for the most part it is generating some stress. My boyfriend has started college this week and is also working, so we see each other very little now. I have been having flare after flare and struggling to do zippers up, for some reason I am having trouble grasping the zipper and applying enough pressure to zip. My best friend and her boyfriend left for Winnipeg yesterday, and are planning on living there for a few years. I went from having the two most important people in my life close to me, my boyfriend living with me and my best friend literally just down the hardly seeing my boyfriend and I don't know when I will get to see my best friend again.

I know it's silly, but I am also worrying about my boyfriend meeting a more able, thinner, beautiful woman at college...we have a great relationship and have faced a lot together. I feel bad that I am not able to be as energetic, fast and perfect like other people. I can feel myself slowly slipping into a desperate state that I am rarely ever in, a dark place where no one can hear me scream. It makes me feel like crawling under my blankets and never getting up again. But FEELING and DOING are two very different things. I have been here before, and I know that the moment I give into the temptation to curl into bed that I won't get back up. 

Add pain to the mix and I really don't want to do anything. But I can't, so I keep moving. I clean. I turn on some up beat music, dance, sing and organize. I laugh. I cry. I do anything I can that does not involve laying down in bed. And I know that I'll get through this. I will once again embrace change, I just have to see through this now.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blood work related questions?

I'll be going for my blood work and x-rays tomorrow afternoon, and my appointment with my GP is on the 13th of Sept. I was reading over the list of things being tested in the blood work, and was wondering if any of them are routine for people with RA? I'm being tested for the following:
-Glucose, random
-protein, total
-alkaline, phosphatase
-C-Reactive, protein
-Rheumatoid Factor
-Profile, Auto Diff
-Thyroxine, Free(FT4)
-Vitamin b12
-Folate serum
-ANA Screen(lists a bunch of abbreviations after that)

I am also getting my hands x-rayed for signs of RA. I am slightly confused because I was diagnosed with RA when I was a teenager, my hands have remained swollen and my symptoms are still there. I still experience stiffness, fatigue, joint pain, and my index fingers have the swan neck deformation. Why can my GP not just refer me to an adult rheumatologist instead, or does he need documentation before referring me?

Also, does anyone have any idea how some of these things in the blood test could relate to RA? I'd really appreciate any input, I don't exactly have a good relationship with my GP...Thanks

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Positive thinking??

I have always been the type of person who constantly looks for the positive outcome in any situation, the person who never loses hope. In a way this has really helped me through the rough flares in RA, but I am wondering if I may have been slightly delusional about my entire outlook on my situation.

My positive thinking mind assumed that one day, this will all just go away. No more pain. No more inflammation. No more stiffness. No more RA. I had it in my mind that this, too, would pass, just like any illness I have had. I outgrew my asthma, and I guess I was thinking I would eventually outgrow RA, too. Well, it seems like my perception on this is slightly off.

I've had RA for close to 9 years now. I've had moments of remission where I was convinced that I would never again see or experience the pain, inflammation and stiffness(as well as other symptoms of RA) ever again. But like my mother used to tell me 'Never say Never', I should have listened!

I am beginning to see that no matter how much positive thoughts or hope I put into my RA, it is coming back, and getting worse each time. This year is by far the worst year I have ever experienced in terms of pain, although this year has also had a lot of stress due to the loss of my father, a serious issue in my relationship earlier in the year and family issues. So stress plays a role. I know that, and you probably do, too.

Even though there is a quiet voice in my head that reassures me that everything will be okay and work out exactly as it is supposed to...I can't help but hear the other one that says the pain will not go away. Even if it does, I know it will be back at some point. It always does.