Showing posts from July, 2013

My Arthritis Depression

In this post, I talk about a very hard time after I was diagnosed with arthritis. I share this because I think it's important for others to know that this is a hard disease. For the longest time I felt weak and that I was the only one weak enough to feel this way. But I know now that that is far from the truth: Many people feel this way and it's because they are strong. I know I'm not the first when I say 'I don't want to be alone in this disease.' I don't think anyone has ever said, 'I want to fight this alone,' and actually meant it. It's an ongoing thing that never seems to end, with surprises at every corner. I couldn't go on if it weren't for the wonderful people behind me. I know that for a fact because there was a point when I had almost no one. I did it almost alone for a long time. I had my mum, and she had me. Even then, sometimes there was a wall of fatigue between us. I was newly diagnosed and was taking methotrexate. It

About the Chronically Ill Teen

What do chronically ill teenagers do for fun? We listen to Alex Day, read Divergent,  and watch Vine videos. We also like to play extremely violent video games, act way too old for ourselves and make adults squirm with our music, but that's a story for a different time. All too often, I think people are put into a group. The groups that interest me the most are young adults and chronically ill young adults, as if there is a huge difference. Alright, I admit it; there are times it shows that one hasn't any health concerns. Like when one can put on skin tight jeans and the other can't because of swollen joints. Or when one can go the whole day nonstop and the other struggles. And even when one can make 'risky' choices and only worry about getting caught, when the other can't because there is too much that could go wrong as well as getting caught. But honestly, there isn't much after that stuff. I might have arthritis. I might go to the hospital more oft

Our Worries

If there is one thing I know, it's how to worry. I worry about if Arthur will affect more joints, if he will flare, if inflammation is anywhere other than my joints, if the Enbrel is working, if the Enbrel is hurting. There are so many more thoughts that swirl around my head at the oddest of times. Usually when my mind is needed elsewhere do the most serious worries come, and when the saddest worries come I'm usually in the least appropriate place to cry. And don't get me started on the thoughts that come when I'm trying to fall asleep. I've been reading a lot lately to try and distract myself: it seems the only time when I'm safe from the clutches of worry. In fact, yesterday I started and finished a 550 page book. Alright, it helps that it was a book I was dying to read and that I'm a speed reader. But the point is, it was nice to have something else taking up my mind rather than all the worry. I feel like as a young person, I should only be worrying abo

What's a Jaw MRI Like?

The other day I had a jaw MRI. I've had jaw pain for quite a bit now, but I didn't think much of it: I thought was clenching my jaw due to stress. The pain has been getting worse, so I brought it up with my doctor. He sent me right away for a jaw MRI and I will be seeing him in a few weeks. I went to Google what a jaw MRI will be like but found very little. So, I thought it would be helpful to others to share my experience. First off, I always bring pyjamas with me. I like my own way more than the silly gowns they give you. Since the machine picks up on metal, it's important nothing you're wearing contains metal. Dental braces and such are fine, just let the technician know. The technician went over a few things and we headed into the MRI room. Some people may get an IV line at this point. He helped me on the table and gave me a cushion for my legs and a warm blanket since it was a bit cold. I was given headphones to listen to music, but I also could have used ear p

Frozen Bones

I'm super sensitive to cold. Air conditioning quickly gets extreme for me, pools and water can be torturous and in winter, I'm always bundled up.  I have a hard time trying to explain why I don't like going swimming to others. They think I'm lazy or something, but it's honestly a struggle to build up the courage. I truly want to be able to get in the water and swim, but it's very painful. They don't understand, "yeah, it's cold to me too." So, I started to say it differently now. "It's like brain freeze in my bones." Literally. It's painful and deep ache to be cold. It tends to get the point across, but people are very insistent of course. I love when swimming pools are heated so I can enjoy the water but otherwise it's completely unpleasant. Never force yourself into a cold pool. Never let anyone force you. Don't listen to them; you shouldn't have to put up with pain for their enjoyment. If it were them in pai

Barefoot Walking

I have the worst time with shoes. I always have and I expect that I always will. It's not a surprise that I go barefoot whenever I can, even when going outside. I have since I was very young too, in fact there were entire summers I never wore shoes unless we were going out. I always thought that was very common with children until recently when I asked other people my age if they liked playing outside with no shoes in the summer when they were little and they said they were never allowed. When I specified and said in the grass in their own gardens, they still said they were never allowed to go without shoes. I once read somewhere that children with disabilities tend to enjoy walking with bare feet and that tends to help a lot in respects to developing arches and balance, and I will never doubt that for a moment. When I did wear shoes, they were things with plenty of support. I used to get jealous of children wearing unsupportive shoes, because they tended to look cuter. The one t

Benefits of Diet and Exercise to Better Arthritis Flare

This is a guest post by Kishana Sainte. Her bio and links can be found at the bottom. Thank you Kishana! Arthritis is a debilitating disease that can literally take the fun out of life. Living through pain day to day can make doing normal everyday activities sometimes unbearable. If you are suffering from arthritis know that there are things that you can do to help yourself feel better. There are certain aspects to life that can exasperate the painful joint swelling associated with arthritis. Here is a look at four reasons why your arthritis flares up and how you can use your diet and exercise to help yourself to feel better. Continue reading to learn more… 1. Arthritis Flare Up Due to Stress: Stress is a major contributor to increased pain due to arthritis. Although scientists haven’t found the exact reason why, experts, doctors and researchers agree that learning effective tools to deal with stress positively affects arthritis symptoms. Certain ways that you can negate stres

Confessions of a Former W Sitter

Oh the dreaded 'W' position. A way of sitting that has scared parents, doctors and teachers for generations. Children have found it comfortable whilst the adults around them shift and squirm. What's so big about sitting W? From what  I understand, sitting W puts stress on the knees, ankles and hips and is typically easier for some children because it requires less trunk strength. It also provides more area to spread weight, making it easier for children with less body strength to sit up. At the same time, it forces the hips to swing out in an unnatural position. There have been cases of hip dislocation and other injury resulting from it, in fact I even had a cousin who's knee popped out after sitting in the W position all day at school. I was a W sitter. I figured out how comfortable it was when I was about two or three years old. I only stopped when I was about ten years old after a doctor yelled at me to stop. It was the most comfortable for me. I didn't have

Arthritis Alcohol

Now, I'm not a doctor and I'm not telling you what you can or should do. Don't take it to heart. Talk to your doctor. "Can I still drink with a chronic illness?" A question muttered in many different forms by many different people. And the answer is almost always yes. In the case of arthritis, you certainly can. It's not so much the disease we worry about alcohol affecting as much as the medications. Many medications do carry risks when it comes to alcohol. NSAIDs are usually safe to drink in moderation, of course ask your doctor first. DMARDs like methotrexate are popular in treatment. Some doctors tell you that it's fine to drink, but to limit it. Others tell you to avoid it like the plague. It's mostly concern to protect your liver and kidneys. With biologics, it may be the same story: you might be told you can drink, you might not. Only your doctor knows what is best for you. Me personally? Well, I was about twelve when I started methotrexate a

Rules for Life

Recently, I've been reminded of the rules. They're not fair at all. Then again, what is? People are not always going to treat you as you treat them. There is going to be favouritism over you. Others will be treated much better than you. But don't fret; So long as you treat yourself well, you are untouchable. Your self worth is a priceless gift to yourself. You are beautiful and never let anyone convince you otherwise. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent," Eleanor Roosevelt. There is very little given. You have to take. Don't miss out on anything because it wasn't given to you. Push until you get what you need. Fight for your rights, your needs, your dreams. You owe it to yourself to achieve everything and anything that you could possibly ever dream of. If there is a will, there's a way. Realise that we will not always have a direct way of solving problems. Sometimes we must wait it out. It may be very painful journey. I beg yo

Arthritis Diet Lifestyle

A couple days ago I had the chance to catch up with my cousin, of whom I had not gotten the chance to sit down and talk with in years. I enjoyed our time immensely. My cousin is very interested in food health. Somewhere in that conversation Arthur popped up. You can see where I am going with this. My cousin very much believes I could cure my arthritis by eating a raw diet, with plenty of white foods like garlic to support immune health. And I agree. I might be able to. I genuinely believe that people are able to cure themselves or go into remission through diet. I've seen it happen and it makes sense that if we put good things in our bodies, only good can come. But, of course, it doesn't work for everyone. I've seen it fail numerous times as well. Everyone's body is different, and it will react differently to different things. Let me say now that I've never really tried diet changes. Do I believe it could work? Yes, I do. I believe it can work for lots of people

Stress Often, Health Little

I have been worrying too often. I've been breathing too little. I've been slacking too often. I've been painting too little. I've been thinking too much. I've been relaxing too little. I've been tensing too often. I've been stretching too little. I've been forgetting to eat too often. I've been eating too little. I've been sleeping too often. I've been well rested too little. I've been drinking my calories too often. I've drank water too little. I've been too busy too often. I've smelt the roses too little. I've been daydreaming too often. I've written too little. I've been ready to be healthy for so long. I've got little time to waste. Dear Elizabeth,   Take your own advice for once, you hypocrite. Take care of yourself. Your body needs it. I need it.   -Arthur

Driving Arthritis

Maybe it's me. Maybe it's my car. Maybe it's Arthur. But whatever it is, it makes driving an unpleasant experience. I'm betting it's my back though. Spinal arthritis and sitting up straight with your feet extended and your arms propped up isn't exactly comfortable. Cars are designed to be ergonomical. I propose they design cars for people with arthritis, because the designs at the moment just aren't doing it. People wonder why I like public transport: It's because by the time I'm at my destination, my spine is not typically- for lack of better terms- dying. I mean, if we're talking about a quick drive that's not a problem. But if it's anymore than say a half hour, forty five minutes then we have a problem. So, what's a girl to do? I don't like taking pain relievers before hand because sometimes they make me dizzy. And there is no way I can possibly walk everywhere. So, if I can't be painfree I thought I might as well be co