Showing posts from March, 2014

Fight for Your Life

Whenever I'm introduced to a new doctor or present doctors with new, odd symptoms, my mum likes to tell them "she's going to give you a run for your money." That's completely accurate. Most times, doctors can't figure out what's wrong with me- at least, not for the first two visits. I think the only time I ever got a diagnosis in one doctors appointment was for a classic case of bronchitis (that I walked around with for a month or so because I just didn't want to see another doctor). And I know I'm not alone in that either. Lots of people I know walk around for years not knowing what's wrong with them. I went about a decade. I know a lot of GPs are not able or don't know how to properly treat many autoimmune and other chronic illnesses, but I can't understand why patients aren't refered to specialists faster. It's cruel to make someone suffer and ignore it. I also hate when specialists dismiss patients quickly. Maybe it's

Blue Fingers from Standing

Lately I've had incidents of my fingernails and toenails turning blue. It's not as if the skin was blue, which would be terrifying, but it was still a little concerning. I brought it up with my rheumatologist the other day and showed him numerous pictures I took of it. After he examined my fingers and toes and felt how cold they are, he gave me a diagnosis: The blue was caused by me standing or sitting up. The treatment? Lie down. Best treatment ever. I took this with a grain of salt. Lie down every time? I can't wait to lie down in class, on the train, randomly in stores. It's literally a dream come true. Doctors really don't get it. They don't listen. Even the best of the best can be dismissive sometimes. I really like my rheumatologist and I've been with him for years, but sometimes he's just a pain in the butt. Did not listen to me explain that it happens when I can't warm my fingers or toes? It's obvious I probably just have a very mil

Adults Treat Me Different

I find it funny how adults preach to children that they should treat those with disabilities no differently from others, however adults tend to do the opposite. When I tell my peers about being chronically ill, I don't usually get treated differently after. It does happen, and sometimes it's with extra consideration. It's really nice. Adults, on the other hand, usually treat me differently from others. Occasionally it's just to make sure I'm doing okay, which is always appreciated. Other times it's as if they don't believe me. But more often than not, it's just different from other kids. Adults are often surprised I lead a more normal life than they expect. I would like to set the record straight: People with chronic illnesses are normal people.  I'm not a hypochondriac. I'm not a saint. I'm not looking for attention. I'm a teenager with a chronic illness. I'm a girl who loves her friends. I think homework is the bane of exis

Things I Wish They Told Me

I was about eleven when I began being treated for juvenile arthritis. As clever as I was at eleven, I didn't understand everything. Sometimes I wish doctors would sit there and tell you more, or at least give you a little pamphlet called "All the Things I Don't Explain." Even if I was beginning treatment and diagnosis now, I wouldn't have known these things. And I admit I'm still learning. 1. We're Not Treating Symptoms. We're Treating a Disease. Treating the symptoms doesn't treat the disease, but treating the disease does treat symptoms. It may not mean your symptoms are relieved for a long time, but it could mean that damage is prevented. For example, if your doctor says it could take six months for a medicine to take full effect it means that you're body will be completely using the drug against the disease. It doesn't mean your symptoms will completely disappear by that point. I really wish they explained that. 2. This disease is

Disgusting Patient Care

 I go to school with a wide variety of characters. And no, it's not because they're art students. Actually, at least half time time I go to classes with -gasp- other people. Oh the horror! Yes, there are kids studying for every type of profession. I've noticed the most popular is nursing. In fact, I would bet money on saying that for every ten students I've met, at least two are going to be nurses. Nursing has been a very popular career choice for a long time, and many think it's a stable, rewarding job. And I agree with that: Sometimes I wish I had what it takes to nurse. But I know I couldn't, so I moved on. I just wish others would too. The other day I sat in class, quietly reviewing for an exam when I heard person loudly talking about their job. I found this person is studying to be a nurse, and is working as a nursing assistant in a dementia and Alzheimer's ward. What I also found was that I'm horrified of what's happening there. This person

Blue Nails

If you know me, you know that I'm always cold. I've always wondered if this was the arthritis or if it  means I have a cold heart. Regardless, you tend to see me bundled up at all times. Sometimes I won't even take my coat off when I get  home at night. The cold instantly makes my body stiffer and more painful: if I'm out shopping, I'll just walking around looking so I don't have to move too much. And let's not even  go into how cold my hands are at all times (eve in the summer). But recently, I've had the oddest thing happen to me: My fingernails are going blue. The first time this happened I text my mum a picture. She instantly became frightened and called my rheumatologist. He wasn't in, but the nurse wrote it down in my charts. I see him next week anyway.  I've been taking pictures of it to show my doctor as well. Everyone in my family who has been told is obviously a little startled and then goes on to suggest it's just the cold. Obv

Arthritis Life Q&A

Hi guys! Lately I've gotten a lot of questions about having arthritis and I thought I would share them with you. Enjoy! "What did you do to get arthritis?" What did you do to get brown eyes or red hair? You got a specific set of genes. Science seems to point that autoimmune arthritis and other diseases are hereditary and passed on through genes and come out due to triggers like being ill or an injury. "Why can't you just get a hip replacement?" I don't need one! Yet. My joints are damaged, but the damage isn't what causes all the pain: it's the inflammation caused by my immune system. Getting steal hips and knees won't stop the pain. "Did you know apples are good for the immune system?" Next question. "Why are you so tired all the time?" Alas, it's a symptom of autoimmune arthritis. Not only doesn't hurt to move, I'm too tired to move anyway! "I heard arthritis can be caused by not flossi

Heel Cups

Heel pain is very common with psoriatic arthritis. I'm not am exception to that. Some mornings I wake up feeling as if I slammed my heels into the pavement for six hours straight. In fact, sometimes I imagine that cutting off my heel would feel better that living with it. Walking isn't always pleasent either: It can feel like walking on spikes. Recently my rheumatologist gave me a miracle: Heel Cups. They're just like they sound: Little foam wedges that cup and cushion your heels. They're like shock absorbers for your feet. And gosh, it's like a piece of heaven in your shoes. I've worn them in two pairs of shoes and so far they've fit both well. That's surprising considering I already have enough 'equipment' in my shoes as it. Anyhow, heel pain or not I highly recommend looking into getting a pair. They do absorb the impact of walking (or rather, limping) and make it easier on your feet and other joints. Look for foam ones that are thick: