maidenbedlam: (silhouette)
That's what I got: rheumatoid arthritis. Whee. STILL testing negative for what they call an "RA Factor" but apparently that's not unusual.  The doctor, who has the wonderfully fun-to-say name Dr. Damaraju, said that my symptoms are consistent with RA, so that's what we are treating.  The inflammation and swelling in my hands is in the knuckles and bottom joints, and if it was psoriatic arthritis, it would be in the top joints and around the fingertips. Weird, but whatever.  The psoriasis, then, seems to be a completely separate issue - still autoimmune, but not part of the RA. So that brings me up to THREE autoimmune dealies: RA, psoriasis and the Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

Can I get a "sheesh!"? 

(Incidentally, the psoriasis is the most minor one, and it's the one giving me the most grief, because it ITCHES.)

Back to the RA: The doctor wanted to put me on prednisone, but I've taken that twice and both times it made me violently ill. Plus I know what some of the long-term effects of corticosteroids are, and even if I didn't puke every time I took prednisone I wouldn't take it for the RA.  She then said she'd put me on Plaquinel, a drug that was developed to treat malaria, but which turned out to have a pretty good effect on RA.  The big caveat there is that it can mess with your vision, so before I start taking it, I need to get the OK from an opthamologist, as well as a good eye exam so they have a baseline from which to judge whether the Plaquinel affects it. The other negative is that Plaquinel can take up to three months before any noticeable improvement in symptoms.  (Oh yeah, note to self: ask doc if I can take NSAIDS until the Plaquinel kicks in.) 

RA is pretty common, so docs have been treating it for awhile. This is good, because it means I'm not completely in uncharted territory. I don't need to make any dietary changes, and exercise is encouraged (I do have to have the freaking neck thing settled before I resume yoga, though!)  I'm supposed to keep my stress levels as low as possible (HA!) and be sure to get adequate rest (DOUBLE HA!)

My blood work is OK, so except for this chronic inconvenience, I'm in good health. I just need to get to the bottom of the neck bump, which is what started all this doctor stuff in the first place! (Neurosurgeon next week for that.)


My husband has been working on plumbing today. That he started working on last Sunday. He has made no fewer than 11 trips to the hardware store. He is a very unhappy man. I am staying as far out of his way as I can.
maidenbedlam: (silhouette)
Blood draw this AM. Now I have holes in both arms. I see the ENT tomorrow.

In other news, I am playing with a pile of old keys, buttons and broken vintage jewelry. I am restricted to polymer clay work at Bristol -- not that that's a bad thing, as it IS my preferred medium -- but I do a lot of work that ISN'T polymer clay, and I have three shows upcoming where my non-polymer work will be welcomed.

There's been some random tapping sounds coming from outside of the house lately. I thought something like a raccoon was trying to get in, but I sent the kid out to look today, and she found a slightly baffled woodpecker. We have cedar siding, so it's not impossible for there to be bugs, and if there are, I'd just as soon let the woodpecker have them.
maidenbedlam: (Default)
I have no good reason for starting a new LJ, except I just kinda wanted to. I haven't been journaling much, spending a lot more time on Facebook, which allows me the illusion of keeping in touch with people without actually interacting with them in any but the most superficial way.

Lately I have been pretty much buried in medical stuff. Note please that I am not actually sick. Beyond a persistent aching neck and being vaguely tired all the time, I'm FINE.  My blood tests  and CT scans, however, say differently. So I will be going from specialist to specialist until someone figures out exactly what the deal is. If you're not already up to speed on this, I'm not going to go into excruciating, whiny detail. Suffice to say it looks like I have some auto-immune issues. In other words, my body is revolting (*snerk*)  I have blood work tomorrow morning, an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doc on Thursday, a mammogram next Wednesday, an appointment with the rheumatologist Thursday, and a follow-up with the neurologist I-forget-when.

In medical news not my own, my husband had foot surgery last week, to replace a joint in his foot that deteriorated beyond repair. He goes back to work tomorrow, but will be bandaged and booted for probably another two weeks.

Career-wise, I have been sorting and organizing more than creating, which drives me a little insane. I have not yet figured out how best to optimize my work space(s), so I spend entirely too much time walking from room to room, fetching things. I have clay in one room, jewelry stuff in another... but there is some considerable overlap, and there's too much of both to fit in one room. This doesn't even count the paper and fabric crafting stuff, which is mainly out of the way at the moment, but which I DO want to start using again. I have two shows coming up, and a probable third one that I am waiting to hear about. (PS: if you are a crafter and want a table, let me know. If you are a musician who can do holiday and/or folk music and would be willing to work for tips (and sell your CDs) let me know.) 

And, I am set to clean out my husband's Aunt Patt's place. She passed away about two months ago, and her roomie, Barb, is ready to pitch all Patt's crap. Much of it belonged to husband's grandmother once upon a time, so I get to sort and distribute it all.

I think you-all are up to date for the moment.

January 2012

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