Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year

Last night at around one in the morning, as I was trying to fall asleep, a major flare presented itself. My anxiety was high and I was on the verge of tears. I decided not to cry – not because I’m ashamed of crying, but because I didn’t want my anxiety to get any worse than it already was. I instead started to focus on taking some deep breaths, and things seemed to get better.

As I started falling asleep, finally, I told myself: “I hope that I don’t have much pain tomorrow, and I hope that my mobility is not compromised.” Feelings of anxiety started to creep back – even though I was hoping for the best, I knew that chances were more than likely that I would have pain and that I would have problems with my hands and my feet the following day. (I did.)

So I amended my original statement, and ended up with: “I hope that I don’t have much pain tomorrow, and I hope that my mobility is not compromised – but if I experience either of these two things tomorrow, I know that I have the strength to get through them, and that I will continue to do the best to take care of myself.”

Just before I dozed off, I thought to myself that this would make a great resolution for the new year.

So for 2010, I would like to wish all of us living with rheumatoid arthritis the best of health, the smallest amount of pain, and the lowest levels of disability. But if pain and disability do decide to present themselves, I wish all of us the physical strength and the emotional peace of mind to cope with these symptoms to the best of our abilities, so that we may continue to grow both individually and as a community.

Cheers and Happy New Year 2010!

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

RA|QA Rheumatoid Arthritis Questions & Answers

QuestionSlipfinger asks:

Hello RA Guy..

I am 40 year old active, single guy, director of a company and apart from the current serious struggle for my company to stay afloat druing this serious financial disaster life was looking pretty good..

After a couple of years of my right knee flaring here and there and more joints in the last twelve months, five weeks ago after a multiple joint flare up I was diagnosed with RA with a Rheumatoid Factor of 26 (weakly positive). While waiting for a consultation with a rheumatologist I was prescribed Diclofenac, and on Christmas Eve started a course of Prednisolone tapering from 20mg to 5mg over the course of the next month to relieve immediate inflammations and Salazopyrin EN increasing from 500mg to 2000mg over the same period.

I have just finished reading every post you have blogged since you started this RA diary. To be honest, although very informative, I am completely shi**ing myself at the prospects of what looks incredibily likely I am to face in the coming hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades..

Not being married or in a relationship with anyone at the moment (I am a fussy fu**er!) I live on my own and the future looks like it can and will be extremely difficult, for someone living on his own. I still have my mum and sisters in the next town who will support me through thick and thin, but the future has suddenly started to look very bleak.

I have so many questions about medicines and organic supplements and have no RA TEAM to speak of and dont really know where to turn.

Any advice from anyone here?

Joint Of The Year: Articulatio Radiocarpea

Joint of the year

Articulatio Radiocarpea
The wrist, or radiocarpal joint, is the anatomical region surrounding the carpus including the distal parts of the bones of the forearm and the proximal parts of the metacarpus or five metacarpal bones and the series of joints between these bones.

2009’s “Joint of the Year” award goes to my wrists!

A lot of my joints have taken a beating during this past year due to my rheumatoid arthritis. (Okay, most of them have taken a beating!) But there is one set of joints that stood up as strong as they could against the brunt of the inflammatory process that is associated with RA, and these are my wrists.

They did not always win the fight – many times (as recently as this past week) they decided to take a mandatory rest break…sort of like a hibernation period…when the pain and swelling got too intense.

Sometimes, the best fighters are those who know when not to fight.

Looking back at this past year, they were the joints that were most chronically affected – I wouldn’t be surprised it it neared 100% of the time. It was much less of 5% of the time, however, when I could not rely on their strength or dexterity.

No matter what happened, though, my wrists did not hold a grudge against me or my confused immune system…and for this, I am awarding them this year’s “Joint of the Year” award!

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

P.S. Thanks to Carla’s Corner for suggesting that I grant a “Joint of the Year” award

From The Archives

Out of Joint
RA Guy on May 20, 2009

Out of Joint“She begins, in the morning, by casing her joints: Can her ankles take the stairs? Will her fingers open a jar? Peel an orange? But it was not always this way for Mary Felstiner, who went to bed one night an active professional and healthy young mother, and woke the next morning literally out of joint. With wrists and elbows no longer working right, she’d discovered one of the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis, the most virulent form of a common disease. Out of Joint is her account of living through arthritis, a distinction she shares with seventy million Americans. While arthritis pain affects one out of three Americans, this book is the first to tell the personal story of the nation’s most common yet neglected disease. Part memoir, part medical and social history, Out of Joint folds the author’s private experience into far-reaching investigations of a socially hidden ailment and of any chronic condition—how to handle love, work, sexuality, fatigue, betrayal, pain, time, mortality, rights, myths, and memory. Moving from the 1940s to the present, this story of one life with arthritis exposes little-known medical research and provocative social issues: alarming controversies over arthritis miracle drugs, intense demands concerning disability, and the surprising and disproportionate number of women affected by chronic illness. From this prize-winning historian comes a call for healing through history, a moving meditation on the way chronic conditions can be treated by enlisting the past.”

Read More: http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2009/05/out-of-joint/

Read the response from Mary Felstiner to Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy: Out Of Joint, Pt. 2