Where I Learn That My Mind Is Mightier Than My Stomach

“Don’t you just love the meds? While Superman gets abs of steel, I’m left with a stomach that seems to be made of tissue paper.” —RA Guy

Yesterday, in honor of completing the first week of my visit at my parent’s house, my body decided to celebrate with a rare mid-afternoon flare. (Most of my flares usually occur in the morning or evening.) Having just left the cold winter weather of South America a little over a week ago, I’ve been raving over the past few days about how much I’ve been enjoying the switch to the warm (hot!) weather here in South Texas. All I can say is that flaring in hot weather (it rarely gets above 70 °F where I live) was definitely a new experience for me…and for the first time in my life, I’ve started to wonder what it would look like to boil fire (because that’s sort of what if felt like for an hour or two yesterday afternoon).

The past week, my first back in the United States for more than three years, has been a wonderful on. I’ve spent a lot of time with my parents, and have been able to visit different relatives who live in the area. I’ve (happily) answered more questions about rheumatoid arthritis than I could have ever imagined being asked, and I somehow managed to actually sit through multiple episodes of Real Housewives of somewhere or another with my mother. (And just the be fair, the movie my father bought last night from Redbox was quite a bomb.) But I’m not going to complain, at least we’re spending time together, and having fun.

Over the past week, I’ve continued to learn even more about my body and about my rheumatoid arthritis. Two things immediately come to mind:

First, with the removal of a few hours of afternoon tutoring that I usually do when I’m at home, my daily schedule is *eerily* similar to that of my happily retired parents. A few days in, my parents had already figured out my nap schedule…and we had a good laugh on Wednesday, when after lunch my mother asked if we could go to Kohl’s and Best Buy. I told her to choose one of the two stores, as within an hour or less of shopping I’m usually too tired to do anything else. We ended up going to Best Buy, and we’ve yet to make it to Kohl’s.

The second lesson I’ve learned is that my stomach, which has always been sensitive to food here in the U.S. (the chicken and meat I buy back home is never frozen and is usually processed the day it’s purchased, and the fruits and vegetables remain unmodified and are usually sold days if not hours within being harvested, and have an extremely short and natural shelf life), is even more sensitive than usual now that I’m currently taking methotrexate. This, combined with the fact that I increased my dose a couple of weeks ago, is leaving to significant issues with my digestive system, problems which I hope to fix as soon as possible.

(And yes, I will admit to drinking a little more than my fair share of Dr. Pepper–something I cannot get where I live–during the first few days that I was back here in the states…but I’ve already returned to just drinking water as often as possible. And while I’m confessing, I’ll go ahead and admit that I ate jalapenos on Wednesday, and hot wings on Thursday…but since Friday I’ve been really, really good…I promise!)

The day after tomorrow I’m traveling to New York City for three days/two nights. I’m dying to eat real Indian food, and I hope to be able to do so with one of my best college friends Monday night…but if my stomach continues on it’s current course, I may have to put these plans on hold. (And if I’m not able to, I’ll just have to try again, when I’m back in New York City for a week in August…the last stop on this extended visit/vacation, before I return home–to Spring!–in South America.)

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

9 Comments
9 comments
  1. Nan Swan says:

    Thanks for doing your blog. I have questions
    1. I live in WI & I like colder temps because my joints r hot with RA flare ups so colder room temps feel better. What do u think of that?
    2. I feel extreme tired in AM and at night I feel that at night my joints r worse as in painful and I think it is because they have been used and they did work and so I think when some joint is sore & it is used & given a work out that they swell more and hurt more. What do u think?

  2. Libby Schou-Kristensen says:

    So glad you are enjoying your time with your folks! All the top nutrition guys take priobiotics when travelling – something I learnt from Patrick Holfold. Improving the number of good bacteria in your gut seems to help the body cope with different food and avoiding stomach bugs. Sorry if this message came through twice. It bombed out halfway through the first time. x Libby

  3. Linda Robinson says:

    Your trip sounds wonderful. Only RA folks can relate that watching some (bad) t.v. and hitting a few stores, hanging with loved ones–this is a fantastic time. We don’t need rock climbing or dancing to feel we’re partying!! Hope you get your stomach under control in time for your Indian feast. P.S.-make time for Kohl’s! You can’t beat Kohl’s sales!

  4. Jenn says:

    Hearing about the spicy food and the dr pepper made my stomach upset. Shame on you writing about it. ;) Boy, do I live Indian food. I seldom do it because of all the tomato. Raised in an Italian home and I miss so many things….

  5. Deb aka abcsofra says:

    Ahhhh the perils of humidity. Won’t even go there. My heart breaks for you. And my only suggestion is to try getting food from a health food store if the other stuff is bothering you. Course anytime anyone travels, the food, water, etc. can bother them but with you being on metho…well I have no doubt your stomach is sensitive. I couldn’t tolerate the methotrexate. I have heard that the injectable avoids the stomach and thus the stomach issues…just a thought. If metho works for you, maybe you could consider trying the injectable type. And ask for the one with no preservatives in it :-)

  6. Lene says:

    get acidophilus. Best way to balance the stomach issues and allow you to get more adventurous with food. Not crazy adventurous, but less delicate.

  7. Sangy says:

    Hi RA, I am in early 30′s and have been disgnosed with RA. On medication but doing my own research and stuff to fight this. The thing which helped was leaving all the milk and dairy products. But, I agree that following certain type of a diet really gets boring. But when I remeber my days of pain and how I am now, I get motivated to be on this special diet. I have been feeling better. Also, I have read that Ayurveda has treatment for RA, though I still have to explore that yet. Take care.

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