March 30, 2011

I am feeling fantastic! The weather is warm and perfect. My joints feel normal, mostly. I have more energy. The Enbrel is working and I'm just about ready to get off the Meloxicam...just waiting on one stubborn ankle. 

My arthritis is very much affected by the weather, so I hope the sun stays for a while.

March 19, 2011

Maddie's arthritis is currently affecting both knees, an ankle, and a couple of toes. Her previous flairs have always been in one knee or one ankle; she'd get around by hopping on the opposite leg. This morning she couldn't walk because she couldn't hop on either leg. I've asked the doctors for crutches or a wheel chair for these times when she can't walk and they won't give me one. An 8-year-old doesn't fit in a stroller so I'm not sure exactly what they expect me to do. My husband can carry her but I can't, and since I'm the one that has to get her to school and back you would think the doctors would have a little compassion for a mother with an arthritic back. Yes, I've carried her to school piggyback. The doctors want her to take a hot bath in the morning, stretch, and move slowly to warm up the joint.  We're up at 6 a.m. as it is. I don't know if we can stand to start our routine any earlier.

March 18, 2011

The drug side effects can be dramatic. Mine, so far, haven't been too bad. My legs look all battered and bruised, I'm guessing it's the Meloxicam. Usually the bruises don't hurt, but I got this one falling off a chair (I was using it as a stool) and it does hurt...a lot.

March 15, 2011

Sleep is so important to me. It didn't used to be, but I'm finding that my arthritis pain is worse when I'm tired. The more sleep I get the better my joints feel and the better I feel overall. This past weekend I took a long nap on Saturday, went to bed early that night, took a nap Sunday, and slept well Sunday night. I felt so wonderful Monday. I wasn't stiff at all and was in very little pain.  Oh what a difference sleep makes.

March 11, 2011

The Enbrel is helping with morning stiffness. I'm walking better, going up and down the stairs, sometimes even running after my kids. But, I'm still in a tremendous amount of pain. I really am a wimp, I mean no pain tolerance whatsoever, despite giving birth 4 times. I assumed the Meloxicam had stopped working so I quit taking it and went back on the Naproxen. After a few days I was in tears and my husband suggested I switch back to Meloxicam. Note to self: Naproxen does not work for me. It's been 3 days and I'm doing a little better.  After six months of arthritis I'm starting to forget what "normal" feels like.

March 09, 2011

Thank heavens for my piano students. It is they who get me out of bed each day. It is because of teaching that I put on make-up. It is because they come to my home for lessons that I clean my house. I can't imagine the state of my house or my appearance without them. This arthritis makes me want to stay curled up in bed with a heating pad. But, that's about the worst thing I could do. I know I need to stay mobile however painful it is.  At least I have teaching, which helps me forget about the pain. That's a good thing

March 03, 2011

I call it "go mode", when I have to get a lot done at super speed. I used to be pretty fast when I needed to be but I don't have "go mode" anymore. I can't just tell my body to move fast and it's killing me. When my house is a mess and someone calls and says they'll be there in 30 minutes, I don't have that super speed to help me. Instead I clean one room and have to apologize for the rest of the mess. I hate making apologies. I am moving so much better on the Embrel but I'm not myself yet. I still have constant pain, especially when I try to do things fast.

I've cut back everything I can think of, all my extra activities. We're down to just the bare bones now, my work and my family. Last year I was directing church and school choir programs and volunteering all over the place. The only thing that's left is to cut down on my work or stop teaching altogether. I can't deny I've thought about it.  But, it would mean losing my home. It is so expensive to be a home owner in California that it takes two incomes for us to do it. Sometimes I hurt so bad that I don't care about my home at all. It's too much work anyway, I tell myself.

I've relied on "go mode" my whole life to get things done. Now, I have to take the tortoise route...slow and steady. I'm being forced to give up on perfection and speed. I have to choose what's important in my day and my life and re-invent the way I get things done.