Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Check up

I had my 3 month check up with my rheumatologist yesterday. I was glad to see her, she's cool and very nice.

We talked about how I'd been feeling very well all summer with no inflammation, but the past couple of weeks I've had a couple of little flares in my right foot and also a bit of stiffness creeping back into some of the joints on my right hand.

We're going to see how this develops until my next appointment in January, if it gets worse I'm to give her a call and we'll consider our options. If I am not back in 'remission' or whatever by January I think she'll consider adding a small bit of methotrexate to my plaquenil. UGH. I hope it doesn't come to that, but I'll take whatever i have to in order to feel normal.

I don't know why but going to the hospital always makes me feel like crying afterwards. Even if nothing bad happened. I haven't cried about my RA since about april and I didn't cry yesterday but it was the closest I've got for months.

Why won't it just go away..sigh.

On the positive side, I'm going to Berlin tomorrow for 4 days to visit a friend. I'm super excited, everyone keeps telling me what a cool place it is. I hope my foot will behave. The doc gave me a perscription for lodine, an anti inflammatory. She said to take that for the next few days while I'm away cos I'll be doing a lot of walking.

I took naproxen for a month or two and didn't notice any difference but maybe i'll give this a go.

Anyway, au revoir, auf wiedersehen and goodbye! I'm leaving on a jetplane...

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Mini flare

Hmm so I'm 3 months into starting plaquenil. From what I've been told, if it works for me it's supposed to start kicking in about now, with the maximum effect being reached at 6 months.

I've got my 3 month check up at the hospital in 2 weeks and I know they'll ask me if I think it's helping. Trouble is, I have no idea.

As I've said before, I've had a pretty good 6 months with only minor complaints. This past week I've had the worst 'mini flare' I've had since april and it affected my foot and right hand but I thought it was going to get a lot worse and last weeks like it did last winter, instead it fizzled out after about 2-3 days. So I wonder whether that was the plaquenil helping?? Or maybe it was just a mini one anyway. I have no idea.. how do you know if a med is working or if it's just the natural ebb and flow of the disease??

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


I was hanging out with my flatmate the other night and for some reason we were talking about MS, and she mentioned that out of her mum's best friends from high school her mum was ok health-wise, one of the others had cancer, another had a series of heart problems and the last had MS. And then she said "Imagine, that could be us one day, scary!!" and I went...."Um, well.. I already have a disease, remember?" and then it got a bit awkward and quiet and we changed the subject.

I honestly believe she forgot. She was right there last year during my diagnosis and saw me crying my eyes out and going through the motions. And she read up on RA so it's not like she's ignorant about it. But I honestly think she meant no harm and just because I've been well and haven't mentioned my arthritis for months she just forgot. Or maybe she doesn't think it's as serious as cancer or MS? I don't know.

I wish I could forget too, unfortunately even though I'm well there is still something to remind me of it most days. I wonder what everyone that knows about my RA thinks. I was a MESS, seriously..for like 3 months I was an emotional wreck. And now I'm back to normal I guess. I wonder if they think I made a big deal out of nothing, just because I now don't mention my daily problems. And yes, those problems have decreased significantly and my mood has lifted as well. I hope they don't think I made it all up. I wish I had!!!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Strange discovery

I was at a dinner party a few days ago and it was a friendly bunch of us that have known each other for quite a few years. The wine and conversation were flowing and everyone was having a great time. I was expecting the good company, food and banter, but what I definitely wasn't expecting was to discover that one of my good friends also has arthritis.

This friend had been in hospital recently with a really bad case of..something to do with inflammation of the stomach. I asked what they thought it was, and she said, 'They're not sure. I just hope it's not my arthritis coming back.' This friend did not know about my diagnosis as I've only told about 10 close friends. When she said that I of course questioned her and said I had arthritis too. It was all a bit strange since I've known this girl for about 4 years and she is THE most energetic/busy/sociable person I know. She works as a sales executive for a magazine so she's out schmoozing and partying with prospective clients every night.

Basically her story was, she got JRA when she was about 11, had it pretty damn bad until she was 18 and then it went away. She's now about 29-30. She was on methotrexate when it was still being trialed, but hasn't been on meds for a long time now. She says she's not sure if the stomach thing is to do with the arthritis but she's been getting a lot of pain in her knees and hands so she thinks it's coming back. She's going for tests etc in the next few weeks.

I was really stunned! First of all I can't possibly imagine her, the life and soul of the party, being ill or tired or unwell in any shape or form. Second of all, I dread to think how horrific she must feel just now and how scared she must be that it could all be starting up again after such a long remission.

I said to her that she can come talk to me anytime, even though she probably has a lot more experience of arthritis than I do. Still, it must be different as an adult.

How very very unexpected.