Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Finger fun

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! Mine was wonderful, I ate waaaay too much and drank waaaaay too much and just chilled out with the family.

Just wanted to do an update on my hand. I went to get my injection on Thursday morning, and I was pretty nervous but a close friend came with me so that kept the mood lighthearted. The visit was also made more exciting by the fact that a quite famous Scottish celebrity was in the rheumatology clinic at the same time as me. I can't really say who because that would be disrespectful to the person's privacy, but it was quite a random thing to happen. I tried to question my doc about it but she wouldnt tell me the gossip (of course!) and just said that the doctors at my clinic are very well respected so we get a lot of people choosing to go there. Well..that's a relief then! I can't find anything on the internet about this person in relation to arthritis, so I'm not sure if it was maybe an initial visit for a diagnosis or maybe their symptoms are very well controlled and not much is known publicly.

Aaaaaanyway... the injection was fine, I flapped about lots stressing out but the doc put some numbing cream on it (which looked a lot like mayo) and after about 40 minutes the finger was ready to be injected. She didn't need to drain anything, just shove the steroid in. I was really surprised at how little it hurt, maybe because of the cream or she just got the exact spot. It felt a bit strange when the steroid went in and that was it.

They said it takes about 24-48 hours to work. The next day I wasn't noticing any improvement, and I felt a bit depressed on Christmas morning because it still wasn't better (perhaps it was even a bit worse) but then about 50 hours after the injection.... A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE happened. About 7pm it just started shrinking. By the time I went to bed i had about 80% bend back.

So now we're on..day 5 since the injection and I had 95% bend on it this morning and almost 100% by this evening. So happy!

I don't know how long it'll last but I'm hoping that by the time it wears off I'll be over the flare... I have a check up at the end of January so we'll see what happens by then before discussing if I need a change in meds. My feet are still misbehaving on a regular basis. But for now...yaayy the finger's sorted!

Sorry this has been a big post about not much, but since it was my first injection and first experience with a steroid I felt I had to write about it.

Here are some pics of its progress:

This was it in all its beauty at some point last week before the injection

This was it on Friday, a day after the injection looking worse.. and the middle finger joining in a bit for a laugh.

And this is it today....yaaaay

Just as a comparison this is my left hand, which has never swelled so yeah.. the right hand is *almost* back to normal.

Strange, the joy you can feel at such a small thing that you know is probabaly a temporary improvement.. but it still makes me so happy!

Happy New Year to you all!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


Ok. This finger flare is getting out of control - can barely move at the DIP and PIP joints at all and all the tendons are massively inflamed. It looks like a german sausage. Strangely not that painful, but completely useless and almost stuck in a half bent position.

I have an appointment tomorrow with my rheumatologst and I highly suspect she'll inject steroids into it.

I am pretty terrified, never had this done but can't imagine it's pleasant. Will let you know how it goes. Merry Christmas to me!

Sunday, 19 December 2010


I've been posting a lot lately but I guess with this flare RA is really on my mind.

Lately I've been thinking about positivity and my own attitude towards life. I am not a positive person and never have been. I seem to always worry about things and assume the worst will happen, even though most of the time things tend to work out ok and my life is pretty amazing apart from the RA.

So I guess it's a mystery why I am so fortunate in many ways, yet I remain a pessimist. I try hard to overcome this as I feel it's causing me endless hours of misery which are self inflicted and unnecessary. I also project a very strong, happy image of myself and unless you know me well you would think I was a very outgoing, cheerful person. In reality I spend a lot of my 'alone' time stewing over things and generally being a grumpy git.

To be fair, in the last year I know I've changed in the way that I dont tend to worry or stew over the 'little' things as much. That is one positive change. But instead I spend my days worrying about my disease. I feel this is especially true in the winter where I have less motivation to go out and do things to distract myself. The last couple of months I've really felt myself sinking back into a bit of a depression although not nearly as bad as when I was diagnosed.

I think with RA in my life, I really need to work on this and find a way to change. So much easier said than done. I need to stop seeing things in black and white. I also need to stop throwing myself pity parties and think less about myself. When I start thinking these types of 'negative' thoughts I need to somehow be able to cut myself off and do something else.

Has anyone else struggled with this? I know everyone with RA struggles with worries about the future, how could we not? But some are just positive people naturaly and perhaps others have life experience which has taught them how to be positive. I hope I can become the latter. Any ideas how??

Friday, 17 December 2010


Boss at work today walks up to my desk and notices my pen that I use for editing in Photoshop.

Boss: "Whoa! Look at the way you hold that pen!"
(note, I currently hold my pen between my pointer and middle fingers, which I started doing a few months ago after a flare in my thumb. And now my pointer finger is a big swollen mess so I can't lean the pen on it so this is the only way to work. anyway...)
Me: "Yes."
Boss: "Ha, it looks like a CLAW the way you're gripping that!!"
Me: "(Silence)"
Boss: "Ha..you don't seem to like that.." *walks away pleased with his little joke.*

Ugh. Yes. A claw. Great choice of words. Because it's not like I've spent countless restless nights having nightmares about ending up an old woman with twisted claw-like hands. Thanks, boss. He knows I have arthritis too, but it seems he has forgotten. Ignorant ass.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Letter to myself

Dear RA,

Ok, we had a lovely summer, peacefully ignoring each other's paths. I've also tolerated your relatively feeble yet persistant attack on my foot for the past 2 months. I'm a patient woman and I thought we could keep our peace treaty. But now that you've decided to again overstep your bounds and attack my pointer finger (which I need, quite a lot, thank you very much!) I am officially at war with you again.

I don't know what you're playing at, doing this just before Christmas, but if you don't back off by Monday I will be calling Dr A and then you'll be sorry.


no kind regards,
A very angry and slightly upset Squirrel

Monday, 13 December 2010

Anti inflamms

Ok, so after a stubborn 2 month wait for this sort of mini flare in my foot to go away, I'm finally giving in. I'm going to give the anti inflammatories my rheumy gave me last time a go.

It's Etodolac (Lodine). The reason Im not keen on taking them is, first of all, I like a wee drink and I dont think those mix well with alcohol in the stomach. Second of all, the flares dont happen every day so I wonder if there's any point taking the pills every day.

So here's my question - how do these anti inflamms work? Are they like DMARDs which take a while to build up, or are they meant to be instant relief (within a couple of hours i mean)?

If they're meant to be instant relief, then there's no point me taking them because they dont make a difference. I tried naproxen before too and it didnt work.

But maybe I'm meant to take them for a long period of time??

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I forgot to ask my doctor. :)

Friday, 10 December 2010

Perfect Day

Today was one of those wondeful days where I could almost forget I have RA. The only reason I was reminded of it was because I'm so thankful.

I mean, don't get me wrong. Compared with a LOT of people, my symptoms are nothing. I don't even really know what proper RA is like. But still, most days, I know there's something not quite right.

Today, however, was wonderful. My hands weren't stiff when I woke up, I had no aches and pains all day and I danced and stood on my feet for hours without any problem at all.

I am so thankful for this day.

That's all.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Snowed in

Well it's another 'snow day' off from work. The photo above is actually from central Scotland the past few days.

The weather's been crazy, we had 3 snow days last week and it looks like we won't be able to go back to the office until friday. The motorways are closed in parts and there's ice and deep snow everywhere.

Trying to work from home but it's difficult as my laptop is pretty slow and cant handle the photo and video editng software I use for work.

It's -14 C outside and it's almost lunchtime. Insane. It's never this cold here, never!

My poor feet are suffering a bit lately but I'm just thankful it's not my hands.

Oh well.. day in bed.. can't really complain!