Monday, 30 January 2012


Hmm... it's a funny old ride, this RA business. It sure is a world of swings and roundabouts. As you all know 2011 was a pretty great year for me and RA. For the last 6 months especially, I pretty much had no symptoms apart from some stiffness in the hands. I was hoping this would continue in 2012 but at the moment it's looking unlikely. Earlier this month I had some pretty bad knee pain that I haven't had for a long time. That's gone now but I've also had a few bouts of toe pain and swelling but this does happen to me from time to time so I wasn't too worried. Just this evening some swelling has popped up on my right index finger. It's relatively slight so far but I haven't had any swelling in my hands since Dec 2010 so this can't be good. I know these things are minor for now. But when you've been so well for so long it kind of blind-sights you. All I can do is hope it's just a slight glitch and soon everything will calm down. I'm trying not to panic but I can feel anxiety rising up within me. It's so cruel, how it almost tricks you that it's gone away and then you're brought right back down to earth. I guess I need to remember I am still lucky that I get such good periods inbetween. On a positive note, booked our flights to Peru!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Crazy adventures

Ok so maybe I'm crazy, but my friend and I are in the process of booking a trip to Peru in April. Basically I came into a little bit of money last year and I've always wanted to climb Machu Picchu so I figured I now have the opportunity to do it. There are plenty of places in the world I plan on travelling to, but since I developed RA I thought I'd better go and do this one quickly. Who knows if I'll be in any state to hike up a mountain 5, 10 years from now. Depressing thought, but you never know with this crappy disease. Plus this year at work I've got an extra week holiday allowance as I've been there for 3 years, which allows me to comfortably take 3 weeks off work and then have plenty of holidays left for the rest of the year (yeah, sorry North American friends, we get a lot more holidays!). So everything seems to be falling into place but along with the excitement I'm getting really worried!! Am I mad?? Going to a developing country for 3 weeks and trying to hike up a really big mountain when I have a pretty serious disease on the go here. I mean, I've been feeling well for over a year now with only wee problems here and there but maybe this is pushing my luck! Then again I can't not do this just because I'm scared of what may or may not happen, right?? I am worried about the hiking, as my feet are one of my biggest problems (although much less so now). I'm also worried about the radical change in climate, and the GAZILLION vaccines I have to get before I go. I think I need: Hep A, Hep B, tetanus, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies and malaria tablets. Another reason I think I should go and do this now is because currently my only medication is hydroxychloroquine and that doesn't suppress my immune system therefore I can safely have live vaccines. Who knows if in a few years time I might have to be on MTX and it would be good to have been vaccinated for travel in developing countries before that. Despite all this I am very worried!! I'm sure it'll be amazing and I'm also very excited. Has anyone ever been on an epic adventure with RA in tow?? Any advice?