Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A bit of a fail

It's been a bit of a funny week. As with anything RA-related, the only thing you can be sure of is that it's always going to surprise you. Last time I had a steroid injection it worked like magic - no pain, and the swelling disappeared within 2 days and stayed away for a year and a half. This time it's been pretty tough, with the injection causing a steroid flare and MEGA increase of pain for a few days and not really bringing the instant relief I was hoping for. Today, 5 days post-injection I sort of feel like I'm heading in the right direction but it's really not been plain sailing and I'm not sure if it will work properly. I do feel a bit better today but I don't know if it will continue to improve or if this is it. I guess I have to wait and see. I don't understand how it can be so different from one time to the next. What's changed?? I hate this disease.

I have a check up appointment on the 13th June so I guess I will see how I am by then and discuss my options with the doctor. I guess the positive is that apart from the damn hand I feel well, so that's something to be very grateful about.

I am also very grateful for my girlfriend. I've been quite down lately, as I tend to be when I flare (thoughts of impending DOOM tend to descend upon me during these times - I can be very dramatic!). Last time I flared I was single and did my usual routine of crying, feeling sorry for myself and retreating into my room. This time I've taken a different approach and just tried not to spend much time on my own at all. I avoid thinking, because thinking leads to worrying. I have just been spending all my time with my girlfriend who is very understanding of my problems but also very good at cheering me up and making me laugh. I can't believe how much a hug can help me when I feel at my lowest. It's really nice to have some support this time around.

Friday, 18 May 2012


I had my injection yesterday (no numbing cream this time, I'm a big brave girl!) and all seemed fine. Today, however, was pretty unpleasant. I had to go to work mega early and straight away I knew it was going to be bad. My finger was so sore that any contact with it resulted in a loud OUCH. Even not moving the hand, I still had that nasty deep ache that just won't budge. The muscle pain radiated up to my wrist. Lets not even talk about when I would accidentally bend it a little. Wow-wee. It was a fun morning editing photographs, for sure. 10 points to me for creative holding of computer editing tools. How do some of you do this with not one, but 10 fingers constantly in this state? I have massive respect!! Anyway I dosed up on the pain-dullers and thankfully it seems to have passed. Apparently 'an increase of pain' can happen for about a day after a steroid injection. NO KIDDING. All good now though, back to acceptable levels of discomfort. So now I just sit and wait and hopefully tomorrow a little miracle will occur and I will see my knuckle. If it works, it'll totally be worth it.

On a side note, I've been reading some fun books lately. "Confessions of a GP" by Benjamin Daniels and "In Stitches" by Neil Edwards. Both are books by doctors who have compiled a series of thoughts, real life stories and general musings on the medical profession in which they work every day. Both have been very enjoyable reads, especially "Confessions of a GP". Very interesting if you are based in the UK, as it explains a lot of the frustrations and bureaucratic processes of the system. As a chronic patient, it's interesting to get a glimpse into the minds of those treating us. Plus, they're both really funny writers. Both books are available for the Kindle (my new love!), for a bargain price of something like 99p, so check them out if you have the time.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Better news

It turns out the nurse on the phone was at fault. I called again and spoke to my doctor on Friday and she had told the nurse to schedule me in, so I don't know why she was being awkward with me. I have an appointment on Thursday! Yay, I can't wait to bend my finger again. Isn't it sad what arthritic people get excited about? 2 years ago I was really scared at the prospect of a joint injection, now I'm looking forward to it. Hope it works!

P.S. Thought I'd update my blog 'look'. It was getting a bit old!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Yesterday I called my doctor to get a steroid injection into my finger. It's been acting up for over 2 months and I'm sick of it. Last time I got it injected in 2010 it sorted it out for well over a year, so I was sort of hoping it would help again. However, the nurse rang me back and asked: "So, is this an emergency?". I was quite taken aback as last time I got an appointment no problem in the same week. I didn't really know what to say. Is it life or death? No. Am I completely disabled by it? No. Does it affect how I use my (dominant) right hand every day? Yes. Does it make my job as a photographer more difficult and require me to use my hands with caution? Yes. So I basically froze up and mumbled something about it being quite uncomfortable to which she said that since there were no available appointments until the end of May, I'm as well waiting until the 13th June when I have a check up appointment anyway. I got off the phone call feeling pretty deflated. I don't know if I should've just taken the end of May appointment, but something in the woman's tone made me think that I was exaggerating my discomfort, and that I'd be taking away time from patients who need the appointment more. The whole thing has left me in a foul mood, and feeling like I am a hypochondriac. Anyway, so now I have to either call back and demand an emergency appointment (and look like a drama queen) or wait until the 13th June which is 5 weeks away. Doctors sometimes have a special way of making you feel very small.

Sunday, 6 May 2012


Here are some photos from Peru taken on my Holga film camera. I've only just started shooting on film for a bit of fun so still getting to grips with it.
Main square in Cusco during the Lord of the Tremors parade the week before Easter. They go all out for religion out there, quite a culture shock but interesting to see.
My friend and some immaculate Inca stonework on top of Pisac ruins, in the Sacred Valley.
Huaca Pucllana, ruins in the middle of Lima from a pre-Incan civilization.
A curious little alpaca!
View over Cusco.
Pretty yellow flowers that were all over the Sacred Valley.
And of course, the classic shot of the city in the clouds! I took hundreds on my digital SLR but these have a lot of character, I think. I still need to go through my photos from the rainforest, and then I'll post some. Otherwise, I'm just settling back into normal life. Work is going ok for once, and apart from the fact it's REALLY UNSEASONABLY COLD for may, I'm enjoying springtime and the long days. Nothing much else happening right now, apart from having some swelling in my right index finger again. Maybe I can chop it off? Yes? Or maybe I should go back to see my doctor but for some reason I'm reluctant to. Otherwise I feel fine and full of beans. Hope spring is creeping in wherever you are and warming everyone's bones!