Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where do I go from here?

I went to the rheumatologist yesterday to discuss my blood test results, etc. There are three blood tests normally done to test for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), even though you can test negative for all of them and still have it. I tested positive on one of two tests specifically for RA. The other test was for inflammation and a normal range is below 20. A month ago I was at 30 and now I am at 38. Between the test results and the fact that any area of my body where a joint is located feels like it has been beaten repeatedly with a stick, my doctor is more than certain I have RA.

He gave me a prescription to prevent joint deterioration, which takes up to three months to work, and offered me steroids to get me through that time period, which I declined. I made an appointment for April and he sent me on my way. Apparently it is too much to ask for a doctor to spend more than a couple of minutes with you after he announces that you have an illness that will probably affect you for the rest of your life if you do not make the proper changes to your lifestyle.

I went home depressed and crawled into bed with my dogs. After a long nap, I decided that I would give myself a short amount of time to pout and feel sorry for myself. Then I would start making the changes necessary to make my life better.

Luckily I was pretty sure that it was RA and began doing my own research a few weeks ago. It will be a lifestyle overhaul really because it involves diet, exercise, and stress management. But they will all be changes that will help not only the RA, but every aspect of my life.

I honestly think the RA is my body's way of telling me that all the stress and anxiety has finally taken its toll and I need to make big changes.

My first step is to incorporate more whole foods into my diet, like fruits and veggies, which will leave less room for the bad stuff. I am not planning on giving up all the sugar at once because I do not want to set myself up. Today I had a donut for breakfast, which has been my routine lately. But instead of crap for lunch, I had carrots and a Ceasar salad for lunch.

Rommel is also pushing me to walk or use the elliptical more often, which I am trying to do. The walking helps the pain in my feet and ankles as long as I do not do too much.

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