Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a roller coaster of a week

The week started with a trip to see the rheumatologist for a routine appointment. Correction, I saw the physician's assistant for a routine appointment which I am realizing will be the norm. The good news was that my lab work showed some improvement, so the plaquenil may be starting to work but we have to wait the full six months until we know for sure. The bad news was that over just a couple of months I have put on weight. In some ways it makes sense because I have experienced the worst of the pain during this time period and have been moving less and less. But the weight just makes my situation worse, so it is something I have to work on.

She was also able to answer a few of my questions such as why I have an extreme reaction to any kind of cold including air conditioning. For example, the air conditioning is almost always on when I am at work and after a short time of being in the office, my hands and feet get really cold and begin to tingle, the joints ache, and sometimes my fingertips turn white. Soon after I leave the office, they warm back up but the achiness continues for the rest of the day. It turns out that it does happen to some people with RA and it has something to do with blood vessels constricting. Unfortunately the answer to what I could do about it was just to make myself as comfortable as possible when I am in those situations because there is nothing that can really be done about it besides avoiding the cold. So I will now have fingerless gloves with me at all times.

The sucky part was that the appointment caused me a lot of anxiety, which lingered for the rest of the day. I have noticed that if I experience severe anxiety for a long period of time or get to the point of having a panic attack, I have a flare up not long afterwards.

Between the flare up and the soreness from having seen the physical therapist, I was having a pretty hard time and had to leave work early one day.

Then I fell in love. We were at the farmers market during a charity walk for the local animal shelter when we locked eyes for the first time. The little chihuahua was so freaking adorable and he was up for adoption. Rommel said we would go home and talk about it before I could apply for him. For two days I checked my email just about every hour to see if the rescue had found him a family at the event or if he was still up for adoption. My heart dropped every time I found my inbox empty. I finally received a response and it turns out the adoption is not meant to be, which is probably a good thing. Three dogs could be a lot to handle considering I can't even walk my two dogs with my wrists the way they are. Plus my dogs have horrible manners, so I need to work on that. But I can't promise that I won't open the door to any other animal that needs a home in the future; that's just who I am.

Finally, the weather warmed up and I decided to get back outside to work on our yard. We planted a new bougainvillea where the empty wall was bothering me. I also began pulling up a bunch of growth from this aloe plant which seems to grow like weeds. I guess I got a little carried away because I ended up covered in scratches from the plant that itched like hell. The next day I moved to the backyard and began cleaning things up from the winter. I also planted a variety of tomatoes and filled some pots with marigolds.

After digging in the dirt with my hands three evenings in a row, I am feeling some pain today so I decided to take it easy after work. I had a new book that I wanted to focus on but I did not really feel like sitting still for very long. I ended up taking a walk to go get dinner and am now watching one of my favorite shows, Ghost Hunters.

So there have been a lot of ups and downs this week, but I am trying to focus on all the gardening and stuff I was able to do because it made me feel "normal" for awhile, whatever that really means.

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