Muh composure 

Is honestly pretty strong lately.  I had a period where I was kind of getting sucked into the old blacker than death pit of despair.  It’s not as easy to do as it once was,  but I stay vigilant nonetheless because I fully realize what I’m screwing with. I am really trying to be good to myself here and not let it get away from me again.  

Mentally,  I’m in a pretty excellent place. One of optimism and hope. I’m staying positive and taking decent care of myself as far as staying up on all my meds and eating right. Haven’t eliminated gluten but have significantly cut back on it and I’m pretty sure it’s the reason my belly is tightening up. I do need to start using the elliptical again, it’s pretty much the perfect workout for me. Soon, honest.

Still having a fair amount of swollen joints so my Doctor got me started with Humira injections yesterday.  It’s pretty easy to do and doesn’t hurt much at all,  at least so far. My Doctor has said if the DMARD meds do their thing I should be able to cut out ibuprofen which can spike my blood pressure.  I didn’t really feel any different yesterday after the shot in my thigh. Woke up feeling rather strange the morning after but not particularly sick. Just really weird like.

So yeah,  things are sort of in a state of flux, but for the best methinks.  I’m grateful to be treating my RA with some proper meds and things have been lovely as ever on the home front.  I’m chilling on the couch with my bestie Ms. Roxy at the moment,  as I so frequently do. 

The only thing I find myself worried about now is getting sick. I’ve been warned that if I’m sick on Humira day I should skip it.  Honestly the potential effects for this one are pretty scary but I decided to give it a try because my Doctor said it would be cheaper than methotrexate and most likely have better results.  At least after everything processes with the patient assistance program he signed me up for. If not for this I doubt we would have considered a biologic as they are hideously expensive generally.  As far as the getting sick thing, allow me to clarify. I’m not being a hypochondriac or looking for something to go wrong, I’m just being realistic about the fact of being on two Immunosuppressives.  Aside from paranoid handwashing I’m just going to start packing sani-gel and try to avoid the bus. I see a lot of cycling in my future. Could be a good thing though, in fact I’m sure of it. 
On that note, I feel compelled to mention that my better half and my family are being really awesome and supportive about this whole business.

That’s why it kind of pisses me off when I hear people go on their rants about big pharma or their conspiracy theories about medical science.  I’m not saying that there isn’t profiteering and shit like that going on, not by any stretch. It’s just that there are a lot of good health professionals out there who bust their asses to help their patients. I’m grateful as hell to have an excellent care team. I feel it’s a pretty dick move when people try to tell folks with chronic illnesses that they know better than our physicians.  I grow  tired of people and their belief that there is some organized effort by big pharma to slaughter the population. I have three Physicians who look out for my various health issues and I’m grateful for each of them.

Proper diet, exercise,  probiotics, these are great things that I include as part of my routine.  But early aggressive treatment is how you prevent irreversible joint damage.  I have seen photos of advanced Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I do not feel like taking my chances. I have a dear friend who is trying to convince me that medical science is out to murder me and that a person at a health food store can cure my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Bipolar Disorder with the right combination of herbs and supplements.  I’m not buying it,  to be perfectly frank. I know of a person who was a good friend of my sister who’s acupuncturist convinced him to stop taking his psych drugs.  Two weeks later he blew his brains out with a shotgun. I think I’ll stay on the meds.
Aside from that,  I’m also thoroughly sickened by the election.  Both parties giving me shit for voting Libertarian and assuming that they own my vote. They can both kiss my ass. I don’t want more of the same. I will vote however I damn well please and you can all live with it.  

So yeah,  that’s about where I’m at. I hope you enjoyed my hopelessly disjointed thoughts. 

Cheers.

Sacri-licious

I know it’s not a real word. Stop oppressing me. I’ve been enjoying myself in the kitchen lately and don’t mind bragging a bit.  Yes,  I am a fan of my own cooking. I’m a big believer in comfort food. This morning I woke up with swollen joints in a decent amount of pain.  Took some analgesics and distracted myself from all that noise by making tacos at nine in the morning because I can. It made me feel better,  though that ache is still there. 

I’ve been on Arava for three weeks and am still not noticing any change. I just hope it doesn’t make my blasted hair fall out like it’s known to do. I was thinking the new med was starting to work until yesterday.  I had several pain free days without any NSAIDS and thought I had hit a clearing. Then I started flaring again.  My Rheumatologist has instructed me to be sparing with my bottle of prednisone so I’m not taking any more before I see him next week.  If I still have a lot of swelling when I see him he may add another med, hard to say. I’m back on a steady dose of Tylenol and Motrin for the time being.  

Mentally I’m much calmer today than I have been since returning to Florida. I had an interview for a job by the mall today which I freaking nailed. The beach is a dead scene lately and I had to go where the money is. I can’t live off two days a week,  much as I like my beach job. So, yeah. A bit more relaxed now that I’ve found a new job.  I’m usually pretty good at staying on top of my brain cooties, but the financial anxiety had been wearing hard on me.  

I’m doing fairly well otherwise.  Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am.  I wouldn’t have thought of pursuing this particular job if a work friend hadn’t told me to come check the place out.  She also put in a word for me,  I think. I left that place today with a satisfied smirk on my face and a spring in my step. 

It’s nice that some people still remember and practice karma. I do my best to put out mostly positive energy and be a decent person.  My great struggle in this life is not letting experience make me inexorably cynical. I can’t remember who said this but one quote sticks out in my mind: Snark is the modern disease. In so many walks of life it seems like nothing more than a vast sea of smiling back stabbers with no thought process outside the context of petty one-upmanship. At the risk of sounding like a hippie, I’m not letting these types lay waste to my true nature. 

Perhaps I should clarify,  I’m not referring to the concept of a higher self or whatever. I’m talking about the true incontrovertible raw essence of self. The will, if you like. Crowley tells us that every man and woman is a star with a unique and distinctive orbit. The Law of Liberty applies to all,  or it applies to none at all.  Some people absolutely crack their minds trying to wrap them around such a broad and sweeping ethos of tolerance and respect for others. Thou hast no right but to do thy will, save for if such will inhibits the liberty of another.  Thelema is truly the embodiment of the global citizenship notion which has become so popular in recent times. 

Now I pause and rub my knuckles in a contemplative state. As I glance at the time I realize that I’m due for nighttime meds. I’ll try to keep the rest of this post succinct. I’m okay. I was in an icky state for a few weeks but I made it through for now. I’m highly grateful for the quality time with my Boyfriend and our animals that I’ve been awash in of late. These are the things that keep me whole and pure. Which brings me back to the essence of self.  Beyond all the layers of experience,  the infrastructure of interaction with others, and how we see ourselves is the raw entirety of one’s being.  Not physical attributes, nor any shade or filter of presentation may obstruct the indomitable gleam of (for lack of better terminology) the inner light. It is the light which permeates and moves through all objects and things living or not,  that which the ancients rightly viewed as the active living will of God.  

Know thyself, and the rest will follow. I’m not the smartest, best looking or most successful person out there. I’m just a guy who knows who the hell I am. I refuse to let this world dull my glow. 

I’m not really certain what the purpose of this post was, but I’m running with it.

 See if I do not. 

93 

Oddly enough 

Feeling better and worse. I’m not upset or anxious so that’s a plus,  but Shannon appears to have given me his cold so I’m a bit run down. It’s looking like it’s not a big deal but I’ll keep an eye on it given the fact of being on Arava. 

But yeah, I was in a rather bad state yesterday. I got sent home from work after two hours so didn’t make jack for money. I was borderline panic-stricken for a bit,  though I eventually chilled the hell out. As the day progressed it became apparent that I was developing congestion and chills so I tried to lay low most of the day there on. 

Joint pain is only a slight bother today, which is nice after my wrists swelling for a few days.  Everything I’ve been told says Arava takes a decent amount of time (month to six weeks) to build up a blood level and start working.  I’ve been on it just nine days so I don’t expect it’s doing much yet. 

Anyhow,  tomorrow is my big look for work day. I have a couple of places I’m pretty optimistic about and a decent enough plan on guess.  I’m just hoping to stay on top of this creeping fatigue I’ve had lately. I’m choking on Post-nasal drip but at least I’m in a good mood.  Small victories and all.

The screws tighten 

I must confess that my stress is getting the best of me right now.  I came back from Alaska to find my schedule at work absolutely slashed.  I’m using this week to update my resume and look around. I’m not sure anything else on the beach is a safe bet. Tourist season is currently flatlining and I’m scrambling like mad to pay my bills on time. I’m already feeling pretty weak from the meds I take and the timing could not be worse. 

I’m trying to stay positive and proactive about this but lately all I want to do is hide out in bed. I am fully aware that this does nothing for me but it sure does look alluring right now.  

It only makes sense.  I had such a great summer that the bubble was bound to pop sooner or later.  Le sigh of exaggerated discontent. I used to be able to find work so easily. Now it takes the right alignment of the stars and maybe a blood sacrifice to so much as get a single response.  
Press on, I must. But I feel like fucking garbage and it just won’t stop.

Latest News from Planet Berserk 

I’m back in Florida after a glorious almost two weeks in lovely Alaska. Met some really cool people,  enjoyed the scenery and just freaking relaxed in the boonies. Even encountered a Moose on my last day of the trip. 

Shannon’s parents were nice enough to let me use their big-ass Diesel Chevy truck to explore Fairbanks and the surrounding area. Driving up there is an immense experience.  The roads are SO steep and twisty and there are many places where you barely touch the gas pedal and just let gravity do it’s job. 

The trip was not all play as Shannon’s eye procedures went quite well and only slowed us down a day or two. As for myself I started flaring up a couple days after we arrived. Not sure if the traveling wore me down or what but my hands were pretty sore and my elbows and wrists were rather swollen.  In a stroke of brilliance I remembered to pack my bottle of prednisone even though I was certain I wouldn’t need it. I had been prescribed the steroid when I was first diagnosed and it gave me amazing relief. Not for long term use, though.  After that the Rheumatologist said we would wait and see if the inflammation and swelling came back without the prednisone.  It sure enough did so my first day back in Florida my Doctor prescribed my first DMARD (Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drug/ Immune Suppressant ) in the form of Arava. I had some stomach pain the first couple of days but it seems to have passed as long as I take it with food. So now we wait a month or two and then I get a liver panel and we see how well my body is tolerating it. I’m also taking Tylenol and Motrin along with my usual cocktail.  

So yeah,  after a few years of complaining about my joints to various doctors I’m finally getting treated for what has been diagnosed as Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I’m not too worried about side effects outside of hair loss.  That one is a  bit intimidating.  We shall see. 

Not much has changed mentally,  I’m in a good place and mean to keep it that way.  I leave you with a cute cartoon and the sincere hope I don’t get sued for using it