Muh Summer

It’s right around the corner. The humidity is spiking in grand Florida fashion as I prepare myself to go see Iron Maiden in June. That along with turning thirty-five are the main points of interest so far. 

On the home front I’m bracing myself for two lonely months without my Lover Man. He got a lead in a Play in Alaska. I would have liked to join him but  I simply couldn’t scrape together the funds. Also, I feel like it’ll be best for our animals having one of us here.

Rheumatologically the battle continues unabated. In spite of a year of various meds my Vectra DA score (Disease Activity) more than doubled since last year when  I was first diagnosed with RA. I’m trying to remind myself that this number doesn’t reflect the increase in my methotrexate which I’m sure is helping. 

Sometimes I’ll have a few days straight of my joints being relatively calm and painless. It’s easy to underestimate how capricious and erratic my body can be. I’ll start feeling strong and cocky but the swelling always returns and slaps me back into my place. Still, overall I think I’m showing some recent improvement and am optimistic that incorporating a gluten and sugar free diet will give me even more edge. My first diet attempt crashed and burned but  I plan to give it another go while my Man is in AK.

So yeah, the summer is pretty wide open. I am sure as shit not just being a house ape the whole damn time. I’m gonna miss the living fuck out of Him 😦

That’s about all for now. I find this is a useful protip to give oneself from time to time 😉

Be well-

Thom

Recomposing Myself

I’m trying to take better care of myself these days. After my most recent wicked rheumatoid flareup  I determined that if it at all helped with the pain and swelling it was time for a major lifestyle change in the form of an anti-inflammatory diet. I had an inkling that I was screwing myself with what  I was eating, so  I finally got my shit together and read the books my Sister gave me on the subject.

I’ve cut out red meat, dairy, gluten, sugar and nightshade veggies. I still take a small amount of milk in my coffee (which is the one thing I have cut back on but refuse to give up)but will probably switch to coconut milk. I have noticed a decline in symptoms since starting the diet six days ago. This, I’m very certain is also from the Enbrel kicking in. 

I was pretty stiff this morning and have some pain and synovitis but the diet seems to have taken some of the punch out of the swelling. I realize that pain is never really going to disappear but it has been diminished lately. Except over the weekend when  I cheated on my diet at my friend’s wedding. I felt that the next day for sure. 

So, been cooking lots of fish and chicken and various beans, lentils and brown rice as well as loads of veggies. Fruits and nuts (you are what  you eat) as well. I’ve been managing to keep my cuisine pretty interesting so far, naturally I’m happy about that. I’m currently enjoying a lazy day of giving my joints a break for once.

Chilling with my kitty and pondering what to prepare for dinner. We shall see. This diet is rough but  I want to give myself whatever edge I can on my disease process. At least  I still have coffee. If I can just get back to using the elliptical every other day I’ll be in good shape 🙂

I continue to be immensely excited about Iron Maiden live in June. As well as a few other upcoming shows. I might just try to get another jacket project going soon now that my hands are relatively calm.

That’s about all  I have for now. 

Blessed Be-

Thom

Of Thommunism and Recent Happenings

Things are a bit erratic at present. I’ll have a stretch of days where my RA seems to calm down but then I’ll be in agony from a relatively easy day. I’m overall not awful but neither am  I spectacular. I’m two injections in with Enbrel and my joints have been a bit calmer in the last week. Some of that is still riding the wave from that steroid shot, of this I’m sure. 

So what else?.I finally got caught up with my Psychiatrist and had a pretty good meeting with him. I’ve cut back on the wellbutrin which has seemed to bring down the blood pressure a bit, so that’s a plus. The low dose of Risperdal seems to still be doing the trick without zonking me out, which  I’m grateful for.

I’m hoping to do a Thrash Metal themed Vest specifically to sell on eBay or Etsy or something. Relatively safe bands, nothing too outlandish. Something that tastefully screams Glory Days Thrasher. I can do this. Lesser work than mine is selling, why the hell not?

Aside from that, just working and navigating the sea of madness we call the modern world. Doing so reasonably well and maintaining a state of relative contentment. 

May it be so for you. 

-Thom

PS:

My Iron Maiden tickets arrived and  I got muh hair done 🙂

Plugging away

I had a rough couple weeks there but  I seem to be relatively back to normal. Well, normal for me at least. I did my usual ice, short bursts of prednisone and ibuprofen routine but this flare just didn’t pass. I messaged my Rheumatologist and he was able to squeeze me in the following day(Friday). 

When  I saw the Doctor he examined my joints and said that the Humira had suddenly pooped out on me. The methotrexate was supposed to prevent developing a resistance to the biologic but  I guess the dose wasn’t high enough for that. We talked for a bit and we decided to give Enbrel a try. He had his nurse walk me through my first injection of it as well as give me a steroid injection. I’m glad he threw that in because my wrists loosened up immediately. Two days later  I’m off the prednisone and just taking a bit of Advil. Feeling alright. Much better, actually. 

Sometimes I get concerned about my ability to do my job. It can be pretty physical, but as long as my joint swelling is under control I can totally handle it. That said, I have a really great job with cool people and  I’m hesitant to mess with it. I know this will sound ridiculous but- I’ve worked at lots of places that are like a big family. Crabby’s is the first place I’ve worked where  I actually felt like part of said family.

What else can  I tell  you about, whoever you may be? Shannon is going to Alaska for a lead role in a Shakespeare production. Very happy for him. I badly wanted to go but it makes sense for me to hold down the fort, care for the animals and work the summer. One huge development- GOING TO SEE IRON MAIDEN! Taking my buddy Justin to see Iron Maiden in Tampa for his Birthday. I am excited beyond words. My tickets should arrive in the next few days. 

I’ve also become a bit more active on myrateam.com – It’s like Facebook, but for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I try to curtail how much  I gripe about health issues on facebook and keep it entertaining. This blog and the aforementioned social network are where  I prefer to spill my guts. 

I usually keep myself together, but sometimes I get bad bouts of depression along with painsomnia. I’m happy to say this has not been a problem since getting my wellbutrin adjusted. Both with my RA and my Mental Issues, I sometimes feel like  I’m too functional to be taken seriously. I mean, I’m pretty physically strong, but  the difficult thing for me is accepting the fact that  I have limits and boundaries. For most of my twenties  I was pretty much unstoppable. Not so much anymore. People are surprised when  I tell them about my health issues. I dunno. I guess all  I’m saying is I’m reasonably strong but  I’m more frail than  I appear. I guess it comes with getting older. 

 On a side note- I got bored and live streamed my last Humira injection. It seemed to amuse a few people so I’m happy with it. The last two days since seeing the doctor have been great. Fruitful days of work, been catching up with dear friends and just plain enjoying myself. Had a lovely lunch Friday at the local Irish Pub with a couple of my Readers and Shannon 😉

That’s about all  I have for now. Alive, content and pressing on. 

Can’t ask for much else, eh?

PS- I saw this photo while  I was browsing google images. I really like it. You never really have any idea what another person is going through. 


Regards-

Thom

Early evening scribblings

I’m closing a day that has been equal parts simplicity and joy. I made decent money today, I was in a great mood and things went well in general. I was unsure of what time I was to start today so I got there early. Early enough to enjoy a lovely breakfast sandwich Shannon brought home with him. After devouring said sammich it was time to start.

I won’t bore you with the intricacies of my work day. I will however give whoever may be reading the rundown of late:

Working a lot, but haven’t made a ton of money lately. Got stuck with the wussy section and while it’s been a remarkably chill few weeks, I finally got bored and decided to say something. From here on out I’ll be largely the downstairs guy. My few weeks upstairs was fun but I barely made any scratch doing it.

What else? The RA is currently being handled fairly well by the meds (Methotrexate and Humira with occasional Prednisone). Although I did have a bit of a mishap this week with my Humira shot. Seems that I hit a wee blood vessel and gave myself an ugly bruise. It’s fine, just happens every so often I guess. I’m seeing my Rheumatologist Friday and am happy it’s going well aside from being late on getting my labs done. Soon.

Mentally I’m alright. Missed a Psych appointment and ran out of refills but got on the phone and got it all sorted out. I’m actually pretty happy right now. I’ve cut way back on my Wellbutrin which is good because it was kind of revving up my heart a bit. I see that doctor next Tuesday. 

Aside from that, I don’t really have a lot to report. I’m trying to make time for friends but it’s hard with everyone on different schedules. Still, I firmly believe that if it’s important you make the time. I do my best to, though it doesn’t always pan out. 

In the meantime I’m relaxing with a Kona Lager and ‘The Circle and the Blue Door’ by Purson. Magnificent album. Full of Psychedelic Pizzazz. 

Oh, and I won a shirt in an eBay auction. Aleister Crowley with the words Beast Mode. I LOLD.

Enjoy yourself, whoever you may be.

-Thom

Spring is in the air

Yup, Florida’s ever so brief flirting with cool temperatures is nearly behind us giving way to spring. This will be my second spring break working on Clearwater Beach and I am EXCITED this year. I plan to make some money. The fact that my employer just gave me a killer raise plays into this aspiration well. 

Health wise I’m doing pretty well. My foot is all healed up and my RA meds seem to be doing the job. I’m not having intense pain when I do flare and it’s certainly less frequent with my taking the Methotrexate and Humira. I don’t use steroids much these days and I rarely use my heavy duty ibuprofen.

Anyhow, things are pretty good right now. Work goes well, I’ve managed to catch up with a couple friends recently and I’m just trying to enjoy the time I do get to myself. Playing into that, my listening agenda lately has consisted of The Devil’s Blood, Beherit, Funeral Mist. Samael, Jex Thoth, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Fallen Christ and Sadistic Intent. I’ve also been occasionally working in some moody stuff like a bit of The Golden Palominos and how could I forget that lovely band called Purson? Magnificent band, sultry, trippy and deeply insightful. Just the way I like my Psychedelica.

I don’t do nearly as much reading these days as I would like and this is something that I’m trying to improve my record on. I’m ADHD as all get out. I live to read if it interests me but I have a hard time staying on task and my attention wanders horribly. Currently I’m reading a book about Goddess worship throughout human history as well as the occasional Crowley book. Even if all I read is a chapter now and then I try to keep going.

As ever, with all things. This spring break should be a bit better. A lot of the construction on the beach is donezo. I know what’s wrong with my joints unlike last spring break. The meds seem to be working well and I’m feeling alright about it. As long as I can manage the fatigue I’ll be alright. I just finished eight days straight the day before yesterday. Can’t wait to get that check. 

In the meantime, based on a few suggestions from friends I’m going to give CBD oil a try for my arthritis pain. It got some rave reviews from people I know that had some pretty serious pain to manage. I’m pretty sure Florida will give me a medical marijuana card but God knows how long that’ll take. CBD is already legal in this state and I think it’s worth a shot.

So yes, today finds me facing the near future with optimism and hope. I just have to be careful and listen to my body. I can only do what I can do. 

That goes for you as well. 

93

-Thom

Precarious Existence

There’s something to be said for humans and their ability to withstand a constant barrage of soul crushing bullshit. Some folks are like well trained dogs, or perhaps horses. So stubbornly proud of how much they can endure the feeling of the cruel bit in their quivering mouths. I try to not be such a person when possible. 

Granted, I’ve calmed down quite a bit since I was a rage junkie teenager /young adult. But I still have a really hard time with impulse and mood control. Sometimes my brain feels like a car with the gas pedal and the brake being slammed at the same time. The laws of physical science dictate that one or both will eventually give out. That said, I’m a lot better than I used to be. I have SOME degree of control over my emotions and moods. There was a long time where I had zero.and it was not pretty. 

I realize that I have a responsibility to keep my head together and stay out of hospitals or legal trouble. I’m getting better about articulating the things that are ripping through my mind day to day. I don’t go manic. Risperdal prevents that pretty well. But in the last year or two depression and anxiety have been much bigger problems for me than they have been in the past.

I take Wellbutrin for this purpose and it helps. I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m going to have to deal with some breakthrough craziness in the name of not being completely dead inside from being zonked the fuck out on psych drugs. 

I get upset a lot, almost completely at random. I’ve gotten better at identifying my bad states and taking my vistaril (antihistamine used to treat anxiety and panic) when I start freaking out. Still, it’s been rough the last month or so. Being temporarily unemployed didn’t help my mental state any.  On a positive note, its been great to be back at my job. I missed my people 🙂

I don’t know, sometimes it feels like all it takes is a single word or a random breeze to put me in a state of profound sadness. I don’t know if anyone realizes the herculean effort it takes for me to maintain the veneer of relative composure. Some days I just go to pieces regardless. It all depends on a plethora of factors and variables.

I don’t get to see my friends much lately and it’s really been eating at me. Spending entirely too much time in my own head. I don’t have a car and our schedules never line up anymore. I just worry that they think I don’t care. It’s not that at all. I just feel like I’m spread out too thin trying to do too much. 

Still, I’m grateful for the life I have, batshit as I may be. I have a job. I have relative freedom and a Lover who makes all the bullshit worth it. Its so easy to lose sight of the things that really matter. Mental illness has a way of giving one a bit of the old tunnel vision.

This has been one of my less focused posts on this blog. But whatever. I’m thinking this is a decent enough place to wrap it up with a quick run down.

I’m happy to be working again.

I love my Fiancee and my Dog and two Cats.

I’m doing my best.

May it be enough….

-Thom