The adventures of Tommy Boy

It’s been a good, albeit an odd fall/holiday season thus far. As I laid out in my previous post, Halloween was a dream come true. My income hasn’t been great but my awesome Grandmother gave us a publix card so we had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner at home with my best friend Matt. Had a blast but more importantly lots of leftovers ๐Ÿ™‚

Rheumatologically I’m doing a bit better since switching up my meds. I’ve been on Xeljanz the last few weeks and it seems to be helping quite a bit so that’s awesome. Off the prednisone and back to sleeping relatively normally which I’m quite pleased with.

Mentally I’ve been a mixed bag but I’m holding. I’m a lot more relaxed now that I got a very helpful early Christmas present. Been a bit frantic and anxious lately but its mostly under control. Excited about seeing my big Sister soon too, she’ll be here a whole month ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t really worry much these days about dressing or looking like a bit of a Nancy boy. I mean, I’m not doing anything ridiculously over the top. I’ve just let my guard down a bit. I’m not cartoonishly such but I am a guy who is deeply in touch with his feminine side and not afraid to express it occasionally. I realize that I might get jumped for looking like a homo but I don’t really give a fuck. I dress the way I do because it gives me joy. I don’t really care if other people don’t like or approve of it.

All I’m really doing is finally being comfortable enough with myself to not give a shit what people(especially other men) think or say about me. Yeah, I’m a bit crazy and a big fairyboy. I know who the hell I am and it only took me well into my thirties to figure it out and to be okay with myself.

I sometimes feel like an oddball in both the queer and Metal communities. I’m Death Metal as fuck but I’m the only Gay Death Metalhead I know except for a dude I follow on Instagram (I’m on there as rainbowbritethedestroyer) ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t care if I fit in or if people approve. I’m the Death Metal Faerie Boi and I like myself this way, damn it.

Whatevers. It’s almost time for Christmas. All I want is more time with my darling and LOTS of wacky knee high socks. The more insane the better. That is all ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Holidays!

Tommy

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Son of the Return of Rheumatologically Speakingย 

The ol’ Humiradventure has been kind of on the back burner for the last month due to more pressing health issues.  That goes for Trexin as well.  I had to abruptly quit all my RA drugs while I was on antibiotics fighting that icky strep infection in my foot.  I’m glad that I haven’t really flared up a lot but would like to get the hell back on Humira and Methotrexate before my next punishing flare up. I’ve used the prednisone a few times as well as the prescription strength ibuprofen my Rheumatologist gave me to hold me while I was off the other stuff. Hasn’t been that bad, but it always comes out of nowhere so I feel like I’ve sufficiently tested the waters.

Mostly I’ve been okay, but my wrists continue to be my main problem joints as far as pain and swelling.  Sometimes it overlaps with tendonitis which is no fun at all.  A big part of why I’ve been okay is probably because I haven’t been working and getting wiped out every day.  I’m sure that’s on the way ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Doctor who’s taking care of my foot said I should be able to get back on my meds in one more week. I just hope they still work.

I’m still highly concerned about my insurance and the future thereof. All I can do is sit and wait like everyone else.  I talked to my Internist about my worries regarding this when I saw him yesterday. He said that most of my meds are relatively cheap and there are patient assistance programs available from the drug companies for those that are not.  He said I may have to do less appointments for a while but the jist of what he told me is to not panic and do not just give up on my meds.  Insurance or not, I really like all my current Doctors and would like to keep seeing them. 

I just got everything finally straightened out with treating my various physical and mental health problems after several frantic years. I’m not losing it without a fight. 

May your team win-

Thom 

The same old troubled watersย 

As much of a handle I’ve gotten on things,  I find a lot of the same issues plaguing me. I’m worried about losing affordable insurance now that the ACA is on the chopping block. I’m not saying I’m a huge fan of obamacare,  but I got the best possible deal out of it personally.  I have a tax credit that allows me to get a silver plan with zero deductible and killer drug coverage. 

It has been the recurring struggle of my life,  staying insured as a person with less than perfect health both physically and mentally.  I have been really nervous lately about what’s going to happen to myself and the ten million or so others who bought coverage through the marketplace. Nothing right away, but Florida is really tight with Medicaid so I’m not sure what I’ll do. 

I’m really scared because joint damage can occur in the early years of RA if left unmedicated.  Aside from squirreling away DMARDS for the gaps there’s not a whole lot I can do. There are patient assistance programs available but all that stuff takes time.

There are other issues recurring but the prospect of losing my insurance is the paramount concern right now.  I need to have some kind of plan to make sure I at least have my psych drugs so I can focus on getting the other meds without losing my head. Fortunately I have at least a few months of backup of my psych drugs because I’m used to shit going bad and I stay vigilant with my crazy. 

That’s all for now. I’m nervous and in pain. C’est la vie. 

Maintenance Day Part Deux

Things changed not ten minutes after I finalized my last blog post.  I had been in a state of frustration trying to get the Doctor’s office on the phone about a sooner appointment.  Noone would answer,  or I would get lost in the phone system ad nauseum.  Long story short,  my luck improved and the phone got answered. 

I was hoping to wrangle something in the next week or two, at the very least we can do better than February,  ja? Indeed.  I was able to get seen TODAY. This absolutely blew my mind,  given how things usually play out. An hour later and I was on the 76 headed to North Clearwater.  

I had to wait a while as it looked like the place was pretty slammed today and understaffed as well.  Wasn’t that long, though.  The doctor came in and actually proceeded to talk to me about Depeche Mode for the first couple minutes as that was the shirt I happened to be wearing.  That said,  he got to the point quickly.  We talked a bit about what the last week or so was like for me.  We agreed that the Arava wasn’t doing jack and could go. He seems pretty confident that Humira will cover most of my needs in time, but went ahead and put me on methotrexate.  The human body has a habit of developing antibodies to biologics.  I mentioned this and he said this is true and should help with this. 

Aside from that,  he had his nurse give me a pair of injections.  A steroid and an Anti-inflammatory.  Already feeling a bit better for it.  In the space of fifteen minutes I accomplished my rheumatological goals for the next few months.  I can actually relax for a while and let the meds do their work. 

Not much else is happening.  Going to work in the morning and hoping all this medical bull gives me some peace. I don’t mean to sound like a bitch. Medical science has done me alright and I have no gripes. 

I mean, I have some. I just don’t feel like they’re worth chasing. 

I’m already feeling a lot better than the last few days leading up to this.  Time to keep the momentum going ๐Ÿ™‚

My Darling Man sleeps and I’m letting him sleep. He’s so wonderful it kills me. We’re a couple of chronically ill homos that are hopelessly in love and showing no sign of letting up. It’s so unusual being with someone who actually brings out the best parts of me. 

That’s what love is.  A couple of wounded souls helping one another.  No chains or obligations. Just you and I. Ad infinitum.  

I don’t know where I’m going with this and I don’t give a toss.  I’m content and that’s enough for now. 
Adieu. 

-T

Access deniedย 

Humira has been officially cock-blocked until I try and fail some old-school meds first. This is not really a big deal,  as I wasn’t the one insisting on Humira in the first place.  As of this morning I’m giving Plaquenil a try in addition to Arava which I’ve been on for a few months.  I really hope it helps as well as the Humira did. That’s the only real frustration here is that it WAS helping me quite a bit and now I have to start over. Meh, whatevers. 

I could have tried to get the drug company to foot the bill but I figured it wouldn’t be that big a deal to jump through a few hoops. Who knows,  maybe the old DMARDs will work just fine for me.  The annoying thing is that the older meds take a long time to really kick in and start working.  I’m having a minor flare a day before I would have been doing a Humira injection. Such is life I suppose. 

Time to compose myself,  take some meds and go to work. Have a lovely day folks!