Through dark waters

I suppose that isn’t the most uplifting title, but such are the times and trials of late.  I’m on my feet and still fighting. I’m trying to not just bitch incessantly about things as all that really achieves is getting me MORE worked up. So that said I haven’t had the best of times lately. 
My RA is about as well controlled as I can hope for right now. The methotrexate is rough but pretty good at controlling my symptoms. Since I started this higher dose I’ve almost completely removed prednisone from my daily meds. I’ve done two three day bursts in the last month and a half which is not very much at all so naturally I’m happy about that.  I’m fairly certain that my bussing and barbacking days are nearly over. It’s just too damn much physical strain. I can’t keep up with it like I used to and I’m killing myself trying. Going to give serving a try as well as explore a few other things. 

So yeah, RA is currently alright. Bipolar disorder issues, not so much. I’m not having any mania or anything like that. I just frequently get really sad. Lately my phone just doesn’t ring, no-one comes over and I can’t find anyone to talk to or hang out with me and it’s kind of eating at me. I’m doing my best to be my own best friend here. Having the animals here helps, but I’m still getting pretty stir crazy being by myself all day everyday. 

Not badly depressed. Just frequently sad and lonely and morose. Agitated because I don’t know what to do with myself. I have to figure something out, I’m home alone for another four weeks. 

I got so bored I even set up an Instagram account. That one shocked even me. I don’t have many good pictures but perhaps I can start taking some. It’s just more internet crap to amuse myself with. Whatevers.

I don’t mean to make it sound like things are terrible. I’m just starved for the little things. Someone to hold me together when I fall apart, that sort of thing. I’ve been laying on our sofa a lot because if you lay against the back it kind of feels like someone spooning with you. 

I’m just doing my best to be there for myself and trying to properly maintain. I shouldn’t be counting the days but I totally am, of course. Here’s hoping for a better tomorrow.
Delicately yours,

Thom

Of malaise and persistence…

Things have been rougher than usual the last month. As  I compose this post  I find myself back in a state of relative peace. I’ve only regained my footing in the last five days. The Iron Maiden show gave me a much needed boost as the three weeks leading up to it were pure depressive hell.

I was fine at , say my job. That kept me plenty busy. It’s just the down time that’s been eating at me. I never know what in the hell to do with myself. I mean, I haven’t become a total house ape. I go for a good long bicycle ride fairly regularly and try to get out and do stuff with friends. It is difficult though with so many conflicting schedules and whatnot.

RA-wise  I’m continuing a trend for the better. I’ve been off the steroids for over two weeks and  I’m trying to keep it up. Since the methotrexate was raised I’ve noticed a reduction in  symptoms overall. Which is damn good because taking the stuff is harsh enough that I’d really feel cheated if it weren’t freaking effective. It plus the Enbrel seems like a pretty potent combination.  Last injection was a real Bear though. I think  I went too deep and muscled it. Most painful shot I’ve ever given myself. I started growl-screaming halfway through. My leg was sore at work all day ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Between RA and being Bipolar it kind of feels like  I never really get to relax. I mean, I shouldn’t make it sound like  I have it that bad. I’m still strong enough to work and  I’m going to try to make something of myself. If only  I could figure out what. I really have no idea what I’d be good at. Anyhow, the meds are doing me pretty well at present. The steroids were really throwing me off kilter for a while and  I’m happy to be off of them. 

Two days from today will make a month my Lover has been gone. Also, another month until he returns so yay for halfway there.I was hysterically depressed for the first three weeks but Iron Maiden plus time with my friends helped get my ass back among the living. It was an incredible experience. Obviously lots of tracks from The Book of Souls as it’s TBOS tour but also a ton of classics including:

Wrathchild, Children of the Damned, The Trooper, Powerslave, Fear of the Dark, Iron Maiden,  The Number of The Beast, Blood Brothers and Wasted Years.

Lots of fascinating people watching and my Buddy Justin came with me. His ticket was my birthday gift to him and we had an absolute blast. Went to a Killer Pizza place and had a little pre show meal then it was off to The Amalie Arena to see Metal’s Finest. They were top notch and sounded positively amazing. Pure professionals.

So yeah, I’m hanging in there. Got myself some great memories and my Holy Pilgrimage to see my backpatch band is complete. To anyone who may be reading, all I want for my birthday is an Iron Maiden T-shirt or two (available on the official Iron Maiden website)with North American tour dates on the back as  I was too strapped to buy one at the show ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hey, don’t hate me for trying. I’m just a happy crazy person who just achieved a major Bucket List goal ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s about all  I have for now except a photo from the Iron Maiden facebook page. My Buddy Justin and  I are in the upper midsection below the right spotlight. 

Until we meet again,

Thom

Of distance and longing

To say  I’m having a rough time of late would be quite fair. The usual physical and mental troubles plus the fact of my Darling Man being in Alaska for two months. I’m almost two weeks in and my public face is still pretty good, though it has been wearing on me something fierce. I’m going to work, taking care of our Dog and two Cats and just going through the day to day motions. At some point every day when  I’m alone (usually when I get home from work)  I curl up in our bed and start sobbing. It passes quickly enough, but every day without fail since he left.

I’ve been flirting with escapism, wanting to delete this blog, my facebook, my myrateam.com account and I haven’t done so. Why? Because I know it’ll not really accomplish anything outside of worrying people. I realize that a lot of people care about me but when  I get in a depressed state  I just want to shut out everything under and including the Sun. I know that that’s when  I need to reach out and  I’m slowly getting better about this.

Apparently RA can cause or exacerbate depression. I read this and  I’m like ‘Oh joy.’. I have to at this point stress that I am mostly alright, just having a rough go of things. My joint issues have if anything gotten more pronounced in the last year but they haven’t stopped me yet. I am especially fortunate to have discovered myrateam.com , it’s a really good resource for people with RA. It’s nice to have a place where  I can vent among people in the same situation who  can relate and offer insights and or encouragement. 

So yeah, I’m not going anywhere, as this blog is a major stabilizing factor in my life. I’m hanging in there. I’m in the weeds, and  I hurt. Sometimes terribly. I try not to be that flaky person always bitching and moaning about something be it physical or mental. But if this blog was intended for anything it’s precisely this. More than anything it’s for me to help with sorting myself out. I tend to be a person who suffers privately but  I’m trying to get more open with other people about what  I think and feel. Because sometimes people want to help me. What’s more, sometimes I want to let them ๐Ÿ˜‰

I promise to keep doing my best. 93

-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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

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.