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 šŸ™‚

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

The same old troubled watersĀ 

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. 

Muh Chemical Profile

I’ve been taking various central nervous system drugs since I was a wee Berserker of seven or eight. My current cocktail, including non-psych meds is:

Risperdal 3mg daily
Ritalin XR 20 mg daily
Wellbutrin XR 150 mg daily (beginning tomorrow morning)
Metropolol 25 mg daily
BenazeprilĀ  6.5 mg daily
Also occasional ibuprofen for joint pain and I keep a few vistaril on hand for the times when sleep is elusive.

Some folks tell me it’s horrible that I take all these meds. I don’t think it is myself. Aside from them working at keeping me sane, organized and not hypertensive or achy I don’t really feel like I’m ‘on’ anything. I’d like to see you manage arthritis with no analgesics.

At some point in my life I have had these experiences with the following drugs:
Abilify- Made me very foggy and was rather unremarkable.
Adderall XR- was great for my attention span but revved my heart like crazy .
Buspar- didn’t do crap for my anxiety and made me feel blah.
Celexa- kept me hypomanic before being discontinued when the psych unit was bringing me down from a feral lexapro induced mania.
Depakote- Acute psychotic reaction. Tried to start a revolt in the crisis ward. Fun stuff.
Effexor- Absolutely despised it. Felt like a zombie dipped in shit. Plus I had the most horrible withdrawal. Ever hear of the brain shivers? Because I never had.
Geodon- Good results for pulling me out of madness. It does scary stuff to the heart though. Wouldn’t repeat it.
Lamictal- helped at first but crapped out fast.
Lithium- blunted my emotions profoundly. I couldn’t cry while I was on it. I can now. I’m glad that the side effects outweighed the benefits enough to try something else.
Provigil- great for ADHD but needs a time release coat or something as it poops out too quickly.
Tegretol- took at the same time as Geodon. It’s a seizure med so it’ll basically make you kinda drunk and disoriented like it did for me.
Zyprexa- made me fat. But slayed my psychosis like nothing else. Calmed me the fuck down fast.
Lexapro- induced a terrifying series of rapid cycling manic episodes. I am still cobbling my life back together from this period.
Strattera- didn’t do crap for my ADHD. made me feel really sluggish and ditzy at the higher doses.
Risperdal- works better for me than any drug ever has in terms of keeping me stable without completely zonking me into oblivion. It is a good med for the  bipolar/ADHD combo in particular. However, at the higher doses (6mg and up) it can do a number on your hormones. I only take three mg and my doctor is hesitant to raise it.

As with a great many things, results may and will vary. This is just what I got out of these particular drugs.  Hope you have found this entertaining and informative.

Obligatory Update

Well, I’m hanging with things to the best of my ability. I’m not in a terrible state but not exactly walking tall either. My arm is less painful but still awry. It doesn’t cause a lot of pain but just feels funny and weak when I do things like open doors and other things that cause rotation.

That said, money and whatnot is pretty tight as I haven’t had a job in a few weeks. I’m looking but not having much success. I keep telling myself to just keep the hell at it. It makes me feel really icky being unemployed and the stress has really been weighing on me. I’m holding on, but I’ve been having some mini fits and depressive periods.  Part of it is that my boyfriend has been in Alaska since Wednesday and I’ve grown quite tired of my own company.

Having two cats and a dog helps. They give me joy with their wacky antics. My man gets back Sunday night so at least I have that to look forward to.

The lousy thing is that I’m still somewhat injured in spite of all the antiinflammatory drugs and Neurontin.  A lot of things I can do with no problem but certain types of motions cause it to pinch. I don’t have any real intense neuropathy going on, more of just a general unease and lingering weakness.

I’m looking for a sooner appointment with the Neurologist as the first one I could get is nearly a month away. My nicotine patches arrived And… Too damned strong. I had to take it off after thirty minutes because I was literally tripping on nicotine.

So yeah, a few setbacks of late. Also, I haven’t been taking anything for ADHD because of blood pressure issues. This is another situation that is resolving itself extremely slowly and is taking a rather decent toll on the larger picture. Can’t really do anything theatrical with a gimp hand so… I’m just sweating it out by my damn self. Mostly. My dear friend took me out to have a beer last night which was very nice.

So yeah, in the holding pattern of holding patterns. Trying to get my shit together and break away from the mire.