19
Nov
10

Now what.


I have been gone awhile….

HEEEEELLLLLLOOOOOOOOOO!!!  Long time, no blog!

Insert old lady health rant here:

I have been feeling really under the weather. A few weeks ago I started to have more trouble getting around.  My feet had been giving me a lot of pain and the shoulders and hands but then my knees started to get really bad.  I was literally having a hard time walking.  Going up and down the stairs was brutal.  It turned a bit scary.  My mom came over and was like, WTF.  I hadn’t realized how horrible it looked to people who haven’t seen me because I had slowly gotten worse over the course of the month.  I knew that this was something other than my sulfite allergy because I had pretty much cut my eating down to chicken, steak, mashed potatoes and one or two veggies.  But I was getting worse by the day.  I have something called Raynaud’s Syndrome where I lose circulation in fingers on both hands.  When they get cold, they look like dead hooker hands.  Inappropriate?   Perhaps.  But true.  It has really turned aggressive though recently, even in my house and I have been walking around cleaning with mittens.  Perfect for dusting.  I got a new script for it, that seems to help a bit.  At least in the house. LOL  Right now I have one finger that is terminally freezing and I actually think it’s rather quirky and adorable.  And will come in handy to cool off a cocktail if I just stick my finger in there.    But yes, so other things were just getting worse, really fast.  I was having trouble putting on Cracker’s tights, making the kids lunches, brushing my hair, even driving my car was almost impossible!  What a crazy thing!

I hobbled myself over to a great new rheumatologist and she was actually quite amazing.  She listened to me and told me that she will not stop until we know what is making me sick and help me feel better.  WOW!  I feel like her and Dr. Unger are like the super heroes of medicine in my life.  Wonder-twin power activate…shape of….Rock star doctors!

Anyhoo, she checked me all out and took some xrays.  She said that everything preliminarily pointed to lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis but she wanted to do a bunch of blood tests.  Based on some other tests that Dr. Mike had taken, she was able to rule out Lupus.

So the other night, while I was out teaching voice lessons, Dr. Rockstar I will call her (cause she is) called Thor and broke the news that I tested “very positive” for Rheumatoid Arthritis.   I have to say that I was upset about it but I felt almost a sense of relief to know what was wrong with me.  I knew that there was something beyond the food allergy.  I just knew it.

I remember about  year ago, Thor and I took the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry and my shoulder was killing me.  I mean really painful.  So I called my old doctor, who btw, was a very attractive man who looks like a hot Bill Clinton and very cool, but didn’t really seem to want to help me out very much.  I called and told Dr. Clinton about my shoulder.  I said that it hurt when I raised my arm.  He said, “then don’t raise your arm.”  Mm hmm. And then he tried to give me anti-depressants.  HRUMPH.

So yeah, I guess there is a sense of relief that Dr. Mike found my crazy food allergy and Dr. Rockstar found this other thing.  I know that I have a lot going on right now but I think that I am totally on course now to feeling so much better.  I am going to continue to eat as pure as I can and even might try some water aerobics.  (No video allowed.) I started a new med yesterday for the RA and I already feel incredibly better.  I mean, REALLY better.  Like I can probably run up and down the stairs if I want 😉  If I want.  But I probably won’t want to.  Because I am a lazy ass.

I don’t know much about RA.  I didn’t do much research on any particular auto-immune disease because I didn’t know what I had and I didn’t want to freak myself out.  But I have to share this one story with you…

Yesterday Thor and I were lounging in our bedroom talking about the diagnosis and he had spent some time during the day researching on the internet.  I hadn’t really done that yet, cause I am kind of skiddish and most definitely an alarmist.  So we started to Google like big fat dorks next to each other on our respective Android smart phones and I search for “Rheumatoid Arthritis.”  I see a bunch of links and so I just randomly pick one and hit enter.

This is the first image I pull up that takes up the entire screen of my phone:

GGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Of COURSE that is the very first image I see when I am like, hmm…ok, let’s find out about what I have….hmmm….ok…….AAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

It’s not funny, that poor woman. But Thor and I laugh through pain and this was definitely a funny Heather moment and I couldn’t love Thor anymore than that moment, when he turned to me with laughing tears in his eyes and said, “Better blog that, honey.”

So here we are.  I have to continue to dodge the steroid bullet because I am supposed to start them and be on them for 3 months.  Heather+prednisone=

I know I have to do it. I know it will protect my joints.  I know it’s inevitable.  But I can’t sleep or act like a normal human being on it, so for now, I will blissfully ignore the inevitable.  “Oh, Look at that bird over there!!!!!”  (Heather slyly sneaks out stage left.)

On The Food Front

I am sick of cooking.

I am really bad at it.  It’s not getting better.  I am sick of going to restaurants and staring at my family.  I don’t like them when they are eating.  Last night I was shaking some of that pink antibiotic, stinky, icky crap that Bambi needs for a gum infection and the top wasn’t on and it flew all over the kitchen. Everyone was so un-phased and used to liquids/foods/other cooking objects flying around the kitchen when I am in it.  It was very business-as-usual and complacent as hell and I was mildly annoyed.

I am looking forward to a tequila and orange juice cocktail tonight.  That will be a highlight.

I also have some broth that I made this week that I have to haphazardly turn into a soup.  So hopefully the tequila will help me with that.

This weekend, I am planning what I am going to bring to my cousins for Thanksgiving…they are having it catered so it should be a sulfite orgy on the table.  Will sneak in covert clean food *wink*wink*

What is everyone else doing for the holiday meal?  please share!

Cheers!  It’s Friday!  This has been fun blogging, I missed it. I am thankful to have the use of my digits back and I love you all, my little Sulfite-nots.  Happy Weekend and a Blessed Thanksgiving!

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20 Responses to “Now what.”


  1. November 19, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Don’t let that picture scare you Heather!
    That’s what happens to the most severe Rheumatoid patients who never get treatment!
    You have Dr.Rockstar, who will manage your inflammation!
    If you have trouble sleeping, I can fix that for you 🙂
    -Dr Mike

  2. November 19, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    LOLOLOL I TOTALLY know that is worst case scenario. The humor is in the fact that I probably could have not found a worse first picture to introduce me into the world of RA hahaha
    and yes, I will definitely take you up on that *wink*

  3. 3 Regina
    November 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Hi Heather!

    While we’re health ranting…

    I’ve always wondered why my digits did “that” but now I realize I probably have Raynaud’s Syndrome. Thanks for the info. I never looked into it, just got a tad concerned if it lasted for an extended period. My Mom always worried I was diabetic or at risk of becoming diabetic, blaming it on poor circulation. Maybe it explains why, when my bunionectomy was healing, the podiatrist was amazed and dumbfounded that my sutures (on the feet of a very healthy 30 year old) were healing slower than all of her 70+ patients.

    I honestly feel very very sorry for you as I have a major addiction to food. The whole sulfite thing seems nightmarish to me.

    I once heard: if you can read, you can cook; follow recipes and modify at will.

    I know absolutely nothing about sulfite allergies but could any of this be helped by a non-meat or raw food regimen?

    Hugs,
    Regina

    • November 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm

      I am really glad you stopped in! Because, yes, I was freaked out when my fingers first started to do this about 2 years ago. It really only happened a few times whenit got REALLY cold. Last year it seemed to escalate so I told my old dr and they diagnosed it and told me it wasn’t a big deal. I was worried that I might have to get my fingers chopped off or something totally paranoid and creepy. It was a red flag to me thought that it became so severe this year. One day, in September it was like sweater weather, if that, and it was so bad already. Now it’s out of control. I am on a med now for it that seems to help but it makes me a little sluggish and I guess that is because it lowers BP. I take it at night now and it sure helps to fall asleep! LOL
      I encourage you to mention something to your DR next time you go to confirm it. I always have a bunch of gloves everywhere and when it happens, I run them under warm water and it helps them to circulate. You can also get those little hand warmers if you know you are going to be outside for awhile. I have thought about eating raw and cutting out meat, but I really NEED chicken and meat right now I think. I am not eating much. I am interested in seeing where my eating adventures will go. I may try to cut out gluten and possibly all dairy. I don’t know. All I know is right now I want a big*ss burrito and a margarita. Not gonna happen. Make sure to subscribe and come back! It’s not just for sulfite-nots around here!
      XO
      Heather

      • 5 Regina
        November 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm

        Yeah, it’s been happening to me since I was a kid. But, it doesn’t happen often. Gloves actually don’t work much for me. I have to use mittens for my hands to actually warm up or hold them under warm water -which can also be a tad painful. I also invest in those pocket warmers you can buy for $1 at Wallgreens. For toes, I’ve just layered wool socks and house shoes and massaged them and wiggled and done dance-ish movement w/ them til they came around (or on a few occasions I’ve put bare feet right by or practically in the fireplace or campfire). So, since it’s occasional and seems to be tolerable and sort of manageable, I’m not gonna mention to doc or try to get drugs for it. Those occurrences are a handful a year.

        Why do you think you NEED chicken and meat? What about legumes, fish and veggies for protein?

  4. November 19, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Dude, that sucks 😦
    My dad has Reynaud’s and wears battery-powered heated gloves in the winter. And he has automatic start on his car. Just throwing that out there for some ammo if you want it and Thor is giving you flack.

    I’ve seen lots of RA and never anything that bad. So all in all, I’m glad you’re one step closer to feeling normal. Smooches!

  5. 7 Julie
    November 19, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Well, that’s pretty craptastic. I’m glad they figured out about the RA…wish it wasn’t something so…disfiguring. And I feel for you on the food thing. That totally sucks.

  6. November 20, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Oh, Heather! Curtis just got diagnosed with gout, a form of RA, and I am still a little freaked out about it. I took away bacon (NOT THE BACON, PLEASE!!!??) and sometimes it helps. But they recommend a sulfite free diet for gout too.

    You asked what are we doing for TG meal? Well…we could have turkey, potatoes and veggies, but I’m soooo disappointed we can’t have stuffing. I LOVED stuffing. It was so easy, and it was stand by friend for a bunch of recipes. I’m going to try to substitute hominy..but something tells me that is just not going to be the same. And it is NOT. And I’m pretty done the eating of the turkey, seeing how we’ve had three in the last month and will have to have on next week and we’ve been given two other turkeys too. I’m needing to find new and creative ways to have turkey.

    I love your blog, and I hope you can keep up with your stories, even if your fingers are in the form of cold dead hooker fingers. 🙂 Glad the new meds are helping.

    • November 20, 2010 at 2:02 am

      Gout! The rich man’s disaease! (My dad has that so we make fun of him….even though it isn’t really…funny. i’ll Shut up now.) Henry VIII had that and that’s why they call it that. Its very painful. Dad takes a pill for it and its fine. I make a whole chicken a week and I think I am starting to cluck. You r a good wife to support him with all of this…it’s so hard….yes, keep on checking in…if u subscribe, u can get them automatically…have fun at turkey day and tell me how it goes!

  7. 11 Stephanie
    November 20, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Heather, glad you found out what it is that is bothering you! When you described the symptoms, I was not surprised to hear that it is RA. My dad has that . . . as I told you he was dx in high school. The photo is what happens if not treated. Take care of yourself, get the treatment you need, and you will feel better. If you need anything, please do not hesitate to call me! Glad you are feeling better!!!

    • November 20, 2010 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks, Steph! I feel so much better already after the meds!!! I really cheated last night too and ate some cheese and crackers at my cousins and so far, nothing. Hm……very interesting…….
      XOXO

  8. 13 Terri Chandler
    November 20, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Wow Heather, So sorry to hear you have been so sick. I was looking forward to your daily recipe posts and then low and behold you have not been around. That would explain it. Glad they figured it out and glad your feeling better.
    For the holidays my daughter and new son in law are wanting to have dinner at their house so she is trying to make it as “mom” friendly as possible.
    We have found a turkey that has nothing added. I found a bread recipe I can eat so we are making our own stuffing. I have also discovered some all natural, organic, range free, chicken broth, (this will work well for turkey too) to make gravy. The green bean cassarole is really getting me, but I might just make some with no mushrooms in it. (got a great recipe off food network) Then my savior of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. I have found a recipe for pumpkin pie so we are going to work on that also. Really keeping my fingers crossed all works well. Hope you can come up with some good things to eat. I will let you know how it all goes when we get finished, and I can still breath. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • November 20, 2010 at 3:46 pm

      Terri, I am drooling reading this! What brand of broth did you find? I am getting REALLY sick of making my own….I think I make mashed potatoes 2 times a week, I live off of them. Sweet pots, too. I am not sick of them yet, though, and I would like to that the butter for that LOL Would love to hear your pumpkin pie recipe if you don’t mind sharing….Have a fantastic holiday!
      XO

  9. 15 Stephanie
    November 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    So could it be just the RA and not the allergy? Hmm???

    Oh, and if you hear about a brand of chicken broth without onion, I would love to know what it is!!! Really don’t want to take the time to make chicken broth myself. 😉

  10. November 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Naw, I think I definitely have the allergy but maybe the meds that I am help with the reaction?
    If I find the broth, I will let you know!!!

  11. 17 Jude
    November 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Hey girl.. weirdest thing. After you last blog before New York trip, I almost commented back and told you to go to a rheumetologist because many of your symptoms sounded very much like my Dad’s who actually had Raynaud’s and Schleraderma. I am glad you found a doctor who will work with you through this.

    As for the holidays — I thought it would just be my “big guy” and I as our sons were headed to their girlfriends — but alas, they have all announced that will, in fact, be headed our way for dinner. Now this is probably because I do love to cook and (would love to be your personal chef) but since my sensitivities/allergies have increased cooking has become more of a challenge. I plan to get a WF Organic Turkey – which I will roast simply with sea salt and slices of lemon, organic bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprounts and other veggies. Dessert will be assorted pies which I probably will not eat — have pretty much given up on sugar. If you want any recipes I have a lot of good basic easy ones that would work to take to your sister’s. T

    Thoughts and best wishes….Jude

  12. 19 Mari
    November 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Glad you found an answer – but know how it sucks to hear “What! I have something else!” It’s a relief and a downer all at the same time. I’m in Santa Monica visiting my son and he’s making a Thanksgiving dinner Wednesday night (he’s a very good cook) then I fly home on Thursday morning for my traditional Thanksgiving dinner with some friends and all their kids, friends of kids, grandkids, various dogs and cats.

    My love to you and yours dears.

    -Mari

  13. November 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Mari, have fun in Santa Monica! I wouls so rather be here than here in the rainy, cold Chicago weather. Your home Turkey Day sounds so fun!!! Have a blessed one XO Heather


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Heather Moran

Crazed sulfite-free woman.

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