Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Take It Easy On The Knitting

That was the advice of my Rheumatologist today, "just lay off for a while" she said. Not a good news day for me. Today was my quarterly appointment with Dr. L and we talked about lots of things including my foot. The foot I broke two bones in two months ago and walked on it for one month before seeking treatment is not doing well. I wear a walking cast ninety percent of the time but during the ten percent I find the foot very painful.

I had new x-rays today and Dr. L. informed me that what was actually hurting was the adjacent toe that had arthritis in it. Not your run of the mill arthritis but a "particularly virulent strain of rheumatoid arthritis" is how she put it.

I also had some blood work done a week ago and seems that my immune system is over active and when I get stressed or injured it "sends out the little soldiers to fight" and according to the good doctor, "doesn't know when to quit". What does all this mean in real time, well it means that we have to stop the immune system from doing that because it's destroying my joints and I will loose more than my hip, which has already been replaced.

The treatment options are really limited here and the first thing we're trying is six days of high dosage of Prednisone on a tapered schedule. I've done this before and the side effects aren't pretty. I get all puffy, irregular heart beat (which will send my monitor crazy), insomnia, hyperactive, and lots of abdominal pain. But I guess for those few days I have no choice, I need to walk pain free again soon.

If this doesn't work, then there is the cortisone shot right in the foot, which I really, really don't want. It hurts, I'm a wimp.

The third treatment option, the one that scares me the most is the one she actually recommends the as the best. This would be chemotherapy in the form of a drug called Methotrexate. The side effects of this drug are pretty scary.

I'm not making any rash decisions here without doing a lot more research. I do know for sure that I don't want to go through another joint replacement surgery, the first one was plenty for me. I don't like hospitals, I don't find the treatment of patients in most hospitals to be very good and after what I went through with my Mom recently, I'm staying far away from them.

Having said all that, the heart monitor has been in place one week now and beeps at all hours of the day and night. I guess my heart does stuff even though I'm not aware of it so I guess this two week monitor is a good thing. The downside to this loop monitor is that I have to phone in the results nightly and it takes about 45 minutes to send through the phone line. That of course means no one can phone us during that time. So anyone of my friends phoning after 9:30 at night, too bad I guess.

I am cheating a little and working on my messenger bag and it should be ready in a few more days. Meanwhile, thanks to Amanda Cathleen for the tip of the Puffy Paint.

That's kind of hard to find here in Toronto since there aren't a lot of craft shops left but I did locate some in the little town of Haliburton, Ontario, which is close to our cabin. I will try it out on a pair of socks first before putting it on my good felted slippers....

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Blogger Chrysalis Angel said...

Ask your doctor if Humira is a possibility for you, where you are. They are finding success with it. It is a drug that needs injecting and I don't know your history, nor am I medical personnel any longer, but can understand the pain and damage done by arthritis. I did did the same thing with my one foot. Broke two bones in it and kept walking.

Thank you for visiting my site. It was nice to see a comment from you. Your cookies look delicious. I'll have to think up a post to show the wonderful strawberries I picked this year. Best to you.

July 9, 2007 at 6:25 AM  

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