Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter. . .

Happy Easter!  Or perhaps I should say "inappropriately Happy Easter!!  Lately, I've taken to being "inappropriately happy". I didn't even know you could be inappropriately happy - at least not until I looked up the side effects for the new medication I am on for the as yet undecided typed of arthritis I have been struggling with.  (The current thought is now Rheumatoid Arthritis- I see the rheumatologist in a few weeks - I am holding out for a weird virus or temporary something rare - rather than chronic auto immune disease)

Let's ponder that for a moment, shall we. . .  I feel like complete crap-joint pain, swelling, stiffness, fatigue beyond belief - and then I start a new medication that makes me feel, well, HUMAN, for the first time in weeks, and apparently I should be aware -  I can become inappropriately happy, as a result of taking this drug!  Thank you Captain Obvious!  This is not the side effect I am worried about, but good to let me know.  Just in case I need to dial down the happiness if it gets really out of control.

I am feeling better, I know it's somewhat temporary due primarily to the prednisone I am taking. That sh*t is powerful - and also destructive.  It eats away at bones, impairs sleep, raises blood pressure, and makes you cranky.  But, wow - it really works.  And at this point, I will take it.  Anything to have some semblance of my life back.

I am (very grudgingly) making some changes in my life.  Working less, sleeping more, practicing meditation -emphasis on the practice - "quieting my mind" may just be the hardest thing I am asked to do in a day.  I cannot put on a ball glove, which causes me a great deal of grief and sadness, but I am blessed by amazing parents who run my practices, while still allowing me to "motivate" the girls on my team with a few well placed shouts.  Running is out, and I am trying to appreciate what walking can do for my body.  I am starting  some water based exercise next week, and hoping yoga will also become a part of my regular routine.  Baby steps, really, since I still am oh-so-tired, nor completely pain free.  Life is different.

I am lucky - I have a great GP now, and a relatively quick referral to a specialist ( nothing to sneeze at in long wait time BC), and incredibly supportive circle of family, friends, church family, and colleagues.  That makes this all manageable - this is why I am inappropriately happy - and not miserable, at least most of the time.

 So a very Happy Easter to everyone - it is after all, a time for new life, renewal and hope.

And I will take that every time.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Winds of Change

So, I have been at a loss as to what to blog about over the past while.  I am not feeling overly trans-formative at the moment, although there are lots of changes happening in my life.

As you know from reading my blog, I have been struggling over the past while while with an assortment of aches and pains, and what I thought were overuse injuries from my run/strength training program.  Unfortunately, there is more to it than I initially thought, and for me that means some big adjustments ahead.

It started with joint pain and swelling - ankles, hips, knees - first one, than both sides of my body.  Must be too much training, I thought, so I dialed it back a bit, but the pain increased, and moved to my wrists and hands, as well.  Morning stiffness, of the kind that means it takes about an hour and a half just to get moving has joined the party, along with an almost overwhelming fatigue.  The "I feel like a brand new mom times about 10 000"  kind of fatigue.  On the plus side (not really, but I need a win) I have lost about 13 pounds over the last few weeks, with no exercise of any kind - for the first time in my life I can honestly say I am not hungry.  Now I know something is wrong.

It seems that I have developed some type of inflammatory arthritis, autoimmune in nature.  The initial thinking was reactive arthritis, perhaps in response to an infection.  Unfortunately, there is no infection we can identify, and it may be that we are looking at rheumatoid arthritis instead, or another of the over 100 types of arthritis that can impact any one of us at any time.  I admit - it is pretty overwhelming and scary.  I have lots of pain, and the tiredness has really sucked a lot of the fun out of life at the moment.  I have cut back on work, running is out of the question - even swimming one lap is out of reach at the moment.  Coaching softball is going to require a lot of help and support from my team and their parents - I can't hold or swing a bat properly right now.  I am trying to be patient while waiting to see a specialist and figure out what is going on.  I can feel the winds of change begin to blow.

It has meant some difficult changes.  I am not super great at taking it easy.  I miss running, and working out.  The simplest things exhaust me.  It sucks.  And yet I am deeply aware that there are so many things much worse that I could have to deal with.  Finding a balance daily is keeping me mindful - not such a bad thing.

So, for now, I don't have a lot of funny adventures from my workout and weight loss world.  That will return, when I am just a bit more settled, and know more about what this may mean long term.  I am certain it will work out, and that I will find a way to achieve my goals for my health - even if those goals may need just a bit of renovation.

Stay tuned.