Back to traditional medicine

Since my last post my disease has steadily gotten worse.

I’ve tried countless supplements. A Physicians Elemental Diet for 14 days to reset my entire digestive system. Going back on the AIP diet. All to no avail.

This is by far, the worst my disease has been. I called my rheumatologist and discussed going back on meds. I requested trying Xeljanz again. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on meds and a couple years since trying Xeljanz. My hope is that my body will respond.

Starting immune suppressing drugs during a pandemic is not what I want to do, but I know my body, and know it’s time to try and stop the disease progression and damage it’s causing.

The benefit of Xeljanz is that it’s a daily pill so if I do get sick with COVID, or anything else for that matter, I can stop it temporarily and let my immune system fight whatever it needs to.

And speaking of COVID, I just had the antibodies test done to see if I had it and was asymptomatic. Having been in a house with people that were sick, I would have thought I was going to get it. I’m curious if I had it and that’s why my RA symptoms have gotten so much worse. Any virus, bacterial infection, or pathogens can aggravate symptoms by causing an immune response. More on that to come when my labs come back.

In the meantime I’m waiting to figure out the cost of the meds and what kind of assistance I’ll get to pay for them. I started a new job on December 21st which has been a God send allowing me to work from home.

I joined a nice gym where I can go and try to keep up my workouts and have some equipment at home for days I just can’t go and do a big workout.

I continue mindfulness and meditation to try and keep a positive mindset. Some days are hard though. On those days I’m working on allowing myself to cry and accept that I can have bad days and that’s ok too.

Don’t take your health for granted and love on each other.

Always something new

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis it’s that I’m still learning.

There’s always something new to figure out. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty good. My pain is manageable (although nonexistent would be better), I’ve been able to workout hard, and I have been fairly healthy otherwise which is great considering I’m on immune suppressing drugs.

So what’s new? The last few weeks there’s strange things happening with my feet. My toes are either numb or they feel like they’re dislocated. I’ve read about both and they can occur with RA. Who knew?

Now for about a week I’ve been holding fluid in my feet and ankles. When it started I chalked it up to stress and being on my feet more than normal.

I gave it a week before emailing my doctor. She said it could be a side effect from the meds. So I have to stop taking my Xeljanz for a week and see what happens.

I’ve also read where RA can cause edema also so I guess we’re just trying to rule out the meds being the issue.

I admit I’m a little worried about how I’ll feel without the meds since they worked so quickly when I started them I worry if they will stop working as fast.

I guess we’ll see.

On a positive note I’m eating a ketogenic diet to see if it helps with pain and inflammation. I’ve not been on it long enough to know if it will help, but I’m hopeful.

And I just finished a 12 week workout program that was pretty intense. I was able to do most every exercise without modifying it and I feel good about that.

I am still learning. Every day is something new.

Love on each other and make every day count!

#makeitcount #curearthritis


Sometimes you feel weak. It’s a feeling that I don’t want to dwell on.

Taking meds for my disease has provided me days of feeling weak. I take the meds, feel sick for about two days, can’t eat, and I’m weak.

When I finally got myself up and got downstairs this morning I was exhausted. Compared to months ago before the disease snowballed when I was hiking miles with my family. I sat down and rested.

As morning turned to noon I decided that I needed to get up and try to go to the gym.

When I finally got there I wasn’t sure if I could even lift. I grabbed a template online and decided it was leg day. My wrists were hurting so bad today I was afraid to do upper body work.

I grit through the stretching and as my workout continued and my joints warmed up I managed to get some relief.

It wasn’t my best leg day. There were no personal bests today. But I showed up. And I did what I could do.

I came home and saw this Facebook memory. It hit home today. I’m not weak.

Love each other ❤

#curearthritis #rasucks #rheumatoidarthritis #cantkeepmedown

Why RA needs a cure

I’ve had a couple funny responses when telling people about rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

I think there’s a general lack of knowledge which is to be expected when you lack personal experience.

I had little idea what it was until I was affected. I’ve mentioned it and heard responses like “it sucks getting old doesn’t it?” RA has nothing to do with age.

rheu·ma·toid ar·thri·tis



a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles


As my symptoms have snowballed I’m becoming more painfully aware, pun intended, of just how serious RA is. I had no idea.

Tonight I’m resting through the side effects of the medicine I’ve been prescribed. A medicine that will take months to work, if it works at all. A medicine that is fairly toxic. A medicine that may help but cannot cure.

So for those who don’t know what RA is here is an accurate depiction from rawarrior.

I’ve described my pain as feeling like my bones are being twisted or crushed. RA Warrior uses the analogy of joints being sawed off. Either are accurate.

I’ll be looking for ways to fight for a cure.

I’m appreciative of the information that others share with me from my posts.

Love on each other ❤


New normal.

I’ve had to do it before. Learn to adjust to my “new normal.” I’m not very good at it. I’m stubborn and want to have control of my surroundings, my body, my health.

When my RA symptoms snowballed they really snowballed. It has caught me off guard. I’ve been in pain for several months straight.

I was so relieved to wake up this past Monday to very little pain. I didn’t want to get too excited. Tuesday morning brought the same. Then Wednesday too. I felt like myself. I wasn’t hurting to the point of tears when I got out of bed each day.

Relief. Maybe it was starting to go into remission.

Then Wednesday evening came. I could feel it begin to flare. Thursday morning. The pain was back and the swelling. Like it had never left.

I am grateful for the few days that I got a reprieve. I was able to workout each day with the intensity I’m used to.

I must learn to appreciate the days where I feel like myself and somehow hold onto that energy for the bad days because this is my new normal.

I started back on the Methotrexate since the pneumonia is gone. It definitely is not a pleasant drug. I feel fatigued, foggy headed and a bit sick for about 48 hours after taking it.

I’m really hoping my doctor will have a better solution on my next visit.

In the meantime I met with my nutritionist about my “diet.” I researched the blood type diet, and although it sounded promising I’ve been loosely following it for about a month with little improvement in my symptoms.

We discussed a ketogenic diet. I’ve been researching its effects on RA caused inflammation and was considering trying it.

We discussed it and she felt it would not be a good choice for me right now. I always appreciate her insight and concern for me and my health.

We discussed a “paleo” diet. And I’m not talking paleo like on Pinterest…hey let’s make paleo muffins.

It’s changing my eating to absolutely no processed foods. So goodbye snicker doodle protein shakes in the morning!

Hello (even) cleaner eating. I’m already gluten free so that part is easy. Now I’m excluding all grains, legumes and dairy. I will be eating fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, eggs, meat and seafood.

Hoping for a positive result in my pain and inflammation.

I’m very fortunate to have a husband that I can lean on. I’m not used to being “needy” but lately I have been leaning on him for physical and emotional support.

I’m blessed with family and friends who are here for me.

Cherish your health. You never know when your normal will be changed.


Working through the emotional toll of being in constant pain is tough. It’s hard to be upbeat when it went from isolated and manageable pains to chronic pain that has brought me to tears.

It was a big deal to give up on natural treatments and start taking the meds. I’ve been advised that the methotrexate (MTX) will take time to work. Hoping and praying that it will and with little side effects.

I finally got the mindset I needed to start drug treatment only to be knocked down again.

I was sick when I started the MTX. I didn’t know that I should have waited. My rheumatologist gave me a Z pack for the sinus infection and said to go ahead and take it. Not ideal I guess but we needed to treat the infection.

I never felt like I was 100% better after finishing the antibiotics. The cough just lingered. I’ve been exhausted all the time but kept going trying to balance rest with the movement that it’s so important for relief from the pain and stiffness.

At the urging of my husband I emailed my rheumatologist yesterday about the cough and she said I needed a chest x-ray. Off to Patient First because I couldn’t get in to my primary doc.

Doc said it’s pneumonia. Stronger antibiotics were prescribed along with a new inhaler.

And now I have to stop the MTX treatment for my RA until the pneumonia clears.

It’s mentally exhausting. I feel like it’s one step forward and two back. But I will not lay down and give up. I’m going to come back stronger.

My heart goes out to everyone that has chronic illness. Stay strong!