Tag Archives: RA

3/8/17 Mom’s Return Visit to RA Doc

Today, Mom had her two-month follow up appointment with her RA doctor.

In case you missed it, let me recap: In January, Mom was diagnosed with early-stage Rheumatoid Arthritis, a progressive auto-immune disease. Mom was given some medications (that were very expensive) and caused her some distressing side effects. Chris (cb, http://www.contrafactual.com) sent Mom the links to some videos by Dr. Terry Wahls. He also advised Mom to pick up the book, “The Wahls Protocol“. cb has blogged about this before, and Mom was really interested!

Mom watched the videos, bought the book, and she and Dad embarked on some significant lifestyle changes; including, but not limited to, eliminating inflammation trigger foods like gluten, dairy, eggs, and sugar; ingesting a whole lot of fresh fruits and vegetables; incorporating Juice Plus+ into their diet (also see cb’s blog for this), and returning to the gym for regular exercise. 

Back to today. The doctor started the appointment by telling Mom she looked great and said that she seemed to be doing very well on the medication. Mom took a deep breath and said, “No.” She then handed the book to the doctor, explained that the medication really bothered her stomach, and her wallet (!), and she had decided to take on an all natural approach. They talked some more, and Mom proudly said that she’d lost 12 pounds since she’d last seen him (the doctor) and anticipated losing more weight, and that she felt, “90% better”. Mom said if she can’t reverse the RA, she’d like to stop it dead in its tracks!

In a nutshell, the doctor was very happy with Mom’s progress and suggested a “wait-and-see” approach. He said that Mom had to closely monitor her symptoms and make sure she wasn’t ignoring any signs that the RA was getting worse. They discussed this some more, and he also suggested that she slowly and carefully try out – one at a time – the eliminated foods to ascertain which ones were the triggers. He then reiterated that she looked great and to come back in four months, but not to hesitate if she needed an appointment sooner.

Mom is over the moon happy and gave me so many scritches and belly rubs when she came home! She kissed my nose and said, “Maggie, let’s try some scrambled eggs for lunch!” I can’t wait for a table scrap!

Please check out cb’s blog at contrafactual.com for more  information on Wahls, Juice Plus+, and just because it’s a fun website with lots of sci-fi and fluffy cats.

Woof! Thanks for reading!

Love, Maggie

 

 

1/26/17 Mom writes: Kicking RA’s Butt!!

Hi, it’s Liz. Maggie has been kind enough to lend me her blog so I can post about my RA journey so far.

First, though, I need to tell you how much my physical activity had fallen off.

3 years ago, I was a Tae Kwon Do student, active with a personal trainer at the gym, and went horseback riding and bike riding with Jamie whenever we could.

A little at a time, I noticed it at the gym first, my ability to do the exercises diminished. Also, I had a sharp increase of pain in Tae Kwon Do. Sitting on horseback became impossible – much less mounting the horse in the first place. The bike was out of the question due to hip pain. Eventually I had to stop all these activities. Soon, I could not sit, sleep, or walk properly because of pain. The pain in my left hip was to the point that I was limping or dragging my leg behind me. My toes were awful and I was limited in my mobility, limited in my choice of footwear, and unable to stand on tiptoe.

The weight came. Boy, did it ever. I’m only five foot one (and a half!) and so, being small, the weight looked and felt enormous. Then came my RA diagnosis. I had such a difficult time walking after riding in the car that Jim advised me to ask my doctor for a handicap placard. I couldn’t believe how quickly my life had degenerated to this.

On January 3, I saw an RA specialist who kept me on Celebrex and put me on Hydroxychloroquine. He advised me that he would evaluate me in three months, because it would take about 10 weeks for the meds to kick in and make me feel better. Oh. Great.

Now, I have been in contact with cb from http://www.contrafactual.com, and he strongly urged me to get the book, The Wahls Protocol. I’ve blogged about it, but to sum up, Jim and I (because it’s always better to do things as a family unit, although I am more lenient with my son) bought the book, jumped right in, and on Monday of this week, started the Paleo Plus protocol and eliminated inflammation-triggering foods, i.e., dairy, eggs, gluten, and sugar.

Has this been easy? No. My go-to comfort food is a piece of toasted French bread slathered in light olive oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. This was hard to give up, and my mouth is watering just thinking about its toasty deliciousness.

But I can’t argue with results. Yesterday (Wednesday), after 3 days of following this diet, I went to a Pilates class and was able to do most of the exercises, and kept up for the entire hour. I didn’t limp, I didn’t drag, I was able to stand on my tiptoes, and I felt GREAT. This morning I have a little muscle soreness from the regime, but nothing major, and NO arthritis pain at all! That’s right. NO ARTHRITIS PAIN! Oh, and I’ve lost 8 pounds since Monday.

I don’t take a lot of supplements, a CAL/MAG/ZINC, Lutein, Krill, and B3 vitamin was all I was taking. However, since Wahls demands that you consume a lot of fruits and vegetables, and that much fiber comes with its own set of issues, I have incorporated a Juice Plus+ regimen. I take 2 capsules of the Vineyard, Garden, and Orchard once a day with a meal (usually dinner) and a full glass of water. Company literature says Juice Plus+

“…helps you bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat, every day, by providing whole food based nutrition from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables”.

If you’re suffering from poor health, an autoimmune problem, or if you’re interested in any of this, The Wahls Protocol or Juice Plus+, I urge you to visit cb at his blog, http://www.contrafactual.com and check it out. You have nothing to gain but getting your life and health back.

Game changer. Life changer. Thank you cb.

Thanks for reading,

Liz

 

11/17/16 Updates

Hello and Woof! I know I haven’t posted since Veteran’s Day, and I will try to catch up with comments and blogs just as soon as I can.

Wanted to give you kind readers an update on Mom. She received orders in the mail stating her blood test was in fact, RA positive, and a referral to see a Rheumatoid Arthritis specialist. Mom was glad to have a definitive answer, because she has been in a lot of pain. I asked her what it was like, and she said, “Burning, I feel like I am burning inside like hot coals.” (For those of you who are not sure, RA is an auto-immune disease, which can strike  at any time. Left untreated, it’s a nasty bit of goods.)

Mom duly got on the phone to make the appointment, and was shocked that the specialist cannot see her til January 4, 2017. The person at the RA office told Mom to speak to her primary care doctor for pain relief until then. So, Mom got back on the phone to try to reach her doctor. Who was unable to get back to her until the next day. It was a rough 24 hours.

You can imagine, I had my paws full. Every time I turned around Mom was applying a patch to some part of her body that was painful. I had to watch her very carefully, because she felt so exhausted all the time. Finally, the doctor got back to her and sent over a prescription for Celebrex. Mom read the side effects, which were heavy and not good, but made the decision to give it a try. However, she does not feel she will be on it long-term; just to get her through to the RA guy.

That’s where we’re at: Mom is feeling about 50% better, but she knows this drug is only treating the symptom, not the disease. She told me she was going to weigh things very carefully, and possibly see a homeopathic doctor located in Michigan once she has heard what the RA doc has to say. We’re taking it one step at a time.

As for me, I am doing fine. Those tabby kitties have been out skulking birds in the back yard since the weather has been unseasonably warm for this time of year. Watching them out the window is like a looking at a big screen TV for me. There was a kitty in the yard this morning just inches from my nose. He sat very quietly and then bristled up his tail and ran between the slats of the fence into the neighbor’s back yard. Mom told me to “leave it” but man! That cat escaped by a whisker. Foiled again!

Thank you to all my readers, all who comment and like, and for your concern about Mom and me. I will keep you all posted. Thanks for reading!

Woof! Love, Maggie

sofa

By the way, today is the Fabulous, Always Entertaining, RuPaul’s birthday. In celebration of that, I’m divalicious in my leopard blanket! You betta work! Woof!