I am fighting back against Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with natural foods, stress reduction, and by embracing my inner flower child (making everything from scratch, and eating all those yummy natural foods)in addition to my medications. All of this is carefully balanced with my busy life as a homeschooling single mom of 2 boys, the exhaustion that RA brings, and a very limited budget. I would like to share my journey with you, so that it may benefit you as well, or give you a better understanding of what it is to fight this disease.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life Happens

After taking a bit of a break due to my illness (sinus infection, stomach virus), my little guy's illness (virus leading to an ear infection), teenager induced stress, and my birthday, I am back to continue to share with you what I am learning, and what I am working on.  Thank you for your patience with me, as this is a journey, and I have a very demanding life.

As I am sure you can imagine, all of the sickness and added stress made it very difficult to maintain my diet and lifestyle changes.  It started with me getting a sinus infection, which is a somewhat common occurrence due to the immune-suppressing effects of the methotrexate and prednisone.  I visited my chiropractor first, hoping to avoid having to take antibiotics, but sadly it was too far along at that point.  The next day, I visited my family doc, whom I really have a good connection with.  She prescribed the required antibiotics and I was on my way.  They are starting to help, but they are not making a difference as fast as I would like.  Next came the added stress courtesy of the teenager.  Teenager stress makes me want chocolate.   While small amounts of dark chocolate are considered anti-inflammatory, larger amounts are not, due to the sugar.  This was followed my a bit of a dietary detour, as I celebrated my birthday with spaghetti, bread, and cupcakes.  If this is going to be a way of life for me, there has to be allowances for holidays and celebrations.  What I need to get more of a handle on is making sure that the celebration is one meal or one day, not 2 or 3 or 4 days.  Next came my little guy getting sick, which made him want me to sit or lay with him so he could snuggle his furnace-hot body on mine.  This went on for 4 days!  So, rather than walking around every 30 minutes, and drinking tons of water, and cooking healthy meals, I ended up sitting watching movies for hours on end, eating whatever I could grab when I had to get up for some other reason, and giving my kid the love and attention that he needed.  Then, since things weren't bad enough, I caught a stomach bug which caused me to miss some doses of meds.

All of this, combined with some weather changes, has caused a bit of a relapse in both my back and arthritis symptoms.  When I visited Dr. C. this afternoon, he was able to help my back, and gave me the incentive I need to get back on track by reminding me of where I came from.  Neither of us want to see me back down at the bottom of the pit I am trying to crawl out of.

As you can see, along with victory comes stumbles, and this is a process, not a destination I can reach overnight.  Over the next week, I plan to get my diet back on track, starting with drinking TONS of water, and focusing on eating a variety of vegetables every day.  Once I have that back on track, I will take a few more steps.  Christmas is next week, and I don't want to over-stress myself trying to be perfect, but I need to be back on track enough that I feel good while I am celebrating with my family.  Over the rest of the week, I also will make every effort to get the anti-inflammatory diet information on here.  This will help remind me of what I should be eating, and will also give you an idea of what you can do to improve your health.

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