Showing posts from March, 2014

Expect the Unexpected

A few weeks ago, the joystick on my wheelchair started feeling weird. Where it normally moved smoothly and effortlessly, now it felt sticky and as if I had to push harder to get the same effect. That paragraph made it sound as if I’m right on top of how my wheelchair feels at all times. And mostly, this is true. In many ways, it is an extension of my body and I know exactly how it’s supposed to feel. A small variation can make things feel wrong enough that it’s obvious something’s gone wonky. That was not the case this time. This time, it all started with the muscles between my ribs hurting. They don’t normally do that — blessedly, they’re some of the few muscles in my body that I normally don’t notice much — but an injury in my back around Christmas has meant that I’ve been more aware of these tiny little muscles on my left side. Now the right side joined them. So did the right-side muscle so evocatively named the pectoralis major, along with every place it adhered to my ster

Losing Weight with RA and Chronic Pain

I`ve been feeling pudgy lately. What better way to deal with it than to recruit weightloss buddies on a grand scale? This is my new post for HealthCentral: " How do you lose weight with RA? That’s a good question, one that I’ve been stuck on for a while. These days there’s more of me than there used to be and it’s getting harder to ignore. Especially at this time of year. The promise of warmer temperatures has me thinking about spring jackets and T-shirts instead of being buried in sweaters. Closely on the heels of these thoughts came the realization that perhaps the winter added a few extra pounds. For insulation, y’know. The formula for losing weight is a deceptively simple one: take in less calories that you use. This is often translated into the maxim “eat less, move more.” That’s difficult enough for healthy, able-bodied people, but when you have RA, you have some extra challenges to take into account. How do you make the formula work with a chronic illness? This post

5 Randoms on Monday

Hello, blog people! Did you miss me? I wandered off there for a while. Not deliberately, but life happened rather a lot and there has been very little time to write.  Here are five thoughts from the last two weeks that may shed some light on what I’ve been up to: Be careful what you wish for . The problem with working really hard to help people become empowered is that when it works, sometimes it puts you in a situation that you didn’t expect. I am now the newly minted member of a Board of Directors, thanks to a group of very empowered individuals who unexpectedly expressed their opinions. Yay for success! I think? Inflammation Schminflammation . My rheumatologist likes for me to get blood tests done before I see her. At my latest appointment, she told me not to bother with CRP and ESR (inflammation markers), but to focus on cholesterol, kidney and liver function tests. Because CRP and ESR tests indicate the level of inflammation in the body, they are sensitive to any