Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Gift For Others . . .

Four days till Christmas! How did that happen? How did the year fly by so quickly? I should be glad it’s on its way out. It was not a kind year to us. Seems like the years that end in four turn out that way. That means I have a ten-year reprieve. Or is nine?

I managed to get done all that I wanted, well mostly. I survived two major parties at my house, given by my children. I was merely an innocent bystander. And they both went surprisingly well. I dreaded having a bunch of five-year-olds tramping through my house like mini tornadoes, but they were surprisingly well-behaved at my granddaughter’s birthday party.

My son and his wife decided to throw a Roaring Twenties party, a la The Great GatsbyGreat Gatsby

I was to make myself a flapper dress. Well that didn’t happen. I ended up wearing a designer hospital gown a couple of weeks before. Recovering from that event and my wrist going haywire took care of the cutting, pinning, fitting and sewing required.

They turned my patio and back yard into a veritable nightclub. I couldn’t believe it was my house. I couldn’t believe it was my neighborhood, the cars took up three lawns. We had to park two houses away when we returned from taking our granddaughter to see Santa.

aly2I made countless trips to the post office. My wrist did not appreciate lugging all those packages. Now I have to make one more. I found this incredible wool and cashmere scarf for my NYC daughter. I worry about her having to live through these winters, but now she’s looking to move California-way. Yay.

I decided to make her an afghan to keep her toasty warm at night. I started out using leftovers, but I didn’t have enough so the stripes got bigger and bigger as I bought more yarn. I wanted it to look wonky anyhow.

photo (22)

It’s made in single crochet, which means it’s painstakingly slow going. The rows measure about a quarter inch in height. But this is the look I wanted. Something solid, not full of fancy, decorative holes. I want my girl to be warm.

My wrist and thumb complain when I first start working, but they surprisingly quiet down after a few minutes. This has always been good therapy for my hands. A gift for others becomes a gift for me.

I am almost done, there is only the green stripe to finish and I can mail it out, though withphoto (23) my setbacks she won’t be getting it in time for Christmas. No matter, I figure every stitch is a stitch against RA.


It’s Always Something

So I’ve recovered from the flu and subsequent pneumonia. I think.

I still have cold symptoms that started on December 1st, just when I was almost done recuperating. A relapse of sorts.  I get better, then I get worse. But I can definitely say it’s all in my head. The congestion that is, the stuffiness, the nuisance of it all. As long as it stays above the neck, I figure I’m good.

During my hospitalization and immediately after, I forgot about my wrist. It took a back seat to everything that was going on with my body. My left wrist has been weak, swollen and painful since August. When I think about it I find that hard to believe. But it has. We increased the dose of the Methotrexate and the Prednisone in October, even though I really didn’t take the ten pills of MTX I agreed to.

I was afraid to. Not because of what it can do to my liver, my labs are always normal in that aspect (so far), but because ten is the max. If that doesn’t work then where do I go? What do I do?

We tried adding Plaquenil last year and all that did was give me bilateral tinnitus. The ENT doc got paid for telling me what I already knew. But as I told my rheumy last week, “It’s gotten much better. I only hear the ringing in my left ear when I concentrate on it.” His advice? “Don’t concentrate on it.” With a laugh. He’s always good for a laugh.

Knowing I had to go see him, I dutifully took the ten tabs for that week. That way I wouldn’t have to lie when he asked me about it. I’d actually only gone to nine tabs from eight. And the week I was admitted to the hospital I took none. The look of relief on the internist’s face when I told her was one for the record books. It would have been a self-inflicted wound to my non-existent immune system.

I was eager to wean off Prednisone, much more than the MTX, so he granted me that. Now I alternately take 5 mg one day and 2.5 mg the next, and will do so until my February visit. Mentally, I’m fine with that, it’s improvement. But now the knuckle at the base of my right thumb has issues with it. And right when I need my fine motor skills to wrap countless presents. I’m the wrapper-in-chief.

But I will persevere. And maybe, finally, pull the carton of Epsom Salt from underneath my kitchen sink. I’ve been meaning to do soaks for my wrist for months now. I keep forgetting it is there. I’m not sure if it will help, but now I guess my thumb will join in on the watery fun.

In the words of my favorite comedienne, Gilda Radner: It’s always something.