live with physical challenges.
I am NOT a DOCTOR!!! I don't even play one on TV!!! It is my goal to live a more healthy lifestyle. Living well and being happy is what this blog is all about.

"Nothing,' wrote Tolstoy, 'can make our life, or the lives of other people, more
beautiful than perpetual kindness."

- Gretchen Rubin

I write about my own experiences and what works (or does not) for me. Nothing I write is to be taken as medical advice.

Only your health care provider, personal physician,Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor - I don't even play one on TV! This
or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Some Days are Stone

In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.  - John 16:33

John Denver recorded a song many years ago entitled, "Some Days Are Diamonds" - it's pretty much describing my day.  This is what I call a "stone day". 

As I usually do on a weekly basis, I picked up my laundry basket to take to the washing machine.  Very quickly I realized that holding that basket full of dirty clothes was not going to happen!  The basket fell to the floor and I grabbed my left hand with my right hand and began to try to "rub" the pain away.  The joint at the base of my thumb sent a shock wave of pain clear up my arm! 

Of all the tests they have done since my diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, the worst by far was the nerve conduction tests!  I've had four of them since my diagnosis and did not fair very well through any of them.  I know why the professionals who do these tests always have a box of Kleenex in their office.  I take full advantage of their generous offer to use them.  A nerve conduction test just smarts major big time!

So, when I felt that electricity shooting up my arm from the pain in my swollen joint at the base of my left thumb, my immediate thought was, "Oh great, now I'm doing my own nerve conduction tests!"  It wasn't bad enough to be forced to have them done on my leg - now I'm doing some self-testing in my hand, wrist and forearm as well.  Oh goody - oh yay!

I used to watch my mama wrap her aching wrists in ACE bandages so tightly I'm sure it cut off circulation - but it lessened the pain.  She used the smelly arthritis cream almost all the time as she got older.  She took medicine for it every day.  I have not given in to taking any pain medication.  I've been trying to use ice packs and topical creams.  When it doesn't hurt as bad, I do stretches and try to keep my hands just as strong and flexible as I can.

My mother has rheumatoid arthritis. I don't want to lose the ability to jump up and walk across the room or move around with the energy I'm used to having. That's far more important to me than a wrinkle or two.  - Cheryl Ladd

I also have dupuytren's contracture in my left hand.  I'm doing just as much as I can to keep it stretched and flexible.  It's to the point when first thing in the morning, when I open and close my hand, it doesn't open and close smoothly, but has a sort of "jerking" motion to it.  My fingers will still straighten (I test that every day) but eventually I'll be forced to do something about it.  I'm waiting as long as I can because I keep reading that this condition, after treatment, can come back.  I sure don't want to have to go through treatment more than once in my lifetime. 

No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.  - Voltaire

Here's what I do know.  I know that the joint at the base of my thumb is swollen.  I know it is painful to the touch.  If I try to pick up a glass with that hand, I'd better have my other hand ready to catch it when it slips!  Not if it slips - but when it slips, because it surely will!  I know my left hand is much weaker than my right.  I know I cannot trust it to serve me well.

It's my sincere hope and prayer that my change in diet will stave off the inevitable progression of RA.  I have been very careful on several fronts, including the amount of saturated fat in my diet.  I've replaced those with the more anti-inflammatory fats including:

walnut oil (wonderful on salads)
avocado oil
extra-virgin olive oil
wild salmon

I'm eating more foods that are high in carotenoids, vitamin K and vitamin E:

dark leafy greens
peppers of all colors

Drinking green tea and using these particular seasonings also benefit:


I must admit, I do not care for any foods that are extremely hot or spicy, but on occasion I will try to use a little cayenne pepper, or chili peppers.  They include capsaicin, which is an inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with the inflammatory process.

And last, but certainly not least, the lean proteins are important as well:

grass-fed beef (4-6 oz.  trim all visible fat)
lean poultry (4-6 oz.  no skin - ever!)

I'm not giving up - and I'm certainly not giving in!  I intend to fight the aging process (inflammation) with every weapon at my disposal.  The thought of losing the function of my hands is devastating to me!  My hands are the tools with which I create - music, creative writing (typing - a LOT of typing!)  I need them in order to live and function - even to do laundry, huh?

Enjoy John Denver singing, "Some Days are Diamonds".


Today is PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT DAY!!!!!!!!!!  If your doctor has a great PA, let them know it! 


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