Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Day RA Won't Let Me Forget

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Swiftwick socks in exchange for my honest opinion. There are affiliate links as well.

Some anniversaries aren't on the calendar. There are certain things that we don't want to remember, much less celebrate. Unfortunately, some things we can't forget.

It's an inauspicious anniversary for me. Two years ago, I received a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.

While I've managed my symptoms pretty well and have continued running, I've had a few bumps in the road. RA has been knocking on my door (ok, my knees..my hands...my elbows...my feet) for the past couple of weeks. Determined not to let it stop me from running my final half marathon of the year, I took a steroid pack hoping to shut it off.

The symptoms subsided, but shortly after completing the dose pack, the aching and swelling insidiously returned. First to my hands, then my knees. I normally live with a low level of symptoms so I wasn't overly concerned.

This past week, I had a full on flare of my disease. The timing was oddly coincidental with the 2 year anniversary of my diagnosis.
*rheumatoid arthritis

It was 2 years ago that I woke up with that swollen big toe and solved the mystery of what had been happening to my running. The dramatic slow down in my mile splits. The loss of endurance and difficulty I felt with running long distances. The big toe issues that had been plaguing me, along with plantar fasciitis. The baker's cyst that popped up behind my left knee.

I wasn't planning on this Weekly Wrap post being the Weekly Whine. I wasn't going to write about my RA-versary. I didn't care to reminisce on a very low point in my life. Unfortunately, with the return of my symptoms the past couple of weeks, RA has been very much on my mind.

I struggled with my runs this week. The eight miler on Monday ended with excruciating low back pain. So much pain that I brought my heating pad to work on Tuesday and in between patients, sat with it on my back. While the back pain improved enough by Wednesday that I felt up for a 4 mile slog around my neighborhood, neck pain was my nemesis that day. I couldn't turn my head without turning my whole body. I tried putting a Salonpas patch on my neck, but it got stuck in my hair and yes, a big clump of hair is missing from the base of my scalp.

I was just a hot mess. On top of all that, there was the new electronic medical record system we started using recently. My internal pressure cooker erupted late Wednesday and I had a meltdown when one of my notes disappeared.

Even the beautiful sunshine and my new InknBurn Glass top weren't
enough to negate a very painful run on Monday. 
If I ever needed a run, it would have been Thursday, but RA had other ideas. I woke up that morning with a full-blown flare. I could barely get out of bed. Every joint in my body hurt. I felt as if I had run a marathon the day before and poorly at that. I moved to the couch where I spent the entire day. I canceled my strength session and bootcamp with Sammy Jo and called my doctor. There would be no slam balls for me that day.

It was back to the steroids again, this time for a minimum of 2 weeks. I also scheduled a massage for Saturday afternoon, hoping to work out some of the inflammation and the kinks.

On Saturday morning, the weather was spectacular--45 and sunny--for December and there was no way I was missing out on a run. I felt pretty good and I prayed that my flare would be calmed enough so I could run 6. I got that 6 and more--I pushed it to 8. The last couple of miles were a little tough and I started to feel that low back pain again, but I finished and I felt pretty good.

I had my massage later that afternoon with the hopes of relieving some of that back pain. It hurt so good and I hated and loved every minute of it. Looks like this may be a regular thing for me. I'm becoming so high maintenance!

I wore my sassy pants for this run. It worked.
Off the Road
I received another pair of Swiftwick socks--this time the Vision Five Snowman from their holiday collection. Not only did these socks make me smile, but they also made my feet happy. Swiftwick is a very attentive suitor and while I have trouble being loyal to just one sock brand, they are doing their best to keep me happy!

I don't know if the animation will work but this is from my Instagram story this week.
How was your week? Is the sun shining where you are? I'm hoping this weather is a predictor of how our winter will be. Bring on the mild conditions! Massage, yay or nay? Go BEARS!


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67 comments :

  1. I think Momma N is playing with me....mild weather all week, and sunshine most days. This is winter (well, almost!), and this is Iowa. I know this gig won't last until March, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far. Sorry the RA is rearing its ugly head again.

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    1. Glad you're enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather. I know I am!

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  2. I'm so sorry the RA is getting at you. My friend who has RA started off with a Baker's cyst, too - I think she was dx about a year ago now and is really bad with her immune system and a bad chest at the moment. I'm glad you write so honestly and openly about it and help people to understand.

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    1. I've had such a good year so I can't really complain, but it's just so crazy how now I'm having symptoms. I didn't think RA was cyclical! I hope your friend feels better soon. Please give her my best.

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  3. What you accomplish with the health issues you carry is beyond amazing. I don't call it whining, I call it dealing with reality. Warrior.
    I don't believe you will ever lose your sense of humor. It's one of your many coping mechanism and part of who you are.
    Sending love from the East Coast.

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    1. One good thing about the steroids is that they really boost my mood. So while I wait for the inflammation to quiet down, at least I can stay positive! Thank you for your love and support!

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  4. What a rough go you've had lately. Can't your RA just know that you get it - it doesn't have to remind you on your anniversary?! Hope you feel much better soon!

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    1. Thank you! This has been a tough flare--it just doesn't want to go away.

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  5. I'm so sorry, Wendy... the RA sounds very frustrating. Here I'm whining and I've just had a short battle with strep throat. Not a big deal, just painful and now I'm on the mend (8 more days of antibiotics). This winter does sound promising! The sun is shining here in the upper midwest and it's still in the 30's and 40's! MUCH better than last winter (so far).

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    1. November was so cold that I thought we were in for it! But the last couple of weeks have been lovely! I'll take it!

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  6. So sorry to read about your RA flare up. So glad your week ended on a high note. Your 8 miler sounded good (mostly).

    Sun is NOT shining here today, unless you count that liquid sunshine we have been getting all year. Hubby and I decided to move our long run to Wednesday, since he has that day off. 6 miles on the elliptical for me this morning.

    Hope your symptoms calm down for you soon. What a shame you need a massage regularly! ;)

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  7. I’ve never had a massage! It is hard to find the time to do things like that in this season of life. I’m sorry you’ve had a lot of pain this week and hope the second round of steroids will help you feel better!

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  8. You have certainly had a rough go of things lately! I don't think it's whining-it is your way of coping. Glad to see your week ended on a more positive note. Yes to massages I get them on a regular basis and they really help. Hope you have a better week

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  9. I wouldn't say you are whining - looking back on a low point allows us to see the ways we've adapted, changed and gotten to today. While your RA is being a pain in the A, I think you are a tougher, grittier person for it!

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    1. I love your perspective!! Every step backwards teaches us lessons, right?

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  10. It's definitely not fair to have a flare to remind you of the anniversary of the dx. :(I love your fighting spirit -- I can only imagine how easy it would be to cry uncle and stop running.

    Massage, big YAY! Unfortunately I haven't been able to have many lately.

    We did have mild weather yesterday, but mostly it's been unseasonably cold with a few mild days here & there. OTOH, it looks like it won't be a white Christmas -- but who knows? It wasn't supposed to snow Thursday, either.

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    1. Trust me, the thought of crying uncle has crossed my mind. But I think we all know I'm not that person. Fingers crossed that I won't have to.

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  11. Congrats to the Bears on winning the North, but I think you mistyped Go Giants ;-)
    Sorry to hear you're in pain, but glad you were able to eke out a run yesterday. I hope the steroids and massage help.
    Weird how some anniversaries are.

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  12. I hate that you have to deal with RA but you're a warrior and I know that you will get through this flare up.

    Mother Nature has been crazy this week. We've had super cold weather (20s) and then warmer (50 degrees) weather with humidity and rain. I really can't figure out what she's doing, lol

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    1. I like the warm stuff and she can just keep bringing it!

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  13. Whine away. One day at a time. Funny how there are subtle changes, you, like I, chalk them up to other things and then BOOM right square in the face the truth of the matter. Our body is betraying us yet again. After all the good things you do for it and put into it. I'm sorry. May this be the bottom you never see again.

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    1. I'm sure there are going to be more times like this. Thankfully, I have lots of good days to remind myself that this will pass. Kind of sucks while I"m in it tho.

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  14. I'm glad you let your whine come out. Hopefully writing it down will help. I'm glad you got a sunshine filled run in. Isn't it amazing what some good weather will make us do? Keep on trucking lady. You've got many more miles to run!

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  15. I am so very sorry you had such a tough week. I wouldn't call this whining at all. I am always in amazement of what you are able to accomplish despite the RA. Massages are becoming a regular thing for me - I hope they provide you with some relief.

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    1. I'm a bit sore today but I'm hoping that tomorrow's run will be epic!

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  16. I’m amazed that you were able to end your week with 8 miles! I’m sure your positive attitude as a lot to do with it (steroids help) :-)
    It has been chillier this year than last. Last year I never had to wear running pants and hardly needed long sleeves. Good running weather. 🏃🏽‍♀️

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    1. Steroids help, and I knew I had that massage later in the day. It made the 8 miles a little easier!

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  17. Ugh, I'm sorry RA is being so frustrating. Hopefully things are looking up a bit after yesterday's run and massage?

    Not really a massage person myself - I will work on things with my foam roller and massage balls, but don't want someone else digging into the tight spots.

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    1. I've only had a couple of massages, but I knew I needed more than the foam roller to tackle that low back pain.

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  18. Great job with your 8 miles. The weekend was great for running, and since it's winter, I say take advantage when you can.

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    1. I would have gone today too, but I don't think that would have been the best thing to do!

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  19. I hope you continue to show RA who's boss! 8 miles is fantastic. Our weather has been pouring rain since Friday. It is supposed to be sunny tomorrow - of course when I have to be at work!

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    1. Why does that always happen? I hope you can sneak out into the sunshine.

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  20. I don't think it's whining at all, I think it's great to get it all out there and share the reality of RA. When I broke my leg, I didn't try to sugarcoat how tough it was. Better to put it all out there for others to relate to!

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    1. If anyone gets it, it's you! I love your comeback and how you did what you could inspire of the broken leg. Thank you, my friend!

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  21. I'm so sorry to hear about your RA flare up. I cannot relate, but I don't know how you do all you do even without RA! You really are amazing.

    We had a warm front this weekend - it was 40゚ today. I wish it would stay this way or even be warmer! I'm so jealous of people who have warmer temps in the Winter.ut your RA flare up. I cI'm so sorry to hear about your RA flare up. I cannot relate, but I don't know how you do all you do even without RA! You really are amazing.

    We had a warm front this weekend - it was 40゚ today. I wish it would stay this way or even be warmer! I'm so jealous of people who have warmer temps in the Winter.annot relate, but I don't know how you do all you do even without RA! You really are amazing.

    We had a warm front this weekend - it was 40゚ today. I wish it would stay this way or even be warmer! I'm so jealous of people who have warmer temps in the Winter.

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  22. Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear about your RA flare. I hope the longer steroid makes an impact and you're feeling better quickly.

    To answer your question about the sun shining, it rained all day Friday, Saturday, and today and we've had significant flooding. Nothing dangerous, but the creek in our back yard is very high. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny.

    Thanks for the linkup!

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    1. Glad to hear all that rain is coming to an end. Crazy, crazy weather we're all having this year.

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  23. I'm really glad you do write about your RA flares and give us honesty and clarity about what really goes on. I seriously don't know how you handle it and I feel for you!! I'm so, so glad you were able to get out (with your sassy pants) and run 8 glorious miles with the sun shining!! I also really love that you have a meltdown (deservedly so) and move on. You are kicking RA's ass - no doubt about it. Hoping this week is much better for you!!

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    1. I'm just lucky everyone at work knows me and mostly loves me! LOL!

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  24. I'm sorry to hear about your RA flare! Before my laparoscopy last year, I had flares of pain from time to time (they thought it was endometriosis). I don't know what's worse - the pain itself of being unable to control the timing of it. Despite all that, you are kicking ass! I hope this week is better for you! And the weather was so beautiful this weekend!

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    1. I was lucky (if you can call it that) because my flare happened on my day off! I did let work know and they froze my schedule for Friday in case I had to call off. Fortunately, I felt well enough to go in. It was busy, tho!

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  25. I really hate that your RA is being a bitch!

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  26. Ugh! I hate that your RA has been such a problem over the last few weeks. I know you'll keep fighting but I hate to think of you in so much pain and discomfort. I'm glad you were finally able to get out for a good run. I'm definitely a Yay on massage. Thanks for the reminder that it's time to schedule one.

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    1. I was a little sore yesterday after the massage, but I woke up this morning feeling really good!

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  27. Sorry it was such a tough week but glad you felt better in time for that Saturday run and that the massage helped out!

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    1. That massage was amazing! I woke up this morning and felt great.

      PS I still can't comment on your blog.

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  28. I'm sorry you are having a rough time with RA right now. I hope the second round of steroids will do the trick. Your perseverance is an inspiration to others with RA or other debilitating illnesses...and even to those who are healthy! Hang in there, my friend.

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    1. Thank you! I'm feeling better today, but still not 100%. I'll be ready for Mobile!

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  29. I don't think this was a weekly whine at all. Hoping you're feeling better after this round.

    Les was back in the Oahu office for 2 weeks. It rained almost the entire time we were there, but Saturday was glorious. After my run, I caught up with Les on the North shore (he rode his bike there) and we grabbed the best Mexican food on the Island at Cholo's before grabbing some much needed Vitamin D at the beach! We flew home yesterday to cool and cloudy So Cal.

    Go Vikings ;)

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    1. You're killing me. The Vikings? Really?

      Haha. I really meant your Oahu comment. You are so lucky to be able to spend so much time there!

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    2. Les was born in Minnesota so he's a lifetime fan. They break his heart just about every year! He moved to Nashville in the early 70s where there was no NFL team, then came west in the late 80s when the Rams were still here, but he's always stayed true to the Vikes.

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  30. It's not whining, it's unfortunate reality. But by sharing you help those of us who may have similar symptoms that we hope will just go away face the reality of our own situations. Thanks for sharing and I hope you are feeling better soon. Glad you have still been able to get out and run. You are amazing!

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    1. It definitely has been a difficult couple of weeks but with a half on the calendar in January, I have some motivation to keep moving. Just very slowly.

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  31. I am so sorry you have to deal with all of this. My Uncle has RA and a good friend too so I am aware of the challenges and really hope for you that you do not have too many flare ups. And always yay for massage!!!

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    1. I can't complain--I've felt pretty good most of the year. It's just been the past couple of weeks that have been tough. Hoping it passes soon.

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  32. Aw, I'm so sorry it's flaring up in such an unavoidable way. You have done so amazing with your diagnosis and treatment, and I can't even imagine the anger and frustration you must feel when it gets to be too much :(

    Weather has been a bit of a jerk here. 70s one day and 30s the next. It's wreaking havoc on all of our allergies, and we are all miserable. Hoping things even out.

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    1. I didn't realize it got that cold by you! It seems wrong.

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  33. I understand how you feel about this being a strange kind of anniversary. I have a few of those myself.
    Also wish that you were not having to deal with this flare up! It is weird how the body flares up around a similar time to learning about something.
    If getting massages and steroids help you, that is wonderful!
    Those socks are adorable! They would make me smile all day if I had them on!

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    1. I was thinking about it today--I've been pretty lucky this year with my disease. I shouldn't even complain about the flare. But I am not good at being the "sick" person. I'll just keep going with the massages, I guess! :p

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