All posts tagged: RA feet

Gardening and RA

April is a great month for gardening in New Mexico. Sunny, 70’s. Roses blooming. Oklahoma Red bud a riot of color. I am enjoying every bit. This week I planted a Lady Banks rambler on my back fence. There have been times when I never thought I would be able to kneel and happily dig in garden dirt again. Right now I can and I am very happy. In the four years since I was diagnosed with RA, I have learned to modify activities of my life. In the garden I have a kneeling pad for my knees. I buy the smaller size plant so I don’t need to dig a bigger hole and don’t need to haul as much garden soil. I have learned not to buy more than one or two plants at a time. And most importantly, I will relax with a cup of coffee and a book as a rest when my planting is done. The Lady Banks Rose is white and luscious. This is an old rose that was originally brought …

Exploring and moving

Do you really want to spend any time walking on a treadmill or  riding a stationary bike?  Indoors? Sure, it’s great if you live in Watertown, NY and you get socked in with snow. It’s also good if you live in a bad neighborhood.  But if you live in Albuquerque( ABQ to us), there is more to be had.  Walking with your camera in the great open spaces. I am a professional photographer. I have all the big expensive cameras with the impressive lens. I also have a seriously progressing Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have been lying low with pain and inflammation. Finally, I am ready to move again.  Baby steps.  Out walking trying to get my legs again, I take an old digital Canon. Fast. Satisfying. Easy. I would never have seen these Sand hill Cranes when walking on a treadmill. I love these guys. Makes my heart happy to see these 4 foot visitors from the North. One of the oldest surviving birds, they mate for life and care for their young for a year. …

The challenge of Feet

My rheumatologist sent me to a podiatrist, a foot doctor.                 Charming man. Once a client of mine.        X-rays were ordered, the podiatrist way. Standing. Weight bearing. Three views each.  For the third view I climbed steps  and was x-rayed  at foot level.   A  much better test than the standard foot  x-rays. Results: persistent degenerative changes with in the feet bilaterally. I admit that this was expected. What happens next?  My doc said surgery is not the answer.  As my feet get worse he feels steroid injections would be helpful. Now it is important that I wear shoes that fit  well and offer good support.  I should also wear special inserts (Motion Control performance insoles by Prothotics). I got the inserts first.  They are so much better than anything you will find at Target or Walmart. They have support for feet in areas that are thinning in RA. He suggested our New Balance store or REI.  New Balance was closer. They fitted the inserts and fitted …

How RA Feels

RA starts in the feet as often as in the hands.                                                           Mine had started in my feet long before I was given a diagnosis.  My feet came to feel like dense bricks. The whole main part of my feet, all those little joints, were swollen and in pain. The three middle toes on each foot were swollen and would have sporadic shooting pains. I had a hard time walking. My hands have almost equal billing. Knuckles are enlarged and always have some degree of swelling. I use a simple rubber square jar opener to do the job of opening  jars and bottles.  I keep scissors around the house. They make it so much easier to open many things. Symmetry is a hallmark symptom of RA.  Left foot and right foot. Middle three toes each side. Any synovial joint in the body can be affected. My left jaw (mandible) joints …

A sometime treacherous trip made easier

  Rheumatoid Arthritis brings  new meaning to the expression ‘adapt or perish’. Life will never be the same once diagnosed with RA. Life can be very good. It can be great. In RA a good life needs help. It needs adaptation. I do remember the days when I would park at the farthest space in a parking lot just to get just a little more walking into my day. When RA hit me like a lightning bolt and started its invasion of my body, I no longer had that luxury.

Adapt and survive definitely not easy

You might wake up well rested, feeling pretty good. Out of bed.  Start moving.  Your middle toe starts hurting.    A piercing pain shoots through the bottom of a foot.  Just keeps going until every joint in your body in inflamed and in pain. All had been well this last week. Lots done. Exercise class included. Pain level at a simmer. No need for the narcotics. Pleasant. Then blindsided!      Unpredictable!    Discouraging! Now,  it is just hard to exist. Fatigue has joined the rest.  Fatigue feels like an overwhelming exhaustion that makes thinking or doing hard to do. Just simply surviving is hard to do. Each of those joints supporting the 28 bones in each foot cry out for attention. Their chorus is joined by the joints supporting the 27 bones in each hand. Then there are the ankles, the wrists, the shoulders, elbows, and the joints  of the chest bones. To stop is to adapt. There is no choice, not really.  Time for a rest day, a veg out day, time out. …

A few symptoms of RA

The only certain thing about Rheumatoid Arthritis is its unpredictable nature. It affects each of us differently and our response to treatment is also unique.  It is  a disease that is considered hard to diagnose. The one who can do it most efficiently is a rheumatologist. Characteristic of RA is small joint involvement.  That is why the joints of the fingers, hands, toes, feet, wrists are frequently affected. Also characteristic of RA is bilateral involvement. That is why the middle finger of the left hand and the middle finger of the right hand might be involved.  Bilateral. Both feet. Both hands. Both ankles. I had problems with my feet for a long time. My primary doctor thought I was too old to have RA. Treatment was delayed and now I have foot damage. I have a hard time walking. When my RA became extremely acute, the pain started in my left shoulder. Soon both hands as well as both feet were affected. And on it goes to most of the joints in my body. How …

RA 26 plus 2 bones in each foot

There are 26 bones in each of your feet plus two sesamoid bones located under each big toe.  Your feet have 25% of all the bones in your body. Wow!  All these little bones plus the chunkier odd-shaped bones are joined together with synovial joints. It is the lining of these synovial joints that is inflamed in rheumatoid arthritis. That is bad news as there are so many of them.  All these little joints become inflamed and swell. My feet were the first to complain when rheumatoid arthritis announced itself in my body. My rheumatologist said it is common for RA to start in the feet as well as in the hands.    

Thyroid CA next step

Monday I visited my surgeon. She had my pathology report. I like to see her. She has so much positive energy. She is knowledgeable. She is very helpful. My cancer was not encapsulated and was within a mm of the border. not sure about this.My cancer was also in my lymph glands. So I will have a radioactive treatment. Next stop today was my endocrinologist. The radioactive treatment is complicated. Prep work is detailed and takes time. I will have to become extremely hypo active. I will be on a low iodine diet.  There is an injection called Thyroglobulin that costs $2500 that would cut the prep work to a much smaller time. My insurance will pay $1600 of it. I certainly am not able to pay the rest. In addition there will be the cost of the full body scan,  $300 under my plan. The drug company has an application for assistance. I filled it out and gave it to my Doc and she will give it to the person who will be getting authorizations. …