So, I’m only going into issues relevant to this blog. But all in all, I have been a healthy person all my life and very fortunate. I had a GREAT pregnancy !! No morning sickness, no swelling or cravings really. Everything was wonderful. So wonderful, that I think I jinxed myself….if you believe that sort of thing. All throughout the pregnancy, people would ask “How are you feeling?” and I would say ” Great !!, so great, I have a feeling something will go wrong in the end” And so, it did. When I was eight months pregnant I started having pain in the middle knuckle of my left hand. As a note, I am left-handed. And so the doctor said “Oh, it’s just carpel tunnel and common in pregnancy. No worries, it will go away after birth !” So quick to write things off, aren’t they?
My mom had previously told me that she experience Arthritis while she was pregnant with me and that is started in her 8th month, but subsided after my birth. So, I had thought my experience would be the same. After all, my pregnancy was the same as hers thus far !
My little guy was born, and all was well…..for a month. Until I woke up one morning and my index finger on my right hand was huge and sausage like !!! As each day went by, it became excruciatingly painful to the point where I could no longer bend it or even use it !! What was going on???? So the doctor tests me for everything……lupus, lyme, arthritis, any joint related disease you can think of. Lyme shows some abnormality and so I start a 60 supply of antibiotics. You should also know, that at this time, I was nursing so my options for medications of any sort was quit limited. After another few months, I start experiencing severe pain in my left hip. Now, I can no longer lift my left leg !! Any sort of lifting…..i.e.-getting in bed or in and out of a car, required that I use my hands (minus one finger) to lift my leg up. Over time I have multiple x-rays and cat scans, of which show nothing. Except, swelling !! Wow, thanks for that! Periodically throughout the course of this, I am enduring pain in my neck, which was the result of being bombarded by 20 shopping carts on the motorized cart mover being used by a teenage boy in the middle of a parking lot at a franchise which shall remain nameless.
Now comes the knee pain, in my left knee but magically months later, my hip pain has disappeared ! Seriously, what is going on here? I have within this time started Acupuncture which has helped me to endure my pain tremendously and I recommend it to anyone with any sort of health issue. At this point, I have seen multiple doctors all with the same answer “You’re a mystery” Why, thank you, that’s most helpful. My hand specialists suggest surgery to cut out the inflammation on my finger and test it for diseases and such that may not show up in blood work. This is after several sessions of cortisone injections and physical therapy. So finally, I agree and wean my tenth month old off of nursing. I was reluctant to do so as I had wanted to nurse up until he was a year, but I had suffered long enough (or so I thought). In Feb. of 2009, I had a synovectomy on my finger. Mind you, all of this started in March of 2008. After two weeks of healing and 6 weeks of physical therapy, my tests results were back !!!! Everything was………….Normal…….argh !!!!!!!! How is this possible? Something is clearly wrong. So, back to acupuncture I go and still without any sort of pain medication. Some more time goes by and the pain in my left knee is now gone !! But guess what? It’s in my right knee now. Also, by this point in time, I now have swelling in the middle knuckle of my right hand. July of 2009 rolls around and I am starting to feel a lot of pain in my finger again. The surgery had provided my with temporary relief, but the swelling was still there. I called my Dr. and asked to go on a short-term supply of prednisone. A week to be exact. After which we both agreed that I would go on it indefinitely. BIG MISTAKE……. I was miserable, angry and irritable and just desperate to stop taking them after about two months. How unaware I was to the fact that I needed to wean off of them. Veeeeery slowly. If I tried to cut my dose by too much at once, I was terribly ill. In the meantime doctors are encouraging me to keep taking these terrible pills. I had to figure this thing out all by myself !! It took a few months to finally get off of these things, but I did it !! So, by Thanksgiving of 2009, I was prednisone free. What I haven’t mentioned is that I also started talking Sulfazine back in August of 2009, the same time I had started noticing changes in my vision !! This drug takes about 3 months to even be effective, great. During the fall of 2009, I start noticing pain in my foot. It’s making it very difficult to wear shoes since the pain is on the side, just under the pinky toe. So, I spent the entire winter wearing Uggs. You know, those ugly boots that are warm and have a lot of room to move in? I have worn those right up to flip-flop weather, haha.
By this time, my Rheumatologist, along with a second rheumatologists insist that I have either Rheumitoid Arthritis or Psoriatic Arthritis, which is as a result of Psoriasis, which I do not have. My mother however, does. So they examined me head to toe and no signs of psoriasis. There have been cases though when the skin condition shows up after the arthritis. They believe this is a possibility for me since my initial finger swelling was sausage like.
Finally in February 2010, I went to my doctor and said, it’s time to get me on some real medication. Since my husband and I want more children, Methotrexate, is out of the picture. This is a drug they give to Cancer patients. It is ultimately a form of Chemo. Getting pregnant while taking this drug is an absolute no and will on result in a terminated pregnancy. This is not an option. So, the only choice I have left is to take Embrel. A weekly injection I must administer to myself. And “may or may not cause cancer” Great, just great. But I am desperate and want relief. I have been in miserable pain for two years. I can’t even open a bottle of water for goodness sakes !! And I used to lift professional concert speakers for a living !! Not to mention the emotional toll this has all taken on me and the toll it’s taken on my family. I give in and apply to receive financial aid for this one thousand dollar a month medication !! Just a week prior to my first shipment, I see the post by Dr. Mercola on facebook in regards to how toxic medication for Arthritis is. Immediately I start my research and I pick up Alicia Silverstone’s book, “The Kind Diet” and I am instantly transformed to Vegan !! I have seen so many testimonies as to how a change in diet has transformed a persons illness to almost non-existent. I am convinced that what we eat has immediate effect on our bodies, health, mind as well as the environment. So welcome to my journey….!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!