Thursday, January 31, 2013

Awareness Day For Disabling Disease, Article from our Local Paper

Here is a link to an interview our local newspaper did over the phone with my husband. This is his contribution to Rheumatoid Awareness Day. The interviewer did a pretty good job. There are a couple of little things in there I would have changed, but I'm extremely thankful that he took the time to return my husband's email and show interest in Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness. I hope the link works for you.
Remember Saturday, February 2nd is the big day. Tomorrow, February 1st there is an online Facebook chat 1pm eastern time. Saturday there is a Twitter chat, 7pm eastern time. There will be Rheumatlogists at both events. 


Awareness day for disabling illness - The Daily News: News: rheumatoid arthritis, groundhog day, mayo clinic, rheumatoid patient foundation, rheumatology: This coming Saturday will not only be marking Groundhog Day, it will also be the first Rheumatoid Awareness Day worldwide.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Changing My Life Because of Life's Changes

By now you must be thinking "wow" this blog is a real downer. When I go back and look at some of my posts I wonder about that myself. Then again, when I started this I promised myself I was going to write my reality. I read many other great blogs filled with people facing the same conundrum I do. Do we put out a positive message about what we face? Or do we put out a message of what we really go through. I choose to do both. I will never have the attitude of woe is me, or please feel sorry for me.

I have multiple Autoimmune diseases that are not well understood. I have chosen to fight for myself, better educate myself and I hope to help someone along the way. NO I am not looking for a pat on the back. I am betting no one else is.

Why am I writing this? I would like to link you to an article on Health Central written by Lene Anderson. Here is a link to her other blog,  The Seated View  Check it out, it's great reading.

Assuming you have read the article. Under new guidelines written in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) there is a new disorder called Somatic Symptom Disorder. If we spend too much time thinking about our health problems; if we worry too much or worry about the seriousness of our health. Under this new proposed category we could be diagnosed with a mental illness. With that said, so COULD anyone else that worries too much about us. 


What I find funny about this is that some of the same people, proponents for "talking" and "letting your feelings out", are the same people who say "don't hold your feelings inside, it is detrimental to your health". In my opinion this says the exact opposite. Is writing on my blog about my health going to be considered "obsessive and a "mental illness now? Seriously, I don't think we are the ones that need help.

I am not depressed. Although, some days when my pain is off the scale I tend to get more anxious. I suffer from incredible anxiety at times. I have had bouts of it off and on through the years. The fact that going anywhere even for a few hours requires a months worth of planning, likely is a huge contributor.  I have to know how far away the place is; how many people will be there; what to wear. What kind of seats they have, bench seats are better for me. My knees get sore in regular chairs. I need to know where the seats are located. I prefer an aisle seat, so if I have to slip out I don't have to climb over people. I have to know where the bathrooms are. You never know with all the medications we take what is going to happen. Also, what kind of food is available, the nearest water supply. The list goes on.

There are times I am a little bit irritable, if you ask my husband he would probably say a lot. So let's not ask him. Days I might cry (if my Sjogren's doesn't prevent my tears from flowing :) Those are usually the days when my pain is at its absolute worst. Most times I hide my pain.

My doctor doesn't even use the pain scale on me anymore. She has learned that my pain levels have adjusted to a different tolerance level through the years.
Even when I am exhausted, in pain and living with multiple Autoimmune diseases, I make sure that every day I get out of bed, (Eventually). Get dressed. Clean the house. I don't do the major cleaning anymore. My hands and back are too sore to do some of those things. Then, I try to get something, anything accomplished everyday. Whether it be on the computer, or going out somewhere. 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, or even the next hour for that matter. I have changed the way I live my life since my diagnosis. I still live my life the best way I can. I don't obsess over my diseases. I look for ways to improve my way of life. I work with my doctors to make a plan. Searching the Internet for new tools to make everyday life easier, and reaching out to others. That's what makes me happy.  I think that's healthier for me than crawling under the covers and hiding from the world for the rest of my life. 


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No more snow days just everyday with an Autoimmune Disease

Yesterday morning I woke up barely able to move. Let me start again. Yesterday afternoon I woke up barely able to move. You see, I have been up pretty much every night till 5 in the morning. When most people are getting up for work I'm still trying to go to sleep. Not by choice mind you. We have a word for this in the RA/RD community, it's known as "painsomnia". Anyway, I looked out the window and it was raining. Rain in Minnesota in January! That explained it all! Weather changes. That always makes my pain worse. A couple of hours later it began to snow. It didn't stop for the rest of the day.

The weather is almost like a day in the life with an Autoimmune Disease. You wake up foggy. Eventually if you are lucky the haze lifts and it starts to feel a bit like a sunny day. With the heat comes dehydration and your Sjogren's starts to act up, then you start getting dehydrated. If it's winter your hands are so dry they start to crack and bleed. Suddenly you are hit with a cold front. Raynauds hits you for the rest of the day. You stay in bed trying to get warm, too tired to function.

The fog returns to muddle your thoughts making everyone around you, look at you like you are losing your mind. Finally you give up and go to sleep and hope for a better day tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures from the snowstorm.  I don't know if you can tell from the pictures. We ended up getting about 8 inches of snow.





Monday, January 28, 2013

Rheumatoid Awareness Day Update.

Please go to Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior's website, for more information about this link/image I have posted below.
In short Crescendo Bioscience is sponsoring a matching grant up to $10,000, for every $1 made between now and February 5th. The money will go to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation .
Please, check out the site and all of the great items in the new store. Donate what you can, if you can. Share the information with everyone you know. Don't forget to spread the word about Rheumatoid Awareness Day February 2nd. Remember to attend and invite all of your family, friends and everyone else to the online chats as well.




Saturday, January 26, 2013

Healthline Best Blog Contest, RA Warrior.

Today, I am asking for your help. If you could, take a minute and go to Healthline and vote for Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior for the best health Blog of 2012.

I as well as many others would appreciate it. The prize for winning is $1000 and Kelly Young who runs both sites will be donating the money to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation .

Kelly, despite having Rheumatoid Disease manages to devote endless hours to keeping both sites going. She provides information and support to people around the world like me, who otherwise would be stuck in a jungle of misinformation.

So, again please take a moment to vote. Don't forget the first Rheumatoid Disease Awareness Day is on Feb 2nd. Go to the RPF website, spread the word. Join in on the facebook chat that day. You can read my previous post about it as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and all of my other posts, I appreciate it!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Rheumatoid Awareness Day

February 2nd is a history making day. In my lifetime I never thought I would see this day. I feel like a child on Christmas morning!

I am a proud member of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation.  Today, they announced the establishment of the first Rheumatoid Disease Awareness Day. It will be held each year on February 2nd. That coincides with Heart Awareness Month. It is not coincidental. Rheumatoid Disease is known to affect the heart as well. In my opinion there is not a day that fits more.

I am extremely excited about February 2nd.  Our time has come to put this incurable, disabling disease in the spotlight. 

Here is a link to the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation .You can find out more information about the RPF there, sign up for a membership or make a donation. Please take the time to read about it and share it with everyone you know. Below is a copy of the official press release. Thank you!


FIRST AWARENESS DAY FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS ESTABLISHED BY RHEUMATOID PATIENT FOUNDATION

January 22, 2013 in EventsExcitingPress Release

Patients Increase Public Awareness of Underestimated Disease

Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day - February 2
Rheumatoid Awareness Day
January 22, 2013 – Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) announces the establishment of Rheumatoid Awareness Day to be held each year on February 2, giving people with the chronic illness known as rheumatoid arthritis, or rheumatoid disease, a day of recognition. Because the disease is commonly presumed to be a type of arthritis, awareness is lacking, causing problems with disability accommodations, clinical care, healthcare reimbursement and research funding.
February 2 already boasts the observance of Groundhog Day, from which several analogies can be drawn to rheumatoid disease. “Compare disease onset to the moment the groundhog comes out of his hole to look for his shadow,” says Kelly Young, founder of the RPF. “It’s impossible to predict how aggressive the disease will be or whether treatments will be effective. The six weeks that the groundhog forecasts correspond to the short window of opportunity for people with rheumatoid disease to get early diagnosis and treatment, which has been shown to be a crucial component of positive outcome.”
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive inflammatory disease causing damage to joint and organ tissues, resulting in severe pain, frequent disability, and increased mortality. For most patients, current treatments neither relieve all symptoms nor assure a healthy future. Remission is rare[1]. Rheumatoid disease affects about one percent of the world’s population, with 1.6 to 2 million Americans currently diagnosed. Mayo Clinic says lifetime risk of the disease is 3.6 percent for women and 1.7 percent for men[2].
Rheumatoid Awareness Day comes at the start of Heart Disease Awareness month, underscoring a serious aspect of rheumatoid disease: heart involvement. Studies show that rheumatoid disease may affect the heart prior to diagnosis[3]. Rheumatoid patients have higher incidence of stroke and atrial fibrillation[4] in addition to the specific effects of the disease upon the heart itself[5]. A study conducted by Mayo Clinic[6] reported that rheumatoid arthritis patients were twice as likely to experience silent heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths.
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation will support the first annual Rheumatoid Awareness Day with a campaign aimed at raising awareness and educating about rheumatoid disease. RPF encourages both the rheumatoid patient community and the public to get involved by sharing educational resources, promoting awareness messages via social media, participating in a live online chat and a matching donation opportunity. For information on how to support Rheumatoid Awareness Day, visit http://rheum4us.org/rheumatoid-arthritis-awareness-day/.
Rheumatoid Patient Foundation
RPF is a 501c(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people with rheumatoid diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile arthritis. RPF was founded in 2011 to address significant lack of disease education, comparatively low levels of research funding, and difficulty obtaining adequate treatment. RPF is committed to creating pathways to better clinical care and disease outcomes through education, awareness, and participation in patient-centered research. For more information, visit http://rheum4us.org or follow us on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/rheumatoidpatientfoundation or Twitter http://www.twitter.com/RheumPF.
###
Contact:
Kelly Young
Kelly@rheum4us.org
PO Box 236251
Cocoa, FL 32923

[1] Prince, F et al. Arthritis Research and Therapy. Sustained rheumatoid arthritis remission is uncommon in clinical practice. http://arthritis-research.com/content/pdf/ar3785.pdf
[2] Mayo Clinic. 2011. Mayo Clinic Determines Lifetime Risk of Adult Rheumatoid Arthritis. http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2011-rst/6137.html?rss-feedid=1
[3] Kerola, A et al. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases. 2012. Cardiovascular comorbidities antedating the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. http://ard.bmj.com/content/early/2012/11/22/annrheumdis-2012-202398.abstract
[4] Jesper, L et al. British Medical Journal. Risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke in rheumatoid arthritis: Danish nationwide cohort study. http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1257
[5] Young, K. 2011. Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior. 20 Facts About Rheumatoid Heart Disease. http://rawarrior.com/20-facts-about-rheumatoid-heart-disease/
[6] Science Daily. 2005. Mayo Clinic Finds Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients At Higher Risk For Unrecognized Heart Disease And Cardiac Sudden Death. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/02/050204121639.htm

rheum4us.org





Saturday, January 19, 2013

Moisture, I need moisture!


Do you remember the feeling you get. When gritty, sandy, dirt blows in your eyes?
That is what my eyes feel like pretty much all of the time.
My eyes are blurry, it looks like it is foggy half the time and when I add drops to my eyes they sting.

The symptoms I'm describing are being caused by Sjogren’s Syndrome. It is an autoimmune disease in which your white blood cells attack the glands that produce moisture. The most well known symptoms are dry eyes and a dry mouth. Sjogren’s may also cause problems with your other organs such as your heart, kidneys etc. Some people might have extreme fatigue and joint pain. Those symptoms mimic a lot of other illnesses and makes it harder to diagnose.
I have what is known as “Secondary” Sjogren’s since it is not what is considered my “Primary” disease. RA is My "Primary" disease. Although not much about Sjogren's feels secondary. :)

Other people have “Primary” Sjogren’s meaning it is without another disease process.

I  was diagnosed by an optometrist several years ago, after my family doctor suspected I might have it.

The winter months seem to be worse for me, especially this year since it was a very dry summer.
Everywhere I go, I carry a bottle of water with me. If I’m without water for longer than even a half hour. I feel like I’m totally dehydrated and have to run for the nearest water right away!

My hands crack from the dryness. I have used every hand cream and lotion I can find. My dermatologist gave me one, it's really greasy and doesn't stay on well. If anyone out there has a good recommendation please let me know! We also have a humidifier running at all times in our home.

I have been on Salagen and Evoxac but neither made a difference for me.  I’ve also used, eye drops, prescription (Restatis) and multiple non prescription drops. One optometrist tried punctal plugs. (plugs to keep tears over your eye longer)  by plugging the tear ducts. They didn’t work for me, but they may for you. He actually couldn't find them in my eyes the next time I saw him. The one eye drop, giving me a minimum amount of relief right now is Systane Balance. My new Optometrist recommended I try it. 

For my mouth, I use Biotene products, they have a good toothpaste, mouthwash and other products for dry mouth. Another thing that helps is sugar free lemon candy, I think most sugar free candy is good because it produces saliva.

I have had major dental work done due to Sjogren’s.  It’s hard to find a dentist who even knows what Sjogren's is. I still need more done. It’s very important that if you’re diagnosed, you see a dentist and an optometrist as soon as you can. Take your time to find one who is understanding, one who has heard of what you have and does not blame you for it. 

For my nasal passages I use saline nasal spray at least once a day sometimes more.

Like most autoimmune diseases, there is no cure for Sjogren's but we can do things to make it easier for ourselves. Some things have not worked for me, I hope some of the things I mentioned will work for you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My latest gadgets.

Since this flu seems to be a never ending saga. I was on the uptick, or so I thought! So what did I do? All of you out there with a chronic illness can guess. I spent an entire day running all over, in 3 degree weather. Trying to catch up on two weeks worth of errands in one day. It seemed like everywhere I went people were sick. I don't understand why people who are sick go to work. I realize people have to make a living, but some of these people were in the health care industry and should have known better! 
I woke up the next day, right back to where I started. My husband woke up sick. This whole week has been a disaster. I know think positive! 

So, since I'm exhausted and can't find a lot of inspiration for a post this one is in pictures.

Some more of our recent purchases, to help with RA and Raynauds.
I hope something I post helps you, like they are helping me and that none of you catch the flu and other viruses that are going around! 

The first item I found helps me, is a moveable shower head.  So if you end up having to sit in the tub it makes it easier.



The second item is a thermometer that scans your forehead, it is quick for me much more comfortable than the old style thermometers.




Here we have squeeze it, if you have trouble  squeezing tubes , toothpaste etc. it does it for you.



Here is the new handle on the bathroom door if you read my last post I couldn't get out with the old style doorknob. Now I shouldn't have that problem.



Here is the Paraffin bath for your hands. When I was first diagnosed, I had this done in Occupational Therapy so I finally decided to buy a small one for use at home.



My new gloves, back and front view. They have something on the tips so you can use your phone or touchscreen when you are out and about. These particular ones are Isotoners but there are other ones out there.





The item on the left is for your key, put it in the end to add extra grip to hold onto. The item on the right is a button hook.



We just bought this can opener yesterday, actually my husband picked it out. I will let you know if it works for me. The reason he picked this one, is it has a thing for pop tops as well on it, so we'll see how it goes.



I bought this particular stool after reading about a lot of them. I climb a lot! I'm 5"1. So a lot of cupboards in my house are an issue. Most of the stools are heavy and don't give much support. I can pick this one up with one hand and it has the support rail to hold onto. It is a lot safer than others I have used.
Sold by a medical supply company.



Friday, January 11, 2013

Struggling

I have found myself struggling the past few days. Not only with what to write on here, but also in my everyday life. Tasks that I usually can accomplish fairly easily have become increasingly difficult.

This is nothing new to me. After having dealt with RA for so many years, I have had to overcome many obstacles at different times over the years.

Each time, I go through the same feelings of frustration, a little bit of anger, some sadness and eventually I get to the point of (excuse my language here) screw you RA! You are not going to beat me again!

My hands have been getting worse. Things that people take for granted, like opening and closing doors have become an issue for me. 


For example, I was stuck in the bathroom a couple of days ago. I can laugh about it now, but I wasn’t then. I couldn’t get out of the bathroom, because I couldn’t turn the handle on the door.
We are going to replace the knobs with lever handles as well as the faucets to make it a non issue.

I have had good times over the years. Times I have felt better than others and was able to work, exercise, have dinner with people, I was extremely sociable. I don’t like to use the word remission to describe those times. I just know that for short periods, I felt better than when I was in a full blown flare. Then for other periods, such as the period I’m in now and have been in now for at least 10 years.   Just being awake takes all of my energy. I struggle to take a shower, wash my hair, make something to eat.

I keep hope, I remember there are good days. I have had them. I search for every tool, gadget that there is out there, to help me keep my independence for as long as I can. 


I have learned the most important thing for me anyway, has been to mentally get myself out of the sadness and giving in stage of the RA, Sjogrens or whatever is bothering me at the time.

Instead I try to find some sort of solution to the problem. I am extremely thankful that I have access to the internet and sites like RA Warrior.  Friends I have never met who have chronic illnesses to support and get support from. I didn't have that when I was first diagnosed.

Now, my hope is for more doctors and researchers to work as hard for the solution to our health problems as hard as we do.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lefluno What?


Leflunomide otherwise known as Arava, it is the most recent addition to my medication lineup.



It is the one I'm counting on the most right now, to slow down the progression of this disease and allow me to use my body for a whole lot longer.
This drug Leflunomide (Arava) is a DMARD (Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug).

It is in the same class as the last one I was on Methotrexate. Unfortunately, I was unable to tolerate the Methotrexate in either the pill or injectable form.



Much like Methotrexate, Leflunomide can cause liver damage and my blood work has to be monitored to make sure everything is OK and I can continue treatment.
My immune system is already compromised because of RA and Sjogrens. This medication lowers the immunity even more. I won't know for a while if this medication is fully benefiting me since like most RA medications it takes time to take full effect. So far I have had no side effects so I'm off to a good start, and I feel good knowing my new rheumatologist is willing to work with me on a medication plan that works.

For those of you reading this who have RA or any autoimmune disease that requires these treatments you will understand this post, the medications, side effects etc.

For those of you who I hope are open to learning about autoimmune diseases, and your only gauge is the ads on TV with Tylenol arthritis for example. Nothing against the medication but it's not our reality. I hope this post changes your mind or at least opens your mind.

On an unrelated note, today I received the arthritis compression gloves that I had ordered. I'm not sure if they will help with swelling or joint damage. I do know that so far, my freezing Raynauds hands feel a lot better wearing them. It may not be a cure all but anything in this cold Minnesota winter comes as a small relief right now.
Biofreeze is also in the picture mostly by accident, but it has helped me a lot with my muscle aches.




I am not endorsing any products or offering any medical advice. Only your doctor can do that. I'm just sharing what has or for that matter hasn't worked for me over the years. I'll let you know more about the gloves as I use them more.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year New Hopes



Each time I start a new post. A hundred different ideas go through my head, as I type I usually end up in a totally different direction than I had originally started.
I'm still getting used to putting all of my thoughts down on "paper" for others to read.
Part of me feels self indulgent and another part of me feels self conscious.
That's where the anxious part of me comes into play.

As my husband and I were laying in bed celebrating the new year since I was too sick to do much else. Refer to my previous post if you haven't already. FYI I am on day nine of chicken broth, but I have graduated to a grilled cheese sandwich as well!

Anyway, back to my lost train of thought again! I was thinking about things I would like to do, places I want to go, and things I hope are different in the year ahead.

My starting this blog it is the beginning of one of the things that I would like to continue to accomplish. I hope to keep it up and write something on most days. It may not be publisher worthy but that's not my goal. I don't even go back and reread what I write. Once it's here that's all she wrote! Pun not intended.


I also joined the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation at the end of the year. I will be writing some more about that on a later post, for now here is the link to the website. I hope more of you will join them as well.



I'm hoping to be able to get out a lot more this year. I hope to be able to meet more people whether it be more of you online or more people off-line as well.

I would really like to be able to participate in the arthritis walk this year. I have been trying to participate in the walk here, for many years. I was unable to due to the pain in my knees . Then I had knee replacement  surgery so it has had to put off for a number of years again. Last year I had surgery again to repair the nerve due to the damage caused by the knee surgery.  I'm hoping that this upcoming year will finally be the time. 

I would also like to be able to take another trip to Duluth. It is one of my favorite places to go.
To go climb around the waterfalls gives me a peaceful feeling. 


I would also like to be a louder voice in advocating for my own health. I hope that in doing so that it could help one of you as well.

I would love to be able to run around and keep up with my grandkids, play ball and do all of the things they love to do in the summertime and not get so tired.

I also hope that the relationship with my new Rheumatologist continues to be a good one, and that this new treatment program, continues to be helpful and that I start to improve on it.

I would like to be able to take another trip back to the ocean, back to where my family is. It is another of my favorite places to go. it has been difficult to travel that far due to all of my surgeries as well. To stand at the ocean and feel that fresh air feels like freedom and calm.


I would also like to reconnect with people that I haven't seen or spoken to in a long time.

I would like to be able to go out and do a lot more fun things with my husband as well. We watch a lot of movies at home and enjoy time together but I'd love to go to more events this year.

I would like to not have so much anxiety about so many things. I was never this anxious until I got this sick. I'm not sure why that is.

This one isn't quite as serious as all the rest, I'm playing around with this page trying to figure out how to create a page, and link pages and just basically have fun while sharing my thoughts. I hope by the end of the year this page looks like an actual site.

Lastly, I hope this next year is just a whole lot more fun, a lot less pain a lot less stress. That applies to each one of you out there as well. Hopefully if all of us work together eventually somebody will hear us and recognize us. One day maybe there will be a cure, it might not be in our lifetime, I hope in our children or grandchildren's lifetime. So they don't have to deal with the ignorance and the stereotypes that we endure and will continue to live with until RA or RD is recognized for the debilitating disease that it is.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's one in the morning, and for the first time in a very long week. I am back to the routine of not being able to sleep.
If you poked me with a needle, I would bleed chicken soup and Gatorade. I have so much in my system right now.
I'm going to go backwards a bit before all of this last weeks events started.
Everything was ready for Christmas, well as ready as it was going to be this year.
I had managed to go visit a large portion of my husbands family on December 23rd and had a good time.
December 24th came, my hubby and I spent half the day prepping for my son, his girlfriend Ami, and our grand kids arrival. I was a little tired but those boys always energize me.
We had a great time with them opening gifts and just hanging out. Here are a couple of pictures from that day. 


The boys had to leave to go back to their moms that evening. So my husband and I spent a little while relaxing, and opening the gifts we got for each other. Not too long after that my son and Ami returned and we played games and had a good time for the rest of the evening. I can't remember the last time we had that much fun. We finally went to bed around three in the morning.
Christmas day came, the day had been weighing on me since losing my mom in October. I woke up feeling heavy, my husband had to go to work. I just sat around quietly reflecting on memories of Christmases growing up and thoughts of yesterday with the boys and of future Christmases. 
Later that afternoon my son Brian and Ami came and took me with them to see a movie. We went to see Parental Guidance, it was a great family movie lots of laughs. It was nice to get out for a while and out of my head.

Later I tried to call my dad, the call I always make at Christmas to my parents, I got their answering machine. By this time, I was getting physically and emotionally wiped out and crawled into bed and waited for hubby to get home. We spent the rest of the evening quietly watching movies.

The next day, I was still tired, more tired than normal but I went about my usual business. I finally got in touch with my dad. This is where the last seven days began. I remember some of the conversation with him, not all and I remember yawning a lot, that's not something I make a habit of doing on the phone to my dad. He told me I didn't sound well and to go lay down. Two hours later my hubby called me I don't remember what I said there either except that I told him I didn't want to talk to him and to get off the phone. That night I had a high fever, sorry to be graphic here but I had stuff coming out of every end of me. I couldn't, didn't want to eat or drink anything for the first 24 hours of this thing.

My body hurt, and I know I hurt from the RA as it is but this was multiplied in a way I didn't know was possible. If you can imagine laying on a pile of sharp rocks while covered in bruises, that's what my entire body felt and right now still feels like. The headache was so intense I wanted to scream. I couldn't sleep for the first 24 hours because of the pain. My poor hubby, do you want something to eat? HELL NO! him- you have to eat something, me-no it will just come right back out! 

Finally after hours on end of eventual sleep I managed to get down chicken broth, chicken broth, jello, and Gatorade that has been my diet for the past seven days now. I am thankful that my husband and my son and Ami all were there to help me through this. When my hubby was at work, they came and took care of me and the dog. I probably would have been laying out in a snow pile otherwise. I'm hoping the fact that I'm still awake is a good sign, it's the first day that I haven't slept most of it away. I'm still really weak and tired but I'm awake! I'm also thankful that I didn't get sick till after Christmas, usually I'm sick on Christmas, albeit not this sick! 

Unfortunately it's going around everywhere, so I hope any of you that are reading this don't get it. I had my flu shot, I shudder to think what would have happened without it.
My doctor says this flu lasts someone who is healthy 7- 10 days. I'm not sure what that means for me. I guess more chicken soup and time will tell!