Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why I Go to the Gym (Part 2)

So (to recap), after going to the gym for a year, I lost 30 pounds and dropped 4% of my body fat.  I can see biceps.  I can feel my back moving.  My knees don't crack as much.  I am stronger and more flexible.  And I even pushed 145 pounds on the back extension machine tonight!  YAYZ!  :)  A new record for me!
But now I have an even more important reason to visit the gym.

The week of July 9, I woke up one morning and could not move; the entire right side of my body from hip to toes was in pain.  I could not walk/stand/sit comfortably.  I have never felt pain like that, even during my cancer surgery/recovery.

Knowing I was visiting sassybear the following week, I immediately went to the primary care doctor ($40 upfront).  She gave me a prescription for 800 mg ibuprofen (for pain) and a script for some x-rays (free) at a local imaging facility.  That was pretty cool; lie down on the table and the machine does the rest.  Six x-rays of my entire right side were made.

Diagnosis: degenerative rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Now, I don’t mind being called a degenerate, but I am NOT fond of being told I have RA.  No cure, can be pain managed with medication/exercise/diet.  I see my primary care doctor (another $40 upfront) tomorrow for further discussion/questions/do I see a specialist/HALP!

I am armed with paperwork to get my questions answered.  I have also done some research, but with the internet, you never know how reliable the information is.

I also have the knowledge of a friend in Massachusetts who is also afflicted with RA (she is much younger than I and has other health complications besides the RA).

So far, I have learned that:

(1) RA is an autoimmune disease; my body is eating itself (oh yeah, start the double entendres here!) on my joint linings.  Hope they are tasty; do they come in chocolate flavor!?!

(2) Exercise is VERY important, as are multivitamins containing Vitamin D, magnesium, and B-complex.  Weight loss removes additional joint stress.  My gym trainers have been made aware of what is happening and are ready to work with me.

So why am I telling you all this?  Certainly NOT for sympathy; if I beat cancer, I can kick RA's ass too!  But perhaps you know someone, or yourself, who is also coping with this condition.  As with anything, the more you talk about it, the more understanding can commence.

I just KNOW I will have more to say about RA.

Until then, I will leave you with my cancer fight song; it's adaptable to RA also!



  1. Anne Marie, Someone was telling me about "Wheat belly", by William Davis. I bought the book, of course. This cardiologist is blaming wheat gluten for allergies, RA... Because of GMO of wheat (corn, soy...) the wheat we eat today has nothing to do with the wheat of 50 years ago. You don't have to believe this of course, or buy the book, but you should try not to eat wheat... for 3 weeks and see how you feel. Personally, I would try anything before starting taking strong medicine.
    Except for the RA, you seem to be doing really well. Your comments on Ron's blog are always such a breath of fresh air, and you make me laugh. Keep up with the exercises and healthy eating.

    1. thank you, dear. diet is one of the things I am planning on discussing with my primary care doctor tomorrow.

      I don't think I need meds right now anyway. I have not had to take one of the ibuprofens for 2 weeks now.

      one day at a time. :)

  2. Ugh, bad news! Sorry to hear it. My sister in law has been newly diagnosed with RA also and she's having a hard time of it. Hope you're managing well.

    And I have no doubt whatsoever you will kick RA's bitch ass.

    1. FUCK YEAH! sorry your SIL is having a hard time. we all have our "pulled up by the short and curlies" moments; perhaps this is hers. I already had mine.

  3. It's always salutary for us to know what may well be waiting down the line - though that doesn't do YOU much good right now, A.M.
    It also helps us to count the blessings we have, even if they do seem to be dropping away one by one - but ditto re you, A.M.

    Don't be reticent in coming back here and talking further about it (YOU - reticent?), even if it's just to let off steam. It's an avenue that's opened up positively for both you and us since you started your own blogging - and we fully expect you to continue forever and a day - no, even longer!

    1. "we fully expect you to continue forever and a day - no, even longer!" - cheese louise, no pressure or anything! thanks a lot! :)

  4. Positive attitudes help, too, and you've got that in spades!

    And it's just further proof that if you exercise, just get up and start moving, you'll be healthier.

    Now, about being a degenerate......Welcome to the club!!

    1. "Positive attitudes help, too, and you've got that in spades!" - having been through the cancer trip, and knowing it's better to laugh than cry (a la gilda radner), I think I can handle this.

      (waves to a fellow degenerate!)

  5. And of course you will add "I Will Survive" to your playlist and we will all join you as your Geek Chorus.