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!