Thursday, 22 September 2011

Long time no update!

Forgive me father for I have sinned, it's been 4 months since my last confession... I mean blog post, yikwa!!  So much for that New Years resolution I made back in Jan to blog regularly...

Soooo, as well as being 4 months since I last blogged, it's been 7 months now since I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis so I figured I'd start off with an update on that.  (Here's a link to my original post about it)

It's been a loooooong 7 months for medical stuff.... Thanx to the arthritis I decided it was time to sort out other medical issues so now as well as the arthritis drugs I'm also on medication for my blood pressure (still too high though so it's an ongoing struggle to find which drugs will beat it down!), and for my PCOS, and couple of months ago my GP put me on Orlistat (the so-called "fat buster" drug which has to be taken with a very strict diet) to try and help me to lose some weight, to help all of the other above issues!  Unfortunately though I had to stop the Orlistat after a few weeks, as my fortnightly blood tests (for monitoring the arthritis drugs) showed that my ALT liver tests were increasing dangerously.  Albeit we don't know 100% that it was the Orlistat until I get the results from my next test but the dates seemed to coincide.  Thankfully though I did managed to lose a stone on them, so I hope I can carry on as well without them as I have lots more to lose but it's a start!!

And as for the arthritis.... Back in March I started on an immuno-suppressant called Methotrexate, initially on the lowest dose, but I'm now on the highest dose for the condition.  I was also taking an anti-inflammatory daily, which was a lifesaver when I started on them both, but thankfully I've managed to come off it now.  I still find it all a little shocking tbh, I went in early last year, being on no medication, and just thinking I might have broken my scaphoid and now I'm hobbling around and taking fricking immuno-suppressants and all manner of other medications!

It's a bit of a toss up in terms of what I think about the effectiveness of the methotrexate.  It has definitely improved my hand. I can now shake hands with people (should the need arise!), my wrist and thumb don't ache all day like they have done in the past, and a large part of the inflammation seems to have gone.  My main elbow problem was that it would get stuck and wouldn't straighten and that has very much improved. And with the exception of the occasional bad day my neck and shoulder are much better.

However on the other hand it kind of hasn't done as much as I had hoped it would.  Deformities have developed, my elbow doesn't straighten fully anymore, I don't have much movement in my wrist, and I can't close a fist as my ring finger and thumb no longer bend much.  Plus it really doesn't seem to have helped my foot and ankle at all, so mobility is my main issue these days, walking and driving.  Still, I guess without the methotrexate things could be a whole lot worse so I should defo count my blessings, it's only been 7 months and my treatment is ongoing, in fact I'm seeing my Rheumatologist next Friday so things could all change yet!

The long and short is that I'm not going to be playing badminton competitively anytime soon (which my friends and Mr Loops are grateful of, they might finally win a game!!) as I'd have to switch hands and hop on one leg to play, but I'm still able to craft, at least at the moment, which is the most important thing to me  :-)

The next health worry though is that I'm off to the hospital tomorrow to see a dermatologist about a potential pre-cancerous growth..... yikes, wish me luck cos I'm bricking it big time!!!

Loops x