RheumaBlog

Same dragon, different day.

Well, yep, I decided to change Rheumablog’s look again.

I’m blaming it on spring. You know how it is: You just have to toss out the same ol’-same ol’ and try something new. Do some spring-cleaning. Knock down the cobwebs. Out with the old, in with the… well. You catch my drift.

The blog’s pinkish-cartoony-artsy look (the one before last) was nice, but it quickly started looking too cutesy to me. Every time I opened the page, I had to suppress a shudder. So I changed it to that rather serious, dark red theme a week or so ago. It was nice, but dull. So here’s the newest look. I do believe I like it.

But it’s spring. Don’t be surprised if I change my mind.

I just completed a second week-long prednisone dose-pak, hoping once again to demolish the damned hip bursitis once and for all. It didn’t. But there is good news. Several days after the that first round of prednisone, the returned pain started ebbing some. By the time I started the second dose-pak last Saturday, it was down to about half– roughly a four on the 0-10 pain scale.

Now, that’s something to celebrate! My bursitis pain remains at about half what it was a month ago. I hope that this last dose-pak, like the first, will also pack a delayed punch. Maybe the pain will drop a bit further down the scale.

Stranger things have happened.

I’m doing fairly well RA-wise, too. I have occasional twinges and mini-flares, but it seems mostly under control and the meds seem to be working as well as they’re going to. I’m good with it.

In other news, it looks like I’m going to be helping my aunt take care of my uncle three days a week. Uncle J is 80. He’s mostly blind and was partially disabled by a stroke several years ago, and it’s getting harder and harder for Aunt P to do it by herself. I’ll be cooking meals for both of them, taking Uncle J to medical appointments, handling a little light housework, and basically allowing Aunt P to get some much needed rest. She’s had to neglect her own health over the last couple of months, she’s been so busy with him, so this will give her some time for that, too.

It’s odd, the twists and turns life takes. While I’ve always known that one day, my Mom might fall ill and need me, I never expected that she’d need me for as long as she has. And likewise, I never expected that my favorite aunt and uncle would also need my help when they grew elderly. Being unemployed for so long has been hard in many ways. As the managing editor of a newspaper, I was accustomed to being in charge. I loved working with my reporters to hone and punch up stories and I loved putting the paper together each week from start to finish. I loved being busy. I work well under pressure. I loved being needed.

Mom is doing very well these days. Aside from the occasional gentle reminder about taking her meds and keeping herself hydrated, she doesn’t really need me anymore. But Aunt P and Uncle J do. They hold a very dear place in my childhood memories, so I’m pleased that I have the time and the ability to help them. To return some of the love they showed me when I was a child.

One more big news item: I’ve dropped 14 pounds! I’ve just 36 more to go to reach my fighting weight. I wonder if permanently lightening the load on my hips, knees, ankles and feet will have any real effect on the RA? My fingers are crossed.

Happy Easter, everyone!

10 thoughts on “Blame it on spring.

  1. Squirrel says:

    Wow so much going on, Wren! Congrats on the weight loss and so glad to hear your pain levels have dropped to a manageable level. I hope you can find some employment because it sounds like you really enjoyed your work, but you’re so right – to every cloud there is a silver lining and your family is lucky to have you right now!
    Liking the fresh new blog template and also your new picture, have you cut your hair? 🙂
    take it easy!

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    1. Wren says:

      Thanks, Squirrel! And yes, I just got a haircut a couple of days ago. What’s cool is that my hair has gone curly–something I always wanted. All by itself, it did that. I’ve always had straight-as-a-string hair, but a few months back, when I went to have it trimmed (it had grown quite long and I was wearing it pinned up or in a ponytail), the hairdresser and I were surprised when it started curling. I was delighted! This latest cut (done because of the long, very hot summer coming at us fast) was a fresh surprise. Now it’s even curlier.

      I’ve been taking Arava (leflunomide) for a couple of years, now. It’s very similar to methotrexate, including the hair-loss side effect. I have been shedding hair off and on ever since I started taking it.

      So what I think happened is that the new hair, growing back, has come in changed. Curly. It happens as a result of chemotherapy, so I’m guessing that my new curly hair can be attributed to that.

      And wow. I love it!

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  2. Cathy says:

    14 pounds! Hotdiggity! That is awesome news. I love your new profile picture. You look calm and happy, just as I always imagine you to be. Enjoy your time with your aunt and uncle. Losing your job has given you many gifts. Lucky you!

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    1. Wren says:

      Wow, Cathy. I never thought to see this as “lucky,” but it reallt is, isn’t it. Thank you for that sweet, sudden “ahah!” feeling!

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  3. Sabine says:

    Congratulations on the new look(s) and the reduced pain! Hope it will get even better.

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  4. Eileen says:

    Happy Easter Wren! There’s been some heavy stuff going on over on a PMR forum I contribute to – there are more things in heaven and earth Horatio…

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  5. carlascorner says:

    Congrats on the new look for the blog and for you. And I am sure your time with your aunt and uncle will be a blessing for all. And especially congrats on the weight loss (I’m jealous!)…. Cheers.

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  6. clare says:

    i found losing weight, even 20 pounds, did help me. it might have just been that i got in good shape to lose that weight though…strong muscles = less stress on joints! good job!

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  7. rouchswalwe says:

    Frohe Ostern liebe Zaunkönigen!

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  8. Laurie says:

    I’m so glad for all the positive changes you’re experiencing, especially the curly hair!! I’m sure your aunt and uncle are thrilled to have your help and it’s lovely that you’ll be able to spend time with favourite people. I hope the medication continues to help decrease your pain levels and that the spring brings much joy and many flowers!

    🙂 L

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