Busy hands are happy hands. And achy hands ….


I just realized that February is almost over. Tomorrow is it. Buh-bye, February 2014.

I’ve been so busy, so full of things to do that it barely registered. And I gotta say here: I’m glad. I’ve finally put unemployment behind me—I’m freelance writing and bringing in about the same income that I did right before I was laid off.

I should probably qualify that a little. It is freelance work, which means it could dry up anytime. But I don’t think it will, at least, not right away. And in the meantime I’m racking up experience and a useable portfolio for the day it does dry up.

February. Gone. Amazing. Did I mention how pleased I am? How good it feels to be paid for work well done? And to be so lucky and blessed to be working at what I love. Incredible.

Okay, back to Earth. My poor hands are not so good. Swollen, achy, some days worse than others. The medication change and addition of an NSAID don’t seem to be having much affect, but as we all know, when you’re dealing with RA meds, changes take time.

In the meantime, I’m using my paraffin bath and my cinnamon-scented, microwave-heatable mitts and squeezing a squashy exercise ball in spare moments. Oh, and typing all day. 😉

The next time I post here at RheumaBlog, I’ll be doing so from my new laptop, which I am able to afford because of that stuff I wrote about above. I’m very relieved, because this old one (seven years last month) presented me with a Blue Screen of Death last week. Fortunately, it seems it was only kidding, since here I am. But my previous experience with the B.S. of D. (when the laptop before this one went belly-up) tells me the first B.S. of D. is a warning. The second one is Real.

I should have my new laptop by the middle of next week.

Here’s hoping that everyone is feeling decent and in good spirits. The seasons are changing, whether we want to believe it or not. The Endless Winter is going to end. (Like the Endless Summer here in California, at least for a few days. It’s raining! And it’s supposed to keep raining into early next week! Water from the sky! Whoopeee!!)

My best wishes to all.

Bad toebelly

What is this nausea in my big toe?

On my left foot. Right

Now. How dare that toe mimic

The sickness of my hands?

This toe-nausea burps memories

All buried in the far deepest

this turtle looks like how my toe feels.

this turtle looks like how my toe feels.

pit of my mind. I’ve

dreamt-begged the source

To never never return never.

But now I have this big toe that

longs to puke. I move it, slow

With my breath held but it

Rewards me with pulsing throbs

And I cannot believe it.

I cannot.


I visited my rheumatologist last Saturday morning. My blood tests finally match how I feel, with a wildly elevated sed rate and CRP levels. Seems stupid to feel so triumphant, but I can’t help it because now there’s proof the pain’s not all in my head.

So much for that remission I already knew I wasn’t “in.”

My doc, a bit subdued, is increasing my Plaquenil dosage. It’s the only one of the three DMARDs  I take every day that isn’t already maxed out. And I’m to start taking Lodine, an NSAID I’ve not tried before, as soon as it arrives in the mail.

Then I wait three months. Or maybe six, if I’m feeling exceptionally patient and brave in the face of growing pain and danger of disability. And then, if I still have belly-aches in my hands (and toes … sigh), we’re loading for bear. I’ll start shooting up Humira.

I’m shaking the threat of it at my grubby old dragon like a shaman’s rattle, hoping to scare him back into his pit again.

Shaking … from the threat of it, too.

Please forgive the bad poetry. Sometimes the ol’ mood demands it and I just have to give in.