Health Update

For several months my pain has been manageable. Nothing has been out of control as far as swelling and I’m used to my other aches and pains. But lately, something has been creeping in. Testing just revealed that I am battling a parasite. To say I’m freaked out is a huge understatement. A parasite was discovered last year. I dropped raw milk out of paranoia and followed an herbal protocol that did the trick. I looked at my notes and it happened around this same time last year. Certain parasites can come back each year despite treatment and there are close to a 1,000 that can infest the human body. I play in dirt (compost) when I garden, wipe a kid’s behind everyday, clean a little box for two cats, handle raw meat, vegetables from my garden, farmer’s markets and the grocery store, I eat at restaurants, and I am a freak about washing hands. I could try to figure out where this critter came from and go crazy cleaning and generally freaking out. Or I could do what I am supposed to to get rid of it (going herbal route) and support my body the best way I can. I knew something was amiss though due to pain all over rapidly increasing over the past couple weeks. My boxing gloves are on.

A recent visit with my rheumatologist to go over current lab work revealed MCV and MCH still just above normal. My doctor said that since they are not too high above normal, despite being up there for years, and because the additional blood work he had done came back normal, he is not worried.

blood work 2014

He and I got to chatting and I said that sometimes I wonder what in the world I will feel like when I am sixty if my body is doing this kind of stuff at forty. He responded with a sympathetic “yes…” that trailed off. It was not what I was looking for. I wanted to hear hope. I wanted to hear, “Oh, you’ll be fine!” accompanied with a smile. Honestly, I wanted to hear it even if he didn’t think it was true. Is that bad? I have hope. I fight hard against seeing this as a downward spiral even though people all around me are getting worse. But on the other hand, I do appreciate my doctor’s honesty. No mention was made of my antibiotic protocol (now one year and four months into it), so I am continuing with it. I am scheduled to see my doctor and have blood work done again three months from my last appointment.

Another flaky, red patch has come about as well, and this time in a more prominent spot. Lovely.

psoriatic skin

Current state of my toes and nails affected by psoriatic arthritis. Thank God for nail polish.

psoriatic feet

Shoes I am getting rid of this week thanks to psoriatic arthritis. Can we please have a moment of silence to mourn.

high heels

I can still smile about it all and sport a pair of Naot heels when I want to. Thank God.

mirror

When I was at my chiropractor’s office yesterday, my four boys were waiting in an area outside the room. One was drawing, one had his eyes closed, and two were on electronic devices. I was sitting on the table in the room with my doctor with my back to the door that was open. I hadn’t noticed my four year old come in and sit down. I had just told my doctor when asked how I was doing that I was experiencing increased pain, blah, blah, blah.

And then I felt a little hand on my back rub up and down a couple times. I turned around to see my little guy. He looked at me and said, “your back hurts?” Oh, it broke my heart. I wanted to take my words back. I am attempting to make the best of the situation by embracing the fact that hardships help teach compassion. My little guy does not have touch at the top of his love language list, so it means all the more to me that he came over and put his hand on me out of compassion.

I find comfort in my pursuit to demonstrate joy to my children despite an uncooperative body.Β  Because dwelling on what a drag it is to deal with pain and be hyper conscious about food and products is not going to help produce fruit in anyone. Does anyone else struggle with how our children process what it means to have a parent that is not fully well?

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16 thoughts on “Health Update

  1. I have definitely struggled with grief over both my sons (now 13 and 20) growing up with a partially disabled mom during my ten year long journey with RA. I couldn’t run when my youngest was at the age kids like to run with their parents, couldn’t do the tubes at play places, couldn’t bike for two years before I discovered raw goat milk (now I can bike again). Then I remember the many times my boys have pitched in to help open bottles, carry boxes, move furniture, and I realize that my disease has helped them learn compassion, teamwork, and helped them step up to responsibilities that they will have to deal with when they have families of their own. To be honest with myself, I think they’ve grown up a little less spoiled, than when I was supermom (not that I ever really attained that status!), able to do everything for myself and them too. At age 50 now, I am trying to make it my priority to simplify, downsize, and make life workable so that I will be able to continue supporting their growth as they finish high school, college, and start families. I am so delighted in the work God has done in their lives, of the men He has shaped them to be. I hope to continue to be their encourager, and my husbands comfort, and not be too much of a strain on their desires to take care of me. But I love that they want to do so, just like your sweet boy wanted to encourage and comfort you. It is ok to be open with your pain, and honestly fragile at times, without letting it drag into complaining. And from what I’ve seen of your writing, you do that so well.

    • Kathe,

      I love what you wrote. Thank you. You brought tears to my eyes. I can relate to so much. You point of view was wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and taking the time to do so. It means a lot to me. You were such an encouragement to me today. Many blessings to you and your husband and your precious sons!

  2. Hi Kelli..I’ve missed reading your blog and hearing about you and your cute boys. Because of you I’ve been researching Antibiotic Protocol. My doctor wasn’t thrilled about it and not even slightly supportive of getting me off Methotrexate. I’m kindof at a crossroads right now with my meds and I always appreciate your outlook on treatment. It does feel so nice to know we aren’t alone in this crazy journey! As for your kids, I know my RA has shaped my children in many ways. I always have people, teachers, neighbors ask how I got such perceptive, responsible children who are so aware of others feelings. I truly believe it comes from sensing when mom isn’t on her A game. I never have to say anything when I’m hurting…they just know. This is part of their journey on earth too and shaping them into who they need to be in life. At least that is what I have to tell myself πŸ™‚

    • So good to hear from you!!! Your doctor sounds like my first rheumatologist. I almost feel sorry for them because of how much they believe in what they are taught about treating our diseases. Why not be open minded to other treatments? Stay strong in whatever you feel is best! My first doctor made me feel bad for not starting a biologic. I was nursing a baby at the time. I found my current doctor through the Road Back. He was the only one for my city. And we are the second largest city in TX! I hope whatever you decide to do you have the support you need. πŸ™‚

      That’s so sweet about your kids…. sounds like we mamas feel very much the same about what a crummy body helps teach our children. It’s good to hear how it has played out in other families. Something good is coming out of this!

    • In answer to your question–yes. I have done extensive and multiple elimination diets and I have experienced direct links to food and the role psoriatic arthritis plays in my body. I looked at the link you provided. The items they recommend reducing: red meat, gluten, wheat, dairy, fried foods, and processed white flour were eliminated from my diet years ago. The items they recommend increasing due to the fact that they are anti-inflammatory are in my diet in large amounts daily and I’m a big proponent of juicing and smoothies. A healthy gut and digestive system are discussed which I too believe is paramount to our health. I have done gut healing protocols as well and consume fermented food on a daily basis (kombucha and apple cider vinegar). I also supplement and exercise daily. All of these efforts have helped me keep “my head above water” and I believe could benefit anyone. But unfortunately, my efforts have not eradicated the disease that continues to compromise my bones, tendons, skin and energy levels. That’s not to say that it wouldn’t work for someone else.

  3. PLEASE try eliminating ALL sugars and sweet foods, eat child strength probiotic powders, take glutamine. and coconut oil. I got rid of MY psoriasis by doing this. It returned when I started eating fruit and drinking alcohol again…good luck.

    • Hi Chuck! I have eliminated fruits and sugars for several years now through various elimination diets, candida diets, and detoxes. On fence about glutamine. Have researched it. I drink alcohol maybe 3 times a year at birthday and holidays. Could easily give up, but don’t see it as huge aggravator for me, but I know it doesn’t help. I consume and cook with coconut oil regularly. I have been on probiotics that definately help for years now. Giving up grains and dairy has also been a big help. Glad you have found what helps you! Our gut health and diet are definitely key in skin health.

  4. Hi Kelli ~ it’s been a while and I just wondered how you are doing? I believe I am heading down a similar health-path, though getting diagnosed has been hard (as it seems to be for most) – I’ve had symptoms for over a year now. I also have 4 boys. πŸ™‚ Hope all is well ~ that your health is improving and that you have simply been taking a break from blogging!

    Leigh

    • Hi Leigh!

      Thanks for taking the time to send well wishes my way! And four boys too! Yes, taking a break from writing. Sometimes, even when I should be writing things down, I really don’t want to think about my health more than I have to already. My protocol has remained pretty much the same. There have been highs and lows. But overall, I’m grateful for where things are at right now. I’m sorry to hear you are heading down a similar path. Feel free to ask me anything. I hope you are able to get the help you need from your doctors.

  5. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had downs, but glad you’ve had ups as well and that you are happy with where things are at right now! On Tuesday, the neurologist said based on the amount of damage (it’s not horrible, just more than you would normally see at 37) in my cervical spine, he is thinking RA. So he ran some tests again and this time I am showing positive for rheumatoid factor. I’ve spent a year deep down knowing this was probably the case, but it’s still hard! So now to decide how to deal with it! Thanks for all you’ve written – I will be reading through your posts/protocol again as I think and pray about how to proceed.

  6. Hello! I have been thinking about you. Hope all is well. Are you on Facebook? If so, let’s connect. Take care of yourself and those amazing boys.

  7. OH my goodness. So much in common. I have 4 boys. I have not worn high heels in years. I have psoriasis. My patches are tiny red ones like the one on your cheek. I have the psoriatic nails. I spend so much time at the chiropractor. I have such back issues. I’m still working on getting the PsA diagnosis.

    • Wow! You are right! So nice to hear from someone in a similar situation. Not so nice that we are dealing with some of the same things. The back, oy! (My worst enemy lately.) The shoes…I still mourn…. I’m so sorry to hear you are in a similar boat it sounds with the diagnosis. It took me years. Even after I told my rheumatologist all signs point to PsA he wanted confirmation from more that one dermatologist in regard to my skin and nails and was still reluctant to start officially coding me for a long time, even though he verbally agreed with PsA diagnosis. In my case, it didn’t affect my treatment plan, it probably only flagged my insurance company. But there is something to be said for the diagnosis, the acknowledgement from the medical community that all of the crazy things happening to our bodies are no joke and are happening to other people around the world. I will say that I’m not so sure my chiropractor is on board with the diagnosis. He’s such an optimist. I’m so glad we’re not in this alone. I look forward to checking out your blog!

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