it’s the food, silly!

The woman in this article, “CNN anchor reveals lifelong psoriasis battle,” relates that one of the first things “George” did was to change her diet. I have no idea what EXACTLY that looked like, but I bet I could make a very educated guess. Real food and no pre-packaged food. Her video mentions eliminating the following: eggs, bread, sugar, red meat, seafood, alcohol, butter, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and rice.

Sounds a bit familiar if you know anything about the paleo diet, doesn’t it? read more

too much?

My parents always placed a premium on education. It was important and invaluable to know what was going on in the world and to educate yourself. I’ve always known what I wanted to do. It was never even a question.

I’ve been sick all of my life, constantly in hospitals, constantly sick with everything from pneumonia to allergic bronchitis to asthma. My lungs demand more than their quota of attention. I remember sitting on gurneys being pulled from a hospital room to the laboratory to have blood drawn. I loved the lab and its many sounds. The whirring, beeping, and alarms. How could they find the answers in my blood? What were they looking for? Yes, I wished they’d hurry up and find it, but I was absolutely enthralled. The healthcare workers humored me by telling me in simplified terms, of course, what they were doing. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to look for answers and find out “why” things happened or went awry. I wanted to feel better, too, but I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. read more

paleo and rheumatoid arthritis

On June, 18 2012 I woke up with sore hands—more specifically a very sore right hand/wrist and a slightly sore left hand. There aren’t many things biologically that cause symmetric pain or difficulty. My first guess was Rheumatoid Arthritis, but I didn’t share this thought. I dutifully changed my laptop set up to make it more ergonomic, began Aikido hand stretches with the advice of a friend, and otherwise tried to ignore what, to me, was painfully obvious. Pun intended. It’s not the first time that my education and experience empowered me with information that I really would rather not have retained. I’m joking, of course, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like NOT to know the specifics of some health-related problem I’m experiencing. I’ll revisit this in a different post. read more

perspective

Whenever I read an article about multiple sclerosis (MS) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA), I want to know where the person is in the disease. It helps me to understand their perspective. With that in mind, I was diagnosed with MS in 1991 although I had my first symptoms in 1980. I needed a wheelchair intermittently for a short time in the early 90s but then walked for many years without assistance. I’ve walked with a cane for about the past decade, and I require my wheelchair when we travel as I tire easily and want to do LOTS while we are vacationing. 🙂  I, however, am still able to take the long walks we have taken since first traveling to Japan in 2007. I have foot drop on my left side; I obtained a WalkAide approximately 1.5 years ago. His name is Oscar after Oscar Goldman of the Six Million Dollar Man. Oscar changed my life by allowing me much greater independence. I’ve been on methylprednisolone, prednisone, and Betaseron for MS. I am approved for BG-12 or Tecfidera but never started for reasons which will become apparent in future posts. I went on Betaseron before it was approved by the FDA as the first drug for MS and injected until June 2013. That’s over 20 years if anyone is counting. My body looks like an over-used pin cushion.  I used oral prednisone for RA the first 6 months post-diagnosis, August 2012. I am currently pharmaceutical-free and take only the supplements prescribed by my functional medicine MD. Ah, but that’s a lie. I take Frovatriptan for migraines which seem to be linked to hormones. read more