Saturday, January 30, 2010

Universal Health Care

Health Insurance, I never realized just how important this could possibly be in my life but i guess everyone can say that once they get diagnosed with a disease, curable or not. Even people who get into major accidents that cause them to be disabled. I was reading a paper i wrote almost 2 years ago for English class on universal health care in the USA and this was the last sentence i wrote; "I can only hope that I myself will not get ill or have a terrible accident without having good insurance." Well I have, I have RA now. Of course at the time my paper was pro universal health care so my views still stand the same today as they did then but I have a much better understanding of it now that it's part of my life. Again i wrote, "This is a very scary yet realistic issue that not everyone cares about because it doesn’t affect all Americans directly, at least not till it happens to them." this is so true and i know i have friends/know people who aren't for universal health care and all i want to do is scream at them just as much as i do about gay marriage not being legal yet.

I won't be covered on my dad's insurance for much longer, just about a year more to be exact. He will be retiring so come December i must have a good job with excellent medical benefits. I'm so afraid of not finding one that's it's really caused me to be stressed and depressed with my situation.

46 million American's don't have health insurance and this includes children.

If I didn't have health insurance to help me afford my medications what would happen to me? let me show you some photos of long term damage first.

Think that's bad? that's just the joint damage, this doesn't include the fact that "Rheumatoid arthritis not only affects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease which may also affect other organs of the body including the skin, lungs, heart, and kidneys" Not to mention the intense pain of how i felt before i got onto my medications. I couldn't move my fingers, nor get out of bed withing aching in so much pain from every joint that i felt like i was dieing slowly.

Now I am GRATEFUL to have a father who has good health insurance for me while i am still able to receive it but the unfortunate truth is that many Americans don't & this brings me to tears. Nobody should have to have a chronic illness or cancer, or break bones or get hit by drunk drivers and become paralyzed etc. without having health insurance. It isn't right, and it isn't fair that these horrible things happen without choice. & the only answer for them is universal Health care. People shouldn't wait until it's them to be okay with it, especially with so many American's losing jobs with this economy.

I had to learn a lesson at a young age my dad told me, it sickens me to know that most people who are adults haven't learned this same lesson.

Please Obama don't give up this fight to fix America's Health Care and offer what is right for everyone.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Dear Stress,

You have been visiting me a lot lately. My dear friend Mr. ipod has been saving me on many occasions throughout this past month and without him I don't know what I'd do. I just want to tell you that me & him together will conquer you time and time again. I know this is only the beginning but please prepare yourself for defeat, because I will not let you win. You may not know this but the more you appear the worse it makes me feel and sometimes it causes my RA to flare up and well that's something I really don't appreciate. You see, I now have medications that will help keep my RA down so even if you two are partners in crime you will not get the best of me. I will always have a back up, so please stay away.



Saturday, January 23, 2010


As if it isn't hard enough to find decent people nowadays, I have another things to worry about; my RA getting in the way!

It's been on my mind a lot since my last relationship ended & it's been almost a month since then. I thought that person was going to be by my side for awhile and boy was I wrong. I kick myself every day since the break up for allowing another person to get so close to me. I worry even more since my diagnoses about finding the right person romantically. How would I tell them? The first date? second? third? or better yet why would I even want to burden another person with my illness? hey maybe I'm just being paranoid I know RA doesn't run my life but it is a part of it now, but it isn't who I am. I'm still the same person as I was before. I just hope it won't scare that person away & if it does then they obviously aren't worth my time right?

Right now I plan on focusing on myself for awhile, I can't handle anymore heartbreak but to be honest I miss having that part of my life. The part where I'm in love.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Helpful things to have

Besides medications what else do i rely on?

1. I've found that it is very necessary for me to get plenty of rest at night or even naps during the day for me to have enough energy and feel good.

2. I got a heating blanket for my bed. I've found it to be very helpful on days that i'm extra sore, which has been a lot lately due to the cold weather and constant rain we've been getting here in southern cali.

3. I downloaded a few iphone apps to help me keep track of my pain as well. iArthritis (99 cents) , & My Pain Diary (free).

4. I recently purchased a wii fit in hope to gets into some yoga and other activities that will help me stay active which in return will maybe help me feel better.

5. I really try to stay as "green" as possible so instead of those arthritis creams on the market i got some all natural organic ones, 1 from a local organic stores called Goodwin's and the other is a burts bees muscle pain relief cream. I find these to help some days that i just need that extra boost.

6. I recently picked up some handmade bath salts at the local magick store "Dragon Marsh" in riverside. 1 is "healing and health" and the other is "lavender" so I'm going to try those out to help me relax on the nights that are stressful for me.

7. I have a book on anti inflammatory foods that I need to start looking into more, I was a vegetarian for a good 6 months but now i just stay away from red meat only. I still eat things that I know i shouldn't like the common "night shade" plants, tomatoes & potatoes. I just can't give up french fries or ketchup! I have made a connecten with food already and notice a difference in how i'm feeling. I need to get back on track and continue to eat as healthy as possible.

8. My planner, this idea was given to me by my stepmom. It's strictly used to keeping track of doctor appointments, people i speak with, phone numbers and things of that nature that deal with my RA.

I hope to have more things i can add to my list as time progresses with my RA.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Medications and such...

I love waking up to doctor offices calling me in the morning. Good way to start my day don't you think? Well it's something i'll just have to get used too i suppose.

I was thankfully able to sleep through most of the night, didn't wake till around 5am at first. I've been feeling the side effect of prednisone which is now a dear friend of mine called insomnia. My Rheumatologist wants to take me off of it as soon as possible, he isn't a fan and i'm not going to argue =] one less pill i'll be having to take hopefully but this won't go into effect until my methotrexate kicks in. (which i mentioned in my previous blog entry) Speaking of medications why don't i give the run down on what i'm currently on.

Diclofenac 75 MG (2x a day)
Prednisone 5 MG (2x a day)
Omeprazole 20 MG (1x a day)
Methotrexate 2.5 MG (6x this past sunday & this sunday then moving up to 8x
every sunday after that)
Folic Acid 1 MG (Vitamin 1x a day)

I have to get blood work done every 6 weeks as well but my Rheumy gave me a standing order so i just have to go in whenever i get the chance every 6 weeks.

I've been researching a lot and have heard good things about something called enbrel. I plan on asking my Rheumy about it on my next trip. It is something that i would have to inject myself so i'm not sure i'm ready to do something like that but who knows. If it helps then i want to at least give it a try.

My approval from insurance went through today which is why i had the nice wake up call. So i'll be calling the Rheumatologist office soon here to schedule my next appointment. =D

It's been raining all week… no pouring all week is more like it here in southern cali. This weather makes me even more sore, can't wait till the sun comes back!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally saw a Rheumy, a what?

"You're how old?" ... "21" I responded to someone i knew at work. "But you're so young!" she exclaimed. "Yeah I know, but it happens." I said back.

Two months ago i was finally able to see a rheumatologist. My primary care docter had done blood tests for the RA factor and it was positive so he had diagnosed me with RA and started me on medications (around last may). Upon my first visit to the rheumatologist (It was on my 22nd birthday!) he had be get another blood tests done to make sure what we were dealing with as well as xrays. On the 12th i was finally able to see him again (my insurance takes forever to get things done) & i got my results back. It turns out to e worse then i expected. He officially diagnosed me with RA & Sjogren's Syndrome (great....) so not only do i have RA but this other thing that i now need to read up on. I got a copy of my blood results and these were the things in bold and circled.

Thyroid Peroxidase : 67 H


ANA Pattern: Speckled

Antinuclear Antibodies: > OR = 1 : 1280

Rheumatoid Factor: 32 H

Sjogren's Anitbody (SS-A) >8.0 POS

Sjogren's Anitbody (SS-B) >8.0 POS

Cyclic Citrullinated: > 250 H

so my rheumy says i have very aggressive RA.... my medications have shifted, starting sunday i'll be taking 6 methotrexate pills instead of my normal 3... for 2 weeks then after that up it to 8 pills every sunday. I was instructed to start taking folic acid and he plans on taking me off prendisone as soon as the methotrexate gets in my system.

Part of me is happy to know for sure what i have, but again this is such depressing news that became a reality now for sure. I'd really like to find some sort of support group in my area to meet with people around my age (22) who are dealing with what i have. I'm so afraid of my future and i'll only be on my dads insurance for another year before he retires. So i'll have to find a better job that offers good insurance so now i'm stressing out. I still can't help but think why me?