Thursday, May 3, 2012

Springtime fun

Spring officially arrived a little over a month ago.  For many psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients, however, the cold morning/warm daytime/cold nighttime routine is a painstaking journey to endure on the way to the days of constant summer warmth.  Many arthritis sufferers welcome the summer because the heat of the sun seeps into our joints and gives us those all-natural shots of Vitamin D. that we need  so bad.  Another huge benefit is the extra surge of energy that comes when the D starts to work and help ease some of that nasty winter pain.

So what is going on in my world this spring?  I am really amazed at the amount of energy I manage to find in my days lately.  It's a really good thing I started that exercise regimen earlier this year, because I seem to be on the go a lot these days.  Between preschool and church activities, both of my writers groups, and whatever else life throws at us, it seems like there is barely ever a moment to just sit down and relax. 

A while back I was having some trouble with my knees bothering me frequently, so my doctor put me on 50,000 I.U. of Vit. D. per week.  I was pretty shocked at the high numbers, but she assured me that it wasn't too high, especially since my levels had tested on the low end of the scale.  I was amazed after a couple of weeks that I felt better.  By the time I went back for my 3 month checkup, I couldn't even remember how long it had been since my knees stopped hurting!  This has been a huge help and energy boost.  I am currently down to a max of 35,000 I.U. per  week, with an appointment scheduled for next Wednesday (5/9) to see where my levels are at now.

Also got new X-rays done today.  The X-rays are updates to compare with the ones we took last year so that we can see how fast or slow my arthritis is progressing, and what damage has been done to my joints over the past 12 months.  I have noticed some changes in the second toe on my right foot, as well as the index finger on my right hand.  My toe is completely out of "whack" , for lack of a better explanation.  It isn't broken, or dislocated, but it is very out of place.  Tomorrow I will try and post a pic to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about, but basically my second toe seems to be growing sideways towards my third toe instead of straight.  The problem with my index finger is that I have what feels like a large amount of bone deterioration in the upper joint.  If you feel of the finger, the best description would be that it feels like a huge indentation in the bone.  I'm hoping the X-rays will give us some insight into what is going on with that. 

In other news, I have taken on a new volunteer venture with Abbott, the company who makes my Humira medication.  I have joined their SPEAK Network, where I will be able to share my psoriasis story/journey with others in need of education, support, or research information.  I look forward to working with them to help spread psoriasis awareness, and hope that one day we will find a cure!