Hi guys I've been AWOL for a couple of months, and have had quite an adventure!
It all started right around the end of October. I was off to a good start that day and had great intentions, I went to the YMCA and started my membership so I could use the pool and take their new chair yoga classes. When I got home I was feeling really good about myself so I decided to push it a bit.... A friend of mine had given me a small electric moped, and I decided today was the day to ride it. It's just a small moped more of the scooter, a bicycle type seat, two small wheels, a footboard and motorcycle like handlebars. It's electric but can travel nearly 20 miles an hour. I managed to get out of my power chair and onto the moped then took off to tour our subdivision! All was going very well and I was really enjoying my ride when I came up near a small boy riding his skateboard. As I passed him wide on the right, he fell off his skateboard kicking it back towards me. Of course the skateboard hit me directly in the front tire causing me to flip over the front of the moped! The next thing I knew I was face down on the pavement and the little boy was crying and telling me over and over how he didn't mean it, I was in excruciating pain, but felt worse for the little guy that was so worried about me! I assured him that it wasn't his fault, it was just an accident, and managed to get my moped back up on its wheels. Fortunately I was only a few houses away from home. By the time I got home I was a complete wreck and crawled into bed listening to my wife say "I told you so"! LOL!
By the next morning my left hand was severely swollen and I decided I should see my doctor. He took one look at my hand and knowing my history, sent me to an orthopedic hand surgeon. Turns out I broke my thumb down inside my palm, and just for good measure had broken my wrist as well! I was placed in a cast, and my dreams of the pool at the Y were dashed for at least three months.
The thing that hurt me the worst was that due to the size and function of the cast I was unable to use the computer. I, like many RA patients, really rely on my online support groups and friends on social networks. Having this great help cut off from me was very troubling and I believe it really affected my depression. Support is so essential to everyone, and I believe even more so for people with autoimmune diseases, that I started to feel truly alone with all of this again. I could send a few texts or short e-mails, but it was nothing like what I was used to. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be back again! :-)
In early December we took off for three weeks to visit our families in Pennsylvania. I was feeling much better being home with family for Christmas. after being there about a week I woke up one day and didn't feel quite right, chills, nausea and more weakness and swelling than normal. my pain level which usually runs about five or six was up in about the nine range and my morphine was not taking the edge off it. That afternoon I went to stand up and the whole room started to swim. That's when I realized this was probably another adrenal crisis. My wife knew what to look for this time around as well and called paramedics, who whisked me off to the local hospital. Thankfully I am now more aware of how an adrenal crisis presents itself, since we reacted right away I bounced back quickly and only had to spend a few days in the hospital, making it back to my mom and dad's for Christmas.
Between the broken bones and the adrenal crisis the atmosphere was just right for a major RA flare, and boy did my RA flare! The last two weeks my pain levels and swelling finally started to come down from astronomical to nearly livable again. Of course it doesn't help that I have been off my biologic since September. I am hoping to restart my Orencia sometime this month. Finally it seems this wild ride is slowing down, my pain levels back down around five, swelling has gone down, I've gone from a cast on my arm to just a brace and yesterday... I went to the Y and worked out in the pool!
I just want to say to all of my friends, colleagues and fellow RA sufferers, that it's good to be back and I look forward to catching up with all of you. I wish you all a great pain-free 2012.