Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's a new record! 

I survived a new record time (record for me, anyway) of 25 minutes on the Gazelle glider machine. My back is spasming, my legs feel like jello and I practically needed a forklift to get my ass off the couch afterward. But if I don't feel worse than this tomorrow, I'll consider the endeavor a success.

It has taken me a year and two months to work my way up to 25 minutes. I had to start at just five. And I was stuck at 20 minutes for at least a couple of months, so this is a major accomplishment.

I just wish it was possible for me to tell decisively when I've overdone it. I can't go by the old adage that pain is a signal that something's wrong. I hurt whether I exercise or not, and the exhaustion is pretty much constant as well.

In other health news, I saw the Sioux Falls rheumatologist a few weeks ago, and she decided I needed to start tapering off the immuno-suppressants even though they're helping. She doesn't feel I'm sick enough to warrant the risk of cancer than comes with Imuran. So I've cut down from two pills a day to one and a half.

You wouldn't think decreasing the dose by only 25 percent would make that much difference, but it is. I've had headaches and nausea pretty much every day since the change, and I'm losing hair. I'm hoping this will stop in a few days.

The biggest bummer, though, is that the neuropathy got noticeably worse five days ago, to the point where it is almost as bad as when I went to the Mayo Clinic. I didn't even realize that the Imuran was helping that much. But I was getting jagged bolts of pain in my calves Sunday night, and my right arm has been tingly and/or numb off and on since last night.

I don't think I have any choice but to just put up with this. No way is the rheumatologist gonna let me increase the Imuran again, and the only other thing I know that works, prednisone, is just as dangerous. And I'm not sick enough to warrant IV meds either.

Something probably completely unrelated: I am getting really nasty electric shock type of pain down the left side of my neck, starting at the ear and going in a straight line down to what I think is a trigger point in one of the scalene muscles. It started before I changed my medication, so I know that isn't the cause. I see the massage therapist next week, and if that doesn't help, I'll make an appointment with the primary care doc because I've never had a pain like this before.

One piece of good news: I'm gonna pay off the Mayo Clinic this month! Only took a year and a half. Now I've got to increase payments on my loans for the foundation and basement repair; those are gonna take until at least 2011 to pay off.

Hadn't posted a health update in a long time because I figured people were probably tired of my whining, but surprisingly, I've been getting inquiries as to how I'm doing. So basically the news is, I'm still kicking, even though my body's doing a lot of kicking back.

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