Thursday, January 13

Arthritis is for Old People!

Well, a doctor appointment this morning brought Hubs and I some great news. It is always a blessing we do not take for granted when we get a good report for the Doc, as we've had our share of bad, depressing, gloomy and discouraging reports in the past four years.

But tonight I am suffering with an inflammatory arthritis flare. I'm discouraged. Since my visit to the naturopath last spring and the revelation that there are many foods that I am allergic or intolerant to, I have done my very best to avoid and/or eliminate problem foods. And it has paid off, because I didn't have a flare since - until tonight. Bummer. These really are miserable. The pain starts creeping in around late afternoon or early evening, starting as a dull ache in my lower joints and increasing over time (sometimes slow, sometimes rapid), creeping up my legs and core to the point where it's a full-blown, full-body PAIN, much like the aches we all get when we have the flu, but I must take the liberty of saying these aches are worse! More often than not I get a fever, and this is when I label the "attack" as an inflammatory arthritis flare versus just the daily aches and pains of an Ulcerative Colitis/autoimmune disease patient. It can last from four hours to overnight, keeping me from sleeping. If my fever gets really high (it's often stayed above 101 for hours) it is just a tossing and turning, feverish-chills-ridden nightmare. It is these "attacks" that have kept me from being regularly employed the past two years, because I can't control their onset and I can't recover with a magic pill in the event that I have to work.
I will not let myself get depressed about this. I am using this as an indicator that there are some foods that I have yet to eliminate from my diet. I am 80% sure that they are the Nightshades. I made a chicken sausage and tomato sauce to eat with brown rice elbow macaroni last night - and just about 24 hours later here I am just writhing. I can think back to several times over the past six months where I had really bad joint pain (no fevers though, until tonight) and I thought back a day or so and I'd snacked on some cherry or grape tomatoes. Also, we are extremely into Tex Mex and Latin flavors in our kitchen, Hubs and I both LOVE spicy chiles, and I think I've narrowed it down to those being a problem as well. So, I don't have nightshades very often anyway, but I will intentionally go on a Non Nightshade diet/elimination and see if things stabilize and stay that way. Hopefully this is my last food frontier to conquer in my diet!

I really should go, because my joints get so inflamed that it hurts to type. I just wanted to get this out there. I know that things will be better tomorrow, and I'll get this figured out. If you are reading this post and you have experience with Inflammatory Arthritis and/or the Non Nightshade Diet, please comment. I'm always interested to hear other peoples' anecdotes about what worked for them.