Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Fibromyalgia Like Symptoms"

When you're a new mom, people tend to ask how you are doing a lot. More often, in fact, than they ever did when I got diagnosed with RA in the first place. The thing is, I feel like they're not really asking about me - they're actually asking about the baby. Is he sleeping? Eating? Thriving? Starting to sit up? Threatening to crawl? Is he a happy baby? And it is super easy for me to answer all of those questions by saying: yes! We're doing great! Because we are! OZL is doing awesome. He's happy, healthy, growing like a weed, almost sitting up on his own, starting to roll as a mode of transportation, starting to eat some solid foods, smiling, laughing, cooing, cuddling, loving... he's amazing and it makes me so very happy to be with him. 

But how am I doing? Because my life right now revolves so completely around taking care of OZL it has honestly been a bit difficult to separate out how I have been feeling lately. If he's doing great I feel like we're doing great. And swept up in busy days caring for OZL on my own, it actually took me a few weeks to realize that I haven't been feeling so hot.

I've been back on Enbrel for about two months now. I am certainly feeling better on it than I was off it. But it turns out I'm still not doing that awesome. It doesn't seem to be any particular joint or joints bothering me - instead I've been dealing with a lot of overall stiffness and soreness. I've been having a lot of trouble getting comfortable at night so I haven't been able to sleep through the night in weeks (even though OZL does!). Sometimes I am so sore in the morning that it's difficult for me to care for OZL on my own. I've also been having major cramping and aching in my feet, which makes it painful to walk. Which, of course, is not helping my quest to get some exercise. After quite a few nights in a row with very little sleep (where my tossing and turning also kept APL awake) I finally decided it was time to pay a visit to my rheumatologist.

He was not surprised to see me. He said it's not unusual to see symptoms get worse after the adrenaline of the first few months of motherhood wears off. Though he did agree that the pain/stiffness I have been dealing with lately is not how my RA usually presents (I usually have specific joints that are giving me trouble). He called what is happening now "fibromyalgia like symptoms." Instead of giving me something that would reduce my immune response more than the Enbrel already is, he suggested an anti-depressant used to treat fibromyalgia. In addition to treating depression, apparently this group of anti-depressants is also used to treat non-specific pain. I figured it was worth a try. And I really hope it works because I don't want to waste any time focusing on feeling crummy - I just want to enjoy this time with OZL!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Belated Happy Halloween!! Have you ever seen a cuter Harry Potter? ~;o)

All's Quiet on the Blog Frontier

I know, I know...long time, no blog! 

For one thing, OZL has been keeping me really busy. It is really difficult to get a few minutes to myself to sit down and write a blog post. But, for another thing, I've honestly been having a hard time thinking of anything that I really want to blog about.

That's not to say that I've been feeling totally fantastic. I haven't. In fact, I've been exhausted and dealing with several different sore joints at once. I'm still not super in love with my body right now, and loosing the baby weight isn't an easy task with the fatigue and achy joints - and of course that baby I have to take care of all the time! But OZL, River and I have been trying to walk a mile or two every day. And my wonderful sister looks after OZL so I can still go to Pilates every week.

Some days I still really struggle to get by physically. But one good thing about taking care of a baby is that everything takes forever anyways - so if I have to slow down a bit more to accommodate my aches it seems a lot less noticeable now that it was before! Also, OZL is made of magic and spending my days with him just makes me so happy that the aches and pains just seem to matter a whole lot less. For the most part I'm just busy being happy with my son and I don't spend a lot of time thinking about my RA these days.

In fact, the only reason I remembered that I ought to write a blog post at all is that we are finally down to the end of my frozen breastmilk supply. OZL has still been getting a bottle or two of breastmilk every day - and he'll drink the last of it this week. And, quite unexpectedly, I think I'll be sort of relieved when he does. I won't have to fuss with defrosting and re-heating milk anymore. I won't have to be worried that the breastmilk is almost gone. It will all just be over and we can move forward to all the other important things we have coming - like eating pears!!