A few of my recent articles have been quite serious, so it is time to celebrate progress! After starting my new medication on January 14, 2022 I am happy to report I’m functional again! Friday I started Week 7 of my new medication and I very pleased with progress. Let’s hope it keeps working!
Readers may recall my list of painful bits from I Sat in My Care and I Cried. It was a pretty long list.
What was painful?
- All Toes
- Left hip
- Most fingers
- Knees (yes, even the operated knee felt swollen, but not painful, the right was painful)
- TMJ (jaw joint)
- Left Achilles Tendon
- I also had some plantar fasciitis
Today I can happily report all of that list has resolved except the shoulders and the plantar fasciitis. While I was on Prednisolone and the new medication together, the shoulders and the plantar fasciitis were barely noticeable, but as I tapered off the Prednisolone both reappeared. The plantar fasciitis is minor, only noticeable when I first get out of bed in the morning and hopefully will continue to improve the longer I am on the new medication.
The shoulders I am not so sure about. At my age and with prior injuries, I suspect the root cause of the shoulders may not be psoriatic arthritis (although it is undoubtedly not helping). The right shoulder is the worst of the two and that is the shoulder that has in the past suffered a torn rotator cuff. I’m doing lots of remedial exercises which will hopefully improve the situation (I’ll admit to letting those lapse while I was battling everything else). It is time to focus.
Other than that it is great to be able to do all these things again, pain free:
- Fasten my bra (shoulders are at least allowing that)
- Hold my full coffee cup in one hand (wrists)
- Get out of bed without mobility aids (crutches or walking stick)
- Sit down and stand up without immense difficulty (quads & glutes weren’t firing)
- Be able to clench my fists (no, I’m not planning on using my fists!)
- Turn taps on and off without pain (fingers & wrists)
- WALK!!!!! (mainly ankles, although right knee & left hip had spasmodically interrupted)
That is not an exhaustive list, of course, but hopefully sufficiently illustrative! Functionally, I am almost back to (my version of) normal. I’ve been to the gym and done some hydrotherapy.
The only downside seems to be lethargy. I am quite tired. This may be temporary and may be due to my body adjusting to the new medication, the (tapered) cessation of Prednisolone and quite simply normal life things such as work-related stress. In order to give my body the best chance I have negotiated with my employer to drop my working hours to 24 hours per week. Initially this is for a temporary period of six months and then we will reassess.
The tiredness could possibly be my thyroid firing back up, although based on my last ultrasound we doubt that. Even so, that fact I do have an unhealthy thyroid cannot be overlooked. I’m due for monitoring checks again in April. I was, I gather, a little unusual as a radioactive iodine recipient. Many patients’ thyroid function becomes hypoactive after the treatment but mine never (not yet anyway) did. Both hypoactive (underactive) and hyperactive (overactive) thyroid conditions can result in tiredness/lethargy. Mine, theoretically, could go either way!
I am very concerned about the lack of strength training I have done over recent months as retaining muscle strength really is very important with this and many other arthritic conditions. However, I can’t rush back, I need to pace up again. That is part of the reason for reducing my working hours.
The shoulders, particularly the right one, may be being exacerbated by typing and mouse use. This is something that will also be reduced by reducing my working hours. Of course my bank account is NOT going to like less income, but that is simply a fact of life for those of us with chronic conditions: we have to make our bodies a higher priority than our finances, otherwise we end up with no finances at all as we lose the ability to work.
Overall, pretty darn happy! Of course, there are no guarantees. I’ll just enjoy the improvements while I have them! This gives me space to concentrate on rehabilitating the grumpy shoulders. I’m seeing my myotherapist regularly at the moment to assist.
Concurrent objective is to rid myself of the weight gain from the Prednisolone – there’s always something!
If you are interested in the fascia of the body, this is a great video! This is related to my seeking myotherapy treatment at the moment. More on this another day.