Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Therapy

I went to my rheumatologist (why does my computer always insist that I am misspelling rheumatologist?) this past Thursday and had several topics to discuss with him.  He is concerned about my hips and right hand mostly.  Instead of switching meds (I was dreading that) or upping the dose of my current meds, he believes that I am just in a bad spot and wants me to take two ibuprofen or aleve twice daily then wants to see me in two months instead of the normal four months.  After checking the results of last weeks blood work and checking my joints and flexibility, he doesn't believe that I am slipping backwards, he thinks I will bounce back soon to my semi-normal life.   I fully trust my doctor, he has seen me through several rough times previously.  I also like the fact that he is not quick to just chock my current condition to meds and recommend a change in drugs and push me out the door.  We have been down this road before and he will exhaust several options before falling back to change drugs.  What is normally a fairly quick 20-30 minute office visit was an hour long this time.  He also wrote a prescription for an adjustable bed, we will see how my insurance company (United Healthcare) responds to that.
I spent part of this morning with my daughter, who has her own photography business, and got to play with her new $5500 digital SLR.  We drove out to the Fort Smith National Cemetery and took some pictures.  It is humbling, walking around and looking at the head stones, each one decorated with an American flag for this weekend, listening to the large flags rustle in the breeze.  You cannot walk through this cemetery and not realize the sacrifice that these soldiers made for us. 
While on vacation last week, I was not able to go do the ride that we had planned to, but I did manage to ride 508 miles.  I also got to spend one day riding with long time best friend and ex racing buddy Mike.  We rode out to one of a few fire towers left in our area, then I proceeded to drag his happy butt all over the place.  Mike is still healthy and very capable of riding hard core trails so I didn't know how he would like what I have been reduced to riding now.  He said he is ready to come back for more.  I have a couple of items coming for my KLR and that should just about wrap up my bike build.  One thing I still want to add is heated grips due to the damage from RA in my hands.  Cold hurts them and I have had to pass on riding days due to my hands before.  I would never have believed I would have a bike with heated grips just a couple of years ago.  Anything to keep me riding ... it's a big part of my therapy for RA!


Candied Frogs said...

Terrific shots Terry. Yes, very humbling indeed! Cudos to you and your daughter for recognizing the gravity of that location. It's like the old Battle of Britain pilots were saying during a documentary interview I just watched: "All we ask is to be remembered... That's all."

Hope that bed turns into a reality for you! Cheers, Andy

Cathy said...

Ha! My computer does the same thing with rheumatologist. I wonder why it isn't included in their word list. Weird.

I hope you feel some relief soon Terry.

tharr said...

Andy, I wish that everyone would take the time to visit a national cemetery to remember those who died for their countries. My daughter drove us back to one section she had found last year to show me how many "unknown" headstones there are. "All we ask is to be remembered" is not much for what our men and women in service do for their countries.

Cathy, haha ... I thought computers were supposed to be smart. I have tried to find a way to add it to my computers word list and finally discovered it this morning. I use a Mac, perhaps it is similar on a PC too. Run spell check and when the window pops up for spelling, in the bottom right corner there is a "Learn" button ... click it for the word you want to add to your spell check dictionary. Now it doesn't tell me that I have misspelled rheumatologist.

abcsofra said...

That picture of the cemetery brought tears to my eyes. As much as I would love to visit Arlington Cemetery, I fear I would be crying too much to ever leave. It just breaks my heart to realize the loss so many families have suffered with all the wars. And yes, keep on keeping on. Even if you need a heated seat too!! Adapting is the key with ra and I just love how you manage to keep doing what you love through adaptation. And my computer seems to hate alot of the medical terms out there :-(

tharr said...

I go out there once or twice a year but it never fails to hit me hard every time I walk around it. Ha ... a heated seat. You might be on to something there Deb! I finally learned how to add words to my computers dictionary, it no longer tells me rheumatologist is incorrect now. Woohooo! Some days its all about the little victories.

Squirrel said...

Great news that your doctor is so responsive to your needs and takes the time to listen. Hopefully he's right and you'll soon be over this rough patch. Also, that's cool your daughter has a photography business. Maybe she could give me a job if I ever decide I want to move to the US :D

Anonymous said...

We managed to both survive and enjoy a trip to Spain and Portugal and even though I am still suffering from walking and jet lag, it was worth it to force myself through it. I see the Doc next week, so thanks for the reminder about the list. One of the reasons that I joined up right after school was out of respect for those in the military and seeing those big cemetaries in France and places like Gettysburg really make me pause still.
Hope you feel better soon.
Hang tough.


tharr said...

Squirrel, I have a good rheumatologist now, my first one was not so good though. Night and day difference between the two of them. I can't stress enough the importance of finding a GOOD doctor. Our daughter had a booth set up at the convention center for an all day event yesterday and she and other vendors set some of their decorations and small items the night before. When she got to the convention center yesterday morning at opening, some of her stuff had been stolen, then she stepped away from her table for a quick lunch and someone stole her american flag. It is really a sad world we live in now days.

Hey Phil, how great that you (and Squirrel) didn't let the RA hold back and both took big vacations this year. I don't mind the added pain if it is for a good reason, hate the jet lag though. Thank you for your service to our country, vets don't hear that enough, it means a lot to this person.

mary said...

Glad your doctor thinks this is a temporary setback. Hope you experience that bounce soon. Not much riding hear. Problems with my knees and hamstrings are keeping me off the bike. Hoping some rehab and lots-o-ice will take care of the problem. Be well.

Gary said...

Wow! Some great photos. And as always, your optimism is an inspiration!

tharr said...

Mary, sorry to hear you're "laid up" so to speak. Hope you're feeling better soon and back out there quickly.

Hey Doc, thank you for the compliment!