Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Checked Up Then Checked Out

I spent 3 hours at the rheumatologist Monday morning.  In addition to all of my normal blood work, I had my vitamin D level checked, a TB test and did a bone density scan.  My vitamin D level was 22 with the normal range for vitamin D being from 30-80.  Doc said this could explain part of my pain and fatigue I have been experiencing lately.  He put me on a prescription vitamin D that is 50,000 iu taken once a week.  My bone density results look good with improvement over the last scan 2 years ago.  This is good since I ride a lot.  Don't need flimsy bones out there riding a motorcycle!  As bad as I have felt over the late part of winter and spring so far, I am feeling equally good right now.  In fact I feel good enough that I have started working out again and have even started losing a little weight to boot.  Doc left it at this, "I am going to leave your meds alone for now since you are feeling better.  I have seen several that have been hurting more this spring due to the drastic temperature swings we have had this year.  We will check your D level in 6 weeks.  If you start hurting call and we will get you in, other wise I will see you in 4 months".

The temperature swings this spring that doc was referring to have been borderline crazy/violent. They have triggered several tornadoes as well as many small RA flares for me.  It was in the 80's the past 3 days but will dip back down into the 30's Thursday and Friday.  Hopefully my RA won't notice it.

I didn't feel up to riding last week on my days off but I made up for it this week riding 2 of my 3 days off this week.  I had planned to ride today also but am fatigued beyond belief right now.  Not hurting from it, just simply run down.  I have included some photos of some of the places we rode through this week.  This is my therapy, I hope you can see why I like riding the road less traveled.


Cathy said...

Gorgeous posts. Having sights like these are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

mary said...

Once again, great pictures. Is the water color somewhat green or is that a trick of the light? I have seen that beautiful green color from mountain and glacier run off.

Spring here has been Jekyll and Hyde also with temps vacillating between 75and 30. So ready for spring and summer to move in and stick around for a while.

Seeing a new rheumatologist today. First new doc in 27 years and I'm a bit nervous. I loved my old rheumatologist but he retired last month. Fingers crossed that this new doc is a good one. I've read tons of nightmare encounters with rheumatologist and I have been spoiled. From day one I've only had one rheumatologist.

Terry said...

Thanks Cathy. It does me good to get away for the day and experience the places and scenery that we ride through. There's much more to it than just riding.

Mary, the water did have a greenish tint to it, not quite as green as the photo though. I would be nervous too about seeing a new doctor after being with one that long. I hope that your new doctor works well with you. My first rheumatologist wasn't a good one but I have been with my second one nine years now. Hang in there, summer will be here (and gone) before you know it!

mary said...

New doc seems good. She feels I can be doing better and added a new DMARD. Also gave me a shot in the knee to try and head off a bakers cyst that was forming. Wish I had seen her before I went out to California a few weeks ago. I am hopeful Yeah!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff as usual. Spring is a bit rough this year, but the students finished up tonight with pizza and wings, courtesy of me, the great punisher. The weather has been just great for upstate NY and I'm hoping things will pick up.
Can't even ride the 10 speed without pain for now, but am getting the lathe setup so I can do small jobs and help friends with basic stuff. The stress is winding down and several of the kids got in to really good schools for the fall plus one just had a baby this week, life moves on.
In spite of it all, life is good.
Keep the faith.

Stacey said...


Great pics! I found your blog while searching for some information on Humira online. I am a 44 year old icu nurse who was just diagnosed with RA. Probably had it for years, but just did not want to hear it. I was drawn to your site because my husband is an avid rider, and I use to enjoy riding with him. I haven't been able to get on the bike in about 6 months now (can't seem to move my knees well enough to get up there--we have a honda goldwing). Went from running 10 miles a day, and doing those crazy insanity workouts, to not been able to make it up the stairs in my own own house in a matter of 2 months. Worst pain of my life...and I finished my shift with a ruputred appendix several years ago, so I am not a whiner by any stretch.
Just started methotrexate (hate it), Prednisone (at least I can walk), and am to start Humira next month. Scared to death, as I am exposed to all sorts of nasty illnesses in the icu...but am far more scared of disability. My vitamin D levels were critical as well. Took the 50,000 iu as well for 8 weeks, and am barely to up to a level of 30 now. Taking 5000 daily to maintain that.
Seeing that you are able to ride again gives me some hope that things will get better. Thank you, for a glimmer of sunlight in the darkness that has taken over my life for the time being. It is to see a gift to see that other people with RA are out there enjoying life. This really lifted my spirits. Thanks,


Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

I find it so weird that so many with autoimmune problems have vit D low levels. Maybe our bodies are attacking whatever processes the vit D...not sure but something for sure that someone should research. Ihope all stays well for you. Ilove the photos! I can ride right there with you! Thanks for sharing! I keep wanting to get back on my blog but my fingers can't do it and I need to get and try Dragon Speak or something of that sort.

Terry said...

Glad to hear it Mary but a shot in the knee? Makes my knee cringe just reading that.

Hey Phil, pizza and wings huh? Sounds like my kind of class! Hang in there, with warmer weather you will be riding before you know it. I am considering breaking out the mountain bike for a short ride if I continue to feel as good as have been over the past two weeks.

Your attitude, despite the obvious, is awesome. "In spite of it all, life is good." I like that!

Stacey, it sucks meeting you under these conditions, but it's nice to meet you and I'm glad to have you following me. My wife works in OR now but did about three years in ICU ... tough job. Do not give up on riding, give the meds about 3-6 months to feel the full effects of what they can do for you. The side effects from the meds are enough but working in ICU with a depleted immune system would scare me also. This is not the first time my D has been low and I have had to take the mega D pills. Seems to be an ongoing thing with me.

Thank you for your kind words, that is one of the reasons that I started this blog. If I can help inspire just one person to keep pursuing what they love to do, in spite of living with obstacles, then it has all been worthwhile. Hang in there and I am certain you will be back riding soon.
on a side note, I have to listen to my body and often have to shorten rides due to my RA but I will never give it up. Having RA does not mean your life is over, it changes yes. The key is to adapt and keep doing things that make you happy.

Deb!!, I have missed you, I have been to your blog numerous times hoping to find a new post. I was hoping you were alright. I have read of several with low D levels here lately. Another factor for me is that I work nights which also contributes to low D. Thanks, getting out to ride away from the cities does me so much good. Far more than any pill can do for me!
Hope to see you back blogging soon, take care of yourself.

Lana said...

Love the pics! I was also diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency. My number was a lot lower - 8.7. Rheumy prescribed 50,000 IUs for two months. People with RA and autoimmune diseases cannot process Vitamin D from food and sunlight so we need to be on a daily supplement. I am also taking 2,000 IUs per day. What fun! :-) I have been affected by the weather changes as well. Like you, it is not going to stop me from getting out.

Terry said...

Lana, my vitamin D is constantly down, I have to take the mega D 2-3 times a year. I also take 2000 iu daily. I haven't got to ride much over the past 2 weeks, Donna had surgery on her shoulder and I have been taking care (trying to anyway) of her on my days off.