Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Some Days You Can't Win

I've had an up and down couple of weeks since my last post.  As Mike says, "my jackass friend RA" has been dogging me big time over the last 10 days.  We continue to be hit by storms every 3-4 days and we have severe storms in the forecast starting tomorrow night running everyday through next Wednesday ... every day.  I know this has a great impact on my RA so I'm not overly concerned about that yet.  I had a ride planned for yesterday morning but when I got up yesterday, noticed I was in quite a bit of pain from my other problem.  I called my doctor and he told me to come in to his office.  To make a long story short, I'm having some out patient surgery done next week.  No big deal, it just seems like some days you just can't win.  I was so happy last month by avoiding this surgery, if I would have had it done, I would be going strong now.

I have worked in a couple of rides the last 2 weeks even though they did hurt me, it felt great to be riding.  I hope the surgery repairs this problem, I've missed too much riding already this year.  And at my age, I can't waste too many fun days!
I am nearing the completion of my bike build that I started a year ago.  I have had my turn signals and flasher for a while and was waiting for enough extra money to take them to a shop to have them put on.  I had no idea how to wire the turn signals, but thought I would hang them on the bike.  No problem drilling the holes and putting them on.  I them cut 4 pieces of 18 gauge wire, spliced the back lights and ran the wire through shrink tube to the front of the bike.  I was kind of proud of myself and thought I was finished, I would leave the rest of the job to someone who knew what they were doing.  Well ... about 30 minutes later I started thinking and headed back to my shop.  The LED flasher I bought was to plug into a Honda cruiser, so there were no instructions ... zip, zilch, nada.  It's only 3 wires, how hard can it be?  After 1 1/2 hours I officially gave up, at one point I had my headlight flashing.   I went and jumped in the hot tub to relax before going to bed and then it hit me ... instead of using the hot and ground on the bike, run those wires direct to the battery.  I hopped out of the hot tub and ran back to the shop, cut some wire long enough to reach the battery and it worked!  The moral of the story is, never underestimate the power of a hot tub.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Love/Hate Relationship

I have a love/hate relationship with methotrexate.  I hate having to take it.  I hate the blood tests every other month that I have to get because of it, the dry cough that it has given me and the potential long list of side effects that come with the use of the drug.  Fortunately for me, nausea has not been a problem and while my hair has thinned after 8 years of use, I still have some.  While some people might question my use of such a drug, I have had to stop using it while on antibiotics several times over the last 8+ years and every time I realized, unfortunately, how much it does help. 

Like most of you I get blood tests every two months to ensure no new problems are occurring.   The worst potential problem could be liver damage.  Once your liver is damaged it is irreversible.  I did not know until recently though that most serious damage to the liver is not revealed in blood tests.  

I got my latest blood test results back from my rheumatologist (by the way, why does my computer insist that I am misspelling rheumatologist) last month.  I get a nice clean printout mailed to me after every blood test and usually everything is ok.  This most recent one however indicated that I was low on vitamin D.  It also included a prescription for ergocalciferol and a note to start 1000 iu per day after completion of the prescription.  My wife, who is a RN, filled me in on the blank spaces, believe me I have a lot of them.  When you are deficient in vitamin D, your body is going to get it from somewhere... it will rob the vitamin D out of your bones which could lead to osteoporosis.  So to make a long story short, I'm now taking extra vitamin D ... something I might not have realized I needed if it weren't for taking MTX and having regular blood testing done.  So continues my love/hate thing with MTX.