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Monday, May 26, 2014

It's Hard Out Here For a Gimp

You know what's hard?  Honestly?  Being chronically sick.  Walking with a limp all day everyday due to inflammation in your foot and no remedy for it.

I have been taking my prednisone faithfully every day and quite frankly I'm over it.  I want to dump it like an unsupportive boyfriend.  Day in and day out I'm taking this hormone that makes my hormones all kinds of out of whack and it causes me great struggles not to fly off the handle and scream at some people more so than I would want to in the past.  Examples...people walking up to the 20 items or less with clearly closer to 40 items. BOGO's do not constitute 1 item!  People that cut me off in traffic.  My childrens School Board - looooong story for another time, lol.  So yes, I hold in my inner rage during such accounts and let the masses shuffle around me while I quietly simmer like a pot on the stove.

"It's okay, I'm in no rush."
"Maybe they didn't see me."
"I'm sure they will keep my kids school open next year and find money in the budget to make it happen!" (hmm...I guess it wasn't that long of a story to tell after all on that last one.)

I guess what I'm trying to say on this Monday evening is that I am just currently feeling sorry for myself that I now have to stay so on top of my health and that it's this exhausting.

Am I alone on this or is anyone else feeling the same way?  Isn't it tiring y'all?  Whew....sigh....snore....


My best,

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How to Dry Skin Brush

Nearly every morning I stretch before I even get my feet on the floor.  I get the circulation going in my lower extremities because these legs are the hardest thing to get going in the morning.  I've also learned that with arthritis, poor circulation can exacerbate the whole situation.  So mama stretches!

I'll eventually get around to showing you guys how I do my morning stretches and post the video on here. But for today's enjoyment let's talk about dry skin brushing.  What is it and why should we all be doing it? Dry skin brushing is the act of using a brush to gently stimulate the skin by brushing all over and reaping the benefits that it causes.

These benefits are why we should all be doing it:
1.  Stimulates the lymphatic system...which should be drained regularly to prevent waste and toxin build-up and Dr.'s have linked lymphatic congestion to inflammation and disease.  PsA anyone?  Heyo!
2.  Exfoliates the skin and helps eliminate dead skin cells.  My skin feels like velvet after doing this.
3.  Increases circulation.
4.  Reduces cellulite.  I have gotten cellulite bad this year due to the weight gain I've experienced on my Prednisone.  I must report that this dry skin brushing has helped to lessen the appearance of "the chunk" in my thighs.
5.  Relieves stress.  If you are like me and get that one or two knots right at the neck and shoulder line then this is for you!  I carry my stress in my shoulders and it results in the tightest muscles.  Since I've started dry skin brushing the knots have melted away and I rarely get them.
6.  Improve digestion and kidney function.
7.  Invigorates your whole system!  And it gives you a certain glow.
- source: Dr. Mercola

So you wanna see how I do it?  This video is my go-to lately and I really like it.  It only took me about 3 days to memorize the steps.  It's a great one if you have time to do in the morning.



If you are pressed for time then I've done this one as well.  This was the first video I ever started using.  I still like it and use it on mornings where I'm all like "Gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!" and crushed for time.



So go out and try it today and let me know what you think.  Have you tried it before and have any other tips for the rest of us?  I'm learning something new every day.  Share and share alike!

My best,

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What is Psoriatic Arthritis?

Well the short answer?  It's terrible!

The long answer?  Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that has psoriasis as a piggyback symptom. Many people - myself included - develop the psoriasis first, then the arthritis.  One day I had a little raised bump on my hairline and freaked out because it appeared at first to be ringworm.  Ack! Ringworm?  No thanks!  I started to carpet bomb it with everything in my natural remedies arsenal and beyond.  Tea tree oil, coconut oil, Head & Shoulders, Selsun Blue and finally a medicated bottle of Ketoconazole Shampoo, 2% (prescribed by a Dr. in the hospital) - but all to no avail.  Nothing worked really well.  Actually, the coconut oil did!  It helped clear out the scales and softened my scalp.

My symptoms that really are textbook psoriatic arthritis ones are as follows:

* Itchy red/brown/white scales of varying sizes all over my body (arms, legs, back, scalp, ears)
* Fingernail pitting on my left thumb and 1 toenail (pictured here at the bottom of the post)
* Enlarged finger (Just one.  It's weird. lol)
* Stiff joints in my knees.
* Sore upper back
* Sore lower back by the end of the day
* Stiff neck

Signs of psoriasis can be misdiagnosed as ringworm (it happened to me) so beware.  If you are prescribed something that after awhile doesn't work - my shampoos - then either seek a second opinion from another Dr. or seek the advice of a good dermatologist.  I used anti-fungals such as Tinactin and Clotrimazole creams on my patches and they initially softened the area enough so I could shampoo the scales out but they always came back and usually with a vengeance.  Arrgghh...it was super annoying. But now I realize that it was because I didn't have a fungus it was just psoriasis!  I was using the wrong antidote for the wrong illness so it was all just wrong, wrong, wrong.

I can't emphasize this enough.  Get the right diagnosis sooner rather than later!  It will save you time, money and frustration in the end.

Now I want to hear from you guys, did you get psoriasis first as a sign that you had psoriatic arthritis? Or did it come later?  For me it was foot pain, psoriasis, then arthritis set it in big time.  A slow progression starting in August 2013.

My best,

Psssstt....Song of the Week is Macklemore "Can't Stop Us" because really?  Can we let something as annoying as psoriasis make us turn into hermits when the world outside is sooooo beautiful?  Nah! :o)
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