Friday, March 29, 2013

My MRI and the results

So, this past Tuesday I had my MRI. They booked me an "open" MRI because I am claustrophobic. Thank goodness I had them book it, because if this was the "open" MRI, I don't want to know what the regular one looks like. The tube you go in was still way to closed in for me.

They had me laying on my belly with my arms bend above my head. Because I was having one of my hands done, they had that in a tube thingy all stuffed with pads so that I don't move. That kinda freaked me out. Not having control of my hand. I was given a nice comfortable headset and some nice country music to listen to. Was hard trying to lay still when a good song came on and I wanted to dance. LOL

I spent the whole MRI with my eyes closed tight because I knew that if I opened them, I could see how close the walls were. It was bad enough that my elbows were touching the sides. I was only in the tube up to my chest, but that was enough to freak me out.

30 minutes of loud banging, clanking and whirring, and I was free from my restraints and free to leave. Good thing too cause my neck and shoulders were killing me. I also had an itch from hell on my nose. LOL

Yesterday, my Rheumatologist called with the results. The whole reason I had the MRI was to see if there was any widespread inflammation to maybe explain all the pain I have been in. My blood counts have been good and I shouldn't be in pain.

There was no wide spread inflammation. The third joint of my middle finger was a little swollen and there is damage to the second joint on my ring finger. That I knew. It is very puffy and kinda warped. Because there is no wide spread inflammation and my blood counts show that my RA is pretty much under control, he said that I do have Fibromyalgia (Chronic pain). Guess it is a good thing to know what has been causing my pain and that it isn't all in my head.

I see my Rheumy in 3 weeks and we will go over this more then. *sigh* The joy that has become my life.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Latest Rheumy Appoinment

This past Tuesday I had an appointment with my Rheumatologist. Of course Mother Nature decided that she was going to drop a bunch of snow on us that day, so I had the hubby drive me. I hate driving in the snow. I should be use to it after living in New England my whole life, but I hate it.

I got to my appointment late, thanks to this moron who was going 15 miles per hour. The roads were not that bad honestly and I only live 10 minutes away from the hospital that my doctor is at.

So, I get called in and my hubby decided to come in with me, mostly to make sure I tell the doctor everything and to make sure I tell him the truth. I have been in a ton of pain, but I am afraid of sounding like a hypochondriac when I ask for pain meds. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but I do.

The doctor asks how I feel. I tell him I am really sore. Hubby looks at me, then at the doctor and tell him that it took me 20 minutes to make the bed the other day and all I did was swear and make noises like I was in pain, which I was. He asks me where I hurt. I tell him my hips, back, elbows, wrists, ankles, feet, toes, hands, fingers, and shoulders.

When he was squeezing all my joints to feel any inflammation or whatever he does. I swear he enjoys doing that just to see me squirm and make faces. He squeezes the tips of my fingers and it really hurt. The tips of my toes have been hurting a bunch too and have swelled up so much that I have blisters on them thanks to my shoes.

He tells me that the tips of my fingers and toes are not normal RA inflammation spots. Same with my hips, back and my shoulder blades. He feels the rest of my joints, my elbows, my knees. My god was I horrified when he asked to lift my pant legs. I was so freaking hairy cause I hadn't shaved in like 2 months LOL.

He doesn't feel any inflammation and the joints are not hot to the touch. All nice and cool. According to my blood counts, my RA is doing good and pretty much under control. He did up my infusions from ever 8 weeks to every 6 weeks and the does from 400 to 600mgs.

He also said that I more than likely have Fibromyalgia, a chronic wide spread pain. Joy of Joys! Something else I do not want. It would explain all the pain in the wrong joints, the extreme tiredness I have and how the pain gets way worse at night. My sleep at night is really bad. I wake up constantly in pain and am always rolling over to try and get comfortable.

I have to have an MRI of one of my hands, my left one hurts the most, so see if there is any inflammation. If there is none, than he knows I do have Fibro. For now, I am going to look into alternative ways to treat the pain, like acupuncture and massage.

He also gave me a new prescription for Tramadol. This time it is the extended release 100mg with the option to go up to a max of 300mg. I took 1 pill (100mg) that night and it really did nothing. I tried the same does the next night, that again did nothing. So the next night I upped it to 2 pills, then I started to notice a difference. I am still sore, but nothing like I was before. I am going to keep it at this dose until I get worse. I seem to always build up an immunity to all my meds. I think most people do anyway.

I am still really tired and sleep still sucks. I have to take my naps everyday and try to take at least an hour long one. Two hours is better, but it depends on when I fall asleep.

A friend of mine noticed yesterday while we were walking, that I seemed to me a bit more chipper. I know it is because my pain was a ton better and so I wasn't so focused on how I was walking so I wasn't in so much pain.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Homemade Breadcrumbs

Homemade Breadcrumbs

It is sooooo easy to make your own bread crumbs, plus there is no added salt and you can flavor it to your liking.

To make, all you do is add day old bread to a food processor (or to a ziplock bag and pound the crap out of it. Did this in my pre-food processor days).

Pulse on low till you get fine crumbs. 

I have noticed that if my bread is still not dried out a bit, that the crumbs are thicker. You can see that in the white crumb pictures. I managed to get a few loaves of bread for 50 cents in the day old bin at my grocery store. I used those to make these crumbs.

Wheat bread crumbs

White bread crumbs, notice that there are still some chunks. You can reprocess after you dry them out in the oven if you want. No biggie.

Put the crumbs on jelly roll pans lined with foil in an oven preheated at 225 for 10-15 minutes.

After they are cooled, put all the crumbs in a big bowl. Mix with the seasoning that you want. I like Italian seasoning.

When they are all mixed up, put in a air tight container. I have a bunch of quart sized canning jars left over that I have been using up.

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

1 1/2 lbs cubed beef stew meat
1/4 c flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cubes beef bouillon
4 cups water
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp cold water

In a zip lock bad add the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Shake a little to mix. Add the beef to the bag and shake to coat the beef.

Brown the beef in the vegetable oil in a large pot or dutch oven.

Dissolve bouillon in water and add to the pot. Stir in the rosemary, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 45 minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, carrots, celery and onion into the pot. You may need to add more water. I usually do because I tend to add more veggies. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Dissolve cornstarch in the cold water and stir into the stew. Cover and simmer 15 more minutes.


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