I haven’t posted in a while, I actually don’t think I’ve blogged since my last Rheumatology appointment in July… Sorry about that.
So what’s been happening? Well I think I am starting to flare but I am not 100% sure because it is early days. I woke up on Thursday far more fatigued that I usually am, it was an effort just getting out of bed… In fact it was an effort just having the energy to lift my arm! I am well acquainted with fatigue but this is one of the first times it has affected me so severely. I woke up feeling like I hadn’t slept in a week yet my SleepCycle app showed that I had slept the best I had in days.
Earlier in the week I had started running again. I didn’t do much (6x 1 min running each followed by 90 seconds walking) but it really took it out of me. My costochondritis wouldn’t let me run for any longer than 1 minute without making me want to be physically sick… So I stopped running. My knees were also aching after the run and on examination I had found that they had both become puffy.
Although they weren’t pink/red they were warm to touch and so I iced them and put Voltarol (topical NSAID) on them but I saw very little improvement. They haven’t really gone down all that much since.
Yesterday the distal interphalangeal joint (aka the joint at the top of the toe) of my fourth toe also joined in the fun and decided to swell. I actually couldn’t decide if my toe did look swollen or not because I haven’t really examined my toes before so I recruited some of my expert friends who confirmed that my toe was in deed swollen. [I would post a picture but my nails are in desperate need of painting and I don’t really want to inflict that image upon everyone 😅]. My friend Elizabeth from The Girl With Arthritis suggested that my toe looked suspiciously similar to those of people with Psoriatic Arthritis, a condition that has been brought up as a diagnosis for me. Here is a link to a picture that looks very similar to what my toe looks like. [Note – the picture is about half way down the page, but the page is a good read to learn about PsA].
Apart from my knees and my toe my thumb and PIP (middle joint) on my index finger have been swollen on and off… This isn’t unusual but if you add in my other joints and the fatigue (and of course the increased stiffness and pain) it’s starting to look like a flare. And on top of all that I have a low grade fever which isn’t unusual to have during a flare, but this is the very first time I have noticed it. My temperature was 99.4 degrees Fahrenheit earlier and I haven’t checked it again but I feel much the same so I would assume that I still have a low grade temperature.
As you can probably tell from what I have written, I am not feeling on top form but I am actually doing a whole lot better than I usually am during a flare so I am grateful for that. I have also been researching supplements that are supposed to be helpful in treating the symptoms of autoimmune diseases so I am going to bring these up with my GP next time I see him… I am not a great believer in holistic medicines but I am more than happy to give them a go as long as my GP/a qualified medical professions familiar with my case/symptoms/condition/me clears me to take them.
Surprisingly despite this flare my ankle is feeling amazing… This is the same ankle that I have been having trouble with for years but for the last 2 weeks or so it hasn’t swelled up once! I also have very minimal pain from it although stiffness is still a problem. My body is bizarre and I don’t understand it but I am totally on board with my joints feeling better so I am not going to question it! I’m just extremely grateful that I don’t have to deal with a flaring ankle on top of all the other joints and the low grade fever!