Home Forums Personal History and Progress Threads The Cynical World of Rheumatoid Arthritis- The Woods Files

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    Sabbatical from AP

    Shortly after my last post I decided to take a break from AP to see if my symptoms would improve. I think they have, and I definitely haven’t gotten worse, however it’s hard to gage an overall improvement because I’m so up and down right now. Furthermore, the weather has been crazy here. One day it’s 90 degrees and humid, the next day it’s in the lower 70s and dry. Constant changes in temperature definitely impact my RA in a negative way. 🙁

    Monday, September 8th will be 2 weeks since I’ve taken any Mino. Since I’m doing decent and not getting any worse, I plan to slowly ramp up again, starting off at 20/20/20 M-W-F. 😉

    We shall see! At least I’m still wearing high heels!


    1977 Elvis Presley… Looking bloated is NOT cute.

    Doing decent from an RA perspective, but not quite where I’d like to be. On a sale of 1-10 (1 being poor, 10 being excellent), I would say I’m at a 7 at the moment. I’m still having issues with my Mino dosage, not being able to get past 30/30/30 (M-W-F). Went to see my AP doctor a few weeks ago and he essentially told me that I look like 1977 Elvis Presley, saying that I looked boated and have picked up a few pounds (guilty). To that point, he thinks I’m having a difficult time metabolizing the Mino (hence my sensitivity problems). Okay, those weren’t his exact words, but that’s my interpretation of what I heard from his mouth. 😉

    That said, he urged me to look into the Paleo Diet (aka Caveman Diet) to see if I notice any improvements. Furthermore, my doctor believes that many people have “insulin sensitivity” but don’t realize it. I thought he had lost his mind after I left his office, but now I might be willing to agree with him on some level.

    Regarding my weight gain, it certainly isn’t the kind of weight gain that happened for no reason. The fact is I eat too much, and have no one to blame but myself. However, now that I have a better understanding of the trigger mechanism as to WHY I’m overeating, everything is starting to make sense.

    I’m definitely not following a strict Paleo lifestyle at this point- don’t judge! I’m trying to ease my way into this so that I’m not feeling overwhelmed. However, since drastically reducing my crappy carb and sugar intake I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way my stomach looks and feels. I’m never bloated anymore, and my stomach is the flattest it’s been in a long time! Furthermore, I no longer have the urge to constantly eat which is amazing! For the longest time I could never understand why I would eat a meal, then an hour later have the urge to eat again even though my stomach wasn’t hungry. Looking back, I now suspect it had something to do with the way I was eating that was making me want to eat more. I can’t tell you if I’ve lost any pounds because I’ve been afraid to weigh myself… but I definitely feel like I look less bloated, and just a tad bit more slender from a few weeks ago. Oh, and my skin looks amazing by the way, and I’m sleeping even better than I did before.

    The hope is that by eating this way I can get my insulin resistance under control and better metabolize the Mino, and drop a few pounds along the way!

    Although I like the idea of eating lots of lean meats, veggies and fruit, I’m not sure how I feel about completely eliminating food groups from my diet. At some point I might look into adding some quality dairy/starchy carbs into my diet, but that remains to be seen.

    Hopefully I’ll look like “1968 Comeback Special Elvis” verses 1977 Elvis sooner than later!

    Hope everyone is well!


    Alright, alright, alright

    It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted an update. It’s interesting how you tend not to write as much when you’re doing well versus when you’re feeling like crap. In the last month I’ve eliminated a great deal of grains & sugar from my diet; I’m trying to follow a more “Paleo” lifestyle. Here’s what I’ve noticed

    Feeling a lot slimmer- essentially NO bloating whatsoever.
    Brain fog is slightly better
    RA pain- practically non-existent
    The constant urge to eat all the time has greatly diminished
    I have weaned myself off daily pain killers/anti-inflammatory medicine *** I know I should be taking a daily anti-inflammatory however I was beginning to have stomach problems… To that point, I felt it was important to give my stomach a break to heal…

    I have minimal stiffness/soreness in the morning if any with exception of my hands; they are being really stubborn. I’m currently not experiencing any “acute pain”, but they easily swell up and my fingers still lock up in the morning. Otherwise, my shoulders, elbows, ankles, feet and knees are feeling great. In fact, I recently began walking up and down stairs fairly normal again which is a huge deal! In terms of pain/discomfort related to Rheumatoid Arthritis, I would say that on a scale of 1-10 (1 being poor, 10 being excellent), I’m at an 8-9 at this point. If it wasn’t for my hands and my stupid index finger digit that is somewhat frozen in place, I would have rated myself at a solid 9.

    Although I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I was a year ago, Rheumatoid Arthritis has definitely left its mark from an emotional perspective. Although I’m feeling fairly well, there’s not one day that goes by in which I don’t think about the “pit of hell” I was in last year. I would LOVE to forget about that ordeal, but I doubt I ever will. The scars may fade, but I suspect the marks they made will always remain.


    Happy New Year to all of my “auto-immunie” friends… Not sure that’s even a proper phrase, but I like it, so I’m going with it.

    Just a quick update… Still feeling pretty well on the low-dose of Mino (30-20-30) M-W-F. Regardless, my body seems to like the low-dose, so I’m in no hurry to increase it. I’m still trying to eliminate all the crappy carbs/sugars (as much as possible), and trying to just eat healthier overall. The only stiffness I’m experiencing is with my hands when I wake up in the morning; it’s very minimal, and sometimes I don’t have any stiffness at all. Or, if I sit for too long I’m stiff, but it quickly fades within moments of walking. Finally, I’m walking up and down stairs again like a normal person! Wow… what things we take for granted. I was a complete asshole before RA- and although I hate RA and don’t wish it upon anyone, I’m sure a much nicer person these days. I’ve learned a lot.

    I just realized it’s been a little over a year since I started to feel better without sliding all the way backwards. Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I’m definitely happy that things are going well for the time being. I’m leaving on a trip for Puerto Rico in a few weeks- it will be nice to be able to handle my own luggage this time and not have people chasing me around asking me if I need a wheelchair. This is a really big deal for me, because I was really wondering if I would ever be able to travel again given how horrible I felt in November, 2013.

    Please… To anyone out there who is contemplating AP therapy, or having a hard time, don’t give up! I can’t stress to you enough that there’s no exact science to this madness! Sometimes it takes a while to figure things out and “tweak” your individual plan.

    Wishing everyone the best in health for 2015!


    It’s been a while…

    I can’t believe the last time I posted was back in January! Still doing really well from an RA perspective. I have zero joint pain, and my morning stiffness is gone. All joints are functional with exception of my right index finger, but that has slowly gotten better, can actually bend it now.

    Still having major issues with brain fog and just feeling overall “icky” some days- not sure how to explain it. Regardless, I’ve come a LONG way- I can’t really complain considering where I’ve been.

    I did have a bump in the road a few weeks ago with tingling in my hands and feet. I know this can be a symptom of RA, but it’s not a normal symptom for me.

    Still trying to follow an overall Paleo lifestyle but admittedly I’m not 100% perfect. These days I’m more concerned about eating “real food”. My basic rule is that I do my best to avoid anything that comes out of a box or package.

    Wishing everyone the best in health!


    Improved Lab Results.. FINALLY!

    Hey there Road Back peeps!

    Hope everyone’s having a great summer! I just wanted to share an update that I’m very excited about. My AP doctor ran my labs last week, and for the first time since I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2011, my C-Reactive Protein is within a NORMAL RANGE! My Sedimentation Rate is also normal, and my Rheumatoid Factor is on the decline. At its highest my Rheumatoid Factor was in the 70s; now it’s down to 17!

    My Primary Care Physician was quite pleased to see my recent lab work. Although I don’t foresee her treating patients with RA, she did say to me quote “I don’t care what you do to treat your RA as long as it’s working”. She also said that she cannot deny the fact that my AP doctor has helped me. Although She’d prefer me to see a Rheumatologist, she’s also of the belief that “It’s your body, you need to do what’s best for you”, and doesn’t give me crap when I go to see her. She’s also very cooperative in running any tests that my AP doctor asks for so that my insurance will pay for it.

    Things aren’t perfect- I still have what I call “baby flares”, and I recently had to a washout of the Mino. That’s okay though- I’m learning how my body reacts to the protocol and I know how to respond when things start to go south. I’ve learned that when I begin to have a flare it’s best for me to do a washout so it doesn’t become a “full blown” flare. I also still have days where I feel “yucky” (it’s hard to describe), but it’s something I can totally deal with, and I don’t have those days all the time.

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