Getting Healthy

I’ve gone off my meds for arthritis and psoriasis, so now I am venturing back into the territory of natural medicine to control my symptoms.  I spent the last two years on methotrexate (which incidentally, if you didn’t know, is a chemotherapy drug.  Given in much smaller doses to patients such as me.)

Honestly, I’m not a medication person.  I don’t like to take it.  It’s not a fear of choking or anything like that, I can swallow a pill – though I tend to do the dramatic swig-of-water-toss-the-head-back routine.  It’s more that I don’t like the side effect possibilities or what I imagine they are doing to my body … the more ‘heavy duty’ the drug, the less likely I am going to want to take it.

You’ve seen the commercials, right?  The ones that ask if you have arthritis or high cholesterol, and suggest that you ask the doctor about their little pill o’ Wonder.  Just so you know, though (as the announcer’s voice quiets and speeds up) there is a small chance that you may contract any one of a veritable smorgasbord of side effects.  You know, like cancer.  Or death.  As some attractive sixties-age couple runs through a meadow of wildflowers on the screen, I am left wondering the following:

How did I end up with this wretched arthritis as the ripe old age of 28, anyways?

Are these people frolicking in pain-free wonder supposed to distract me from the fact that the announcer just listed cancer as a possible side effect of this medication?

Just so we’re clear — I’ll be able to freely move my hands in the morning, but the trade off is a life threatening illness?  Well, now, let me think….

So how did I end up on methotrexate?  I came out of a remission phase pretty hard, I tried some of the old food-avoidance tricks that had helped and they weren’t helping, I met a woman with advanced rheumatoid arthritis and her hands scared me into action.  I got tired of being in pain.  I had my hands pretty full with a 1, 3 and 5 year old, and it seemed like the easy fix at the time.

I’ve been off it for two weeks, give or take.  I’m not feeling much different yet.  In the interest of not getting worse, I went back to a Naturopathic doctor today.  It’s been a few years and we’ve moved since my last ND appointment.  This new ND seems very promising, though.  You know the type of person who you feel instantly comfortable with?  That’s her.  

I feel more at home in this kind of clinical setting, rather than a ‘standard’ doctors office.  I’d forgotten that.  I don’t have that feeling like I have to say what the doctor wants to hear (sure, I’ll fill that prescription …), or feel like I have to talk fast(er than usual) to get all the info out before their couple minutes are up and they move on.  I just feel heard.  I feel relief, like someone is going to deal with me and not just my individual symptom at that time.

The next step is an Elimination Diet, because psoriasis is related to digestive issues, but also because my middle child has potential food intolerances.  We are going to do it together, and make the rest of the family eat our clean dinners as well – I mean, do I look like a short order cook?!  To which end, I just whipped up a batch of gluten-, dairy-, egg-, and refined sugar-free cookies.  

So I am moving very slowly, one green smoothie at a time, towards better health.  Which can only help me in my life, and in this journey!  




5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bethefitgirl
    Jun 02, 2013 @ 17:40:43

    I completely understand! Elimination diets can be quite tricky but, they do pay off. Check out his green shake is amazing although the once a week mega vegetable chopping is an experience. I was pretty much already following his plan but, I was still eating coconut and lamb. I dropped these two foods and started drinking his shake and it’s made a huge difference. The itchiness has decreased and I’m about 80% flake free. Good luck with the elimination diet!


  2. Vic
    Jun 14, 2013 @ 17:37:34

    and how were the cookies?!~


    • surrogal
      Jun 14, 2013 @ 20:03:34

      Surprisingly good! And as a bonus, the kids eat up two little cookies happily, but they don’t seem to drive that “I want more!” into gear like regular cookies do. Bonus!


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