I haven’t written for a while and although I have a blog post up my sleeve about the ‘right kind of rest’ I haven’t yet got round to writing it! That’s mainly because, along with being busy with work, I’ve had some sort of virus or another for almost two months. Thankfully, I think I’ve finally shaken them all off now.
Interestingly, with my body occupied with trying to fight this cold, or that virus, my arthritis has been very quiet, which can only be a good thing! In fact, it’s been pretty ‘quiet’ overall since September.
I tried to work out (apart from having lots of viruses/colds) what was different about the last three months. Of course, it could just be the PR taking a rest and giving me some respite, but there could possibly be a reason for it, and like all PR sufferers, it’s difficult not to at least try and look for one!
In September, I started to take vitamin D supplements. I’m taking about 1,000 I.U daily in a liquid form, which is supposedly 500% of your RDA! At my last visit to the rheumatologist, he told me that my last two blood tests showed that I was low on D. “Sub-optimal” said the report, with a note to give me some ‘lifestyle and diet’ advice or something. For some reason, I wasn’t even TOLD that I was low on D, let alone given any type of advice. Given that there seems to be lots of interest by the scientific community in Vitamin D and its links to a variety of ailments arthritis, I’d thought that someone would have least have mentioned it to me!
The second difference is that I’ve cut back on sugar over the last three months – cutting down on some of my favourite treats (milk chocolate, home made cakes, biscuits, liquorice sweets) so that I’m only having one ‘treat’-type thing a week. Although my food diary app hasn’t made any link between sugar and flares, there are a couple of people on the PR facebook who think that there may be some link for them. I guess I’ll have a better idea over Christmas, when it might be harder to be as disciplined over my sugar intake!
Finally, I have noticed an interesting thing about how my perception of my PR pain has changed. Sometime in October, I thought that my PR had been completely absent or extremely quiet over the previous six weeks. Then, when I checked my pain diary, I realised that I’d still had some sort of flare up about a third of the time. However, they had almost all been pretty mild. When I’d started with my PR, a mild flare up a third of the time was probably something very scary and worrying. Yet, these days, pain levels of anything less than 4 (out of 10) even if they are happening a third of the time, don’t even register with me as making much of an impact! I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not!