Sunday, 28 October 2012


I had a really lovely meetup with my Pagan folk. It was so nice to be able to get out for a few hours and chat (although I will say, I almost didn't go because I was so tired :/). I need to force myself to go to more meetups. Now I need to sleep. Goodnight

Friday, 26 October 2012

Rheumy Rant

As you could have guessed, i'm having a rough time right now. All this stress has thrown me into a flare, especially in my right shoulder/elbow/wrist. I had a rheumatology appointment today, when I came home I ended up sleeping for 4 hours! And i'm still tired!

Speaking of my rheumatologist, he was once more pleasant but dismissive. Basically no inflammation in the joints = not his field. And fibro is just misinterpreted pain signals o.O. Really? Because I totally couldn't tell between the brain fog, fatigue, GI problems and horrible pain i'm experience. Must be something else right? Because tai chi will totally fix all that.

I'm not putting down tai chi, I actually haven't tried it, but I have done other gentle exercises and while they help with loosening things up and relaxing they don't help with all the other problems! Plus, quite a bit of the pain I feel seems more tendon related. There would be inflammation in the tendons, yeah? But that once more isn't joints. Apparently medicine doesn't work very well for inflamed tendons. How about some pain killers maybe!?!

Not to mention he is continuously comparing my pain to his own osteoarthritis and back pain. It's alright to make a comparison to try and explain that you have empathy, but he seems more like he's saying "yeah, everyone has pain, look at my pain! I'm in pain too! But I can still run and lift weights and you should too". I really just don't understand how comparing pain that is quite normal for a 50-something year old to an autoimmune disease in a 23 year old is meant to be helpful...

I just feel like i'm running into a brick wall as far as rheumatologists go. My first one was also very dismissive and told me to get off antidepressants and just be happy o.O. This one is dismissive and doesn't seem to be interested in actually treating me beyond methotrexate and making sure my blood tests are within normal range.

On a lighter note, I did actually get a nice nap in today. I was falling asleep on the bus, so my body must just really be trying to recover from all this stress. Hopefully this weekend will be a nice quiet one.

Also some good news to end with! My husband's job is now offering flexible hours and as he goes in early anyway, he'll now be able to come home earlier :). This will help a lot with Milo and i'm sure be nicer for him <3 maybe we can go back to our afternoon walks together.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


*big sigh* So our neighbour complained about our dog. Now we have a witten warning from the body corporate. For goodness sake >.<. Milo is a good dog! He barked at your cat! Well, I don't blame her for being mad really, what I feel bad about is that someone who thinks ill of us is sharing a wall. Now i'm going to feel anxious every time I come home. Is she outside with her little fluff ball? Did Milo bark while I was gone (he wont, we remedied that the first week thank-you-very-much-complaining-neighbour)? Is she thinking mean little thoughts about my poor dog? How am I supposed to greet her? Eye contact? Do I want to be the bigger person and not complain about her dog barking and being off leash?

Yes I do. I wont complain about her to the body corporate manager. I wont even send a follow up e-mail. I'll just let it be and wait until she moves out (they are fixing up the apartment to sell). And maybe play my music slightly louder and bang more pots around when I cook ;) never said I was perfect.

BTW, passion flower extract is really helping as a panic attack remedy. Greatly helped calm my nerves before my psychology demonstration and just then as I was about to start throwing things at said shared wall. I may take a bit more before bed so that I can actually sleep and no obsess over negative people.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Oh. My. Goodness. It's been a very stressful last few days. My anxiety has been increasing anyway as I have final exams coming up, my family hasn't contacted me, as well as dealing with the ever ongoing pain and problems that come along with PsA and fibro. Now i'm having problems with my neighbour. I wont go into too much detail, our dog scared her cat and that caused some upset. I can understand that, I just hate knowing that someone who shares a wall with us is mad. Plus I know Milo didn't mean any harm :( he just hasn't met a cat....but it also puts a stop on our plan to adopt a cat until we know Milo will calm down.

Anyway, it's all caused too much stress and I was really starting to break down. My naturopath gave me another herbal tablet and a vial of passion flower extract to help deal with anxiety, i'm very thankful for that as i've been able to function much better for the past day and a half than I have for the previous week! Which is good, as I have a very busy week of meeting with my GP, rheumatologist, and osteopath. I met with my OT already today to deal with my wrist brace hurting my thumb, as well as class and getting blood drawn for my monthly tests.

Honestly, i'm tired and really in pain from my wrist, elbow, hips, feet, jaw and ankle. But my back is feeling mostly better! It's nice knowing I have some people on my health care team who are doing their best to help.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Osteopath and Ocular Migraines

Time for an update. I'm off the low carb thing, I started getting ocular migraines and losing weight is just not worth hallucinating.

My R wrist and elbow have been acting up the past few days. I can still use them, but since seeing the OT they have just been grumpy. My jaw is also back to being painful. I'm trying to figure out of maybe there was some trigger that caused it. Sugar maybe? Too much gluten? I'm too tired to try to cut anything else out of my diet right now. Though i'm likely to go visit a Naturopath that focusses for on allergies and diet soon, as suggested by my Osteopath. Speaking of osteopath, she's quite nice. A bit more hard edged than my lovely naturopath, but in a good way. Though she did give me the "sexual abuse is linked to obesity is linked to fibromyalgia" speech. I know that it is their job as a holistic practitioner, but how many times do I need to be told i'm fat? *sigh* But her manipulations have definitely been helping my hip/knee pain and tightness. Not as much the second time around but I can still notice a distinct difference.

She also brought up the anti-TNF meds, which was interesting. My rheumy doesn't want me going on them though as he feels the pain I experience is all fibro because my blood tests are fine. Except from my understanding fibro pain is more in the muscles, and while I do get pain in my muscles a lot of my pain is in the joints. I'm going to have to see my rheumy again soon as I got my MRI results, though i'm dragging my feet :P.

Aaanyway, other than that my energy levels haven't been bad. I went on a crazy 20 minute cleaning spree and got the kitchen and bathroom clean (mostly, the floor is Bran's job ;) ). Still getting good results from the naturopathic medicine as far as my back pain goes. We're going to take Milo to the dog park for the first time in a while, poor thing. He'll be happy that he gets to run around.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


I had a migraine today. I should have seen it coming as yesterday I was getting little flashes out of the corner of my eye and things were getting a little melty at times, today I had trouble focusing, saw a few little flashes, then my head started to split. Thankfully I only had one class today instead of my regular two, and I got to leave early from even that. On my way home it only got worse until everything looked a little bit like a painting and my head was pounding. Took two voltarin and a nap. Two hours later, I was feeling alright enough to make lupper (lunch/supper) and rest for the remainder of the day. I don't get bad migraines very often, but it just puts a stop on everything when I do....i've been getting them more often recently.

In other news, sort of conned my OT into getting the results from my hand MRI (it's related! She is working with my hands!) no lesions, no synovial inflammation, but I do have inflammation in my palm and going up my fingers? I didn't actually get to keep the results so I can't look it up. I'll have to go see the rheumy.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Low Carb and High Fees

Low carbing continues. It's pretty neat in a way, because it's forcing me to utilise some flours i've never used before in order to create low carb options for breading and baked goods. I'm using quinoa flour currently, we all know how good quinoa is and now I can make brownies out of it! ;) Haha, I did have a day off yesterday where I ate chips and a sugary drink (and a piece of banana bread <3) but i'm back on it today! It isn't going bad, though I do not see this as a long term option for me.

In other news i've been reminded again that I owe most of this semesters fees >.>. I do know I owe it, and we are working out a solution, but i'd rather not get the harassing calls. I have spoken with people in the office, I wonder if there is a lack of

I've been feeling a bit better recently as well. Still getting fatigued, but physically i've been not as sore. I'm saying it's from the new naturopathic meds. So i'm going to try and fit in more walking with Milo :) we had a nice half our walk today around a nearby park, and other than him getting some prickles in his paws (poor baby :( he needs little doggy boots!) it was quite good! Though my ankles are not very happy. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Flax Bread

I did some low carb gluten free cooking today! I made a flax meal (also known as linseed meal) bread using the recipe from here. I was actually quite skeptical as sometimes flax can have a bitter taste (though, that flax was probably rancid), but it turned out quite well! It still has a seed-y sort of taste, but it's tasty enough that I think it might be a staple food during my low carb adventure.

Did I mention i'm trying out a low carb diet? One of my teachers was talking about how we should experiment with different diets to understand how our clients will feel, and while I don't think naturopaths advocate low carb diets it will be one that our clients will choose to be on for one reason or another. Plus i'm hoping i'll lose some weight >.>.....and it'll make being gluten free more interesting. I've been going down on my carb limit day by day and currently i'm on 50 g per day. I may lower this once i've gotten the hang of cooking some of the bread alternatives and whatnot, as I really can't stand eating mainly protein (and it's expensive), but for the time being 50 g per day is alright :).

Here is the recipe I used, I halved it (giving half an egg to my dog) and used two thin pieces to make a sandwich. 


  • 2 cups flax seed meal
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder (gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener
  • 5 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil


Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare pan (a 10X15 pan with sides works best) with oiled parchment paper or a silicone mat.

1) Mix dry ingredients well -- a whisk works well.

2) Add wet to dry, and combine well. Make sure there aren't obvious strings of egg white hanging out in the batter.

3) Let batter set for 2 to 3 minutes to thicken up some (leave it too long and it gets past the point where it's easy to spread.)

4) Pour batter onto pan. Because it's going to tend to mound in the middle, you'll get a more even thickness if you spread it away from the center somewhat, in roughly a rectangle an inch or two from the sides of the pan (you can go all the way to the edge, but it will be thinner).

5) Bake for about 20 minutes, until it springs back when you touch the top and/or is visibly browning even more than flax already is.

6) Cool and cut into whatever size slices you want. You don't need a sharp knife; I usually just cut it with a spatula.
Nutritional Information: Each of 12 servings has less than a gram of effective carbohydrate (.7 grams to be exact) plus 5 grams fiber, 6 grams protein, and 185 calories

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Brain...not working so well...

Wooooosh! I'm not sure if it's a side effect left over from the MRI contrast or if it's the low carb diet or if it's just fibro being crazy but my brain is just not working. I've gone back to getting brain zaps and i'm not liking it at all. I've made sure to drink plenty of water and whatnot....meh. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'll have most of the day to rest at least.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Surprise MRI

I had my visit with the neurosurgeon about my back today. It was just so workcover can figure out whats going on really. He said basically i'll be fine, just that there isn't a particular time frame of when i'll start feeling better (the back injury, anyway). So i'm not really sure what workcover is going to do with this information...

Anyway, I also got to jump ahead in line for my right hand MRI! This will show whether the arthritis has damaged my joints yet. Despite the fact that I only put in the request today, they had a cancelation so i'm up tomorrow afternoon. I'm not really sure what I want it to show...of course I don't want there to be damage, since that is irreversible and bad, but part of me wants to have something to show to my rheumatologist to say "See! Told ya! Now I would like it if you gave a crap!". We'll just have to see. It'll be good to get a baseline anyway for in the future to judge if any/how much damage is done in a specific time period. If there is damage, it'll also help say whether it is PsA or RA. I'm not really digging either, but there are some different ways they are treated.

On a very good note, my Naturopath has me on some new tablets that I think are helping. One is a pain tablet which I do notice helping, since I can tell when it wears off (lol). Another is one thats meant to help me calm down and sleep better. I think it's helping, I did sleep well last night. The last is st. john's wart which has anti-depressant/anti-anxiety properties. That one has for sure helped me get off the stupid cymbalta! I've actually not has any brain zaps today, and even over the past two weeks they've been bearable and decreasing. I feel a bit bad that I wasn't able to tolerate the liquid mixes he made, i'm not sure if it was the alcohol base or what...but I just couldn't do it.

Now i'm off to bed to prepare for another full day tomorrow of class, MRI, and a doctors appointment all in different areas of town >.> Yay!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Counselors and Hollandaise

It's been a long day. Mostly because i've been a bit of a mess. Luckily today I was scheduled to see my counselor so I could talk things over with her. I'm missing my family back in the USA, some of whom I know are going through a tough time. It's a bit difficult to get in contact with them because they are all so busy and tend to be asleep most of my day (the day and night are reversed in Oz vs USA). It's been hard for me to be away from them, both when I feel like I should be there helping and when I wish someone could help me. I know everything will work out alright, and i'll just need to keep trying to keep in contact.

Other than that I made poached eggs with hollandaise sauce for dinner :D. It was a pretty easy little sauce, made much easier with the help of a double boiler (aka a big bowl I have over a little pot XD).

Easy Hollandaise Sauce (rough estimate of ingredients)

1 1/2 TB butter
1/2 TB lemon juice
1 egg yolk
3 TB thickened cream*
1/2 TS dijon mustard
Pepper to taste

Melt butter in double boiler. 
Add lemon juice, yolk, and cream. Whisk continuously until thickened. 
Take off heat and add mustard and pepper to taste. 
* Pouring or whipping cream should work fine :) 

This made enough for four eggs worth of coverage. Very yummy <3. Keep in mind you can add more of pretty much any ingredient to taste, just be careful it doesn't get too hot and split. 

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Night Time Rambles

Ah dear. I'm having a rough night. Not so bad pain wise, just can't stop thinking about what would happen if I get I can't i'm getting burnt out only doing a few things a  my family is over in America. It's a lonely thing being over here and sick. Bran helps as much as he can, but he has a full time job and only has so much energy himself. I don't want to be someone who needs a carer, but man it would be great to have a few friends near by who I could lean on.

I'm only 23.

I'm thankful, though, that I have such a dedicated husband. I'm thankful that we own an apartment. I'm thankful that i'm able to go to school full time and not have to worry about money too much because of my husband. I'm also thankful that my sickness isn't as bad as it could be. I had to go to the hospital today to pick up a copy of my spinal MRIs, and there is nothing like a hospital to make you thankful for the health you have. I think maybe it's starting to really sink in that i'll never be 100% again.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Cupcakes in the PM

So, sometimes I write about cupcakes. This is one of those times. I so enjoy those little cup-sized cakes, with their pretty swirly frosting and tender crumb. Have I mentioned I recently got a little cake decorating set? Only four piping tips and some bags, but it made me happy to be able to make my cupcakes look pretty :D. Currently I have some cooling, just waiting for a devine fudgey chocolate frosting to be swirled on top. It makes my day to have a delicious cupcake.

In other news, I stayed home today in order to look after Milo. 'Why are you looking after your dog and skipping class?' you may ask. Thats because he has separation anxiety and will bark and howl and cry when left alone. We've found that using a citronella spray collar works (once he knows it's on, he pretty much settles down and sleeps or chews his toys). Rarely do we actually come home to him having been sprayed by it. But that is also the main reason we are looking to get a cat. We think if he has another animal in his "pack" who is home to keep him company, he wont get as anxious when Bran and I leave. Now we've run into a problem though. We need body corporate approval before we can adopt a kitty. Actually getting approval wont be hard, our neighbours have three cats and a little dog and another couple down the way have at least a cat, it's just having to wait possibly a month before we can get Mr.Pepper. Hopefully they will hold Pepper for us :/.

Now it's time to frost the yummy cupcakes and go to bed, goodnight all.

Monday, 1 October 2012


My goodness, this is more of a note to myself than anything; cold is PAINFUL! The temperature dropped today quite drastically as well as being a little bit drizzly and I can feel it in my joints. Fingers, wrists, elbows and feet are not happy campers. My back is perpetually sore, but the other joints definitely weren't this bad yesterday. I look a panadeine forte this morning and it didn't put a dent in it >.>. Meh.

On a lighter note, we are looking to get a cat! Milo has been lonely and things didn't work out with the dog minder, so we thought a little sibling would help with his anxiety. We've found a lovely cat who apparently enjoys playing with dogs so we are hopeful that we will be able to adopt him :) (his name is Pepper and he is a very handsome short haired black kitteh).