A couple of weeks ago, I decided to give the whole ‘gluten free’ thing a try, to see if it helps with my inflammation and non-rheumatoid rheumatoid arthritis. I have mentioned on Facebook that I’ve been having this pain, these problems, and several people mentioned to me that their pain was significantly managed by going either gluten free, dairy free, or both. I’ve also talked to people for whom these options did not make a whit of difference, but they at least gave them a try. The first two weeks I was gluten free, and now for this last week, on the recommendation of a friend for whom the combination of gluten and dairy was the issue, I’m going gluten and dairy free. Yesterday was day 1 of this horror, and today is day 2. My fear is, what if it helps. Will I then need to go entirely gluten and dairy free, for the rest of my life, in order to keep this condition at bay? Ugh. I hate that thought. I’ll do what I need to do, but seriously, gluten and dairy are two of my favorite food groups.
Yesterday, I also tried a yoga video that I get as part of my Amazon Prime membership, “Easy Yoga for Beginners with Christine Wushke” I woke up stiff and in pain, as I do most mornings. After the yoga video, I still had my pain, but the stiffness was markedly reduced. That’s a step in the right direction, I’d say. If you’ve ever done yoga, you would likely say this is the easiest yoga sequence EVER, and mainly works on stretching your back and legs. There are a total of 2 downward dogs, a few warrior poses, and a lot of resting poses. The J who used to take yoga regularly and could do all of the poses fairly easily would laugh at today’s J, barely able to get into the posts. Today’s J can’t do a downward dog properly, because it hurts my wrists far too much. I can modify the pose by being on my elbows and forearms rather than on my hands. So this yoga sequence is a good thing, basic and forgiving, and I think I need to make it a part of my daily routine. See what that does for me.
At my last appointment with my rheumatologist, she doubled my dose of one medication. You have to ease into it, as it is sometimes hard on the stomach. So I started with 1 pill a day, then was up to 2 pills a day, then she put me on 4 pills a day, and said if that was too much, back off to 3 for a bit. 4 pills a day was horrid, my stomach felt like crap all day, and I pretty much wanted to throw up. Gross. So I pulled back to 3, which was much better. Today I went back to 4, and thus far I seem to be handling it fine.
So, I’m feeling a tiny bit better. Is that due to the yoga? The medication finally starting to work? Just a good day? The no gluten/no dairy diet? I don’t know. I sure hate the idea of no gluten or dairy forever. But a friend on Facebook, who I did know in real life back in High School, said that her husband also has an auto-immune issue (gout in his case), and he deals with it by eating some gluten and dairy and red meat when he’s feeling well, and then if he has a flair, he cuts back to a super limited diet until it goes away. That’s something to consider, at least. Of course, that only works if these foods are a trigger for me, which I just don’t know yet. The key is to get to where I’m feeling better, hopefully, and then reintroduce these foods one at a time, and see if the symptoms come back.
For now, I just want this current flair to subside, so going shopping for an hour doesn’t bring me home in so much foot pain, so doing every day things doesn’t leave me worn out at the end of the day, and maybe I can do a proper downward facing dog, arms and all.