New medications, new energy

Saturday I did over 12,000 steps. I could not have done that twelve months ago. Hell, I couldn’t have done that four months ago. I recently changed medications for my auto-immune arthritis (which specific arthritis it is, is still open for discussion – or I may be extra lucky and have two).

Initially I was hesitant to be too “wow this is wonderful”, as I expressed back in August. I am now down to 3 mg of prednisolone a day which is, I am told, a very minor dose. So I like this new drug. I don’t feel twenty again, I’ll admit, but then again, I’m not twenty. Something I need to try to remember more often when I am drooling over a classmate doing a 100 kg dead lift. She IS twenty!

There is just one minor issue. Don’t do the sun worshipper thing. I knew Drug A and the sun were not good together, but I believed Drug B and the sun got along. Not so. I went to Florida to visit old and dear friends and enjoyed the sun and the pool and a fair amount of alcohol. At one point G said, “Maybe you need some sun cream, you’re getting a bit red”. I duly applied sun cream but the damage was done. I ended up with a very speckled complexion on a part of my anatomy. Three weeks later it wasn’t getting any better and I asked the chemist if there was a cream I could apply. Chemist’s response (knowing my drug regime) was “Go to the doctor. Now.” Bugger, not what I wanted to hear. OK, off to the GP who suggested I see a skin specialist. I don’t want to see yet ANOTHER specialist!

The GP prescribed a cream and gave me a referral to a skin specialist. I already have what are believed to be permanent scars on my left arm now from the sun + Drug A. I don’t want any more from Drug B!


That photo was taken about two weeks ago and while it doesn’t look that bad now, it is still there. Moral of the story – make damn sure your drugs and the sun get along, because there are quite a few drugs that will cause issues with sun exposure. Of course, I could stop taking my drug which might solve the problem, but it is helping me in so many other respects I don’t want to do that. I will see what the skin specialist says. And I will stay out of the sun. I should add that until the skin specialist officially says it is Drug B + sun, it could, theoretically, be anything – but I’m pretty positive. Circumstantial evidence if nothing else: On Drug B, exposed to sun, the above happened.

Other than the sun exposure problem, I’m finally feeling good. Now I make my step count every day. I have no problem going for a walk to top up the steps, whereas five months ago I would have struggled to find the motivation – not physically, but mentally.

I’ve found a terrific massage therapist who has worked on some tight bits and pieces like my quadratus lumborum which has improved my back pain out of sight. One side was tight, the other side was OK.

Similar work around my dicky knee means my knee hardly ever hurts now – a major improvement from the weeks I spent on crutches in 2014. I am taking 12,000 mg of fish oil a day which hopefully is contributing to the improvement, together with 2,000 mg of glucosamine HCL

A new mattress is another factor. Tempur Cloud 21 it is and I swear by it.

Our story began when NASA developed a pressure absorbing material to cushion and support astronauts during the strain of lift-off. They needed an exceptional way of evenly distributing weight and pressure.

This unique material later became TEMPUR: the only mattress and pillow recognised by NASA and certified by the Space Foundation.

Source: Tempur Australia

It is like sleeping on a cloud – or what I think sleeping on a cloud might be like, given I’ve never actually slept on a cloud. Nothing hurts!

While my back and knee might be brilliant at the moment, my shoulders decided to play up. Oddly, I had what I thought were sore biceps, but medical investigations revealed it was a shoulder issue. My physiotherapist has banned me from swimming until I can do 20 prone external shoulder rotations with a 2 kg weight. I also have to do a few other strengthening exercises with thera-bands twice a day. I’m pain free, just not allowed to swim yet.

Staying healthy is a full-time job, I’ve decided. Between visits to specialists, physiotherapists, massage therapists and the dentist (yes, dental work is also being done) plus the specific exercises for the shoulders, plus exercising the rest of body to manage inflammation and pain and attempt to get my forty year-old body back (I’m being realistic, not trying for the twenty year-old body!) there aren’t enough hours in the day. But it IS worth it. I have not taken a major pain-killer for the last twelve weeks! I have taken only two osteo-panadol in that entire period. WOO HOO!

I have two more months of school before I’m qualified to help others in my situation with exercising to better manage their conditions. Technically I can now, but time availability is my problem until I finish classes and assignments. So I have a website to design, stationery to design and a business name to think up. “Natural Morphine” made me sound like a drug dealer rather than a health coach, so I need to come up with something better! All suggestions gratefully considered!

2 comments on “New medications, new energy

  1. Thank you Uta. Taking everything a day at a time, but each day is looking better than the last at the moment!


  2. “Health Coach” to me sounds great. So good that you have a lot of energy back and are making plans for the future; I am looking forward to more of your writing. Best wishes, Uta 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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