This is Going to be Random!

Hold on to your hats because this post is probably going to be all over the place! I will need to figure out a way to blog regularly during the week to avoid this...

First up, an update on my psoriatic arthritis: Remember that book I was excited to read from the library, "Everything You Need to Know about Arthritis"? Well it talked about all of the different arthritis-type diseases, one of them being lupus. It listed the symptoms, one of them being the butterfly rash. Well, while Tyler and I were in DR, I got this redness on my cheeks and nose. I chalked it up to a sunburn and did not think much of it. I still had it when I got home but figured it would go away. Some days it was darker than others and other times my face looked pretty normal. I do not normally have rosy cheeks or anything so it was new to me. So, Sunday night it was back and this time it was dark. My skin also felt sort of hardened where the red areas were. After just reading about the butterfly rash, of course my mind started to jump to conclusions. Monday was a horrible day because I was so scared that my psoriatic arthritis had been misdiagnosed and I actually have lupus. 
This was my face on Monday. Not crazy red but redder than normal and my face looks really puffy and round.

Outside light

So the good news is that this change in my health led me to contact my rheumatologist, who told me to keep an eye on the redness and if it got worse, to see him before our appointment in April. While I was there, emailing him (I love that I can do that!), I looked around the rest of the site. They had a wellness quiz that I took, which put my score in the "unhealthy" category, mostly due to the fact that ya know, I am chronically ill. I asked for the wellness person to contact me, which she did, and I met with her on Friday. I told her about my symptoms and she said it can be a side effect of the biologic agent I am on, Enbrel, and that I should definitely keep an eye on it and stay in touch with my doctor. She said depending on whether it goes away or not, I may have to change medications. This put me at ease because at least there is a logical explanation for it and it doesn't look like I have lupus! 

The rest of the visit went well. We talked about stress management, my elimination diet and the idea of taking supplements. I think I am going to hold off on supplements until I am done with introducing foods back into my diet but it was something to consider. It just felt so nice to talk to a RN who works with arthritic patients on a regular basis! It made me not feel alone and it helped to answer questions.

Speaking of support, I have been following this gal on Instagram for a while and she invited me to her Facebook support page. The group appears to be all females and everyone has some sort of autoimmune disorder, between RA, PsA (what I have), ankylosing spondylitis, ulcerative colitis, and others. She encourages everyone to post their workouts, diet choices, any tips to reduce inflammation, and any questions or comments to help the other women. I am really excited about it because I feel like I have been a bit alone for the last year. I appreciate my loved ones listening to my fears and questions but I feel like a bit of a burden and I know they can't answer my questions or know how I am feeling. In addition to using my EPA to see a counselor, I am feeling much more positive and less of a recluse. I am still figuring out how to be active while not hurting myself.

And speaking of being active, I did talk to the wellness RN about running. She told me that of course it is my choice to pursue running if I want to but she warned that many people with arthritis are more at risk to have a knee or hip replacement and if there is high impact involved, the odds are even higher. I think that walking and hiking are going to be my new outdoor activity. Maybe riding a bike if I can figure out how to be independent in fixing it (they are SO high maintenance!). 

I chatted with my cousin, Danyel, about it and we are going to start hiking on Sunday mornings. I think I am going to also go after work on Tuesdays or Thursdays because I do love working out outside. I also love spinning and yoga so those will be some activities I do inside. 

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Earlier this week I presented at a state conference, The Perinatal Project. I am not a perinatal nurse but for the Labor and Delivery Course my colleague teaches, I present a topic on bariatric and obese patients and considerations during pregnancy, labor, and post partum. She suggested my topic to the planning committee and they asked me to speak. It was my second time presenting at a conference (first time at Disneyland 2 years ago) so I was a little nervous, but I have given that lecture about 5 times. My presentation was at the same time of 2 others (the participants have a choice of which to listen to) and I ended up presenting to approximately 70-80 people! My presentation was for an hour (the one in California was for 10 minutes and I shared that time with another colleague) and I was worried about getting nervous, talking too fast, and ending early. I ended up almost going over and didn't get to finish all my slides! There were questions and the participants were engaged, and being as how I am pretty passionate about obesity, the time just flew by! It ended up being so much fun and I got a lot of positive feedback, which always feel so nice. I am excited to be able to add that to my CV! Oh, and I haven't mentioned it yet, but my research article that I have been working on with two other authors for about a year and a half, has been sent off to reviewers and we should hear back in about 10 weeks whether or not they will publish our manuscript! Exciting things for sure! I will keep you posted. 

Ready to present!
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The last thing I wanted to mention was I am starting to think about learning more about how to be a wellness coach myself. I love to help other people achieve their health goals and am happy to share my passion and knowledge. If you are interested in chatting with me more about it, please let me know and I can email you.

I hope you all have a great rest of your weekend! 

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