A Tale of Two Rheumatologists

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I’ll call them R1 and R2.

After taking my history, doing an exam, completing bloodwork and sending me for xrays and an MRI, R1 diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in August 2014.

R2 examined me and reviewed my labs and history in January 2015 and said: “You might or might not have rheumatoid arthritis.”

R1 told me that the ball-of-foot pain in my right foot indicated onset of RA.

R2 told me that the ball-of-foot pain in my right foot was biomechanical in origin.

R1 told me: “Yours is not a moderate disease.”

R2 told me:  “Your immune system is acting up” . At a subsequent appointment R2 said, “You’re healthy.”

R1 told me to begin taking DMARDs (Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs). R1 wanted to prescribe the mildest one.

When I told R2 that R1 wanted me to take a particular DMARD, R2 shook his/her head and said: “Oh, no.”

R1 said that diet doesn’t have any impact on disease outcomes.

R2 ordered food sensitivities testing for me.

R1 is a conventional doctor whose approach is directed toward relief of symptoms and slowing disease progression.

R2 is a functional medicine doctor whose approach is directed toward rooting out disease triggers and supporting individuals’ unique paths for healing and returning to balance.

I align with R2’s approach. Or, more aptly stated, R2’s approach aligns with mine.

Healing with Acupuncture

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A few weeks ago I posted a list of potent aids in my healing journey and I am remiss that I failed to include acupuncture.

In mid-November I had my first ever experience of vertigo–a pounding dizziness that made me feel like I was stuck on an out-of-control amusement park ride. The dizziness was accompanied by nausea and it was dreadful. Traces of the vertigo and nausea lingered for several weeks. It was worse in certain positions, particularly lying down. I started to dread going to bed.

I scheduled an acupuncture treatment; and, fortunately, after the first session, the dizziness and nausea disappeared completely and have not returned. I am ecstatic about that!

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IMG_20150213_123804606I have had a few more acupuncture treatments since then for ongoing treatment of my autoimmune condition and the aches in my foot, wrists and hands. I don’t have to understand how acupuncture works–I just know that I like it. I feel better afterwards, and there is science that supports it as an effective modality for autoimmune conditions.

I feel blessed to have an acupuncturist in the family!!

Still Here

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Perfection: Lobster tail, scallop and asparagus — It’s been 3 years since I last enjoyed lobster… Let’s not wait so long next time, huh?

I have missed being more consistent with my blog. January was a little rough with a flare that involved achiness and decreased range of motion in my wrists and achiness and decreased function of my hands. Thankfully that is easing off now. I can pick up plates and even the iron skillet again. What a joy!

I have a couple of theories about my flare, which I will explore in a future post. I have made a few shifts and have had some new insights. I look forward to blogging about those soon as well.

I look forward to giving a 6 months update in two weeks. Six months!! I have a hard time getting a handle on the passage of time since I began the Paleo autoimmune protocol.

Healing continues.