it’s been awhile since i’ve written anything about how i’m feeling but a lot has changed. at least a lot for me.

right after i found out my blood type i went to florida for a family wedding. it was an awesome weekend, but emotional for me on the ra level. my cousin (the bride) and i shared a few airport arrival tears upon her finding out about my diagnosis. as one of the females on my dad’s side with multiple autoimmunes, she understood and felt my sadness. basically, these tears officially initiated me into our private female-only family club.

the weekend got a bit more overwhelming when i noticed what was probably nodule on my back right heel/achilles tendon. it was an overwhelming feeling to look down, see one heel looking red and pretty oddly shaped while at lunch with my family on the beach. i will admit, i freaked out a bit and teared up in front of everyone. i’m not used to seeing my body just “deform” overnight. thinking back, that tendon had been bothering me the days prior — i kept circling out my ankle to loosen stiffness i’d been feeling. the nodule went away after a few days as did the stiffness in the tendon… this is just something i need to learn to expect.

that afternoon we walked along the beach for an hour and around the resort we were staying, that night at the rehearsal dinner i noticed my knees were hurting so badly i just wanted to sit down. this feeling was so similar to the way i’ve felt my knees hurt after i go to the mall for a few hours sometimes. suddenly i realized this was ra-related pain… that not everyone gets achy knees after they walk a few miles. i might have been experiencing these symptoms at the mall or walking around new york city for years but never placed it as anything more than tired joints — like when you’re feet hurt from walking all day. the next morning, being in a pool never felt so good. aqua-therapy may be something i look into soon.. the movement without the pressure felt amazing on my knees.

my aunt, who is a wealth of information on the blood type diet, autoimmunes & all things homeopathic medicine, was at the wedding too so she talked me thru her recommendations. based on my blood type and swollen joints, she strongly recommended i go gluten (and dairy if i can manage) free. she and my uncle have ridded both genres of food from their diet and with it, my aunt’s long term illnesses are under control and my uncle has stopped taking all medication for colitis.  

i decided i am blessed to not have a serious allergy to gluten or dairy and that instead of going completely free, i’d play with cutting back on most of these foods. if i want pasta or a cookie, i have it. but instead of getting a sandwich every day at lunch with tons of bread, i get a salad with more protein than i would have picked before. i’ve learned i like almond milk, so i’ve swapped my normal milk and cheerios for almond milk and chex mix (gluten free).

being a type o blood type suggests that you eat like the first people on the planet (o blood type stands for “old”), meaning lots of veggies and meat. this shocked me, as i typically avoid a lot of meat because i thought it made me tired. having lessened the gluten in my diet for just two weeks now, i’ve noticed i’m less tired after i eat. it wasn’t the meat after all, it was the bread.

and in agreeance with my aunt’s recommendation, my joints are noticeably less swollen and achy than they were before. this could be the plaquenil starting to kick in too (let’s hope!) but i will definitely give credit to feeling better since i’ve taken stock of my diet and slightly modified.

overall, the last three weeks i have noticed the least amount of right foot pain than ever (no swelling or bruising on the top where the mass is), my finger joints have less visual swelling, my rings all fit, and i find i’m massaging them less. my knees are fine for the most part. i find i rub them sometimes when i’m sitting but no noticeable pain on a regular basis. nothing is super stiff when i wake up and with that, i’ve noticed how my mood in the mornings has improved. waking up happy is a really great thing.

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