Friday, October 2, 2015

Monarch Butterflies and a Bunny

Summer's last gasp brought monarch butterflies to our yard only a few days back. Here, I attempted to get some footage of several of them feeding on our New England Asters, and got an unexpected bonus bunny as well.

The winds of Autumn are blowing hard outside now, but at least this video captures some relaxing quiet time. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another Diagnosis

I saw my rheumatologist today. She confirmed that my finger bump is very likely the beginning of arthritis, and, unfortunately, there is no treatment to prevent or slow down the development.

I also went to visit my parents after the appointment, since they live near my doctor's office. My dad has arthritis, further supporting the likelihood that I will suffer the same fate. I looked at his hands. His finger joints have prominent double bumps on them, and he has trouble bending them. It's at least a slow condition to develop. 

I am hoping that if I continue to use and exercise my index finger - instead of adapting by using other fingers - that I can retain joint flexibility longer and maybe prevent the bony growth from obstructing mobility a bit longer. This is all speculation on my part. The doctor talked about a topical treatment to reduce inflammation. I still have plenty of Zostrix with capsaicin that I can use if it gets "angry".

I completely forgot to mention the eye twitch (Myokymia) today, but it's almost becoming a normal part of life now, it's been so many months now.

I am also going to try to wean off the one prescription medication that I take for FMS/CMP: Cyclobenzaprine. She suggested halving the dose for a few months and watching out for worsening pain or sleep, then halving again and watching out again, before finally stopping it. I'm going to see if I can do it, since the dry eyes and dry mouth are starting to really bug me lately, and it may also be aggravating my atrial tachycardia (heart palpitations). I notice the episodes tend to occur right when I wake up.

I'm proud to report that my doctor said she wishes all of her patients were like me. I'm glad I'm managing this all somehow.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Bump on Knuckle + Eye Twitching (Myokymia)

The top knuckle of my right index finger has been a little tender and started "clicking" a year or so ago.  I noticed it while using the mouse on my work computer.  Most of my joints "crack" with pressure, including my knuckles, but this joint "snaps" or "clicks" in a tiny, new way, unlike the other knuckles.  It tends to do this when the top knuckle simply bends, or if is wiggled sideways just the slightest bit.

Yesterday, I looked at my hands and I noticed there is now an ugly, prominent bump on the one knuckle.  See it (circled)?  What the heck is this?

New bump on my top knuckle,
right index finger

I also took a photo of each hand, for comparison.  None of my other knuckles have this bump or pain or clicking.

How do you like my snowy, glittery manicure? :)

When I first went to see my current rheumatologist a couple years ago, she had me get x-rays of my hands and feet, as a baseline to rule out other conditions and prescribe appropriate treatment.  That's also when my possible Kohler's Disease was discovered, though nothing was ever determined about why it occurred or if it signifies anything.  I do remember mentioning the new clicking and pain to her a few appointments ago, but I don't recall any conclusions about it.  With the new bump now, there may be more of a clue about something.

I'm concerned about arthritis, especially since I know my dad is having problems with his hands due to arthritis, and I noticed that a lot of my fibro friends also have comorbid arthritic conditions.

Anyway, I will see my rheumatologist soon, and will be sure to bring this up with her again to see what she recommends.  I'm really hoping I can treat it without adding any new medications to my current list of meds.  Side effects are no fun, especially when I've already got plenty of weird symptoms.

Speaking of side effects, I have been having more eye twitching in my left eye (Myokymia). I'd forgotten I had an episode like this back when I blogged about the x-ray results.  This time, though, my lower lid toward the inner corner of my left eye is the part that keeps twitching.  It's been over a month now, for this bout.  I thought they finally ended a few days ago, but they are creeping back into my daily life again today, even as I type now.

When they started, the twitches would occur several times a minute, which, let me tell you, is pretty distracting.  After about a couple weeks, the twitches slowed down to several times a day, and after a month, I thought they ended.  Now they are starting back up again.  Not sure if this is a side effect of anything, but I will also mention this to my doctor, in case she recognizes anything about it.