WHAT THE CLINT PADDISON PROGRAM HAS DONE FOR ME !

First of all, sorry for being late with my Blog, but our new fishing boat venture has kept me on my toes, so to speak ! Lots of lovely people been taken out by Pat seeing Pilot Whales, Dolphins, Seals and even the Sea Eagle has obliged by flying low over the boat ! Also endless mackerel being caught, so busy times !
Alongside all this, some of you know that I started on the Clint Paddison Program some eight week’s ago and I thought that on this Blog I would update you as to my progress, bearing in mind that in the weeks before I started I was taking 3 Neurofen Plus a day, plus 15mg of Methotrexate and my Humira + folic acid +++ ! After 17 years of non-stop pain, I was ready, willing and able to try anything.
After watching Clint Paddison’s TED Talk I decided to take him on and see if this ridiculous idea that by changing your diet you could eliminate the symptoms of RA ! As the advice on what to do was FREE I signed up to receive his emails every day, though I will say right now, I didn’t believe a word of it !  I also weighed myself which really depressed me!  Sitting down for the last 5 years hadn’t exactly done much for my waist line !!
Day One was give up milk and dairy. Easy peasy – after all, I didn’t drink much milk – so why was there so much left in the fridge after 24 hours ?? Also I just had to eat salads, which I love ! In addition I also had to juice together celery and cucumber which made a bright green drink, but tasted absolutely delicious !
DAY 2 was spent going to see my GP to ask him if it was OK for me to follow this plan and go and stock up with celery and cucumber. Only that evening did I realise that I hadn’t taken any pain killers for the last couple of days. Strange…. but maybe it was due to this detox he was talking about ?!
DAY 3 he teaches you on a video how to make a 2-sudo grain mix – so back to town to buy the ingredients to which you add dried seaweed – it tasted terrible !  So I consoled myself with munching on some fresh pac choi and even more salad.  But I did find that the lovely green drink took away any hunger pangs.  It was at this stage that I realised slowly my RA pain was going and, best of all, my fatigue had diminished almost completely – after only 3 days !
DAY 4, 5 & 6 you gradually start reintroducing sweet potatoes which I love (which was a good thing as I still didn’t like the grain mixture !) and steamed vegetables. I also went and stood on the weighing scales and discovered I had lost 7 lbs in six days !!
I wont bore you with all the remaining 8 days, but I drank gallons of water, got used to black tea and point blank refused to give up my morning coffee hit, but do drink it black! Yes, you have to give up Alcohol, but that wasn’t a problem for me as wine, etc. had long given me a terrible headache since starting Humira.  Sugar was a bit more difficult and it means reading the labels on everything to find out what’s in them. But hey, if I found myself craving I just reached for the cucumber and celery drink and hey presto craving gone !
I’m now in my 8th week. I have lost 2 stone (28lbs) in weight and am no longer hungry at all. I also have lost all my Fatigue and Pat says I’m a totally different woman !!  Also I can fit into loads of clothes I thought I would never wear again and yes, I’m delighted with myself  !   I should add that this is definitely not a diet as I would define one.  It’s just a question of changing what you eat to stay healthy and pain free.
I did a Podcast with Clint Paddison the other day and definitely talked too much because in the meantime I had been to my Rheumatologist who was amazed by the change in my blood levels (my CRP was down to 0.5 !) and by my weight loss. So much so that she reduced my Mtx down to 7.5mgs and says if I am still improving when I next see her in January, I can come off it altogether!  I am just so delighted by it all.  I know I’m not cured, but living without any pain is amazing.  I can walk further than ever before (until my little used muscles protest !) and at 71 feel reborn !
Clint continues to email me great hints and tips each week and I have bought his on line book which is full of advice and recipes, but you don’t have to if you can’t afford it. It’s up to you.
I’ve just received an email from him saying that they have now reached over 1 million people in Australia and he says:

“With the growing uptake of my program worldwide, I’m now working with some predominant doctors in the US to have the Paddison Program results included in a scientific paper to change the way this disease should be treated by the medical community. It’s great that a movement is in place which has a patient’s health as a top priority, not the profits of drug companies.”

How great is that ?!  So now I will end by saying why not give it a try and rid yourself of that pain, those flares and that dreadful fatigue !  Well done and thank you so much Clint Paddison !

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A PAIN IN THE WOTSIT !

 

OK so you have RA/RD or some other autoimmune disease and there’s no point in looking back.  You are here, at this point in time, and you have PAIN of one sort or another.  They come together like strawberries and cream, or rather more like slugs and snails moving from one point of your body to another.  Just as you think you are pain free, you try to get out of bed and back it all comes.
The trick, or the way to cope with it comes in all shapes and sizes and is different for everyone.  For some it may be drugs, diets or loosing weight, or heat pads or ice packs – it really doesn’t matter as long as it WORKS for you.  I’m going to bore you all and tell you what works for me starting at the top.
BRAIN FOG comes and goes and often I am told that I have totally ignored someone who was calling or waving to me.  But I am fixedly concentrating on getting from a to b and my vision tunnels down to what my brain is fixed on.  Sorry, but there it is !
My EYES have occasional blips.  I had my cataracts done and since then I occasionally see pretty circling prisms rotating around my vision.  What is slightly wrong is that they are still there if I close my eyes, so I told my Rheumatologist and she asked if I had seen an optician ?  No I haven’t and this is mainly because I now just take all strange things as part of my RD !  Maybe I should, but as they are always associated with a slight headache I just go to bed and count backwards !!
Pain in my HANDS drives me scatty !  I can no longer close a fist at all, so drop most things and it hurts, really hurts when I try to pick them up.  So I have a handy reacher in several rooms in the house as I can never remember where I put them!  I have compression gloves which help a lot in winter and wrist supports for when I drive, but the pain in trying to do most household chores leaves me unable to do more than one chore a day – sometimes not even that !  I used to love working in the garden and still can to a certain degree.  No, I can’t mow the grass or bend down far enough to weed, but I now have a long handled weed gripper that you push in over the weed, and rotate. Obviously it’s the ‘push’ and ‘rotate’ that limit me and if I try to work through the pain, then I pay for it the next day !  I find the best thing for sore hands and wrists is Arnica Oil which I massage in and which smells divine !!
My KNEES are a whole other subject !  One is OK and one is not. I had a knee replacement on it and now I can’t bend it and it hurts all the time, bearing in mind that I had it done in 2011 !!  I also had a HIP replacement in 2005 and that was successful though both hips twinge a lot during the day. But bearable !
My rotten hip replacement threw my FEET out of balance and I ended up walking around with a broken foot for 18 months.  Yes I went to the hospital several times and yes, they Xrayed it and said it was broken, but nobody wanted to fix it.  Walking on broken glass would be one way of nicely expressing the pain until I eventually went to a brilliant foot surgeon in Dublin (300 miles from where I live !) and he told me the great news that the other foot was breaking too. So he fixed the first one with titanium implants in 2014 and the other one in 2015.  So I was in a wheelchair and/or walking boots for 3 years !  But the pain endured is OK if you know it is going to be fixed and disappear – not the same thing at all with the rest of your body that can’t be fixed with an operation or drugs, or diets, or whatever.
And then, just for good measure your body throws in the FATIGUE.  Before I started on Humira in 2005 I was so exhausted that I had to go back to bed about an hour after getting up !  My Humira magic juice sorted that out to a great extent, but slowly and relentlessly the fatigue is creeping back ! I tell myself that its because I’m going to be 71 this year and I should be slowing down, but in reality I act like an ancient granny and just go to bed at 7.30pm, put my heat pad on where its hurting and watch TV from the prone position !!  If we have to go out of an evening, then I rest in the afternoon – that way I can make it to about 10pm.
I can’t remember back to when I didn’t have RD and life was normal, but as I said at the beginning of this article, if you have it then you are stuck with it and it’s up to you to make the best of your life in whatever way you can.  Filling your somewhat foggy mind with other thoughts and being determined to enjoy living to the fullest you can is definitely the answer.  Don’t moan about your lot in life, smile and do what you can. If nobody else notices it, then at least you will and also set yourself a tiny goal to achieve each day.  You can succeed against all the odds – well, I’m still here as living proof and I really like that !

 

 

 

SURVIVING A CRISIS !

First a little background. I have moderate to severe Rheumatoid Disease. For my European friends who still call it Rheumatoid Arthritis, I am from now on deferring to our American cousins who have got fed up with the word ‘Arthritis’ and people automatically assuming that is all you have. For those new to my Blog, RD is an autoimmune disease that is incurable and affects many organs in your body apart from just joints. The drugs that are available for it have absolutely no effect on ‘arthritis’ and have varying effects on the chronic pain and severe fatigue that come as added extras to Rheumatoid Disease.
Next – I live on the Beara Peninsula in the far SW of Ireland. My nearest neighbour is about quarter of a mile away. We have beautiful mountains around us, clean air and dark skies and are about half a mile from the sea – the Atlantic Ocean, next stop USA ! So, sparsely populated, so much so that I know no-one else who has RD around here. Hence the Blog which has had the marvellous effect of linking me to the rest of the world and thousands of people who also have RD – so I am no longer alone from that point of view. I live here with my retired ex-Drilling Superintendent husband and although it is now two years since my last operation on my right foot, he looked after me wonderfully till 4 week’s ago.

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The Beara Peninsula

Crisis time ! He slipped and fell in the garden and broke his ankle, so my first very abrupt job was to drive him to hospital, after not having driven for 2 years ! Worst of all was parking by the hospital in the very busy car parks, but it does come back like riding a bicycle and we did the 160 mile return journey without too many scary moments ! He was plastered and put on crutches and told not to put his foot down for six weeks, so in a trice I became the carer instead of the cared for !
I can only walk about a quarter mile, but we have two dogs who needed walking, so it was out with my Quingo into the pouring rain, which I actually rather enjoyed ! This was after having to wake up in the morning, get tea and let the dogs out and then make breakfast. Help Pat dress and get him to the breakfast table. Anyone who has spent time on two crutches will know that it means you are unable to carry anything, so I became the Fetcher and Carrier. The house had to be cleaned so I dusted off my I-Robot Roomba and put my tired self into cooking lunch mode whilst it zoomed around hoovering the floors. Seeing it whizzing around reminded me that I had a Power Chair in the garage, so my son was called over and he got it working again for his Dad who was delighted at now being able to get around the house without the crutches and, in all fairness this made him very useful for all jobs involving bending from the waist – something that gives me alarming backache ! So he was put in charge of the washing and tumble drying, setting the table and at this very moment is cleaning all the cupboard fronts in our Kitchen that haven’t received such attention in years !! So not all bad.
Afternoons are spent shopping and Pat wants to come, even though he has to sit in the car whilst I shop ! (I did this for eight years during and after various operations). I can push the shopping trolley just fine and put the stuff from the trolley into the car, but getting home is a whole new game! in that I cannot carry anything heavier than a handbag without my wrists collapsing. The remedy for this was first to get Pat safely out the car and into the house, then go back to the car with a barrel trolley that I found in the garden shed and which I can push as far as the kitchen door loaded with the shopping. Then unload it slowly and get Pat to put anything away in places he can reach. I do the rest. Next comes preparing dinner ( how I would love a Cook/Housekeeper right now ! ) I actually love to cook, but when it has to be done every single day, it’s exhausting ! During the years when Pat worked away all over the world, I spent long months on my own pre and post op. I was very careful to only confine myself to a couple of rooms, eat ready prepared meals and sit in my chair and watch telly in the evenings. Now I have to feed dogs and cats, let them in and out the door (how I would love a Doorman too !) cook and serve dinner, clean up, load the dishwasher lock up and sink exhausted into bed. My knees, hips, hands and wrists ache and my walking speed is reduced to a crawl!
On the bright side, he only has two more weeks to go and then back to Cork for walking boots so I am just hoping he gets used to them very very quickly ! Also I have come to realise just exactly how much he was doing for me before the crisis occurred – but I am secretly longing to just be able to throw myself into my bed for an afternoon rest – what luxury that will be !!

I’M LATE AGAIN !

This Blog was supposed to go out on Sunday, but I was absolutely wrecked after running around looking after my husband Pat and his broken ankle ! However since then my lovely son Jason has come over and put the ramps back in (that he took out about a year after my last foot operation) and now Pat can use my Power Chair and get all around the house at great speed !

I managed the driving up and back to Cork University Hospital with only a few short intakes of breath at the sudden amount of traffic compared to here on the Beara where we don’t even have traffic lights !  It was a surprisingly  quick visit seeing as how  Pat had to be X-rayed twice and see the doctor twice, but he is now in a huge fibreglass cast with cold toes !  I managed to find some old walking boot socks which fit fine, so another problem solved !   We even got our hair cut and visited Griffins Garden Centre which has a very helpful wheelchair that he could push himself !
I must say I had not realised just how much he was doing for me before and my attempts at being Superwoman have just resulted in immense fatigue on my part – so now with the help of the Power Chair we can spread the tasks out between us and all I need is for it to stop raining so that he can take over walking the dogs with my Quingo !
Again, I must apologise for this being such a short blog, but I hope to return this coming weekend bright eyed and bushy tailed !!
Take care all of you……….and don’t slip !

FEELING FATIGUED ??

I’ve just come back from my six-monthly visit to my Rheumatologist in Dublin and am still exhausted ! Pat and I went up on the train because I get free train travel for me and my ‘carer’ and rather rashly, I decided to do the whole trip up and back in one day!   Going up meant having to get up at 5.30am and it is a 3 hour journey to Dublin on a reasonably comfortable train – that is, it would have been if I did not have a very large person sitting next to me squashing me against the window !
The visit to the doctor went fine and she was well pleased with my lack of inflammation, so feeling full of good cheer we went and had a long chatty lunch with an old schoolfriend of mine and her husband. Two glasses of wine later came the time to get in the cab to go back to the station and, ignoring Pat’s advice to sit in the front, I got stuck half in and half out of the back of the taxi !  Never mind, two stout men to push and pull me and out I popped to sit feeling very foolish in the front. Memo to self: Take note of what Husband is saying in future !
By the time we got home I was exhausted and that Perfect Husband of mine was saying “I told you we should stop the night in Dublin” but I was too tired and sore to care and it’s taken another two days to get myself back to Square One !
On the way back down I was contemplating to myself ways to save energy – some of which I already do and some of which I really should do, so my Blog this week is all about ways to avoid feeling so exhausted.
– Food shop on line. This must be possible for all of you, because here in the remoter parts of the South West of Ireland, even I can do this. Keep a running list of groceries and order at the end of the week. Not only (for a few euros) will they deliver, but they carry it all into the kitchen for me, so no more having to haul heavy bags.
– You can also shop on line for gifts or gift vouchers for your relatives, saving the need to trudge around the shops getting more and more cross and exhausted. I pride myself on being a canny on line shopper and even got a heated cat basket for my rescue cat the other day !
– Line the bottom of your oven with one of those brilliant nonstick oven sheets that you can cut to size and rinse under the tap. This is especially useful if you can’t bend down far enough to wipe up spills !
– Cut back on ironing by spraying creased items with water and then pop them back in the tumble drier.  I never iron on principle.  If my husband wants an ironed shirt, he has to do it himself !
– Only ever clean one room a day. Set a timer for 30 minutes and when it rings, stop. If you haven’t finished, do it the next day. After all, who is going to inspect it ? I often worry that my kitchen/hall/livingroom are not tidy enough and have to remind myself sternly that it really doesn’t matter.  But then I am lucky to have my ‘secret weapon’ Pat who thinks housework is ‘fun’ – Yes Really !  I suppose it’s because he hasn’t done any before and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet !!

Next week I am going to give you all some tips on keeping healthy – but be aware that these are coming from someone who hasn’t quite started her New Year’s Resolutions yet – after all, there were all those left over mince pies and Christmas puddings etc. that needed eating up before they went off !  I am doing the walking each day, but I don’t think it counts if you are just trying to walk off the scrumptious dinner from the night before…….!