Ironically, as I type this, I’m feeling pain that has nothing to do with my autoimmune issues. My left big toe h•u•r•t•s! Who knew that one toe could disrupt life so much? This is where I have been allllllllllllll week.
Anyway, the podiatrist said my joints are inflamed so we’re doing a little acute treatment and hopefully healing will come quickly. Say a little prayer for me because momma doesn’t need to add anything else to her body issue list! For the freakin’ love hahahahaha!
Regarding regular pain management, this is something that has taken me years to figure out and I still have to tinker with it. Autoimmune diseases are as unique to each individual as each individual is unique.
If you’re thinking, “wait, what autoimmune issues and why is she jumping into pain management because of one bum toe?” go ahead and hop over here to read part one of this post.
Now that we’re all caught up… here’s a quick run down of what I do daily to manage my* symptoms from Hashimoto’s, Addison’s, and Fibromyalgia.
First and foremost, is being mindful regarding rest, stress, and energy output. I am determined to live a full and inspired life and refuse to allow my autoimmune diagnoses to be my identity, but for that to be true, I have to plan, think things through (hard for my impulsive nature), and make accommodations. As an example, this momma is going to be at 👏 every 👏 single 👏 one of her kids events, but after an all-weekend basketball tournament, I need to keep my calendar clear the following Monday to give my body a chance to recuperate. Things like that.
I also hear that a healthy diet and exercise is helpful for those with autoimmune issues. Heck, I hear it’s good for everyone! I have not tried that yet… ha, jk… I have tried but I’m not the most disciplined at this. Now that I’m living this journey more out loud, maybe I’ll be inspired to be a better example. Maybe.**
I have a great team of physicians that support me living my best life. My boo, Linda, at Wiseman Family Practice oversees my care in consultation with my endocrinologist and rheumatologist. Below are the medicines and supplements we have determined work best for me each day. It’s taken a long time to get this mix right and it’ll likely have to be tweaked and changed over time, as well. Autoimmune isn’t one and done. Every day is a new day with new challenges, but right now this is my daily dose.
Don’t let that handful scare you, only two are prescription. Each morning I take Synthroid to support my thyroid function (ha, like I have any function! but this helps my body pretend it does) and Cymbalta as a pain receptor blocker (bonus, it’s also an anti-depressant!) I also take an over-the-counter Allegra to help stop my overactive histamine production, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin C, and zinc. Recently the biggest game changer for me has been upping my vitamin D. It’s given me an extra boost of energy! And this being the dumpster fire that is 2020, we’re alllllllllll drained and can use a boost, amirite??!
In the evening I only have one prescription…
And it’s my favorite prescription! At only 4.5mg, Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) helps reduce my pain experience and fights against inflammation. It’s a compound drug, meaning you’re not going to find it at Walgreen’s or CVS, it’s just not mass produced like that. I have a local compounding pharmacy make it for me. It’s not currently covered by insurance, but it’s worth the extra $$$ for me, and hubby agrees. He’s seen what I’m like when I don’t take it. 😉 I also pop a magnesium before bed, one Estroven (ugh menopause), and then depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I may add a couple Tylenol or Alieve and one or two Benadryl. The thing with having a compromised immune system is that once one issue is diagnosed, it’s not uncommon to discover others. The latest we are investigating is dermatomyositis ‘cuz this girl is super itchy all the dang time. I’m just a party, y’all. 🥳
With all of the above, plus the loving support of family and friends, a lot of Diet Dr. Pepper, and even more Jesus, I’m here, happy, and living a joyful life.
Whatever you’re facing in this life, I pray you are able to look for the joy.
Peace & hugs,
*what works for me may not work for you, please consult your physician before taking or changing any meds or supplements