Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Flowers and Planting

I have been thoroughly enjoying the mild March we’ve had this year.  I say mild, but what I really mean is HOT!  Not only has it not been cold, but we had a couple of weeks of 70-80 degree temperatures.  That’s weather we’re lucky to get in July!  Needless to say, I’ve spent some time in my garden, and I’ve captured some photos for your viewing pleasure.

My perennial garden is starting to grow, with tulips and daffodils blossoming.  Also peeking through the ground are irises, salvia, hostas, black-eyed susans, delphinium, phlox, chives, creeping thyme...and probably some things I'm forgetting.  Here’s my first set of early bloomers:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Getting an Early Start on Gardening

I was planning on the beginning of March be the start of my gardening season—meaning, I would start some seeds indoors to be transplanted into my garden after a couple months.  I did start some seeds: tomatoes and several types of peppers.  I also put some lettuce seeds in a container, to hopefully get an early crop of baby greens.  I was planning on doing the first actual sowing in my garden in the beginning of April, but with 70-80 degree temperatures over the past week or so, I got an early start--in fact, I started my garden a whole month earlier than last year!  I planted some peas and carrots the other day – one small row of each in my little garden.  I will do a follow up planting in another week or so to try to stagger the harvest a bit.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control

Well, I decided it was finally time to finish my Fruit of the Spirit study.  We never quite finished it in small group, as we moved on to other topics, but I at least wanted to wrap it up here.  We are now down to the last fruit: self-control.  What is self-control?  I like the description Matthew Henry gives in his commentary, although the word “temperance” is used there:

“temperance, in meat and drink, and other enjoyments of life, so as not to be excessive and immoderate in the use of them…”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tracking My Progress

A couple months ago, I decided to get serious about keeping track of my medical records and really taking ownership in the management of my health care. It is my body, after all.  This led to me requesting files from several doctors, the creation of at least one spreadsheet and a chart (because what are spreadsheets without charts?!) to track my ESR (sed rate).  And, thus began The Sed Rate Saga.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Humira Evaluation – Building the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Today I had my follow-up appointment with my rheumatologist to evaluate how well Humira was working after three months.  I switched to Humira in December of 2011 from Enbrel, because my sed rate and inflammation were high, and my disease was not well enough controlled in my doctor’s opinion.  He was seeing joint space narrowing in my wrists, and we decided it was time for a change.  This was a hard decision for me, but I had promised myself that I would try to be transparent with my doctor and trust his judgment as well.  After a month on Humira and no change in symptoms or sed rate, we increased the dosage to weekly instead of bi-weekly injections.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Three Months of Humira

My next appointment to see my rheumatologist is on Tuesday.  We’re going to have to evaluate how well Humira is working to try to determine whether to continue the treatment course I’m on or to change it up some how.  If you’ve been following my Humira story, you’ll know it’s been kind of hard for me to determine how well it’s working.  At this point, three months into my new treatment, I feel like I am pretty stable and I know what to expect most days.  That’s good.  The bad thing is that I have stabilized at a higher level of disease activity than I had even a year ago.