Stress and RA


It’s been awhile.  Life has been draining and I think that it is affecting my efforts to get healthy.  I feel as though my work situation is deteriorating fast and there is nothing I can do about it.  I am not in danger of losing my job, but I feel I have been put on the “do not advance track”.  I have co-workers who far less seniority than I do being chosen for senior positions to me I am still working as an entry level employee.


I decided to go back to graduate school to hopefully change departments.  I spoke with human resources two weeks ago about a possible transfer and being placed in a position that uses my new degree.  I was told that this was not a realistic possibility.  I gathered from the conversation was that the only way they would hire me outside of my current department was for me to quit and be rehired.


This is not a possibility because I would lose my pension.  Yes, in this day and age I actually have a job that has a pension plan.  This pension plan has a grandfather clause and if I quit I would lose my pension. 


This stress is affecting me physically.  I find myself becoming more and more symptomatic each day. My hands were hurting like crazy yesterday and today I the stiffness was making it difficult for me to pick objects up. Even though I know stress isn’t good for me I just can’t help it.  I started this year with the goal of being healthy despite having a chronic illness only to be sidetracked by the effects of stress.


I truly believe that RA symptoms and stress go hand in hand.  But I am having trouble controlling my stress levels.  I am still exercising but that doesn’t seem to be enough to lower my stress levels significantly.  I just keep thinking about how I owe 60K in student loans and have no prospects of finding a job using this degree.  I just don’t know what to do. 


Solution to my MTX Hangover

I think I have solved my MTX hangover problem!  The solution was soooo simple I can’t believe I hadn’t figured it out earlier. 


Somewhere in the first year of taking MTX I started to drink Gatoraide the day after taking my meds to help me deal with the inevitable hangover.  This took me from the “kill me now” headache and nausea to” just leave me here and don’t touch “me territory.  I saw this as a victory and drinking Gatoraide on hangover day became a permanent part of my routine.  Three weeks ago that all changed.


I had stopped off and gotten take-out for dinner the night of my shot and I didn’t get a drink with it.  I didn’t want water so I decided to drink the Gatoraide I had bought for the next day with my dinner.  So throughout the evening I finished off one of those large bottles (2.5 servings) took my shot and then went to bed.  The next morning I felt surprisingly well for post MTX day.  My headache was a dull ache rather than the usual pounding hammer.  And most importantly I didn’t need a day to recover.  I just kept hydrated and was able to function almost normally.  And as we know, for someone with a chronic illness “almost normal” can be more than we dare to hope for.


During the last few weeks  I have been monitoring how well my body responds to making sure I am well hydrated before the shot verses rehydrating after the shot.  After 3 weeks it is quite clear that I need to hydrate before rather than after.  The strange think is that I would make sure that I got my 6-8 glasses of water in the day I took MTX but it didn’t really have that much of an effect.  I guess the electrolytes in the sports drink are what I really. 


So that is what I have been up to on the RA front while I have been M.I.A.  I also had that flare that had been brewing for the last month or so.  Maybe now my body is satisfied and the Flare Fairy will leave me alone for the rest of the year?