Out of the blue

I have no idea what happened, but I was slammed with a horrible blow of pain.
Pain like I have not really experienced for such a long period of time.  Though it didn't really come out of the clear blue, I had no idea it would take the course it did.

For the past week and a half, I have had the most perplexing pain in my back and hands.  Last week, I could barely grip a thing with my hands.  They hurt so bad.  Driving to and from Seattle was even worse.  The pain increased in my hands and feet but then the fatigue hit and chills.  The whole time in Seattle, my kids were annoyed at the amount of heat I had blasting in the car.  I just couldn't get warm and was exhausted!

By Thursday night, I dragged myself to the Urgent care because my hands were now a dark purple.  It felt like severe frost bite, only inside my joints.  They were so swollen as well.  It was the kind of pain you just can't get ahead of.   My feet had started turning purple as well and the pain was setting in.  I couldn't even get my coat on, my hands just weren't working.  I was freezing and had a headache too.

The doctor was quick to diagnose me with vascular spasms!  What the heck?  How does that happen?
Well, it's autoimmune.  It's a common complication to Ankylosing Spondylitis which I have.  It could be Raynaud's Phenomenon but, whatever you call it...It's not fun!

The test he did was strange.  He didn't want to do it but I am tired of just going on 'hunches' so I said, "Let's go for it."  He filled a bucket with ice and then cold water.  I had to plunge my already bitter cold, purple hands into the water.  If it was a vascular problem, they would turn white, then purple, then flushed bright red.

Sure enough, 45 seconds and my hands were pure white.  Then the deepest purple.  Before the flushing started, the most excruciating pain set in.  Double what I was already experiencing.  I was trying to be brave.  There were two student nurse's observing, the nurse and the doctor.  I didn't want to cry in front of everyone.

He gave me a shot of Toradol...my favorite anti-inflammatory.  Within 30 minutes, my entire body was on fire!  My face was flushed, my hands and feet, now fire engine red.  Obviously, my vascular system had relaxed and blood was now flowing normally.  My head stopped aching too.

I realized that I have probably been feeling this for weeks because when the inflammation started going down, I recognized how it felt to be warm and I wasn't nearly as fatigued.  It was the strangest feeling.

I'm not thrilled about the treatment and haven't started it yet because it's a calcium channel blocker.  I just worry about side effects and it kind of scares me but having my arteries shut down isn't all that fun and puts me at a high risk for stroke and heart problems. Maybe tonight I will try it.

The pain is slightly better but the swelling is crazy in my legs and feet and hands.  I had to play the organ today for nearly two hours!  It was hard!

I decided today, I needed to reset my body so I am on the Alkaline Diet.  It is mostly raw vegetables.  I am also doing the Apple Cider Vinegar shots, lemon water and a handful of vitamins and minerals.  I did a huge shot of B12 today as well.   Finally, I am trying to drink at least 70 ounces of water.

I also realize that I have to cut back on some things and find a way to better deal with the stress of my life.  Stress really is getting the best of me.  I've been trying to spend a few minutes each night meditating but it's hard to slow my brain down, especially the emotions all wrapped up in the knowledge I am trying to absorb.

I really hope things calm down soon.  I can't afford to be crippled this week...any week really.  I especially don't have time to die.

I've pretty much decided that driving more than 3-4 hours is becoming impossible for me to do without a significant set back in my health.  Not sure why...but it's killing me!   Here's to better days.



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