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Everything posted by Teatime

  1. Hi everyone! I don't think I've posted since I went to England for a visit! Well, I had loads of fun and was so happy to be able to spend lots of time with my friends! It is so tough to travel but I made it and that was an accomplishment! In the past few months, my esophageal and GERD stuff has gotten worse. And, unfortunately, when I returned from England in mid-October, I found a letter from my gastro-enterologist saying that he was no longer accepting my health insurance so I had to find someone else. Not cool. It took several weeks to get in to see another GI doctor. In the meanti
  2. Happy holidays! I hope everyone enjoys good food, pleasant company, and a break from their symptoms!
  3. Miocean, i wondered the same thing -- which of my health issues was the reason I was granted disability. I have so much systemic involvement! It turns out, that's in the code, too. There is a bunch of numbers and they all mean something. Somewhere in there is the code for the disabling condition. Mine turned out to be inflammatory arthritis. And that was a quandary for me. I had a bunch of doctor's appointments and hospital visits and I didn't know if I should only list the ones relating to arthritis or just keep it chronological. (At the time, I was being treated for atrial fibrillation
  4. Hi Sweet, I just heard from them this year, 6 years after I started receiving benefits. It was a very simple form -- maybe 6 questions. It asked for the date and reason for my last 3 or 4 doctor visits and my last 3 or 4 hospitalizations, if any. Then it asked if I am working, whether my health is better, worse, or the same, and if I'd discussed my status with my doctor. That was it! If you get this type of form, just give them what they ask for and don't send them a bunch of documentation unless they request it. That's not what they want. This is the short form and, from what I've read,
  5. I think I'm using that very same brand!!! Fancy it shrinking undies in both the UK and the US!!! I wonder where else it's making mischief?! :) Seriously, though, I've bought some "boy shorts" undies, as they're called here, and I hope the switch helps!Julia
  6. I'm afraid I have no clue at what level I feel the best because they've only put me on a tiny dosage of thyroid replacement (0.50 mcg) and I've never been given my test results except once when my cardiologist found the TSH was high incidentally. My new rheumatologist gave me my results today, though. It was 4.399 on a scale by which .3-3.55 is "normal." I'm so tired of being flat-out knackered. I'm sure that disease process is part of it and I have cut down on my exercise but I'm still terribly tired. I think that treating the hypothyroidism better would make a difference! Julia
  7. Hi everyone! I'm so sorry that I've been quiet. Fatigue has been a big problem and I've been reading here a lot but not posting! As a continuation from my previous post, I still don't have the thyroid problem resolved. I am SO appreciative of the great advice and insights there! They've proven very valuable in my understanding of what's going on! I saw my new rheumatologist again today and I do like her. My tests came back looking pretty good and she's not changing out my immunosuppressants but she is ordering some studies to see what's going on. She wants EMGs done of my wrists/hands and
  8. LOL, this has turned into a fun conversation! I'm familiar with the term "knickers" because of my English friends. When they came to visit, Nicky was afraid she didn't pack enough underwear so we went to a store to buy some. She really liked a particular brand so the next time I went to England and asked if I could bring her anything, she said the "little knickers with the strappy bits." LOL Anyhoo, the "French knickers" sound like just the thing! I'm actually wearing small pajama shorts now and they're so comfortable but they're too thick to wear underneath clothes, especially the light,
  9. Does anyone else have a problem with rashes from underwear? My skin has become increasingly sensitive and doesn't handle anything like latex or nylon well at all. A number of years ago, I started to break out in horrible circular red rashes when I moved to a warmer climate and my doctor told me to avoid nylon stockings and wear only cotton underwear. That's served me well until now. I have a bumpy rash all around where the leg hole elastic touches my skin. I put medicated powder on it but it sometimes hurts a bit. I'm not sure what to do about this -- I need to wear underwear, lol ! I gues
  10. Your dogs are adorable, Jo! I love your horse Dolly, too! I'll have to look at more pictures when I have more time! I know that once I start looking, I won't be able to tear myself away for a while. I did manage to post pics of Bobby and Morgaine. Took me about an hour to figure out how to do it! I'm techno-challenged, sigh.
  11. Teatime

    Miss Morgaine!

    This is my Weimaraner, Miss Morgaine Le Fay! She refused to look at the camera! Neither of my dogs likes to be photographed. Come to that, I don't, either, hahahaha! My passport photo is the absolute pits.
  12. This is my silky terrier, Bobby. I was following him around the house trying to take his picture and he wasn't thrilled, hahahaha. You can tell by the expression on his face!
  13. Indeed! I used that technique with my son when he was little. He wouldn't touch vegetables to save his life so I chopped them up very small and told him they were "spices and herbs." ;) I hope you can find the cultured coconut milk. It's so much lighter and tastier than yogurt but it has the beneficial cultures, too. I use it for a lot of things. I made some rice pudding tonight and mixed in some cultured coconut milk in place of some of the regular milk. Very yummy!
  14. Hahahahahaha! But I'll bet your husband wouldn't object to some petting regardless! Morgaine, my Weimaraner, surprised me this evening. I had some parsnip and carrot mash left over from dinner so I put some in each of their bowls. Bobby, my silky terrier, gobbled it right up as I knew he would but Morgaine was hooked after the first taste, too, lol. I think she licked her chops for about an hour afterward! What are your doggies' names?
  15. OK, I guess I cheered too soon. I just spoke with my internist's medical assistant and she said the TSH isn't elevated very much and she wasn't going to do anything about it except check it again in 3 months. So, it appears that I'm back at square one and we need to find out what's causing this horrible fatigue. The medical assistant is going to talk with my internist and call me back. I am wondering if I should just call the rheumatologist's office.
  16. Jo, I was wondering how ingredients might translate to other countries! I'll bet y'all have even better peppers available from the Mediterranean! Do you get avocados? Although I much prefer cultured coconut milk, plain yogurt would work, I think. Organic, fire-roasted tinned tomatoes are really quite good. Many brands offer them diced with green chilis. I checked my cupboard and the cans don't say what type of peppers are used but it's probably one that I mentioned. I hope you can find the ingredients and give it a try! Served with a mild grilled whitefish like flounder or haddock, it
  17. Someone once told me that either you're a cook or a baker; few people are excellent at both. I think there's a lot of truth to that. I'm a cook. I don't do very well with baking which is probably a good thing because I love pastries! Most of the time I'm too lazy to go out and buy some so that keeps my weight down! I only have one baked specialty that I make around the holidays -- lemon cream scones. I'll whip up a batch for breakfast holiday morning and I like to make them to put in tea baskets as gifts with some exotic teas and blackcurrant preserves. (Haha, I chose my nickname here for
  18. My first rheumatologist was incredibly versatile. He was a medical doctor, of course, but he was also a certified naturopathic practitioner and he had a degree in public health from Harvard, too! So while he used conventional tests and treatments, he also encouraged his patients to eat healthy foods and take care with their diets. Great doctor, and I was sorry to have to leave his care when I moved. But I continued to explore good nutrition and pay attention to what was in the food I bought and where it came from. A natural grocer moved into town so I buy organic produce and products when
  19. Hi Sweet! I'm a newcomer and glad to meet you. I've been on the autoimmune carousel with sclero added to the mix recently, even though the SCL-70 test came back positive a couple of times about 7 years ago. I'm having a bad time with the gastro-intestinal manifestations and neuropathy in my fingers and toes. I've had Raynaud's for a number of years and my hands are terribly swollen. I find it so encouraging to encounter people who are doing well so I'm glad you are!
  20. I could have sworn that I posted earlier today. Well, no matter. Now I can respond to Amanda, too! :) Thank you, Jo! I don't want to get my hopes up too high because time will tell on the new rheumatologist but I am pleased thus far. I think that the hospital may have been more careful with whom they hired this time because the last rheumatologist was such a disaster. I am eager to start the levothyroxine increase with hopes of improvement. Shelley, thank you for the info on Hashimoto's. I wasn't aware that there was an antibody involved! Perhaps that's why I had to have more blood dra
  21. Thank you, Jo! I will see the rheumatologist again before I hop across the pond. We will discuss the test results and plan at that time, presumably, but I doubt there will be time to start anything new. I would be delighted to have more energy for my trip, though, and will gladly take any improvement! Shelley, wow, no one has ever mentioned a hormone related to this! My mum had thyroid problems and took thyroid replacement. I thinks it was Hashimoto's. I will definitely look into this. It's possible that one of the reasons I had to go back to the lab on Friday and have more blood drawn is
  22. And that explains at least part of my fatigue and weight issues! We finally got a rheumatology practice in my town and my internal medicine doctor made sure I was seen right after they opened. I am cautiously optimistic about the rheumatologist I saw. She actually examined me! That probably sounds like a no-brainer but the last two didn't examine me. They just looked briefly at the forms I filled out and ordered tests/wrote prescriptions. The new rheumatologist ordered a lot of tests, too, but she told me they're only one part of the equation. She says symptoms, exam, and medical histo
  23. Amanda, Our system here in the US is just nuts. Health care here is big business. The hospitals care, I would imagine, about promoting healthy lifestyles but for the insurance companies and for-profit health services, it's all about finding new ways to make more money through surcharges and higher premiums (or not covering medical care). The government sued the tobacco companies and the states were awarded billions of dollars that the companies had to pay for fudging the truth about the effects of nicotine. The money was supposed to be used for smoking cessation programs, medical care, an
  24. I was a long-time smoker so I understand the addiction. And when I finally quit and didn't feel one bit better (despite what my doctors promised) AND I gained 20 pounds, too, I wasn't thrilled, to say the least! What kept and keeps me off the ciggies, then, is the cost savings. I enjoy having the extra money to spend on better things and I also like not having my person, home, and car smell like stale smoke. More importantly, however, is that the time is coming when smokers won't get the treatment they need. Doctors and hospitals will refuse to invest time, money, and care on those who smo
  25. Thanks, Amanda. All best for your gastroscopy! We're kind of in a holding pattern now, awaiting my rheumatology visit. We finally got the rheumatologists in town! They began seeing patients today and I have an appointment on Wednesday! My gastroenterologist said my issues are related to sclero and he really needs the input of a rheumatologist. at this point. I agree. I'm going to be coming to England in mid-September for about a monthlong visit so I don't know how much we'll accomplish before I go. Oh, but this is funny. I told my gastroenterologist about that and he asked me where in
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