After last post, I can’t get over all of you who commented, liked or sent me personal messages. I can’t thank you enough and express how much I appreciate the responses. I had people all across the United States, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom and South Africa view my blog and reach out to me. I said from the beginning this is a journey, something completely new to me and out of my comfort zone to be writing; especially something so personal. So I am absolutely touched and can’t wait to continue to hear from everyone.
Makes me think back to when I was 18 and diagnosed, the resources and technology were nowhere near where
they are today. I had my rheumatologist as the number one and pretty much only resource I had to tell me about rheumatoid arthritis. Here I was 18, hit with a chronic illness I never even heard of and trying to ask as many questions as I could think of at the time. I knew once I left the office, my resources were limited and I didn’t know anyone my age that could relate. To know that there are many youths out there right now that are in the same shoes I was, finding out they have been diagnosed with RA. Same shoes, but ONE BIG DIFFERENCE, now there are so many more resources at their fingertips. I hope to be one of those resources.
Last blog post was all about understanding and realizing how important knowledge + action = power. This past week I expanded my knowledge even further and became more involved in the Arthritis community by becoming an Ambassador to the Arthritis
Foundation. Last Tuesday I took part in my first Ambassador Webinar briefing. On March 12-13, Ambassador Assembly participants will be on Capitol Hill to meet their elected officials and their staff in person to discuss legislative priorities like reforming burdensome step therapy practices, addressing the pediatric rheumatologist shortage, and even securing funding for research for a cure! On March 13th, at 12:00 pm (eastern time), the goal is to have as many people as possible post their reason why they are advocating for arthritis with the #advocateforarthritis sign to gain attention. As you can see I have my picture all ready to go! ♥ That is me in my featured blog picture with our German Shepherd, Luna, and sporting my Wonder Woman and Racing for a Cure apparel. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out my page about how my husband and I will be running a half marathon in April and see how you can help us! Racing for a Cure
I have officially completed Phase 2 as of today on the elimination diet. In phase 2, I followed a very baseline diet that consisted of anti-inflammatory foods that usually do
not cause a response to the immune system. This phase helps with increasing the nutrients that you benefit the most from while eliminating the inflammatory irritants. For 12 days our meals have been organic, fresh and healthy! My favorite meal so far has been one my husband made; Scallops with shredded coconut, quinoa, and sauteed spinach with mushrooms. We even had chicken wings for an appetizer! SO DELICIOUS!
Friday, my husband left for Florida for a business trip. He has been right by my side this
whole process and knows my RA symptoms, flare ups, and other obstacles I come across better than anyone. With him gone, the food tribe I was talking about in my last blog really stepped up to the plate. Saturday, I went out to lunch and discovered a local organic cafe. I was able to order food that was still compliant with my diet (granted I did bring my own salad dressing) while enjoying the company of my friends. If you google “Organic Restaurants”, you might be surprised with options near you as well. At night, I got together with friends and we did not have our typical girls night; wine and indulging in
snacks. Instead, they kept compliant to my diet and we each brought something healthy and enjoyed a different type of “girls night”. (And yes that is “50 Shades Freed” that is about to start playing in the background lol!) It is truly amazing when you surround yourself with positive friends and family, what you can accomplish. Friends and family that will go above and beyond to help you reach your goals and find out ways to help you slay RA.
SO…How do I currently feel with being on the diet for 2 weeks now? Obviously this diet is not a cure. After 2 weeks, I do not miraculously feel 100%. That is not how autoimmune diseases work. When I initially went off my medicine, I quickly saw a decline when the medicine worked its way out of my system. I had pain throughout the whole day, more bad days then good days and overall was not feeling like myself – active, on the go, and energetic! My husband always asked me how I was feeling. My typical response was “fine” and he always came back with “really fine” or “Tracy fine”. Definition of “Tracy Fine” is that I was adapting to what has become the norm with my morning flare ups, stiffness and pain throughout the day and I learned coping mechanisms to deal with this new norm. My “Tracy Fine”, however, is starting to alter its meaning though. I am seeing progress with the pain and morning stiffness. Pain with my RA has decreased and the morning stiffness continues to not last as long as it was lasting, which on some days it was majority of the day. My “Tracy fine” days are not over, but I am pleased with the progress I am seeing in the morning and throughout the day.
Tomorrow I start reintroducing foods, 3 days at a time (total of 57 days) to see if any new food group is an inflammatory trigger. I am interested in seeing if my body reacts differently to any new foods being reintroduced. I will continue to keep my food journal and track daily how I feel. My goal is to find these foods so I can continue to eliminate them from my diet so I can continue my journey of learning how to #Slay RA.