The long road back

The rewalkening is still underway, and it’s a long process. Tomorrow night will mark three weeks since my last dose of prednisone. I’ve been using a CBD lotion on my ankles that my mom gave me, that should help with inflammation; I think it’s likely helping so I’ve kept up with it, applying it twice a day.

I finally got in to see my doctor and had new blood work done. He dropped the diuretic I’m on to half the dosage, and when I follow up with him over a month from now if my blood pressure is still in good shape, he’ll drop the diuretic entirely and just leave me on the main medication—which should stop my potassium levels going down. I got the blood results back a few days ago, and my potassium level is back in range but still closer to the low end. I’m taking the potassium I was prescribed still, but have backed off on the additional OTC supplements. Also my doctor suggested I keep taking turmeric with curcumin for inflammation, so I’ve stayed on that.

Overall, I’ve been improving a lot. A little over a week ago I was only able to walk very slowly, and too much standing still hurt. This week I’ve been able to walk a little further and a smidge steadier, and made it to Wegmans to do some shopping on Tuesday. Yesterday evening (Saturday), I made a trip to Walmart for a few things. Within the last two weeks I got to see two movies (Downton Abbey and The Lion King), and was able to walk through the mall to Johnny Rockets and back for dinner. Sitting at my desk has been a lot better. I can get up stairs quite well, but going down again is still difficult because the movement isn’t natural, almost like I’ve forgotten how.

Naturally none of this took so long last year when this happened. But the thing of it is, at that time I only had roughly two bouts of major inflammation instead of five, and the worst of it lasted only a couple of weeks instead of two months. The obvious reason that time was different is because I went on potassium a lot sooner. Going forward now, I’m so certain hypokalemia was the cause of my condition that I’ll be extra vigilant in the future.

Now here’s the bad news: I could find pretty much no information online on inflammatory arthritis being caused by low potassium. However I have found some about it being a trigger for rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups. Since I tested negative for rheumatoid factors, I’m forced to conclude some other autoimmune disorder has to be the cause. So that’s gonna be a fun thing to learn about over the next year or so, however long it takes. Currently, I’m not slated to see a rheumatologist till March.

But at least I’m on the mend. A little over a week ago I would’ve said my feet and ankles were back to about 70%. Now I feel like they’re around 85%. Not too shabby, and I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made back to normal.

And one other piece of good news: I didn’t gain weight while I was mostly couch-bound. I have no frickin’ idea how. This is a post-Fair measurement as well, although I only went in twice. But considering my activity was if anything much lower than normal, this is a minor miracle.

About Lummox JR

Aspiring to be a beloved supervillain
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