Day One – Eating Healthy to be pain free

My pain has been terrible, slowly each day/night getting worse. I have been busy living my life and and starting to feel the need for more pills daily.

I don’t like that and have decided that I am seriously, changing my Diet.

Many think Auto Immune diseases can be controlled with diet and I have dabbled and always fallen back in to old habits with the “a little won’t hurt” mentality.

So my diet is made up as I go along, pulling from all the resources I have read I should avoid Gluten, Grains, Legumes, Sugar and Dairy.

So for the next two weeks I am eating Protein and Vegetables only.

Inspired by a friend who was eating Protein and Vegetables herself.

Day One was yesterday and went well, not one hiccup!

I made Spaghetti Squash Bake and it was yummy… Perfect for the AS no Starch Diet and Gluten Free Diets as well as Dairy Free.

You can view the recipe here:


Posted in Me - The Mother | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Repurposing an ugly hutch, now that is a challenge with AS

So I am a fan of Pinterest and inherited a hutch so ugly the previous owners left it behind when they sold us the house.

I have been living with that ugly hutch for 7 years…. it was very useful, I threw things in it and closed the nasty doors and forgot about it.

I used the lead effect on the windows to hold my Christmas Cards.

But come on you have to agree, its bloody ugly.


Having Ankylosing Spondylitis means I am at home more as I now only work part time. I have plenty of time to browse Pinterest. That is when a light bulb went off…

“I am going to transform this in to a thing of beauty”!

Now all my fellow AS sufferers are wondering if I have gone bonkers. I know the speech bubble that appeared above my hubbies head said ” oh grrreat! I am going to end up painting this friggin hutch!” He wouldn’t dare say anything out loud, but inside I know he was laughing at my statement.

I did some research for a couple of weeks, I needed a no prep approach. This chick needs to do this the quickest easiest way, but it has to look fabulous and last.

I opted to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, a little pricey but no prep required, it seemed easy to work with if you want to attempt a distressed look (I did not) No prep and it seems to cover any surface and lots of colours, plus it’s easy to mix to create your own color and layer it. So many choices. Added bonus is… No Odor and Organic.

So 9 days ago it was pouring rain, this is the weekend for my project. First thing I did was go pick out the paint, I opted for Old White. I couldn’t decide on a colour for the back board so I decided to leave that for another day. I went home and promptly removed the doors…


I did ask for “muscle” from my sons. A couple of the screws were a little tight.

Next I had the muscle boys help me take the top piece of the bottom.

I liked the look and the room just grew 5ft.


After removing the hardware and doors, coating the base with one coat I was done and needed some time with my heat pad.

I took my anti inflammatories (Diclofenac SOD) throughout the day to keep the inflammation under control. I will admit I am not very good at taking them regularly and suffer for it, so with the planned project underway I was being good and taking them as directed!

I worked on it Sunday, most of the day and continued all week when I could slot it in around work, appointments and laundry,

Nightly I soaked in Epsom Salts, slept on my heat pad, nothing new… However I did take my pills everyday and I am definitely a lot stiffer in the mornings and the pain in my ass has increased!

But… It has been worth every ache and pain to see the end result.

I did complete this project entirely on my own. My colour of choice was Annie Sloan Provence for the back board. I did wax the heavy traffic areas with clear wax to protect it and make it easier to clean.

As you can see the room had to have a colour change to enhance the beauty of the hutch. Thanks to my husband for agreeing to do that task for me.

Now I am inspired to keep going and live my life even if that includes the pain… It’s worth it!


Posted in Me - The Mother | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stress and Stiffness

2014 was supposed to be the year for me…

I have been saying that since 2011.

It started well, here in NJ we have had lots of snow and cold weather.

Did this cause more Pain and stiffness than normal? I have no friggin idea!

I do know that having to scrap the snow from the car and shovel it from the deck and driveway certainly caused pain and stiffness!

Then my beloved little four legged friend suddenly passed away causing heart ache across our entire family.


Now that caused my body lots of pain and stiffness!

My daughters hands have become severely deformed from this disease so getting her to the right Drs and Hand Therapist was a worry and yep that caused pain and stiffness.

I decided that just living my life causes pain and stiffness…

So therefore I am going to live my life.

Avoiding the tasks that create the pain and stiffness…. Like gardening, cleaning, shopping etc doesn’t work. Other things come along and trigger it, sitting on your ass doing nothing causes pain and stiffness too.

I am never going to be free from the pain so therefore I am bringing it on!

See my next post on how…

Posted in Me - The Mother | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ankylosing Spondylitis Awareness

I am all for helping spread awareness about my auto immune disease.

Lots of people really have no idea what it is or how it effects those with it.

Today as I visited the Spondylitis Association of America I was happy to see that we can support the association when shopping via Amazon Smile. Now I know a lot of you shop Amazon just like me.

Here is a link to where I found it, take the time to learn about AS before you click the link to learn how to support is Amazon.


Posted in Me - The Mother | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Is getting an almost pain free Humira injection possible?

We have been injecting with Humira since April 11th 2013. I remember it well, 4 days before AJ’s birthday and the day I had to rapidly overcome my fear of needles.

As a 40 something year old woman, I can verify that all those children who cry and scream in pain and refuse to have a second dose have just cause.

Did it ever hurt! Yes it bloody did and I had to sit there, tell my 12 year old that it was going to be fine and didn’t hurt much. My thigh was burning… It hurt so bad for about 2 mins and then it was just fine.

Since the day of the second injection where AJ was held down by her older brother I knew I had to find a way for an almost pain free shot.

My Rhuemy, Dr Bykerk gave me a prescription for a nubbing cream and advised me to bring the injector pen to room temperature before administering.

Wow what a difference!

We have played around to work out what works best for us and this is not a guarantee to be pain free, but it is 100 times better than just ice.

First we apply the cream to the area of choice. I use my tummy and legs but AJ only uses her thighs. The fattiest part is best if you can find one. Obviously not a problem for me, I knew my flab would come in handy one day!

Cover with a plaster/Bandaid. Make sure the plaster seals all the way around to prevent the cream drying. You can also cover with Cling film/Saran wrap.


Now we take our Humira Pens out of the fridge and remove the cover of the tray.

Wait 1 hr…..


Once the hour is up we wash our hands, lift the plaster/Bandaid and wipe with an alcohol wipe. Remember to allow the area to dry or this will add to the burn if alcohol gets in.

Now we proceed as instructed by our Humira Trainer. We use a pen, if we used a Pre filled syringe I am sure it would have the same outcome.

Once we have completed our injection we rub the site gently, like a little massage until the fluid disperses. I can feel it and gentle rub just helps.

I do not apply ice after, I found the cold ice made it a lot worse. So we just rub for a few minutes.

Today our shots went well, a little niggle and no yelps or tears.

This is our routine and it works well for us. Every now and again we get a burn, but nothing like the first shot where we iced until our leg was pink.

Posted in AJ - The Juvenile, Me - The Mother | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arthritis and Tommy Copper Purchases

Last week a friend of mine was telling me about Tommy Copper and the fact that she had seen the infomercial many times.

I had never heard of Tommy Copper and was intrigued. I was looking for compression wear in the hopes it might help AJ’s knees.

I watched Montels commercial on YouTube and checked out the website.

Yep, you guessed it I figured what the hell, I won’t know until she tries it.

Tommy Copper is compression wear infused with copper. Now, I was already aware if the healing properties of copper associated with Arthritis so was excited about what it could possibly do.

I ordered a pair of half finger gloves and two knee sleeves and they arrived Monday.


I measured as per the size chart on the website and it all fitted perfectly.

I was skeptical on how was I ever going to know if it was helping when this girl doesn’t feel pain or stiffness?

She slept in it all the first night, the gloves are thin enough to go under her resting splints. The next day when she returned from school I asked her. How were your hands this morning?

I was blown away by her response.

Aj’s face lit up and she said “OMG, Mom I could move my fingers this morning when I took my splints off!”

I asked her “your fingers don’t move in the morning?”

“Not like this” as she wiggled them.

My reply was… “That is what Dr Adams means by are you stiff in the morning”

I am going to tell you that this was the best $75 bucks I have ever spent… I hope the knee sleeves are working as well and that she just doesn’t feel it yet.

I now would like them to make a big onesie… Until then I will now buy her the shorts to see if it helps her hips.

I would love to get me a pair of the compression shorts if it will help my stiff SI Joints!

Tommy Copper Half Finger Gloves

Posted in AJ - The Juvenile | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pain and misery

During the most painful time of my disease I was very limited in what I could do and couldn’t even get out of bed without complaining.

I changed jobs during the summer and then after being miserable there I quit. I needed a change.

I am working part time and fell in to the trap of not moving… The days I was stiff and achy I did nothing. The days my neck hurt, I did nothing. Yep you guessed it… I was stuck on the hamster wheel of the bad pain stopping me from possibly feeling better.

I was miserable!

Last Monday I gave myself a good talking to. Stop taking these pills and get off your ass and stretch. I was back on my anti inflammatory to help with the pain and I dislike taking them.

So I sucked it up and went to gentile yoga at the local YMCA. I instantly felt better. I am not sure if tit was the relaxing environment or the stretching that day, but I felt better with myself for no sitting down feeling heavy, stiff and old.

Tuesday I was inspired by my Suffering daughter to go the pool and stretch and move…. Yay me, we were there an hour.

Wednesday I was feeling so good that I didn’t want to stiffness to take over so I went on the elliptical machine.

Thursday I met my friends and we did another machine of low impact or an hour as we chatted.

Friday, I was back in that pool stretching, walking and swimming.

Saturday I was back in the YMCA lifting light weights.

I has taken me 6 days to feel better than I have since July.

It so hard when you are stuff, achy and feeling blue to get out of the funk and break the cycle.

The pool offers so many benefits and they even have Arthritis foundation aqua classes.

Just 15 mins a day can make you feel so much better.

Today I feel achy in my muscles and for my it’s welcomed. I welcome good pain because when I feel good pain it keeps the bad pain at bay.

Fellow AS sufferers, Did you do 15 minutes today?

Posted in Me - The Mother | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment