Monday, March 12, 2012

Sponge Time

Despite the title, this isn't a post about a certain yellow sponge living in a pineapple under the sea. It is about my brain soaking up all there is to know about PAH. I feel like I am arming myself for war. Inevitably, there will be new information and surprises along the way but if I learn all I can, I will know the right questions to ask and the right signs to look for when evaluating my post medicine improvements between doctor visits. I'm absorbing as much as my brain will tolerate without freaking out (i.e. sponge time).

This weekend I learned that I also need to look up all of my medications so I know what new needs I have. Prime example is my new relationship with blood thinners. I am vegan and I eat a pretty healthy diet (more fresh greens and grains than processed soy chicken and veggie burgers--though I do love a good veggie burger). Little did I know that all those leafy greens and green juice that I drink could be doing me in. Apparently, leafy greens have properties that help with clotting thereby reducing the positive effect of the blood thinners. Cranberries have a negative impact as well. So much for my spinach salad with cranberry vinaigrette.

Then, there is the issue of pain. I have occasional joint pain related to lupus for which I've always taken ibuprofen. I knew going in that it was an NSAID that also causes blood thinning. I wasn't prepared for how much I would miss the ibuprofen and its anti-inflammatory properties. It is amazing how much a minor knee and ankle pain worsens when you let it sit instead of taking two ibuprofen and moving on with your day.

In short, I haven't even started my PAH prescription yet and I am already reeling from the impact medication can have on a life that was pretty free a few weeks ago when I was just taking a couple of standard medications for Lupus, eating greens and using ibuprofen.

All said, I am not complaining. I am just learning out loud and sharing the lesson. In other news, there has been a happy streak in my life recently and it came at just the right time.

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