We’re all concerned about Wren’s hand.  Here’s an update:

I was back at the ER today, as directed. Wounds were infected, I’ve a low-grade fever, hand is very sore. They called in a hand surgeon; he injected local and debrided. (typing one-handed sure is slow!). It has wicks in now to drain infection and is wrapped and splinted from fingertips to elbow (sigh). I’m on antibiotic; will go back again tomorrow to surgeon … if it hasn’t improved enough it looks like they’ll admit me for IV antibiotics. Fingers are crossed that won’t be necessary.

It’ll probably be a few days at least before I can post to Rheumablog; could I ask you to pass the info above to our friends via your blog?

Ouch.  Infection is what we were probably all afraid of.  I’ll be praying for Wren’s speedy recovery.  Let’s all send her our warmest wishes.


Resuming SSZ

Sulfasalazine does awful things to my GI tract, and I was very happy when my rheumy said I could discontinue it.  After five weeks, I started getting achy again, and it’s gotten progressively worse this past week.  This morning I was told to resume the ssz.

SSZ is a drug that is prescribed to people for the treatment of  ulcerative colitis , which I thankfully don’t have.  Nor do I have the diarrhea that is part of that disease.  Those of us without that problem run (no pun intended) into other difficulties when taking this med.  Apparently I have to choose:  I can either walk easily or poop easily.

Sorry if that’s TMI, but I really hate this drug, and it’s not just because it’s an extra 42 pills a week that I have to swallow.  In the spirit of helping others with RA – maybe ask your doctor how to handle any adverse side effects that you might experience.


In looking for the bright side – there always is at least one – I’ve written about the side effects of this med so many times that I can now spell words that have always given me difficulty.

It’s the Little Things

Rich aroma scents the air.  Tomato sauce, enhanced by fresh herbs, has everyone’s mouth watering in anticipation.  Eager to eat, my kids volunteer to set the table.  Fresh-baked French bread is served on a wooden cutting board, along with a large container of garlic butter.  Everything is ready except for the spaghetti noodles, and they’re almost done.

I carefully lift the lid from the pasta pot, but my shoulder catches, my arm jerks ever so slightly, and the steam takes the wrong path in its escape from the pot.

Ouch!  A 2″x3″ steam burn is truly a curse-worthy event!  A little cold water (indirect) helped briefly.  My first thought was, “Oh good, it hurts.  Really bad burns don’t hurt.”  (It turns out that this is a myth.)  My next thought was, “Didn’t one of those meds I take include burns in the list of reason to phone the doctor?” 

Every pill bottle came out of the cupboard and I scanned all the little info sheets.  Nope.  I must be thinking of something else.  Good.  I’ll just treat it with tlc.

Aloe is great for burns.  Fortunately, I have some.  I sliced open a couple leaves, placed them carefully so that the burn was covered, and bound them on with vet-wrap. 

Before going to bed, I changed to fresh leaves.  The next morning in the shower I decided that the pain of hot water on my arm was much worse than the stigma of being unwashed.

I bound more aloe onto the burn and left it alone until bedtime.  A few days of morning and evening dressing changes helped.  After a while I skipped the new aloe at bedtime, and in the morning decided to give the burn some air (since it no longer hurt).  The tlc worked.  I was shocked that the burn never blistered.

Aloe is good, but I still expected blisters.  Instead, the skin looks… well…  Have you ever gotten glue on your skin and let it dry instead of washing it off promptly (not that adults would do this, but perhaps you remember when you were a kid)?  After a while it looks tough and wrinkly, sort of like an old farmer’s hands appear after years of working in the weather.  You can scratch the glue and start peeling it off.

Well, that’s what my burn looks like now.  Tough and wrinkly, except where it’s starting to peel away. I’m keeping a pretty close eye on it, since from my recent reading about burns, perhaps I should have checked in with my doctor.  I just don’t see why it’s necessary to run to the doctor about every little thing that happens.