Thursday, October 18, 2012
Totally Random Thoughts
Blue Ridge Parkway near its beginning at Cherokee, NC
October 15, 2012
Following the introspection found in my last two posts, decided today needed to be simple and direct. And BTW, thanks so much for all the comments, support and encouragement given to those last couple of posts. Most importantly, I hope they've encouraged you. Without further ado, here's the latest Gains and Losses reported through Sharon's eyes!!
You may have noticed not much has been said about hiking lately. Truthfully, there have been days I just plain haven't felt like it and other days when the thoughts of how I feel the day FOLLOWING a hike have kept me off the trail as well. The passion to hike never subsides, so I've tried to use wisdom and prudence by hiking shorter trails and have made much effort to continue lightening the load in the pack I carry. I am extremely safety conscious and probably carry way too much in my pack, but knew that to protect my neck, back and shoulders, some things were going to have go. Fortunately, the people with whom I hike are as safety conscious as I am and are carrying those "essentials." No need for duplication. Plus with the cooler temps, less water is needed. Unfortunately with the cooler temps, MORE coffee is needed. What to do....what to do???
The merry-go-round saga of revolving Rheumatoid Arthritis meds continues, however there is hope. Happy to say I'm finally totally tapered off the prednisone and with that, many nasty problems disappeared within a few days. I've also been given permission to restart Enbrel at my discretion. Enbrel was the medication that put my RA into remission in 2001 and kept me there until early 2011. It appeared to have lost its efficacy and had begun giving me some nasty headaches so we stopped it for good this past July. And that is when the REAL problems began. My rheumatologist and I are hoping the break will have "shocked" my body into remembering how well the Enbrel worked for so many years. We'd hoped to keep me off of it for four months and I almost made it. With so much success before, I am so hoping it will work again.
Yesterday, I was a responsible patient and
gladly was threatened into having my five-year colonoscopy. I'm one of those who had a few benign polyps when I had my screening colonoscopy so was placed on the five-year repeat plan rather than ten which is the norm. No, the prep isn't pleasant, but today I am happy to report that he found no polyps at all this time. Really good news as it's my understanding if you have them once, you are more likely to have them again. I also asked him to do an upper scope since I'd been having so much severe heartburn from the anti-infammatory meds. Thankfully, he said everything looked great there as well.
Bill and I had a lovely, but very quiet fall break in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. How can one go wrong when staying for three days where this is the view from the sofa.................
Rocky River Cabin - Asheville, NC
and this is the view you wake up to each morning......................
It wasn't one of those fall breaks where I can report all kinds of exciting things we did. To be honest, we spent a lot of time sitting on the porch gazing at the river. And when it started raining, we went in, switched on the wonderful fireplace and gazed at the river. One night, Bill grilled some amazing steaks and I fixed Tami's Baked Acorn Squash. We ate outside on the deck and gazed at the river. When we got home Monday afternoon, we were exhausted from all that gazing at the river.
We are heading into what appears to be an incredible stretch of perfect weather condition and enjoying autumn foliage as it works its way down into the lower elevations. I'm off next week for another few days in western North Carolina for more fall hiking, so next post will probably be from there. In the meantime, enjoy some fall pictures from my Great Smoky Mountains in all their splendor.
What's the fall foliage update from your neck of the woods?