Rotations and Rheumatology

So yesterday was the first day of pasture rotation, and these animals were reduced to half-ration no their hay.  March 15 is a goal for this but often doesn’t happen due to crappy spring weather.  But this spring we have had enough sunny days for some decent grass growth.  The 9 not-skinny sheep were moved to this field which was beaten up by the cows earlier in the winter.  Diddley is wanting more though.

And the cows moved one field over from where they had been.  Steve is disappointed because there are no more daily quad rides bringing hay to the cows in the back forty.  

The eagles are still at it.  Tom found a dead rabbit in the back forty 2 days ago.  Apparently Steve was proud to grab a tuft of hair from it which was all that was left.  

After animal chores in the morning we drove to Everett for my rheumatology appointment. Tom and Ryeleigh went to a nearby park for a walk while I was in the office.  Unfortunately it was a brief walk because about 10 minutes into it Ryeleigh found a bag of used needles.  

After my appointment we picked up lunch at Petite Sweet bakery & cafe.  This is absolutely the best place for a sandwich for lunch.  They bake their own bread fresh, and their ingredients and flavor combinations are amazing.  Tom used to come here often when he worked in Everett so it was nice for him to go back and say hi.  Plus the food is incredible!

We took our lunches further north to this park with nice views of the water and ate in the truck.  Afterward we took Ryeleigh for a walk that did not involve needles.  He loved it, of course.  But the wind was cold so it didn’t last very long either.

They did have a sign dedicated to one of my favorite topics:  wool dogs.  They were kept on an island in front of us.  

So we made the best of having to drive to a medical appointment and made a nice trip of it.

Health Update: For those who might be interested, my knee is much better but I am still having the chills, shortness of breath, palpitations and fatigue which have been quite bad this last week. The rheumatologist wants to wean me from the prednisone since my reactive arthritis is under control with the Remicade infusions, and he doesn’t believe at this point that my other symptoms are related to this condition. So it will be a gradual wean so that I will be on a minimum dose before my next pulmonology appointment in May. I am nervous that my symptoms will worsen dramatically with this wean, but I do feel I need to get off of these pills as they are detrimental to my health. And I want a firm diagnosis so this may be the path to that. He also order a morning cortisol level to see if adrenal insufficiency could be an issue, but thinks it is unlikely. He thinks I should stop working at night, but I do not see how I can accomplish that. He also suggested I talk to my pulmonologist about getting antibody testing for hypersensitivity pneumonitis when my prednisone is weaned.

I am starting to suspect that is what I have but do not know the source (hay mold, poultry, hot tub). I recently reread blog posts from a fellow shepherd and her journey to a diagnosis ( Farmer’s Lung and the power of good health {part 1 of 2} , {part 2}, {part 3 of 2}, They say stress will kill you, Health update on the lung thing {zzzzzzz}, and Hypersensitivity pneumonitis – lung thing part 3) and I noticed the similarities of our symptoms including her flu-like flares,, her palpitations, and lack of cough. I contacted her, and she continues to do well in a life without chickens and gave me some great advice about how to navigate the system.

I must say that I do love my rheumatologist as he takes the time to listen to me, he is intelligent, and we have a back and forth conversation about the plan. I am hopeful that my new pulmonologist will be equally helpful. So onward and upward in the life of a chronically ill and undiagnosed woman.

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5 Responses to Rotations and Rheumatology

  1. Jeanne says:

    Oh, Donna! That is so involved! I hope and pray that things will work out for the best for you..

  2. Oh yes, Maureen’s story! Glad to hear she is doing well; I hope you can find a similar resolution!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Michelle. Not excited to get rid of the chickens if needed though. But would love to be able to breathe freely again.

  3. Pingback: Restarting the blog habit | Mo Bloggin'

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