Category Archives: Dazlin’s thoughts

Pregnancy

I was recently pregnant- we found out at 4 weeks, and lost it at 6 weeks. I did not get to the ultrasound stage.

Fortunately, I grew up with nurses who were very open about their own experiences, and the people I told about the miscarriage all had their own (sometimes multiple) experiences to share before they had successful pregnancies. My husband and I are fine; we were bummed for a couple days, but we didn’t mourn and we aren’t concerned. We know most first pregnancies have issues, and I was high risk anyway with Lupus.

Now, about being pregnant and having lupus:

  1. You can’t take advil! Tylenol is useless for me. Midol was alright. Aleve was useless. I was so exhausted all the time, and my knees were terrrrrible. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do. I started taking turmeric pills (bought at walgreens in the vitamins/supplements section), but I suspect that has to build up to be effective. I’m still taking it.
  2. My OB/GYN put me on baby aspirins because clotting is a concern for pregnancies in general, and more so with Lupus. I did not know this. I do now. He suggested I keep taking them anyway, pregnant or not.
  3. I actually stayed hydrated while pregnant, because making a healthy baby was a huge motivation. Being well hydrated for probably the first time in my life was amazing! Such a simple thing had an enormous impact on my life! My toenails and fingernails had color from better circulation (might be because of the aspirin, too), I was more awake, I woke up easier in the mornings, I didn’t crash during the day (usually around 11, a half hour before lunch)…. for real, stay hydrated! It takes effort, and carrying around a huge Tervis cup of watered down juice or tea, but soooo worth it!

Everything else is normal pregnancy stuff- the constipation is for real- and I suggest getting the pregnancy bible, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maybe next time I can tell you more about lupus-pregnancy, but that’s all I have for as far as I got.

Also, please please please don’t hate on yourself or feel inadequate if you lose a pregnancy. It’s so common even for normal, healthy women, and it’s not your fault. Women with lupus still have babies, but yeah, you lose more babies too. It just means you have to keep trying, and there’s nothing wrong with that… 😉

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Pills

Being healthy is so hard. I take a multivitamin/prenatal (folic acid whooooo, your hair and nails will thank me), fish oil for my ears (wax build up is a bummer), turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory for my knees, a baby aspirin because we’re trying to get pregnant, and D3 because I have a recently-discovered vitamin D deficiency. Ugh. I have one of those days-of-the-week pill boxes like a retired person.

Oh, and if you take too many soft gels, you get acid. If you don’t eat before pills, you throw them up. Or I do, any way.

Staying hydrated is also a severe, conscious effort. A glass before work, three glasses at work, three glasses at home…. and I should be drinking 8-10. I keep stocked on juices to flavor my water.

All of these are over the counter, none of the meds I take are prescribed. I have been fortunate enough to live in an area that helps my inflammation (AZ, dry and mostly steady pressure) and I mostly don’t over-exert myself. I have been off prescription meds for about two years now, which is good because NSAIDs start messing with your kidneys and liver after a while.

At least I’m only high maintenance physically, right?

Right…?

Birth Control

I used Implanon/Nexplanon for five years. I loved this BC so much I got a second round, after my first expired after three years. I removed my second round a year early because my husband and I want to expand the family. I am a huge fan of Nexplanon, and I share it with every woman who mentions birth control to me.

It was 100% free to me, under my insurance and with Obamacare’s free birth control deal.

No, it’s not comfortable having it inserted, but it’s brief and you don’t have to fuss with it for three years! No pills, rings, shots, forgetting it and causing irregularity… Nothing. No fuss, no muss. Just fifteen minutes of a numbing shot, a teensy incision, and clean up. No big deal.

I have four scars: two insertion polka dots, and two 1/8″ extraction lines. They’re all in a 2 inch square area on the inside of my left upper arm. I don’t consider it an issue, no one ever notices it, they don’t show up in pictures.

My first round, I had three period in three years. For me, this was excellent for multiple reasons including solving my pretty serious iron-deficient anemia. I got to keep my much-needed blood! Also, no periods, whoooooo.

My second round, I had a period every four months or so. I also had… well, boob soreness. I researched a ton, and it’s a normal side effect. I didn’t really like it, wasn’t a fan of it. Maybe my body got used to the hormones from the implant, I don’t know, but this was only an issue four and a half years into using this method. They didn’t hurt, but they were, you know, sore, heavy feeling.

I did not gain weight. I know many women have concerns with hormone deals like birth control, but my experience was zero weight gain.

I’ve had it out for three months now, and my period went immediately back to normal- better than normal. I’ve had three periods, all exactly 27 days apart, and all lasted two-ish days (two days plus one day of leftover sludge, you know the stuff). That’s better than my period was before birth control! So, no concerns there. Not pregnant yet, but my periods have been perfectly regular.

Five stars, two thumbs up, whatever method you prefer to rate things, I loved implanon/nexplanon (they changed the name, but like same thing). Highly recommend.

Bug Bites

So, right now sucks pretty seriously…. Monsoon season, whoooo! My right knee looks like The Blob, you can’t even see my knee cap at all, it’s so fluid-puffed. My left knee is more visible, you can see the top curve. Fingers are slow and fat, and I’m generally just very… bogged down right now.

An unexpected side effect of all this extra-over-active immune system BS: overreaction to ant bites.

I was out scooping poop in the back yard, since the temperature is only in the high 80s right now, and apparently there’s a bit of an ant problem. I have never, ever reacted badly to insect bites of any kind- they’re annoying, sure, but I’ve never swelled up or even really itched. Right now, with my little terrorists on hyperdrive, my three ant bites just blew up. I have one that is red and raised the size of a nickel and the other two are about dime-sized. Ridiculous.

Heaped on some hydrocortisone cream and mini-chugged some kids’ zyrtec, got an ice pack on the area. I’m sure it’ll be fine.

I am 26 and have been dealing with Lupus my entire life, from my mom to my sister and me, and it still manages to throw me little surprises. Keeps life interesting, I guess…

Braiding

I did hair! I haven’t braided hair since I was a younger teen, because my fingers just wouldn’t manipulate well enough. I was obsessed with braiding when I was little, but then my hands got a point where they just wouldn’t do it, and it was so sad I didn’t try again until a week ago, and…. success!

Oh, btw, married now, have a three year-old stepdaughter.

Excercise bike

Some changes in my life: now have prescription glasses and a fiancé.

Also, giving up the gym membership, got an excercise (stationary) bike from someone off of Facebook marketplace, which is like Craigslist with a built-in communication system. Medium-low quality, 85 bucks. Digital tracking stuff, resistance knob. Orange. Whoo.

It is kicking my butt y’all. Initial goal was 3 miles a day, but I don’t really trust the mileage tracker. Next goal was 20 minutes a day…. which I quickly (embarrassingly quickly) discovered was unsustainable. New goal is ten minutes a day, which I can do in 2-3 sessions. To be fair, it’s been raining constantly and it’s shark week (aka period time), so my knees are all swollen up and awful right now. Eventually I want to up it to 15, then 20. Music helps tremendously. 

Realistic goals are key, otherwise you get all discouraged, and that doesn’t help anything. Break it into manageable chunks, and don’t be embarrassed- only me and my dog see me huffing and pudding and quitting before that red got chili peppers song is actually over (it was almost on the fade out, I swear). 

I’ve already used this bike in three days more than I went to the gym in four months. 


Sleep

I got home early yesterday, talked to the boyfriend for a bit, and then went to bed…. at 4 pm. I slept until 5 am. 13 hours of sleep. My body was obviously catching up from when I was sick. 
Update: rash is leaving, was probably the antibiotics since it lessened when I stopped.

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