Sunday, October 02, 2005

I'm sure I told you, Mom...

Says she who is the Mom that she didn't know I had arthritis. I thought for sure I mentioned that. Well, I've been seeing a rheumatologist for a little over a year. I was diagnosed with garden variety osteoarthritis in my hands (probably genetic), and psoriatic arthritis in my sacroiliac joints (not so genetic). I guess you could say a I have a pain in the butt, and Mom says I can blame her and the dads. Although maybe I didn't, because it's one thing to complain about the little aches and pains and another to spring major medical news. So maybe I didn't mention it.

I took an awesome picture on the way to a doctor appt last week. I was early so I drove around the area for a while. Dr. Luke is off of Battlefield Blvd near Volvo Parkway, so I just kept driving down Battlefield to see what was there. I don't go out into Chesapeake that much because it's so depressing: new housing developments everywhere where the cookie-cutter houses are way to big for the occupants, are built cheaply and sell expensively because they have a "cathedral foyer" and a kitchen island. 4000 square feet, ten measly little feet between houses, and no personality whatsoever. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I have a big house but it:

o) was built before 1995 (1913, specifically)
o) is less than 4000 square feet
o) has a foyer but it's the same height as all the other rooms in the house
o) has masses of personality
o) has real plaster walls (a blessing and a curse)

(hum, the second post where I've used bullets; I wonder if it's a sign)

So I was wandering off down Battlefield Blvd and I passed by one of those pumpkin stands. The kind that spring up out of nowhere next to the Mercedes dealership that scream "quaint country." It was 7:30AM and the sun was peaking over the trees and the green grass and the orange pumpkins looked hyper-saturated in the light. And no one was around. I swung a u-turn and shot the remainder of a roll of film I'd been trying to finish off for over a week. I got four or five nice shots, one of them is below.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, all arthritis are a form of an autoimmune disorder in that the body attacks itself (or it's joints). Psoriatic arthritis is a degenerative inflammatory type that is related to psoriasis. Not all people with psoriasis get the arthritic form, and not all people with the arthritic form get the skin form. I don't have the skin form or, if I do, it's so minimal as to be masquerading as something else, like dry elbows and dandruff. Psoriatic arthritis is related more closely to the rheumatoid than osteo forms, and one of the key differences is that supposedly the psoriatic form doesn't test positive for the rheumatoid factor; I've been known to test positive for that at various times but I've also heard that false positives are common and it's not definitive. At this point I have a moderate case that flares up occasionally. This last summer was one of the worst flare ups I've had in my lower back, which I sure hope doesn't happen again soon. Last winter my hands flared up. Being active with photography helps a lot because it keeps me moving and occupied :)