Sunday, 29 May 2011

New lupus treatment

It's apparently the first in 50 years - a new treatment for lupus, that Australia's Monash University helped to develop.
The new drug, Benlysta, appears to be for use with current drugs, rather than instead of them. It targets B-cell production.
B-cells are an important part of the immune system, when they're working properly. When they live longer than they're supposed to, they mean the immune system is over-active and that's when problems begin.

What does it mean for people like me?

Probably nothing, but knowing research is going on is very reassuring. 

While they're still researching, there's no cure for lupus yet, as opposed to no cure ever.


http://www.monash.edu.au/news/show/monash-research-leads-to-first-lupus-breakthrough-in-50-year 
 http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm246489.htm

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Using the good stuff

I've always been one of those people who've kept the "good stuff" for special occasions. You know, the good dinner set for the dinner party that happens once a decade, that kind of thing.

I've got a few nice pieces of fine china people have given me over the years, and they look nice in the china cabinet, but that's where they've always stayed.

Now, I've decided to use the "good stuff". Otherwise, it sits there unused, and does nothing. I know it's a risk: on bad days, when the arthritis in my hands is really bothersome, I drop lots of things. I know that some of the "good stuff" is going to get broken. I've even managed to break the Corelle plates - the ones guaranteed not to break - I didn't claim the guarantee because to be fair I'm sure the manufacturers didn't count on me when they offered the guarantee. We've been drinking out of plastic cups because I broke all the glasses.

What do I hope to achieve by using the "good stuff"? It will make my meals seem special to eat off fine china. I can't eat gluten or lactose. I have to be on a weight loss diet. There are so many restrictions to what I can eat, that I find I eat mechanically, not really thinking about it (not a good thing for someone who needs to lose weight.) Instead, I'm going to make my meals, even my morning and afternoon tea an occasion, just by enjoying what I eat out of.

There's a side benefit here, that family and friends will always know what to get me for presents, since I do have a tendency to break things and can expect to go through a fair bit of the good stuff. My preference is Royal Albert's Old Country Roses. I'm not fussy enough to want only pre-2002 items that were actually made in England. I just like the design.

The everyday stuff? Well, I have teenaged kids who'll be ready to leave home in the next couple of years: they'll need crockery to get started: and the Corelle plates and plastic cups are very hard-wearing!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Time to Hi-bear-nate

The weather's starting to get colder. If I were a bear, I could sleep through the whole winter. Maybe I am slightly ursine, as I really, really want to sleep through the whole winter!
Temperature affects me a lot. In summer I can't sleep without the air conditioner. In winter, I just don't want to get out of bed. I'm incredibly tired and my joints are hurting. The pain deep down in my hips is incredible.
The housework's well and truly behind - dishes building up in the sink, dirty clothes overflowing the washing basket, but I just don't have the energy to deal with it. Summer saps my energy and leaves me with an incredible fatigue, winter aggravates my aches and pains - and I still end up tired because it's just so much harder to do anything.