Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing

Beets are not something I would normally purchase, so working with them was a new experience (but a good one!).  After a quick search online, I found that beets are highly nutritious (especially when eaten raw) and contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties.  They’ve even been thought to have anti-cancer benefits.

All the more reason to eat your beets, kids!!

DSC_0739 (Medium)

This Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing is by far, one of my favorite salad. It is very refreshing, and the ginger and lime balance out the sweetness of the carrots and apple perfectly. Everyone who has tried it (even those who openly don’t like beets) have liked this salad and asked for the recipe!

Raw Beet, Carrot & Apple Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 3 – 4 tablespoons lime juice, fresh squeezed (or lemon)
  2. 1 tablespoons honey (or coconut nectar if you are vegan)
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely grated
  4. 1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1 3/4 cup beet roots, grated
  6. 1 3/4 cup carrots, peeled and grated
  7. 1 3/4 cup Braeburn apple, peeled and grated
Instructions
  1. To make the ginger lime dressing, combine the lime juice, honey, and ginger in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the olive oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the grated beets, carrots, and apple.
  3. Toss in the dressing and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Allergy Free Alaska http://www.allergyfreealaska.com/
Enjoy!

Megan

This recipe is also linked to Raw Food Thursday, the Virtual Whole Food Potluck, Allergy Free Wednesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Simple Lives Thursday, and the Gluten Free Homemaker.

Hearty Curried Carrot Soup (vegan)

I do most of my blogging from my laptop at the dining room table, which is just off the kitchen near the glass doors leading to our backyard. I love sitting here with a nice big cup of hot coffee. I’m able to look out and watch the girls playing (either inside the house or outside in the yard), I can keep tabs on the puppy, and I also love the view.

We don’t live right in town, but we don’t live out in the country either, so my backyard is surrounded by Birch trees and Alder bushes (not the ocean or the mountains). It’s not a spectacular view, but it makes me happy. It’s very peaceful here. The leaves are starting to turn and scatter across my yard, and the crispness of fall is in the air. Soon the snow will fall, and the cold Alaskan weather will leave us craving warm temperatures and hearty hot meals.

This Curried Carrot soup is one of my favorite (meatless) hearty hot meals. I use adzuki beans to make it extra filling and creamy. Adzuki beans are small red beans that can be substituted for pinto or larger red beans in recipes. You can purchase adzuki beans online through Vitacost or Amazon, or if you’re shopping locally in the Anchorage area they can be found at Natural Pantry.

This recipe is actually not a new one, it’s been on my website for quite a while. Unfortunately it was getting overlooked because the food photography was so bad (I’m not kidding… the old picture of this soup was really bad, and didn’t leave you wanting to have a bowl of it!). I don’t know about you, but when I look at the bowl of soup below (it’s a new picture), I’d really like to eat it! Especially with a nice hearty bread roll!

Carrot Curry Soup (Medium)

This recipe has been shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, EOA Link Up, Allergy Free Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Wellness Weekend and Allergy Friendly Friday.

Curried Carrot Soup Recipe:
Yields 6 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
32 ounces chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegan)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (see recipe note below)
1 tablespoon honey (or coconut nectar for vegan)
1 1/2 pounds organic carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup cooked adzuki beans (if they are canned, no salt/low sodium would be best)
1/4 – 1/3 cup canned coconut milk

  1. In a large dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden brown.
  2. Add the garlic, broth, water, curry powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, sweetener of choice, carrots and adzuki beans. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 20 – 25 minutes.
  3. Puree using an immersion blender until the soup is smooth.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and taste.  Season with more sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Megan’s Recipe Notes:

  • I use Penzey Sweet Yellow Curry Powder. It isn’t very hot, and it has excellent flavor.
  • Pacific Natural Foods is the brand of the broth I use. If you use another brand, you might want to cut back on the amount of sea salt used in the recipe until after you puree the soup. Then taste and decide how much sea salt you’d like. Remember you can always add salt, but you can’t remove it once it’s been added.

Enjoy!
xoxo
Megan

 

Introducing the first ever Whole Food Fridays!

Introducing the first ever Whole Food Fridays! Come link up your own GLUTEN FREE & WHOLE FOOD recipes and find new ones to try!

Want to participate? Here are the linking up Guidelines:

  • Please link to your individual post, NOT your home page or a static blog party page.
  • You must provide a link back to Whole Food Fridays somewhere in the body of your post. Recipes not linked back to Whole Food Fridays will not be eligible to be highlighted the following week and may be deleted.
  • All recipes MUST BE GLUTEN FREE and made from REAL WHOLE FOOD ingredients.
  • Your blog does not have to be a gluten free blog in order to link up a recipe, but please make sure your recipe is gluten free.
  • Recipes for natural homemade soaps, lotions, etc. are also welcome.
  • Please leave me a comment! I love it when I hear from you. Often times comments make my day! :)

What your recipe CAN contain:

  • Any real whole food ingredients (gluten free whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, herbs, healthy oils, etc).
  • Natural Sweeteners (honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, yacon, coconut nectar, coconut sugar/palm sugar, sucant, stevia)
  • Meats, eggs and dairy are all okay (although dairy free options are always an added bonus).
  • Bacon. Yes, anyone who makes anything with bacon gets extra brownie points (just make sure your bacon is gluten & nitrate free)!

What your recipe CANNOT contain:

  • Anything artificial, including anything refined or highly processed.
  • Any sort of boxed mix or prepackaged anything. Fresh real whole foods are best!
  • Refined sugars (white sugar, brown sugar).
  • Liver and/or chicken feet. Okay, I’m joking. You can link up a recipe that contains either, I just probably won’t highlight it the following week.  :)

If your post does not comply to the above guidelines it will be deleted (and I will probably delete it without leaving you a note telling you I did (sorry), because that could be very time consuming). If you have any questions just leave me a comment below and I will try my best to get back to you. 

Please be descriptive and tell us a bit about what you’re sharing. Is it vegan? What about dairy free? Is it grain free? Etc… I think you understand; you’re a smart bunch!

Thanks again for stopping by Whole Food Fridays! I look forward to seeing you every week!
xoxo
Megan

Garlic Lover’s Roasted Cauliflower

I am so addicted to roasted cauliflower. I really could sit down and eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower for a meal. It’s that wonderful!

There are many variations of roasted cauliflower recipes out there. Some of my favorite recipes are from fellow gluten free/allergy friendly bloggers. Like Roasted Cauliflower Soup from Elana’s Pantry, Roasted Cauliflower and Peas with Indian Spices from the Whole Gang, Quick Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic from Tessa the Domestic Diva, Gluten Free Penne with Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash from Simply… Gluten-Free, and Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce from Vegetarian Times.

I know… yum, right? You really can’t go wrong with any type of roasted cauliflower dish. Or maybe that’s just my current obsession talking!

Garlic Lover’s Roasted Cauliflower
Note: If you are NOT a garlic lover, or have someone in your house who is allergic to garlic, simply omit it.

2 cauliflower heads
10 – 12 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
5 – 6 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F).
  2. Chop the heads of cauliflower in to two inch florets (approximately).
  3. Toss the florets, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, oregano, and basil in a 9×16″ glass baking dish (or a parchment lined cookie sheet).
  4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Whether you eat this as a side dish or a main meal is up to you, but just be warned, you may find yourself fighting for those roasted garlic cloves!

This recipe is linked to the GFE Virtual Support Group, Allergy Free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekend.
Enjoy!
Megan

My Life on Biologics – Journal Entry #4

Saturday, June 30, 2012-
Yesterday I had some weird pains in the lower right side of my back, right in my back rib area. The pain would be sharp, lasting about 20 seconds and would come on about every 20-30 minutes. It made breathing hard, almost like the pain I experience from costochondritis from time to time, but in my back ribs instead of the front portion of my chest. The pain is gone today, but I’m adding it to the list of things I need to talk to my doctor about.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012-
My parents came over yesterday and brought their backhoe to help us dig up the alders in our backyard. Today is the second day I’ve raked up rocks and sticks and helped clear brush, something I would have NEVER been able to do two months ago. I absolutely hate taking medication, but it really has been such a blessing. I still had to be careful about how long and intense I worked, but I was capable. It felt good.

Friday, July 6, 2012-
I’m still recovering from working in the backyard. I’m very sore… although I think it’s part arthritis pain and part pain from physically working my body. My body just isn’t used to physical exertion/exercise anymore (unfortunately).

The lymph nodes on the left side of my neck and behind my ear are swollen and hurt when I touch them. I have no other symptoms (fever, chills, cold, etc…), so I’m not quite sure what’s going on. I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday with another new MD, so I’ll ask them about it. I’ve heard this is normal when you have inflammation in your body, but this isn’t normal for me, this is something new.

Sunday, July 8, 2012-
For several weeks my upper chest, back, shoulders and neck have been very itchy, but it’s not from my psoriasis (I don’t think). At first I thought it might have been from slight sun exposure, but I’ve been very diligent in wearing t-shirts that cover my shoulders and applying sunscreen. I’m beginning to think I might be having a slight reaction to the Humira. Another thing to add to the list of things I need to talk to my doctor about.

Kimchi Me Crazy (dairy free/Paleo & GAPS friendly)

My best friend is half Korean. When I was 8 or 9 years old I remember sitting at her kitchen table while her mom served us lunch. I was mortified when I discovered there was seaweed in my won ton soup. My friend recognized the look of horror on my face and said, “Eat it. It’s good!” I ate it, but it took a few times for me to really develop a taste for it.

Same goes for kimchi… it took me a while to develop a taste for it, enjoy it, and to want to eat it (I only started making it a few weeks ago). My brother bought some homemade kimchi from a local Asian store, and it was phenomenal. I couldn’t stop eating it. It was a perfect balance of spicy, sweet, tangy, salty, and then you have the back note flavors of ginger and garlic. I loved it so much I had to figure out how to make it myself, just a bit healthier than some of the other recipes I’ve come across (that contain cane sugar and plenty of sweet rice flour).

My best friend recently returned from a trip to Korea and sent me some authentic Korean red pepper. You know you’re a crazy foodie when something as simple as fresh ground red pepper makes your day (but it came all the way from Korea!).  :)

I’ve made at least 3 batches of this kimchi, and people keep stealing it, so I think that’s a good sign. This stuff is addictive. Pretty soon your friends are going to steal your kimchi!

Kimchi (Medium)

There are a lot of different ways to eat kimchi. Some people enjoy eating it by itself and others with rice and meat. I’ve even heard of people making sandwiches using kimchi as the filling (which is definitely NOT my choice way of eating it). Bottom line is there is no right or wrong way to eat kimchi. Discover what you like best and enjoy it that way. :)

This recipe is linked to the GFE Gluten Free Virtual Support Group, EOA Link Up, Allergy Free Wednesdays, the Gluten Free Homemaker, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Simple Lives Thursday, and Fat Tuesday.

Megan’s Kimchi Recipe:
Note: There are several types of ground red pepper, but make sure you use Korean red pepper in this recipe. You can buy Korean red pepper from your local Asian market.

2 heads of Napa cabbage (medium sized cabbages are best)
2 tablespoons sea salt
6 – 8 tablespoons Korean red pepper
1 3/4 tablespoons fish sauce (omit if vegan)
4 teaspoons runny honey (or coconut nectar for vegan)
1 tablespoon ginger, fresh grated
2 -3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 to 1 1/2 bunches of scallions, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 to 4 carrots, peeled and shredded

  1. Remove outer leaves from the cabbages.
  2. Cut each cabbage in half lengthwise, trim the ends, and then roughly chop it into 2 to 3 inch pieces.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, layer the chopped cabbage with the sea salt. Allow the cabbage to sit with the sea salt for about an hour; stirring occasionally (This is a good time to get your hands dirty. Stir the cabbage using your hands and don’t be afraid to squeeze it. This will help the salt draw out the moisture from the cabbage, which is a very good thing. Do not discard this liquid).
  4. Sprinkle in the Korean red pepper, fish sauce, honey, ginger, and garlic. Mix well.
  5. Stir in the scallions and carrots.
  6. Divide the kimchi into two 4-quart glass jars. Using the back of a spoon, pack the kimchi into the jars, leaving about an inch of room at the top of each jar. Make sure your kimchi has just enough liquid to be submerged. (I generally have a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of liquid left over after I pack my jars that I end up discarding. This is an incredibly messy process for me. I make a complete mess of the jars when I’m packing my kimchi, and if you do the same, it’s okay as long as you rinse the outside of the jars and wipe the inside and outside of the rim. When fermenting vegetables, you want your jar to be as clean as possible, otherwise it may mold.)
  7. Place the lids loosely on the jars and put the jars in a shallow baking dish (in case they overflow while fermenting). Place in a cool dark area and allow the kimchi to ferment for 2 to 5 days before storing in the refrigerator. (I found it helpful to take the back of a spoon and push down on the kimchi a few times during the day while it was fermenting. It prevented my kimchi from overflowing releasef the air that built up in the jar.)

This is my cabbage after I layered it with the sea salt in my mixing bowl:

The salt eventually broke down the cabbage and drew out the moisture. Now you are ready to add the rest of your ingredients and pack the kimchi into glass jars!

Enjoy!
Megan

Orange Creamsicle Popsicles (dairy free, Paleo & GAPS friendly)

When I was little, I remember my mom making popsicles very similiar to these, but she used orange juice concentrate and cane sugar instead of pure unsweetened orange juice and honey/stevia. In any case, I loved the popsicles she made for my brother and I, and wanted to recreate them for my girls, just with healthier ingredients.

POPSICLE KISSES ARE RECOMMENDED & ENCOURAGED =)

Orange Creamsicle Popsicles Recipe
Yields 8 – 10 popsicles

2 cup unsweetened orange juice (I use the Naked brand of orange juice, it has no added sugar, no preservatives, non-GMO, and it’s vegan)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (you can use dairy yogurt, or coconut milk yogurt for dairy free/vegan)
2 – 3 tablespoons raw runny honey, or organic agave nectar, or coconut nectar, etc.
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
10 drops liquid vanilla stevia (I use the NuNatural’s stevia brand. If you don’t like to use stevia, simply increase the amount of honey/liquid sweetener used)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Taste mixture and add more sweetener if desired.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

This recipe is linked to Allergy Free Wednesdays, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Simply Lives Thursday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Wellness Weekend, and the Gluten Free Homemaker.

Enjoy!
Megan

Grain Free Fried Alaskan Rex Sole

My sister was in town last week. We had a really great time camping, sightseeing, and just hanging out. One of the highlights of the past week was our trip up to the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska Glacier is located north/northeast of Anchorage, Alaska (I’d say it’s about a 2 – 2.5 hour drive from Anchorage). The glacier itself is about 27 miles long and 4 miles wide.

These pictures really don’t do the scenery justice. I highly recommend seeing the Matanuska Glacier in person, even if you are a local!

We drove to Glacier Park Resort and paid the toll to drive closer up to the glacier. We parked in the parking lot, then hiked closer. Here’s what we had to hike down:

It’s true, I’m not supposed to be doing any hiking because of my knees and my right Achilles tendon being inflamed, but I was wearing good shoes and I refused to miss out. My brother helped me in a few places, but thankfully the path is fairly well maintained, so it wasn’t too bad. Along the path, you can see evidence of where the glacier used to be before it started receding.

And even closer to the glacier, you realize the path you’ve been walking on is actually ice itself.

Once we finally got up to the glacier, I decided it was time I stayed behind and let the others go on ahead of me. I would have liked to continue with them, but I was tired and sore and knew I needed to save some energy for the hike back to the parking lot. There were a couple of picnic tables out for visitors so I sat, enjoyed the view, and took lots of pictures!

This is to the right of the glacier. These are the Chugach Mountains:

This is one of my favorite shots:

For more information on Matanuska Glacier, driving directions, and what to do there, you can check out this article from KTUU.

Grain Free Fried Rex Sole
This recipe is linked to Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, and the Gluten Free Homemaker.

Alaskan Rex Sole is a small flat flounder-like fish. It’s a white fish that is very lean and delicate in flavor and texture. It’s one of my favorite fish to eat, especially fried. I don’t eat a lot of fried foods anymore, but when it comes to Rex Sole, I think I’ll make an exception.  :)

This recipe isn’t exact, but it will give you a good idea of what I used to make this super yummy dish.  :)

1 – 2 lbs Alaskan Rex Sole (or cod, halibut, tilapia, etc…), skinned and sliced into small pieces (Rex Sole is so thin my pieces were about 3×3″)
2 – 4 cups almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
2 – 3 eggs, beaten
Seasoning (I used a blend of sea salt, parsley, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper)
olive oil for frying

  1. Prepare 2 large sheet pans by covering them in foil or parchment paper.
  2. Combine the almond meal and the seasonings. Set aside.
  3. Blot off excess moisture from the fish using paper towels.
  4. Dip the fish (one or two pieces at a time) into the beaten egg, then dredge in the almond meal. Place the “breaded” fish on the prepared sheet pan and allow the almond meal to absorb the egg. Continue with the remaining pieces of fish until all are dredged in almond meal.
  5. Using a 12 inch cast iron skillet (or something similiar), coat the bottom of the pan with about 1/2 inch of olive oil and heat over medium (once the oil is up to temperature, you may need to lower your heat to medium-low). You may need to add more oil to your pan after a while if you have several pieces of fish to fry.
  6. Fry 3 or 4 pieces of fish at a time, making sure not to crowd the fish in the pan. Each piece may take 3 – 5 minutes per side, depending on how thick your fish is. I generally flip my fish when the breading is golden brown.
  7. Place cooked fish on a place with paper towels, so the excess oil will be absorbed into the towel.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges, a salad, baked sweet potatoes, etc. Cocktail sauce, ranch dressing or tartar sauce are perfect for dipping!

Enjoy!
Megan
xoxo

One more thing…
On a personal note, I received a message from a old high school friend of mine, Steve, who is now a volleyball coach in Midland, Michigan. He asked me if I would post this letter on my blog, and after reading it, I absolutely agreed. Please contact Steven Clevenger directly if you are able to donate to this worthy cause.
Thanks,
Megan

Coach Steven Clevenger
Bay City Western Volleyball
2906 Braley Ct Midland Mi, 48640
(989) 513-7291

Dear Sir or Madam;

Bay City Western Volleyball has teamed up with the Travis Mills Foundation to fund raise $10,000 to support our local hero Travis Mills after the wounds he sustained in Afghanistan.

United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, was critically injured on April 10th by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol, losing portions of both legs and both arms. He is only the fourth quadruple amputee, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to survive his injuries. Thanks to his amazing strength, courage, an incredible will to live, the heroic actions of the men in his unit, and the prayers of thousands, Travis has returned to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, near Washington DC, where he is on the road to recovery. Every day is a battle, but Travis continues to astound friends and family alike with his progress and with his amazing spirit. SSG Travis Mills is a genuine American hero, and for his incredible sacrifice, we are forever in his debt. (http://www.travismills.org/ )

Travis’s sacrifices for our country are truly amazing and the Western High School Volleyball program would like to help provide support not only for Travis but also for his wife Kelsey and his six month old daughter Chloe.

On October 16, 2012 a volleyball match will take place between Mt Pleasant High School and Bay City Western High School in which we will honor Travis Mills and his family. With your help of either a financial donations or a donation of goods that can be auctioned off we can make this event a success and send a clear message that we will support our troops in their time of need. Any donation big or small will be greatly appreciated and all donators will be recognized during the volleyball match.

If you are able and willing to donate either mail (2906 Braley Ct Midland Michigan) or contact Coach Steven Clevenger 989-513-7291 and we will arrange pickup of the item(s).

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Steven Clevenger
Head Coach Bay City Western Volleyball
989-513-7291
Clevenger2010 [at] gmail [dot] com

My Life on Biologics – Journal Entry #3

Wednesday, June 6, 2012-
I had an appointment with my rheumatologist today. The Tramadol I’ve been taking for pain relief has been causing me to sweat – so much that I’ve been going through multiple shirts throughout the day, and often wake up with damp pjs due to night sweats. My doctor and I both agreed it’s time to quit taking it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012-
I continue to be incredibly impressed by the amount of energy I’ve had since starting Humira. Today AJ and I cleaned out two rooms in the house (that were incredibly cluttered), cleaned out our storage space, got into the crawl space, gathered items for a future garage sale, etc. Things I never had the motivation or energy to do before starting Humira, let alone accomplish all in one day. I can’t remember having this much energy in years, which makes me a little sad. When your health gradually continues to decline over the course of several years, you forget what it’s like to BE WELL. I never ever wanted to take Humira (or any of the biologic drugs for that matter), but I’m so glad I did. Instead of being the “Bionic Woman,” I’m now the “Biologic Woman.”

Now where’s my cape?!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012- (Humira injection day)
I woke up this morning with tons of spine pain and then I remembered it was injection day (no wonder I’m not feeling well – I’m due for another dose of medicine). I got the girls taken care of with breakfast and then I got everything ready to give myself the injection (this was the first time injecting by myself at home). I injected myself (in the thigh), only to experience a slight prick and feel liquid drip down my thigh onto the floor. Apparently I didn’t push against my skin hard enough. Augh. I called the Humira help line and they are sending me two Humira pens for free as a replacement. I felt like such a goob. Thankfully I had one more injection pen in the refrigerator, so I waited until my husband came home from work (I needed moral support) and tried again. It was a success. Phew!

After 3 doses of Humira, my spine pain continues to feel significantly better (with the exception of this morning). My energy has also significant improved, but I am still waiting for a change in psoriasis and arthritis pain. My doctor is confident the Humira will help with both over time.

My Life on Biologics – Journal Entry #2

Thursday, May 24, 2012-
I had energy today… more than I’ve had in a looooong time. I got a TON of housework and baking done… it was awesome! I still have pain and stiffness, but the pain in my lower spine isn’t as bad as yesterday.

Friday, May 25, 2012-
Totally overdid it yesterday and I’m paying for it today. I am soooooooo tired…

Had a doctor’s appointment this morning with a new MD I wanted to check out (just to have around if needed) and to get some shots my Rheumatologist asked me to get (TB test, T-dap booster). When the new MD came in to see me, she introduced herself, glanced at my chart, and then looked at me and said, “Well, even though you have lots of autoimmune stuff going on you look okay. You must be feeling great.”

Umm… really? If a friend said that to me I wouldn’t be offended. I know I appear to be healthy, but a doctor should know better and is assuming WAY too much to say that to a patient they are meeting for the first time (especially when the doctor has a whole list of my diseases right in front of her). Do I really have to prove to you that I’m sick? She never asked for any medical history, never asked when I was diagnosed, never asked my symptoms… Wouldn’t a doctor normally want to know all of that stuff?

Also during the appointment with the MD, she asked me if I ever thought about going out of state to see another doctor. I told her I had, and might consider it down the road if the Humira didn’t end up working. She said she used to work up in Fairbanks, AK, and shipped people down to Washington to see different rheumatologists all the time. Generally the rheumatologists did a bunch of tests, made a bunch of recommendations, and never were able to help the patient. I explained if I did go out of state to see someone else I’d want my doctor to call the out of town rheumatologist ahead of time, ask if they could help me, explain my medical history, what I’ve already had done, etc, and find out if the out-of-state rheumatologist thought they could help me before I even considered going. She told me I’d never find a doctor willing to do that for me and my insurance would never pay for it anyways.

So why did she bring it up in the first place if that’s what she thought???!!

First of all, I already have a doctor (my ND) willing to find an out-of-state doctor for me, because she is a true advocate for my health and is sincerely compassionate about my situation. Not only that, but she actually cares for her patients! Secondly, I’m not 100% positive, but I do think my insurance would pay for me to see and out-of-state specialist/rheumatologist as long as I have another doctors referral. Thankfully, we have excellent insurance.

I know I shouldn’t have let the doctor get to me, but she did. I left the clinic very emotional and upset. I’m not someone who cries very often, but I called my husband and shed a few tears. Dealing with the pain of a disease is difficult, but then you throw in all the emotional highs and lows (including lows from terrible doctors)… it is very much like a roller coaster. I won’t be seeing that doctor again.

Saturday, May 26, 2012-
I made the mistake of not taking my Tramadol (it’s a pain medication) last night. I thought I would be able to sleep without it. Not so much. I had a horrible night last night. My feet and hands were on fire, I was having night sweats, and woke up at least 15 times… I’m looking forward to taking my Tramadol tonight and getting a good night’s sleep (hopefully). A good friend of mine (who also has psoriatic arthritis) told me never to underestimate my pain. She was totally right.

My feet are really hurting, but on the bright side, I seem to have energy today. I was able to clean the kitchen, make some granola bars, and do some laundry. I even went grocery shopping with my family (my hubby pushed the cart of course)!

Sunday, May 27, 2012-
It’s raining again today, and the chilly dampness is effecting me. I’m achy everywhere, but my lower spine especially. I wasn’t able to go to church today.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012- (Humira Injection Day)
Since my prescription for Humira hasn’t been filled yet, I had to drive in to my Rheumatologist’s office today for an injection (this is my second Humira injection). The nurse had me give myself the injection. She walked me through everything and I did it! It still burnt, but thankfully the burning doesn’t last long. I think I will be just fine injecting the Humira by myself the next time at home (my prescription should be filled by then).

Monday, June 4, 2012-
It’s been a full 5 days since my second Humira injection and I’m feeling pretty good. I still have pain, but I’m not in awful pain like I was a month ago. My energy level has been consistently good over the last 3 days, and my spine pain is MUCH better. THANK YOU GOD!

I got the news today that my insurance approved my Humira prescription and is actually sending the Humira to me overnight, so it will be delivered tomorrow. After my insurance picks up the tab, my co-pay is $30, but with Humira Co-Pay Assistance, my co-pay has been reduced to $5. For any of you concerned about your co-pay amount, make sure you sign up for co-pay assistance. I’ve heard many of you have much higher co-pays than I do (like $350 monthly) and they have all been reduced to $5 thanks to this program (Course, Abbott Laboratories is already making a fortune off of Humira anyways, the least they could do is pick up the tab on our co-pays!).