Friday, 21 December 2012

Its Christmas!!

Firstly, appologies for such a long delay since my last post once again! 

I mentioned in my last post that I was starting to feel ill with a sore throat and cough, but I was planning to spend the weekend recouperating... Well this has turned into several weeks and I'm still not 100% better! I got really ill and slept for pretty much 3 days straight, I even had to take a day off work which is not like me at all. But I slept for my entire day off, so it was definitely the right decision. Now I am much better, but I still have a cough and I am still going through several boxes of tissues!

Anyway, since it is nearly Christmas, I thought I'd reflect on the past few months with how far I have come since my diagnosis with RA and look forward to the future.

I can honestly say that compared to two months ago, I feel like a completely different person now that I am on methotrexate. I actually feel like me again. I can run up the stairs, I can stay up past 8pm without feeling exhausted, I can even get up and ready in the morning before I have to take my meds. These all sound like small things, but it's the little things that you notice more when they are taken away from you. Like not being able to unscrew a bottle top or wear shoes that have a slight heel.

There is definitely still more improvements to be made, mainly with my index finger which is still swollen. I cant really use my index finger for anything yet, so I struggle to write or do things like squeeze shampoo out of a bottle. But I can straighten my finger now, so I guess it will just be a longer process to get back to normal.

I am down to 7.5mg of steroids now and I am hoping to reduce this to 5mg over the Christmas break.

My hopes for the new year are to get completely off steroids and to get as close to normal as possible. I would really like to get back to my normal weight and fit back into all of my clothes too. But with coming off the steroids and hopefully being able to start exercising more, this should be possible! (Fingers Crossed) I am feeling very positve about the new year. 

One thing that I want to add really quickly,


Wishing everyone a fantastic Christmas and a wonderful 2013!

Checkup clinic, blood tests and DIY

As expected, I haven't had much spare time since getting the keys to my house so once again, apologies for the delay in my latest blog post. Jamie and I have spent every spare minute we have working on our house! We went straight round last Friday and started stripping wallpaper, only to find what was to become our worst enemy lurking underneath... Wood chip! 





For those of you who are lucky enough to not have come across wood chip paper, it's basically a cheap paper with small chips of wood within it which gives the effect of a textured wall finish. Apparently it was really fashionable in the 1970s?! Then add several layers of paint on top and you have the most difficult thing to remove from walls...Ever! Best of all, it is on every single wall!! So we have spent the past week steaming and scraping the stuff off the walls, with the help of our families. We are making progress with only a few walls left to do, but i feel like I have a scraper permanently attached to my hand!

In other news, I had my monthly check up with the Rheumatologist nurse this week. My blood test results showed that I was doing well and my inflammation was coming down, which is great. Its a relief to know that the MTX is working. It also showed that my white blood cell count is still high, so I'm constantly fighting some sort of infection, although it can't be that bad as I haven't felt particularly ill. I have been quite lucky so far with not picking up any bugs or viruses, despite having my immune system dampened by medication. However this week I was finally beaten and I now have a sore throat, sore head and annoying cough. I'm feeling pretty lousy and working on the house every spare minute probably isn't helping but I'm not one to mope in bed.


It was also blood test wednesday this week. I managed to get my best place in the queue ever, Patient 5! It was pretty lucky though to be honest because I felt like I was going to pass out if I had to wait much longer. I think it was the mix of feeling unwell and the warm hospital, but I was glad to hear my name being called. I managed to get a right whopper of a bruise this time though, I think its time to start switching arms!

I'm out for tea with the girls tomorrow for a catch up before Christmas and all my other time will either be spent working on the house or recouperating. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

 



Friday, 30 November 2012

Exciting news


So I have some exciting news…
Jamie and I have just received the keys for our first house!!
It is a two bedroomed bungalow in the Holbeck, which is perfect for us. (No more stairs to climb when my feet are sore!) The ultimate selling point though, was the back garden which overlooks the whole town. Because we live at the top of a hill we can see for miles, I absolutely love it.
We put an offer in for the house back in September, just days after it had gone up on the market. It was exactly what we wanted, in the area we wanted and for the price we wanted, with no chain and we knew that it would be snatched up if we didn’t act quickly. Our offer was accepted within hours and that is when the waiting game began!
Since then we have signed endless paperwork, been to several meetings, but most of all spent a lot of time waiting! We didn’t really want to tell anyone because so many things can go wrong and it could have fallen through at any moment, so we decided to keep quiet until things were finalised and only tell a select few.
So if you asked me if I had seen any nice houses or when I was thinking on buying a house, and I either changed the subject or just completely ignored the question that is why!! I didn’t want to lie to anyone. But I can finally let the cat out of the bag!
Over the past two weeks things really kicked into gear, with the completion date in sight. It has been really stressful, I nearly didn’t make it to sign the contract because the roads flooded and I got stuck in Ulverston, then a few days later we had problems transferring our deposit for reasons out of our control, then we had issues with our home insurance because the company only faxed through half of the information to our solicitor and to top it all off, yesterday we were told that there was a problem with the boiler (we’ve had it checked and its fine, the message was misconstrued).
 All this stress hasn’t done much for my arthritis though to be honest. I have been sleepwalking the past couple of nights(which I tend to do when I’m stressed)  and I really notice a difference in my swelling when I don’t get a good night’s sleep. I have also had a really short attention span for the same reasons. But hopefully now everything is completed I will get a good sleep ready to start work on the house this weekend.
So if I’m a bit quiet over the next few weeks in the blogging world, it’s because im either scraping wallpaper off, painting walls or moving all of my belongings out of my family home!
 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

My new addiction

Apologies for the delay since my last post, I have been rather busy over the past week with several appointments and errands to run. Hopefully I will be able to explain why in a few days, but until then I will update you all on my progress.

I am definitely noticing improvements in my condition. Firstly, I am nowhere near as tired as I used to be! I used to struggle to get past 7pm without wanting to get into bed, whereas now I am managing to make it to around 9pm/10pm before I think about getting in to bed. (Wednesday is my exception though because Jamie is at night school so I get into bed really early!)

Secondly, I can now get out of bed straight away now. Before hand it would take about an hour after I had taken my steroids before I could even think about moving, whereas now I get up straight away. I am still sore when I first get up and it does take a while to loosen up, but it is much more bearable these days. 

Sadly, my finger is still not showing any changes at all!!! I'm due an appointment with my rhuematologist doctor over the next few weeks so hopefully she can put my mind at ease and tell me that it will get better eventually. On the brightside, I have still not had any negative side effects from the medication, which is fab!

I also wanted to talk about my new addiction... walking! Over the past week I have been for 3 walks with a total distance of over 11 miles. I love getting wrapped up, turning on shuffle on my iPhone and setting out for a walk on my own. Its a great to get some head space and time alone with your own thoughts, plus the fresh air makes me feel great afterwards. I was planning to do a nice long walk tonight, but my foot has started to hurt when I got home so I am reluctantly having a night with my feet up in the hope that its better tomorrow.




Keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post... I will hopefully have some exciting news to share!



Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Improvements...

Hi everyone

I noticed a few improvements in my condition over the weekend, so I thought I'd let you all know!


Firstly, on Saturday morning, Jamie (my fiance) and I were up at 6.30am because Jamie had work. Usually when Jamie works at the weekend, he drives me home because I don't have time for my steroids to kick in before I have to drive. However, this weekend I managed to drive home 15 minutes after getting up without too much discomfort! I'm not saying it was a pain free drive, but certainly bearable, which is a huge improvement. This got me thinking that maybe I don't need to wake up at 5am to take my steroids anymore... The past two days I have taken my steroids at my normal wake up time of 6.30am and have managed to drive to work okay. So no more 5am wake up calls!!!


Secondly, after getting home, having my breakfast and catching up on Friday night's Children in Need Show (I recorded it so I just watched certain parts) I decided that I would go for a walk. My dog isn't very well at the moment, and Jamie still at work, so at 10.30am I set off walking on my own with only my iphone music for company. I didn't have a planned route or time to walk, I just went where my feet took me. I was quite surprised when I walked back through my front door to see that it was 12pm and I had been walking for an hour and a half!

I took this picture of the Abbey on my walk, how pretty does it look?!
I felt great after my walk! Admittedly my feet were a bit sore and my legs were ready for a sit down, but all in all the fresh air and exercise left me feeling awake and energised. After so long of hardly being able to do anything, it is so nice to finally become more active again. Im looking forward to my next walk now!

My third improvement is I have decreased my steroids again by 2.5mg, so I am now on 12.5mg. Each time I decrease, for the first few days I feel slightly more pain in my joints, but then it starts to get better again. I think this is because my body needs a few days to adjust to the new level of steroids. Im going to keep decreasing them by 2.5mg every few weeks until I am either in pain again or hopefully, until I am off them completely. Fingers crossed its the latter!


The only slight disappointment is my index finger still shows absolutely no sign of improvement. It is still swollen and I still cant straighten it or use it for anything. Maybe my next dose of MTX tomorrow will start to help.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Layout Change

Hi everyone

I have decided to give my blog layout a bit of a change with a new banner and background.


I didn't like my old banner and I have been meaning to design a new one for ages, but just wasn't sure how to do it. In the end I had a bit of a mess around on Word and created a new one. I'm not the best at graphic design and it isn't the best header, but it will do for now until I can find someone to make one for me!


I am still changing bits around, but I'm having difficulty editing some links and fonts on blogger. (Still quite new to blogger and haven't worked everything out yet!) So keep your eyes peeled for the final version over the next couple of days.

What you you think of the new layout?



Thursday, 15 November 2012

MTX week 6 & Winter Walks

Hi Everyone

There is not much to say in terms of MTX week 6 to be honest, as there are still no significant changes. I am not in any less pain and the swelling of my index finger in particular is just as bad. At the same time I have not had any side effects from the drugs other than feeling dizzy in the morning that I take the MTX. So in that respect, I'm still waiting!
On a more positive note, I have decreased my steroids again by 2.5mg, so I am now on 15mg a day. I decided to decrease my steroids by myself because the visits between seeing my rheumatology doctor is 3 months, and there was no way I was waiting 3 months to start decreasing them!

I don't like taking the steroids for many reasons; 
  • they can thin your bones, 
  • they can destroy your stomach
  • they stop your body from producing natural hormones and many other side effects. 
But the main issues I have found are constant hunger, reduced memory and water weight gain (mainly on my face). Lots of people have said that they can hardly tell I have gained weight and that my face has become more rounded, but I can tell and I have felt very self conscious about it all. You know your own body and you know when something changes.
Therefore I decided to start walking as well as decreasing the steroids, to try and shift this stupid water weight! In order to manage walking I have to strap up my feet and wear a knee support, but its worth it and I am really enjoying becoming more active again. I also love walking in the winter in the fresh air, its my favourite time of year.

Last night after walking for an hour with my dog and niece, I sort of ruined my hard work and had a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows! I'm not usually a fan of hot chocolate to be honest, I am a big tea drinker! But on the rare occasion that I have one, I go all out with cream, marshmallows the works! I made one for my niece too and it seemed to go down well! I must admit, it was rather tasty and I can see myself having a few more over the winter months. But isn't that part of the fun of cold weather? Walks in the fresh air, big, comfy clothes  and lots of warm food and drinks?!

Don't you just love winter?!

  





Wednesday, 7 November 2012

MTX week 5, Bloods and more confusion!

Hi Everyone

So after my confusion yesterday about my prescription for MTX, I emailed my GP and requested more MTX and folic acid urgently as I needed to take the MTX this morning. I received a reply saying that it would be ready after 5.30pm, so it was going to be a rush to get the prescription and get to a pharmacy before they shut at 6, but at least I would have my meds on time.


I managed to get to the pharmacy at 5:45, but when I got there the pharmacist told me that my GP had only prescribed 3 pills a week for the next two weeks instead of a 6 a week for a month. They rang my GP (not my usual GP who is on holiday) and he said that he had on my notes that I was to start on 3 a week for two weeks and then progress to 6 two weeks later, which was right, a month ago! My GP was on his way out to a house visit so he said to give me what he has prescribed for now and ring him again in the morning. So basically there was a mis-communication between the hospital and my GP surgery about what stage I was at.


This morning I decided to go with my gut and take all 6 pills, because I knew I was right and I wouldn't be able to speak to my GP before I needed to take them. I rang my GP and asked for him to ring me back, and then headed out to the path lab for my second blood test.


My second visit was the complete polar opposite to my first in every way. Firstly I was the only one there until about 8.55am, secondly I only had to wait for about 15 minutes once I was in the waiting room and thirdly it hurt way more than the first time! I dont usually find blood tests painful, but when I looked at my arm afterwards, I have a large scratch up my arm where the nurse had inserted the needle. Even so I was pretty happy to be in and out much quicker this week.




When I arrived and collected my queue card, I was "patient 8" this week, despite being the only one there! Apparently people go the night before and get a card to save queueing in the morning. Only patient 1 & 2 turned up while I was there though, so I got seen to third. Much better than 14th last time!

My GP then rang me back, and after I explained the situation he said he would do a new prescription for a months worth of MTX, with 6 pills a week. He was actually very nice and said that he didn't want to make a rash decision late at night with such strong drugs, which I completely understand. So it is all sorted now hopefully!

In terms of the MTX side effects, once again my head feels a bit fuzzy and I feel exhausted, but nothing too horrible.


After a stressful few days I'm looking forward to a hot bath and early night tonight!






Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Drop in Clinic

Hi everyone

So today was my first visit to the reheumatology drop in clinic. It was actually my second visit to the rheumatology nurse, but the first was a sort of introduction to what is going to happen over the next few months.


I was slightly nervous about this visit today, not because I was worried about what was going to happen, but because I was unsure about what time I was meant to be there! When I had my first visit to the nurse, it was a scheduled appointment, but she asked me to come to her drop in clinic in a months time, any time between 8:30 and 9:45 and that it was just a first come first serve basis. However on Friday I received a text from "NHS no reply" saying "this is your appointment reminder for Tuesday 6 November at 09:10". 





Initially I thought that this would be an appointment with the rheumatologist doctor, but when I rang to find out, they said that this was my appointment with the nurse. Very confusing!


Anyway I went today at 8:50, so that I was there in enough time for the appointment, but my nurse was there waiting for me. When I asked her about the appointment time, she said that the text was complete rubbish and not to take any notice of the text, it is definitely a drop in clinic.


In my appointment, the nurse checked my joints to see which ones hurt, made a note of my recent blood test results and had a chat with me about how I am feeling. It turns out that my white blood cell count had gone up, meaning that I might have picked up an infection already, but she said it wasn't too high so I wasn't to worry. The good news is my inflamation count has started to decrease, not enough to notice any changes yet, but it is going in the right direction!


Last time I saw the nurse, she gave me a prescription for my first months worth of MTX and Folic acid, so I assumed that I would be getting my second months worth today. WRONG! Apparantly I am meant to get the prescription from my GP from now on, although I dont remember being told that! I am due to take my next dose tomorrow, so I had to email my GP and ask for the prescription, in the hope that she would do it today, I could pick it up after work and be sorted for tomorrow. Once again, WRONG. My doctors don't do same day prescriptions, even though I explained the situation. They said they will try and sort it for after 5.30pm today, but they cant do it before then, and they may not be able to do it at all. I just have to turn up at 5.30 and hope for the best.


So all in all, quite a bit of confusion surrounding my first drop in clinic, hopefully it is just a few teething problems and it will all get easier in time...




Friday, 2 November 2012

A Year to Go!!

Just a quick post to say...

I get married a year today!!!!!


Jamie and I got engaged in October 2011 and this first year has flown by, so I can only imagine how quick the next year is going to go! Especially when I am so focused on my treatment and getting better at the moment.




I just hope that methotrexate does actually work for me and I am in a much better state by next year, I dont fancy hobbling down the aisle!!


Im off with two of my bridesmaids to check out my hen weekend location today and tomorrow I am going for a meal with Jamie to celebrate our six year anniversay, so it should be a good weekend :)




Wednesday, 31 October 2012

MTX Week 4 & Pride of Britain

Hi everyone

So, once again its methotrexate Wednesday, meaning the 5am wake up call included 6 MTX pills today. I still haven't noticed any side effects, which is great and since this is my fourth dose I'm hoping to start to see some improvement soon.
 


I have also now started on a new medication omeprazole, as my heart burn from the steroids was starting to get unbareable and making me throw up all the time. Rennies and Gaviscon were my first point of call, as I really didn't want to be taking another pill, but when they made no difference I backed down and rang my GP Dr Wilkinson. She really has been very supportive and brilliant with me, and she prescribed omeprazole straight away in a rush at 5.30pm on Friday so that I could start on it immediately. Even though I didn't want to add to my long list of pills, I have to admit that they started to work the very next day and I now am heart burn free!! It's just annoying that I am now having to take more medication to reduce the side effects of other medication!

I used to take extra strength cocodamol before bed to help me sleep through the night, but I decided to stop this over the weekend to see if I still needed it. Turns out that I am still sleeping as well without it, so no more cocodamol for me!

I have aslo decided to stop taking ibruprofen in the morning, as not only is it a prime culprit for causing heart burn, I don't want my body to become to reliant on such a cocktail of medication. Since stopping the ibruprofen I am in a bit more pain in the morning, particularly in my hands, and it takes me longer to loosen up throughout the day. But its not causing me enough pain to make me desperate to take pain killers. so for now I am staying off them!




What I also really wanted to talk about on my blog today was the Pride of Britain Awards that were televised last night, and in particular, one of the winners Alice Pyne. Alice is 16 and has terminal cancer. Rather than be defeated, she has decided to create a bucket list, with her number one aim "To get everyone eligible to join a bone marrow register". Her blog documents her life and progress with her bucket list. She knows that there is no getting rid of her illness, but she has decided to do everything she can to prevent others from getting in the same predicament. So far, she has inspired 40,000 people to sign up to the bone marrow register.

Alice Pyne - an amazing young lady
This really struck a chord with me last night, not only because she is so inspirational, or because she is from Ulverston, which is where I work and 20 minutes from my home town of Barrow, but also because she demonstrated exactly how powerful a blog can be in raising awareness.

The aim for my blog is to have a place for young people to turn when they are diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I plan to document everything I go through in terms of medication, side effects, relationships, lifestyle changes and so on, so that other young sufferers have some idea of what to expect. 

When I was diagnosed, and still to this day, I struggle to find anything about young sufferers with RA. It is a scary time when you are only at the start of your life, and you suddenly lose control of how it is going to go from now on. I'm still at the start of my journey, so I'm in the dark about what is going to happen over the next year, I have no idea if I will get to a point where I can walk down stairs without pain, or if i will ever able to use my hands again properly. So hopefully, I can build up a fairly detailed diary of what happens next, and this will help others. 

Please help me spread awareness of this blog and pass it on to as many people as you can.

Thanks :)


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

MTX Wednesday - Week 3

Well its Methotrexate Wednesday again already!

Today I had to increase my dose to 6 pills, giving me 14 pills in total to take this morning. Once again, I seem to have a bit of a dizzy head and I'm not feeling 100%, but at the same time I'm not throwing up or having to go to bed, so I can't really complain.



This is what I had to face at 5am this morning!


I also had my first blood test to check my liver functioning. I have to get this done every two weeks for the next few months, because MTX can cause liver disease among other things. So this morning I had to take myself up to the Path Lab at my local hospital (Furness General). 


Since the path lab opens at 9am, I thought I would get myself there nice and early and try to get in and out as quick as possible. But I arrived for 8:45am to find a large group of people waiting in the corridor. I got my queue ticket which said I was patient 14, so much for in and out! 


Just after 9 they opened the doors and let us in, so once I had handed in my queue ticket and blood test requirements slip at the reception I could sit down in the waiting area. I know I must have only been stood for 20 minutes, but I was desperate to sit down by this point! 



This is the slip I have to hand in at reception to tell them what I need to be tested for.
 
I ended up having to wait for about 40 minutes, but once I was called, the actual blood taking was quick and painless. I have had quite a few blood tests over the years, so getting it done never really bothers me anyway, but I have one or two experiences when the nurse cant draw blood, and I get turned into a human pin cushion! Luckliy this was not the case today!!


So overall not a bad experience for my first trip to the path lab, just a few pointers for the future:
  1. 15 minutes before is not early enough to be in and out - maybe I'll get there for 8:30 next time
  2. Take a book to read - it can be a long wait!
And as for the MTX, I haven't seen any improvement in my condition as of yet, but at the same time I haven't had any horrible side effects either. There's still a long way to go...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Low Days: How I cope

Hi Everyone

I've decided to write a post today about how I deal with "low days". I have found that since being diagnosed with RA, my mood seems to be all over the place. One day I can be my usual positive and chirpy self, and the next I can feel quite defeated.


I have noticed that my low days tend to be appear more at the weekend rather than during the week, which is usually the opposite for most people! I think it is because during the week, I have work to focus on and keep me occupied for the majority of the day. Whereas at the weekend, I wake up and think, "what can I do for the next 15 hours?". I used to enjoy going for walks, going to town, or generally just using the time to get things done that I hadn't had time to do during the week. But at the moment, since I can't stand for very long, walk very far, or really do anything involving my hands, I'm not left with many options!


That's why I have decided to make Sunday my pamper day. This means: a bath, candles, face masks, hair masks, nail polish, body scrubs, moisturisers, the works! Some may think that I am being superficial or materialistic, but the truth is, beauty products make me feel better.

Sanctuary body scrub and lotion - this smells ggorgeous but I thought that the scrub could do with more texture, I prefer a bit of a harsher exfoliator. I also found the lotion started to burn parts of my skin like my elbows?! Maybe its not ideal to use straight after a bath when your pores are open if you have sensitive skin.


Aussie 3 minute miracle hair mask - this also smells amazing, and my hair felt very smooth and conditioned after. Not bad considering you only need to leave it on for 3 minutes. I only used about 1/3 of the sachet too. Cant complain for 80p.
Garnier self heating clay face mask - I started to worry when I first applied it as you really do feel it starting to heat up within seconds. I have sensitive skin so usually if something feels warm on my face my first instinct is to get it off, but I left it for 3 minutes as directed and had no problems at all once I had washed it off. My skin felt nice and cleansed afterwards. This comes in 2 sachets, but I only used about 2/3 of the first one.


I think it is important for RA sufferers to take some time to do something that makes them feel good about themselves, because it is very easy to build up feelings of resentment and hatred towards your own body when it is attacking itself and causing you pain. I have thought to myself on quite a few occasions, "I don't smoke, I rarely drink, I eat plenty of fruit and veg, I was very active, so why is my body doing this to me?!". Also, you get sick of looking at your joints that are all swollen and ugly, wishing that they looked half normal.

But after my pamper afternoon on Sunday, I honestly felt one hundred times better about myself, and felt motivated to make sure this arthritis doesn't beat me. I will get back to some sort of normality!!


What techniques do you use to battle the RA blues? Get in touch.




Friday, 19 October 2012

Kayleigh's Give Away

Hi everyone :)


I just wanted to let you all know that one of my favourite bloggers Kayleigh is holding an International giveaway to celebrate reaching 2000 followers!

All these fab products are up for grabs!

If you like the look of these products and want to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget on her blog. There is a link to her blog under my "blogs im reading" section, or you can click here.
I read Kayleigh's blog on a regular basis, I would recommend it to anyone and I'm not surprised she has managed to reach 2000 followers.  Have a look :)

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

MTX Wednesday - Week 2




Hi everyone :)


As today is Wednesday, it was time for me to take my second lot of Methotrexate (MTX) this morning. If you haven't read my first post, I started taking MTX last week to treat my Rheumatoid Arthritis. At the moment I have to take 3 MTX pills once a week, however next week this will be increased to 6 pills.

My Wednesday morning pills (The yellow ones are the MTX)
I was told that I would see no positive effects from the MTX for at least 4-12 weeks, however I may start to feel some unpleasant side effects right away. The nurse said it is pretty common to feel or be sick and to feel generally unwell for a few days, but she also went into detail about a large list of side effects including ulcers and hair loss. There is more information about the side effects here. I know they have to cover every possible outcome just in case, but I couldn't help feeling worried about what was going to happen when I took the medication! I have to take Folic Acid on a Saturday, which is meant to reduce the side effects of the MTX, so this gave me some comfort. But again its just another pill to add to the list that I have to take.


My medicine drawer - steroids, MTX, folic acid and prescribed extra strength pain killers.
I have to say that so far I haven't really had any side effects. I feel a bit dizzy, sort of like my brain is taking a second to catch up with my eyes, but other than that I haven't felt any different. I haven't been sick thank goodness, which is what I was worried about because I have a history of not being able to stomach any medication (even Penicillin). But it is only the second week, I wonder if the side effects will kick in next week when I go up to 6 pills... Did anyone else find that the first few weeks were relatively side effect free?