Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has had a really good past two weeks, in regards to his rheumatoid arthritis. My last flare finally subsided, a few days into my recent break from blogging. I think that the three anti-inflammatory injections that I had during the preceding week and a half finally took effect.
One of my personal victories during this past flare was getting through it without the use of Prednisone. I have nothing against Prednisone, as I have used it many times in the past. In a way, that was sort of the problem though…during each flare, which was beginning to happen almost monthly, I was taking a Prednisone burst. During my last visit to my rheumatologist, even though my flare was worse than usual, I stated up front that I did not want to use Prednisone this time around.
I know, I know…Prednisone provides great relief to many people. During one of my recent visits with my rheumatologist, though, he spent 45 minutes teaching me about the advantages and disadvantages of corticosteroid therapy. Not that he is against the use of these medicines – he’s not – he just want to balance the benefits with the risks, and does take my age into consideration. I respect his judgment, and have backed it up with my own research.
So we resorted to using three Diclofenac injections over the span of a week and a half, which seemed to work. Previously I used to expect improvements overnight…but this time around I told myself it would take about another ten days for all of the injections to finally take effect. That is exactly how long it took.
The first day that I started my break from blogging, I was frustrated when I continued to deal with the symptoms of my flare. I don’t think I had even thought of this on a conscious level, but only at that point did I realize that deep down I was associating my break from blogging about RA with an anticipated break from living with a RA flare. If only the connection was so easy… Luckily though, a few days into my break my flare did subside.
Which is not to say that I am back to 100%. But If I’m hitting the C range, in the 70′s, then I am more than happy.
Towards the end of last week I left the house without crutches or a cane, for the first time in a long time. Funny thing, all of my classmates started congratulating me on recovering from my surgery/injury. (We’re in the third month of classes, but they have never know me without crutches or a cane.) My brief explanation of rheumatoid arthritis were quickly accepted, and I even discovered that one of my classmates is in a long-term relationship with a lady who has been living with RA for 20+ years. We talked about RA medicines, local rheumatologists, and flares. It was actually sort of fun, and totally unexpected!
In the past, I used to try to forget about my rheumatoid arthritis during these good periods. Now, I am enjoying the freedom that comes of being able to get dressed again in a matter of seconds, and being able to leave the house without crutches or a cane. At the same time, however, I am thinking about what I can do now in order to make the next flare just a little bit easier.
(By the way, what does a person who uses crutches do when it rains? I just thought about that the other day, when for the first time, I was outside with my crutches and it started…raining. Raincoat maybe? I don’t think I would ever use on of those umbrellas that sits on the head like a hat…although I guess it’s best never to say never.)
On a side note, I have had a really bad past couple of days, in regards to my stomach. My NSAIDs and Plaquenil seem to be breaking through any protection barrier that the Omeprazole previously provided. I’m back to teas, boiled linseed, and hot cornstarch beverages. I still haven’t gotten my stomach back into balance…but hopefully this is just a couple of days away.
If Superman is the superhero with abs of steel, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy is the superhero with a stomach that seems to be made of tissue paper.
Read more about my stomach remedies: http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2009/08/stomach-remedies/
And hopefully I can return to actually sleeping through the night. It’s not like I haven’t fought…and won…this battle many times before. Wish me luck!
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!