Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Changing Meds- again

     One of the toughest things for me, besides waiting for test results and/or diagnosis, has been the journey to find the right medications to slow the damage that Rheumatoid Arthritis will cause and to ease my pain from both the RA and Fibromyalgia so that I can continue to work.  I have been through the DMARDS: Plaquenil, Arava, Sulfasalazine, and Methotrexate. I have done over 2 years on Prednisone.  Run through the Biologics: Enbrel, Humira and now Orencia.  I have done for pain: Meloxicam before Naproxyn and as well as the Naproxyn: Tramadol, Neurontin and Flexeril.  My shelf below my computer screen looks like a mini medicine cabinet.

      Since before Thanksgiving I have been having severe lower back/hip pain.  I thought I could tough it out but finally, in the midst of my 12+ hour work days, I gave in and went to see my Rheumy.  If this were a "normal" time of year for me- I would have been okay to wait but the pain (and exhaustion brought on by the pain) was affecting my work.  Normally during Back-To-School, I am doing 16 hour days to get everything done that needs to be done and I was just not able to do that this term and we were falling behind as a result.

     As I mentioned in a previous entry, my Rheumy diagnosed my pain as Osteoarthritis in the spine combined with RA in my hip causing muscle spasms.  She upped my Neurontin to try to give me relief.  Well- it's been over a week and the Neurontin has eased the pain a bit.  It's no longer acute as long as I take the meds but still "there" and reminds me of that every time I sit too long, stand too long or lay down too long.  It also makes me a bit fuzzy headed and makes me do the thing that makes me craziest- lose my words when I am trying to talk.  That's what I hate about messing with my medications.  The "new" side effects on my body and brain.  I know that eventually my body will ease into this new routine but until then it is just annoying.

     One of the most difficult ongoing things about living with these specific illnesses is that there is no true standard treatment.  Each of us is different so as we move through our post-diagnosis life we have to continually try and find new drug combinations or natural combinations or combinations of both that work for us all the while knowing that even though we find relief today, there may come a time that it won't work any longer and we will have to start from the beginning and do this all over again.


1 comment:

Nan said...

so sorry for your pain and are so right about the unique nature of treatment for RA. It is very frustrating and along with the erratic nature of the disease one of the most difficult aspects of RA...healing thoughts and best wishes that things improve!