Friday, February 27, 2009

Side effects and perspective

Well, I started my Enbrel last night and it looks like it is going to be very different than the methotrexate.

On Methotrexate days (Sunday), I get up get a cup of coffee, take my folic acid and tramodol (pain med) and relax a bit and let the tramodol kick in. Then I give myself my shot and enjoy more coffee it works it's way in. I know when it hits because I have to take a run to the bathroom-lol. After that- the exhaustion and fuzziness kicks in and for the rest of the day I am very happy to curl up on the couch and sleep off and on as the medicine does it's magic.

The Enbrel- well, it looks like that is going to be a bit different. I took my shot about 7 pm last night with the visiting nurse there to make sure I didn't have an allergic reaction and everything went smoothly. About an hour later, nausea kicked in and I was feeling fuzzy but wired/shakey at the same time. I went up to bed around 10:30. I slept half of every hour until about 3:15ish when I got out of bed and just watched a beautiful thunderstorm. We are now 11 hours later and I am still a little on the wired side and a little of the nausea. Obviously this will be a good daytime med- not nighttime.

By 4:15, I was feeling a little whiney. I was feeling like a pharmacy with the folic acid and tramodol every day and now two shots a week that I was packing up to go to Mom and Dad's for the weekend. The side effects from the different meds definately impact not only my life but Jim's every day and mom and dad's when I visit them. So I was feeling a little sorry for myself. Then I turned on Oprah from yesterday and it was the kick in the ass that I needed.

Oprah was visiting Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Just watching these men and women who have lost so much in service to our country makes my situation pale in comparison. More imporantly- their attitude of survival and victory over their losses have really given me a jolt. If they can triumph over such horrific injuries- I can suck it up and deal with a few meds and side effects.

Thank you Oprah for this particular show at this particular time! Even more so- my eternal gratitude to the men and women who serve and sacrifice so much for our country.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Support Systems

It has been quite some time since I posted. I have taken to using my evening walks with Miss Harley to reflect on the good things that happened during the day and that which I am grateful for. Unfortunately, that doesn't help me look back on them so----I AM BAAAAACKKKKK!

Today I am reflecting on support systems and the impact that they can have on our lives. I am a very, very lucky woman. I have wonderful parents, an unusually supportive husband and a terrific extended family. I have good doctors. I have understanding colleagues and caring friends. I have also found three different RA boards that all fulfill different types of support and sharing needs. When it comes to having a chronic and yet invisible disease, it is so important to have this system in place.

I have seen, on my boards, a lot of people who either don't have that support or who have closed themselves off from it because they are afraid that people just won't understand. I feel that this leads them to let the situation really consume them. I cannot imagine wallowing in your disease all the time. The stress HAS to contribute to making the pain worse- which leads to more stress. It is a viscious circle. There is just more to life!

Having a great support system means two things for me. First- that when I AM having a bad time with it, they are there and surround me with love. Second- when I am NOT having a bad time, they don't coddle me but expect me to live my best life. That combination is key to keeping me going forward and being as healthy and feeling as good as I can be.

I appreciate them all SO MUCH!