Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Utterly Hopeful and Alone

Yes, you read that correctly. You see, in the very recent past, that would have read hopeLESS, but my rheumatologist finally prescribed me some prednisone. For those of you not familiar with autoimmune diseases and the crap I've been dealing with for the past 2 years, this is the medication-sometimes the only medication- that seems to help people in my predicament. I've been told that my labs and bloodwork don't show significant inflammation, so the docs have been weary to try me on prednisone, which I understand. However, I've been going through TWO YEARS of drugs that haven't even come close to touching the pain.

On Monday, before I filled the prescription, I started crying; it was a mix of things, really. My eyes seemed extra sensitive that day and were watering like crazy to begin with. I was in a lot of pain and in one of those moods where I was so SICK of hurting! Just SICK of it! And then, there was the task of getting the script filled. Whenever I have to go to the pharmacy, it is an ordeal. It's at the hospital, I have to park in the parking garage, I have to use my cane because the walk is pretty far. And then I have to stand in line for what seems like forever. But they severely discount my meds, so it's worth it. But I was also thinking about the fact that this prednisone is the last resort for doctors.

If nothing else has worked, and the docs have been telling me all along that this won't work, why would it? Then what? Is it hopeless now? These questions started bombarding me early Monday afternoon while my boyfriend was getting ready for work and I had to go in the other room (the only other room in our apartment) and cry. I had to just let it out. What was I facing? I couldn't face another med not working. I couldn't face telling my boyfriend that this, too, isn't touching the pain, and I can't go for a hike or a bike ride with him once the weather gets nice. I couldn't face telling my son that the doctors tried another medication for mommy but it isn't working, so I won't be moving back anytime soon.

With tears streaming down my face, my boyfriend in the other room, I had never-ever- felt so alone. My boyfriend has been over this whole ordeal for some time now and I'm not sure why he's hung on this long. I don't feel like him, my family, my friends, or any of the people I've met in support groups understand what I've been going through and what I've had to give up. At this point, I just didn't feel like I could talk to anyone about my concerns and have them fully understand what my emotions were all about, and that's what I craved- more than anything. Someone who truly understands.

But...I also had some hope about the possible good effects, but wanted to reserve that for how I actually felt after I took the drug. And the doctor warned me that he wouldn't keep me on the medicine for more than 2 weeks. If it seemed to help my joint pain- really help my joint pain- then he would try methotrexate, a drug similar to the corticosteroids, but with fewer bad long term side effects.

It's been almost 48 hours with the prednisone now and I don't want to jinx anything so I'm not going to write anything much about it. I am also trying (with doc's orders) to distinguish the type of relief it is giving me so that we can go from there. Hopeful=Normal Life Again. Fingers crossed.

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