Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Things That Medication Can’t Cure

Well, since my month-long flare that lasted from the middle of August to the middle of September, I feel like I’ve been on the upswing.  

Right now, I am not on many heavy-duty meds, although my rheum and I have been toying with the possibility of daily low-dose prednisone.

I can’t really explain exactly what is going on right now in terms of my illnesses.  On the one hand, it’s great that I seem to have gotten a reprieve.  But on the other hand, it’s a little scary.  I can tell that this is the calm before the storm, especially because the next few months are going to be insanely busy.  More about that in a bit.  But back to the way I’ve been feeling.

Yesterday, for instance, I woke up with a headache, feeling nauseous and dizzy, and feeling very overheated and like my blood pressure was low. (And the headache is still there this morning…)

I get this feeling pretty regularly, as if my bodily systems can’t really control themselves.  I feel plastered to a wall.  Yeah, it’s that feeling.

I had things I had to do in the morning, so I did what I had to do while the way I was feeling lasted for several hours.  I decided that since I was feeling better, I would go to kickboxing.   

My instructor said this was the best week I’ve had since the Humira craziness and the flare. 
But then I bottomed out again, and couldn’t wait to get home.  My head started hurting, and it’s just that general feeling of being unwell that reminds you that you aren’t actually well in the “normal” people sense of the word.

And it’s the crazy, unpredictable cycling through moments of feeling bad to moments of feeling good, that have been one of the biggest problems for me since I got sick. 

It’s hard to make plans when you feel great one minute, terrible the next, and better the next.  And this could happen multiple times an hour, day, week, month…

I can tell you what part of this is.  Rain be damned.  Whenever there are low-lying clouds and a change in barometric pressure, I feel it in my head and behind my eyes.  Even if my joints aren’t screaming, this screams RA having a field day.  As if it being cold and gray isn’t depressing enough…

And there’s something else.  I’m stressed out.  Like really.  There’s no way around it.

Between November and December, I’ll be traveling to New York on two separate occasions.  And these are both trips in which I will have to be at the top of my game.  

I’m trying to teach, write a quality dissertation, and plan for my future.

I can feel how an overactive, unquiet mind can make an unquiet body even more riled up. 

I’m also trying to take advantage of mostly feeling good to get things done, but don’t want to overdue it.  Although that seems impossible because the mind-numbing fatigue has crept in again, and my body forces me to crash.

And these are things that can’t really be helped by medication.  Medication can’t really control the weather or mitigate its effects, it can’t control my stress level, and it can’t really break through the fatigue. 

So I’m okay with being mostly medication-less for now because I’m not sure how much it would help, anyway.  But I’m not sure how long it will last…

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