Hey ya’ll! So this is something I haven’t really talked about on my blog a lot because I don’t really like people to feel sorry for me or treat me differently because I’m sick. However, I’m about to start writing a proposal for a grant about research on arthritis and nutrition, so I thought what a great time to bring my disease to light on the blog. It is really surprising, but for such a common disease a lot of people are not educated about it. I just really hope that no one else has to go through what I have because let me tell you that you can’t just take an aleve to relieve your symptoms.
I’m going to skip the whole saga about how I became diagnosed with arthritis and leave it for another time. I’m going to talk about the treatments that I have been on with this sucky disease.
The first treatment that I started was called methotrexate. Woaaaaah. Wait what? Isn’t that a chemotherapy drug? Well yes it actually is, but it can be used in arthritis patients to help with inflammation because cancerous cells are actually a product of inflammation. Scary. I know. Anyways, this medication was in pill form and it sucks. I can only have two drinks a week. TWO. I know. This booze head had some serious problems with that. Especially because when I started taking it I was about to turn 21. I had a lame birthday, but I made up for it with my 22nd when I wasn’t on the methotrexate. Unfortunately, I’m back on it now, so back to the two drink a week rule. Also you have chemotherapy symptoms like nausea and hair loss. I don’t know what is more sexy than having your hair fall out randomly or feeling like you are going to barf at random times during the day. It is a blast. Actually I like pills. Much better than the other options.
These are all the pills I have for my arthritis. Isn’t it awesome? I actually only take about three bottles, but right now I’m only doing two bottles because I really don’t want to take my steriods. Steriods make you gain weight, not that I have experienced that, but I’ve been having such great progress that I don’t want to risk it. I feel fine though right now. It is a miracle because I have had a lot of pain for the last two weeks. It has sucked hobbling around campus like an old person. I need me a walker with tennis balls, so I don’t scuff.
The second treatment round were the injectables. Oh how I hated you. Actually, I really only hated the first one, which was Humira. It hurt so bad. I have a high pain tolerance, and let me tell you this thing brought me to tears a couple of times. Plus I would run around my house like a 5 year old, making my mom chase me and hold me down to give me the shot. Oh yeah. I’m pathetic. I couldn’t even give the shot to myself. I got the shot every two weeks. Always my least favorite day of the week. Thankfully this shot didn’t work, so I stopped using it and moved on to the next one. Enbrel. Oh how I miss thee. This shot was every week and wasn’t painful AT ALL. I know. A miracle. Of course I had to have an allergic reaction, develop some welps, and was instantly removed from this drug. Did I mention that it totally cleared all my pain too? Ugh. The life of Lindsay. So sad, but fun at the same time…
On to the next one. IV therapy. If the thought of getting hooked up to an IV bag for two hours every couple of weeks doesn’t sound like a fun time to you then you must totally be sane because my doctor thought this was a fun option. NO.
This is where I got to sit for two hours at a time. Yes. They want you to feel even worse about yourself and make it seem like you have cancer. The room is set up exactly like how chemotherapy treatment is. You get a recliner chair, a tv, and you get to share an entire room with 6 other people. Let me tell you that there were some crazy people in there. One lady came in once going on and on about her wedding and second wedding and how she was having a third wedding soon. I was like maybe you should stop getting married? A different lady went on once about her foster children and there were some crazy stories I will not repeat about that. Anyways, in regards to the medicine, it started wearing off my body and I had to get it in closer increments. Then all together it randomly stopped working. UGH. Seriously? What is up with this? This is my second to last treatment because then I’m screwed.
This is my lovely arm. My nurse moved away. So sad. All my amazing staff at the doctors office would always leave me. However, I got this awful nurse that was unable to start IVs on me, so my arms would end up looking like I was shooting up a bunch of junk and I would get weird stares at school. So uncool of you. Since this drug is no longer working, I am back on the methotrexate and once the remicade flushes out of my body I will start another shot. Oh boy. Apparently this one doesn’t hurt at all, it is once a month, but we shall see. I tend to not trust the authority figures when it comes to pain levels about these medicines because they tend to lie since they don’t have to actually experience them.
So why am I doing research? I don’t want people to have to go through what I did, so if I can find that a certain food will help relieve arthritis symptoms I want to share it with the world. I will keep you posted about how all of that is going. My grant proposal is due Feb 28th and I am meeting with my faculty advisor, my functional foods professor, tomorrow after my class. So excited. Really. I like to get down and nerdy.
Have you ever known someone with arthritis?
Do you yourself have a disease? How do you deal with it?