You would think that whoever is in charge of the universe would give people with a chronic illness a break and not complicate their lives with other major events. Instead it sometimes seems like the universe takes a certain delight in complicating the lives of those of us who already have their hands full just trying to make it through the day.
Such is the situation in which I find myself.
Because of elevated liver enzymes, I stopped taking my DMARD, leflunomide/Arava, in late March and the (count ‘em) eighth biologic I’ve tried failed, so I’m off of it as of the first of May. Basically the only thing standing between me and a major RA meltdown is 10 mg of prednisone a day – which has its own complications. I’ve been off the RA drugs now for six weeks and am waiting for the slow wheels of insurance precertification to grind its way to fruition to start one of only two biologics that I have yet to try. At least I saw my new drug, Actemra, listed on my specialty pharmacy website account so my rheumy’s nurse actually sent it in. No clue of when it might be approved and actually make its way to me.
In the meantime, I developed this icky gastrointestinal problem that sent me to the emergency room. A follow-up visit with my GI doctor has resulted in an upcoming outpatient procedure to correct the situation (if possible) or at least figure out what is going on. Interestingly, my GI doctor thinks that the issues may be connected to my RA because the start of the symptoms pretty much coincided with my going off of my RA drugs. I have a slightly different theory but the good news is I have doctors that take into consideration that I have RA and make that part of the overall mosaic of diagnosis and treatment that I receive.
In addition to these issues, working what has turned into a more-than-full-time job and running a household, I have physical therapy twice a week on my knee. The difficulties I’m having with my knee may or may not be related to RA and may or may not be improved with physical therapy. But I trust the doctor that ordered the physical therapy and I like my therapist and if there’s a chance it will help, I am happy to try. I was telling my physical therapist that I felt like I’ve got all the chainsaws, flaming torches, and sharpened swords juggled but if someone added so much as a ping-pong ball to the mix, it was all going to fall apart.
Sure enough, I got home that evening and discovered a badly infected tooth that led to an emergency visit to the dentist the next morning. The good news, I guess, is that I’m not currently on immunosuppressive RA drugs so my chances of getting this under control with some (painful) intervention from the dentist, a round of antibiotics and extra attention to oral hygiene for a week or two is pretty good.
When I step back, I know that all this, too, shall pass and I know unequivocally that, even with these bumps in the road, I have a wonderful life with many, many blessings. And I have heard it said that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. There are just times that I wish He didn’t have quite so much faith in me.
I hope whatever is on your agenda these days are also blessings in your life. Thanks for checking in.