Hope For Fibromyalgia-Medication (Follow-Up)

Various pills

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For those of you who asked what drug regimen I am on I am happy to answer. However, I AM NOT A DOCTOR just a Fibro patient who has been going through this for over five years. You should have a Doctor, a Rheumatologist for Fibromyalgia. I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and sometimes doctors just look at thyroid levels. My thyroid levels were fine but I was still having the intense pain, so I went for different opinions. Don’t just go to an Endocrinologist if your Thyroid levels are fine and you are still experiencing ongoing pain, lethargy etc. Sometimes diseases can be linked together.

At the moment I am on Savella (drug for FIBROMYALGIA) and Nuvigil (was once used for late-night workers for narcolepsy). I also use Alleve at times (2) twice a day if needed but I mostly use that because I have foot problems, however, it may help Fibro problems also, too soon to tell. I also take Synthroid for my thyroid.

One of my friends asked which drugs I have tried. The list is so long it’s on my husband’s computer but I will post this now so you won’t have to wait for the other meds.  A partial list included:

Cymbalta, Plaquannel, Methotrexate, Arava, and Tramadol.

Good luck, let me know what is working for you and what is not.

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Help Wanted: Celebrity Spokesperson – Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia

Those of us who suffer from Fibromyalgia (FM) get a lot of grief. Not just chronic pain, of which we get a lot, but grief, from uninformed people.  I have Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s  Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease also known as Connective Tissue Disorder.  I, like so many other  Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from Fibromyalgia Fog, better known to the in-crowd as Fibro Fog. We begin a sentence and then forget what we want to say. We go from room to room looking for…..what? We forgot.  We start again. My children roll their eyes when they claim “I just told you that story” because they have and it sounds new to me. They could probably tell me the same story tomorrow and who knows if I will recognize the story or shake my head in new wonder. My sister sometimes complains that “you told me that.” I’m sorry, I believe you.” It may be hard for you to keep quiet once in a while and just let it slide but it is also hard not to take it personally and get your feelings hurt too. It’s not something we have control over, like muscle pain or stiff joints.

Apparently “Doctors” agree we “feel the pain” but the cause itself has people stressing out and arguing. Isn’t it just a total bitch that there are still people out there that think we are all whiney, crazy, uninformed, stressed out crybabies with the need to please?  Of course, they point out, we are mostly all women, not all, but mostly. Ignorant Doctors: be skeptical if you want to but stop judging us and read the NEW research, all of it.

I was diagnosed nearly five years ago. After a routine check-up  by my internist, that had my thyroid levels completely out of whack and my massive Vitamin D deficiency, she shrugged her shoulders. “I feel like I have the flu, without the fever” I would cry but she didn’t listen to me. My internist examined me and told me “there was nothing she could do,” and she clicked her designer high-heeled shoes and tap-tap-tap, left the room abruptly. She left me alone, sobbing on the exam table, unable to get up.

Since then I have seen Rheumatologists who do believe that Fibromyalgia is a real disease and that it is indeed painful. I now go to a Rheumatologist who is even “Fibro Approved” which means he is known for his sensitivity to both our illness and our feelings.  The very fact that he is kind and soft-spoken is a pleasure, he even returns calls promptly and is not overly aggressive to try new things, but is patient to see how I am reacting to one drug, perhaps changing the dosage, not the drug.  My Rheumatologist before him answered by-email only and said sternly “Fibromyalgia is a lazy diagnosis” and barked at me to start taking strong immunosuppressant drugs, one after another. Each drug had horrific side effects that left me unable to leave my house for two months.

If I could, I would only go to a Rheumatologist who actually HAS Fibromyalgia, for the very same reason I always chose a woman to be my Gynecologist and Obstetrician. It’s nice to have familiarity, empathy and understanding. Imagine this, if all the men who worked in the financial area were stricken with Fibromyalgia, a fairly debilitating disease, would it be a more credible illness to the naysayers?  Wouldn’t there be a sudden outcry for immediate research, more funding demanded, results and ultimately a complete cure? Would you still be saying that they were overstressed worry-warts? I think not. If male business executives got Fibromyalgia, stocks for Savella, Cymbalta and Lyrica would go through the roof. Why are there still people thinking that men are more credible than women? Look at all the research for heart disease for men and very little, if any, for women? Women get heart attacks too and the symptoms are very different but we don’t hear a lot about that either.

I don’t wish this illness on an enemy much less a friend or someone I admire greatly. I just would feel so much better if we had a  famous spokesperson with Fibromyalgia to champion our cause. I mean that sincerely. Is there any celebrity in the world that has the same symptoms and wants to represent us? You would help hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.  Believe me, I LOVE and admire Oprah and don’t wish Fibromyalgia on her but IF she did have it, (or any high-profile celebrity: Ellen Degeneres, Dr. Oz, Meredith Viera, Barbara Walters, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien…) wouldn’t the world sit up and listen more carefully and intensify the search for a cure?  Try calling Oprah a whining crybaby. You couldn’t and you wouldn’t even dare. Maybe there will be a time when someone champions our cause, our invisible illness. In the meantime, wouldn’t it be something if we heard: “Next On Oprah, My Struggle With Fibromyalgia.” Maybe then we would get the understanding, empathy and research we so desperately need.

Fibromyalgia? Auto-Immune Disease? Chronic Pain?

Oh me, Oh my. All of the above and then some. Diagnoses dished out like those colorful candy buttons on a long roll of white paper. Whatever Dr. I see gives me another diagnosis. I’ve taken Cymbalta when the Dr. thought I had Fibromyalgia from the tender points she pushed on my body. Now, that technique is not valid for diagnosing the illness anymore.  After that I went to an auto- immune specialist for the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the new inflammatory disease he discovered.”You are a very sick woman” he droned.  I’ve been on Methotrexate, I’ve had Epiglottis, twice (severe throat pain is an understatement), and I fervently pray I never, ever get it again. I’ve been on Prednisone half a dozen times, Vitamin D, Synthroid, Plaquannel, Trazadone and more….

I was put on Cellcept (“the medicine that has the least amount of side effects”) to replace the Methotrexate (that landed me in the hospital) and after a month I couldn’t stand the extreme intestinal side effects (“only 8 percent of the people get it “). Lucky me!! I wrote to my Dr. and he said “give it another month” because I don’t think he believed how bad the side effects from this drug really were. I begged for some sort of stomach aid but he refused. “Give it another month,” he intoned flatly. End of discussion.

I’ve been off Cellcept for a week and a half and I am still suffering from the same severe intestinal side effects I ‘ve been having for two months. I wrote the good Dr. and told him I was coming in (as in squeeze me in) because the side effects were so overwhelming I couldn’t leave my house. “Oh, it must have been the Cellcept” he said.  (ya think?) My bad. He took me off the offending drug and promised that in 2-3 days I would be much better and all the symptoms would disappear. It’s been 6 days and counting…..

He did prescribe medicine to mask the symptoms and  when I take the meds they work, but alas, when they wear off, it’s really bad news. I can’t live like this. He threw around words like endoscopy, I added silently colonoscopy, what else? I see a trip to my Gastroenterologist in my very near future.

It’s been three years now since I started on this bumpy ride of chronic illness and I’m not much closer to a cure (I know there is NO cure), resolution.  I swing from wanting to get off all medication and trying to find the right one (the third’s the charm, right?).  I’m waiting a few more days and then I will, once again,  attempt to repair my own physically fragile life, to ask more questions and demand answers. Nicely.

Any suggestions? Any genius Doctors?  If I was incredibly wealthy I would head to the Mayo clinic but I don’t have that kind of money. Any rich donors? (just kidding).  I will also go to the natural pharmacist and discuss with him what might help instead of all these toxic medications I’ve been on. I know though, that genius Guru Dr. has another medication in mind for me so that’s in store for me soon, but not quite yet.

I’m done, pity hour (or 15 minutes) are over. I’m not going to think about it until next week, when I CAN TRY and do something about it. Have to go now. Guess where.

Swallowing Razor Blades

I was hospitalized a little more than a week ago for having Epiglottitis, otherwise known as my throat is KILLING me, it’s as if I had been swallowing razor blades, one after another. It truly was the worst pain I have ever had, birthing quintuplets naturally would have been less painful. Since I was released I have been on numerous medications to help (help-NOT) with my symptoms, especially the ulcers on my epiglottis, near my vocal chords.

I missed a scheduled trip to Washington D.C. with my family because the thought of moving, anywhere, was out of the question. I was sleeping a lot, aching all over and generally very miserable. I did go on the trip to Boston with my family where I stated that “I will be going there even if it’s on a stretcher.” Luckily it didn’t get to that but I was feeling terrible still and kept having to put my head down for fear of passing out. I couldn’t do any of the walking since I was so tired and out of breath; I was also coughing continuously. Bought over the counter products, DayQuil, NyQuil, In-BetweenQuil, Robittusin cough syrup and enough throat lozenges to feed an entire country for a week. Nothing helped.

Today, after all the doctors who took last week off for Spring Break returned, I had to, once again, go in to see them. We started with an ENT who scoped (that is such an unpleasant procedure) a camera through my nose to look at my throat. Progress, that seemed like it had healed.  Why was I coughing incessantly? He didn’t know and referred me to my Internist. Basically, she had blood work done, a chest X-ray and an EKG. She then told me to see a Pulmonologist later in the afternoon. After a brief nap, we trudged along to another office to see the Pulmonologist who gave me an assortment of (more) medication and a follow up visit tomorrow for extensive breathing tests. He also alluded to a CAT scan in the future if the cough doesn’t go away in two weeks. Not something to look forward to. He fears that the all too powerful methotrexate given to me for my auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) may possibly have damaged my lungs. Just great.

Wednesday, I have to go in to see the previously-known-as-the-guru-Dr.-in-the-city. I’m sure he will try to make me take methotrexate again.  Or perhaps he will put me on Prednisone (again). These rating scales of pain are basically useless. At least all the people I know who have chronic pain and fatigue think that they are. When I was in the hospital with my throat pain, they asked me my pain scale from one to ten, ten being the worst pain ever. I gave them eleven as my answer. Enough said.

I’ve been on Prednisone, Plaquannel, Synthroid and a slew of other medications. I hate being on all these different medications especially when I still feel like crap, worse than crap. It’s time now for the new nasal spray, cough syrup and anti-acids prescribed today. My poor body, my poor soul. We are both spiraling downwards quickly in the haze of pain and emotional spirit.

Someone please catch me before I fall.

Daffodils, Pink Polish and Methotrexate

March 8, 2010 was the first day that I did not wear my heavy, dirty, dark brown Northface jacket in many, many months. After the horrendous winter we had( 21 inches of snow for just one of the many storms) I was happy to shove my jacket deep into the closet and not look at it again until next winter. I know there is no guarantee that we will not have another snow storm or frozen temperatures but I refuse to bring out that jacket again even if I wear 7 layers of clothing instead. That ugly old jacket represents winter (actually the last 4 winters) , and feeling cold, tired and old, armed with mittens and scarves and boots and being afraid (really, being very afraid) of the slick ice and the black ice and the ice- ice. The forecast said it would be in the mid- 50’s and sunny and I had every intention of taking advantage of the reprieve. It smelled and tasted like the very first hint of Spring. You could see the pre-blush on the trees, the buds not yet out but inching forward, little by little.

It definitely was a day for doing errands outside, smiling; no mittens, no coats, no hats; no need. It was a- happy-to-be-alive-day, that first recognition that spring really, truly, may indeed happen sometime soon. It was the day to go to the nail salon for a special treat and have them put pink polish on my pretty seashell toe nails. The person next to me was having BLACK polish put on her nails, both hands and feet.  Maybe next year at the start of winter, I will do that in PROTEST  but certainly not at the END of winter.   It was fun to sit with other moms and talk, chatting about colleges for our teenagers, harmless gossip in the neighborhood, new restaurant reviews. It was a day to breathe and laugh and enjoy this special day, that came, unexpectedly, like the purple, yellow, blue crocuses that force themselves out from the solid, rock-hard ground.

Even though the weather was perfect, my medical condition was not.  I had quite a bit of  trouble getting in and out of the car;  my body hurt, but my soul was smiling.  When there is a perfect baby- blue sky, 56 degrees and a sunny day, all your aches and pains feel just a tiny bit better. They don’t hurt less, they just feel less awful. It’s a state of mind. The medicine that I have to take every day for the rest of my life, (Synthroid, Methotrexate, Plaquannel etc.) will not change, but these rare effervescent days brighten my mood.

It was not  a day for hearty home-made thick pea soup with smoked ham but rather, a piece of French bread, some Gouda cheese, and glistening, seedless black grapes.  It was wearing a soft, gray, cotton T-shirt to bed, the windows open, pillows plumped, drifting off to sleep, clutching my  pink fuzzy blanket in one curled hand, still smiling.

Dedicated to Dr. GS: Thank you making me feel better and helping me to smile again.

Dancing With Daughters

Last night I committed a sin, a major sin, according to my 15 and a half-year old daughter. She didn’t tell me in words; she didn’t have to. I was in the bedroom listening to music that I like, feeling happy and I started to dance. Alone. It was just one of those moments when I felt energetic enough to do some minor dancing by myself, Ellen Degeneres style.  Having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto-immune disease, and Fibromyalgia, I don’t feel this way all too often. Methotrexate, one of the drugs I am taking twice a week is also a total kill joy. That night, however, I was given a break and I celebrated. I felt good!

On the way out of my daughter’s room she passed me, stopped, and gave me the dirtiest look I have received to date, complete with the eye roll upwards and “the look.” You know which look I mean, moms and dads, the look of hate and utter disgust.  Why? I guess because I am a “mom” and  I embarrassed her. To quote my daughter:” it was weird.” Why?  It’s NOT as if all my daughter’s friends were over or that we were in public. I was in my soft, pretty white nightgown that had petite fir- green flowers printed on it (probably the first major mistake) and happily swaying to the music from The Black Eyed Peas. I wasn’t EVEN listening to John Denver or Josh Groban, this was a bona fide group that she likes.

Yet this afternoon when my daughter was asked to go to a movie this evening with her friend, she trudged into my room asking me to give her a few reasons (hint, hint, I don’t want to go) why I wouldn’t “allow” her to go. I suggested a few things which did not suit her, and then she suddenly looks happier and says “I know! I’ll tell her you’re really annoying and that you are freaking out about all the snow we are getting.”  Mission accomplished, glad I could be of help, dear. “You’re welcome” I shouted and she glanced back at me all golden blonde hair swinging down her back, brilliant blue eyes and Forever 21 outfit and replies somewhat sheepishly: “thanks.” No problem.

I know, I know, hormones mixed with the emotional turmoil of having an embarrassing mom (didn’t we all have one of those?”) combined with the separation process. I get it. I understand it on a rational and psychological level. It doesn’t mean I have to like it  but I accept it (face it, what choice do I have?).

The next time my illness or the dreaded Methotrexate medicine gives me a reprieve, I will continue to dance to the music that makes me happy. And when I do, I will wear my 1970’s  faded neon orange T-shirt that my husband gave me and my flannel pink and rose flowered pajama pants. My door will be wide open and my voice will be loud and clear and strong.

Good For You, Great For Me

Today is a HAPPY day for me; for most others they would call it “normal.” After a good, solid night’s sleep (waking up only once and then able to go back to sleep immediately), I woke up at 11AM and felt good. Good, as in the absence of, pain and aches. Not just good, but GOOD, almost great. I had enough energy to get out of the bed and go down the stairs.  Feeling good is taken for granted by a whole lot of people but NOT to those of us who have auto-immune diseases, fibromyalgia or ANY chronic illness for that matter. Good to us is great. Unfortunately for some of us, to experience it  is sometimes rare.

When I feel sick I don’t know if it’s a side effect of the methotrexate (and plaquannel) that I am taking, whether it is my illness (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Fibromyalgia) OR a new virus or bug I picked up (probably at another Dr’s appointment.)  Last week I took, (yes, I asked my doctor’s permission)  gulp,  double the amount of methotrexate, 8 pills (bad idea, really bad idea) on one day instead of splitting the medication, 4 pills, twice a week.  I did get approval  from the doctor to try….but it was definitely a really bad experiment.  My fault. Entirely. I take full responsibility for it.  Big, bad, miserable mistake but I  thought it could turn out to my advantage (so not) and I wanted to try to feel good for a few days in between the two doses.  It backfired, I was sick for an entire, miserable, can’t-get-out-of-bed- week. Never will that happen again. Maybe the lessons I needed to learn from this are:  when I go back to taking the dose twice a week (starting Monday) it won’t feel AS bad as it was last week AND see how much sicker I could feel every day?

I took advantage of THE DAY (wish I could light this up with sparklers)  by doing “normal” things which to me were thrilling. I went to the Orthodontist with my kids (just being able to GO was a treat)   and then I took them out to eat at the local diner. First, having teenagers by themselves, outside the house, is a joy in itself. There was barely any fighting and a lot of sharing food and actual conversation. Anyone who has teenagers knows this is a rare gift. Besides my son taking illegal sips out of my daughter’s  strawberry smoothie and my daughter continually playing with the straw in her water-glass, it was calm and very enjoyable. My son ate his brunch, thinly layered pieces of a croissant, french toast style, with bacon in less than 4 minutes. My scrambled eggs and toast (why do they taste so much better when I am not cooking them??) and fruit served as the extra filling station for both the kids. It was fun to see them reach over and grab bites and an even greater joy just to be with them. Outside the house. Like a real person.  Most people would take this meal for granted. Not I.

Being on a roll on this celebratory day,  my husband and I plan to go to dinner at the Asian Fusion restaurant we used to go to.  We have not gone out anywhere for months so Carpe Diem (seize the day).  For me, a good day, like today, is a celebration. I can honestly say that I don’t know when I will feel this good again. I wish it was more frequent, I wish I could predict it  but I can’t and I have to accept that.

I hope people who don’t have any illnesses will read this to know how good they have it, that just having an ordinary day makes us feel so special. I may not feel like this for a few more weeks or months but it allows me to remember how it feels and that there is the promise of another day, somewhere…. in the future.

The Reasons Why

I wake up each night every two hours.  I fall asleep quickly but two hours later these horrible mind games occur.  I wake up, not groggy, but alert as if an alarm inside me has gone off like a very loud siren.  Last night the ghost of anxiety past, present and future  filled my brain so much that I felt confused and uncertain. My mind was a mixture of headlines and dark thoughts twisted together like a  tree with very weak limbs. If there was a blast of wind I know the tree would ultimately go down, lying decrepit and lost by the side of the snow-covered road.

Why were there two teenagers admitted to the ICU with blood clots in an arm and in the brain. They are from the same town and know each other.  What are the chances of that happening, and why? The messages that terrorists are likely to attack again, soon frighten me.   I see the images of their faces in the newspapers and on television, over and over again.  I felt uneasy rereading the thirty-seven pages I read of The Bell Jar for my son.  The Methotrexate drug I take  haunts me and hates me, as I do it. The intense images of my daughter’s presentation on Haiti sticks in my mind, mud and blood, and half-dead children, with red gauze across their eyes, mothers reaching out for their dead children, crying. Grandmothers and fathers stretching their arms out to pray while tears are flowing down their cheeks. I also dream about evil rats, dorm rooms and multiplying green and black snakes. Nothing is too silly to taunt me.

Every two hours I rise from my bed to try to shake the demons away but they will not go, they stick to me like honey and  burrs and laugh when I try to shake them off. I am so tired that I try to stay awake during the day but sometimes I cannot.  I don’t  feel well physically, my stomach hurts, my body aches, my energy is at an all time low. I think about going back to the guru Dr. in the city and I feel like I am a failure.  My body is slow but my mind is racing, on over- drive. I cannot adjust the two to be synchronized. I wish I could. My legs are jumpy and my body cold, I trek to the bathroom back and forth as if I was pacing for a baby to be born, except there is no joy.

I have tried everything from deep breathing, telling myself an imaginary story, drugs, walking around, having a cookie,  but nothing seems to work.   I lie in bed awake and tense, I try to pull my fluffy pink blanket close by just to finger its texture but that doesn’t work either. I find myself turning over and over, asking myself questions that I don’t know the answer to. I am too tired to go downstairs and watch TV and our house is too small for me to wander around without waking someone up. For the first time in a long time, along with these physical maladies is fear; and I don’t know where that is coming from.

I am not even sure of what I am afraid of. If I knew, I could sort it out and try to solve it. Except I am afraid that this pattern will continue and my lack of sleep will only ravage me further.  I tried to sleep with the moon on my face last night but that gave me no sense of comfort either. I think I am going backwards in my physical health and that in itself is a nightmare.

I write now with a cup of coffee that I gulped down, fast enough that I don’t remember the flavor or the taste. I need to write but nothing comes to mind. Nothing but the puzzle pieces of my brain that are not fitting together. I ask for help in my silent plea to my deceased father  but nothing comes and then I am left with pure longing. I cringe because I am forgetting what my father’s voice used to sound like and that makes me terribly unhappy and lost.

I am feeling a bit disoriented. Where is my peace? Why can’t I find my gratitude guide? Why is everything scary and troubling and unlike the nightmares, I am wide awake enough to continue to feel these emotions. I am scared of nothing and everything, I feel sad and anxious and confused. I want to destroy these night-time monsters but they are indestructible. I am not Max of the Wild Things, I cannot make these evenings an adventure. they are in control of me and I surrender because I have no strength left to fight. I try to talk to myself but I cannot listen.

The Methotrexate Blues

Oh me, oh my.  My poor, poor stomach. I am feeling sorry for myself and I don’t care.   I take the drug, methotrexate,  twice a week for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto immune disease. I hate it. A few hours after I take it (with food, without food,  after food, after a lot of food) my stomach feels like it’s going to explode, and generally, it does. I get cramps, feel horrible, and look worse. I look pasty, have NO energy and have to stay in bed. And I sleep. A lot.  Is it worth it?  I really do not know. That is what I am grappling with today as I lie under my covers feeling cold and weak and on your one to ten stupid scale, Dr. Guru, I am a 2, and that’s rounding up.

Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in about 18 months. I had energy, I had spirit, I had faith. I went to the grocery store and happily shopped for an hour and a half. I walked, I strolled, I tilted my head to face the warm rays of the sun. I was so happy. So I napped for a couple of hours in the afternoon, I was fine with that!

In the early evening, my husband Dan and I went to my sister’s house for a cozy  dinner with her and her husband. She made tacos, with chicken, cheese, yellow rice, crisp lettuce, red beans…..and we all laughed and chatted amiably and I shared a Diet Coke with her. We sound exactly the same and we usually interrupt or laugh at the same second.  She told me that I “looked really good” and I was absolutely delighted. I felt good, I felt happy and now I am paying a price. A huge, unfair price.

Went to bed at midnight last night and woke up at 12:00pm this afternoon.  Took four of  those horrible tiny yellow pills, the “M” medication and from then on  felt like_ _ _ _. (Fill in the word of your choice). I couldn’t make it out of bed, except to use the bathroom, and I had no energy; believe it or not, I needed a nap during the afternoon.

I’m resentful and disgusted and depressed. I went from such a wonderful day to a pathetic day. I AM thankful for the one wonderful day I had, believe me, but at what cost?  If there was a pattern I could adjust to it but there is none. I don’t have an instruction booklet for my own body and my body has a life of its own.  The only change that could possibly  made in the future is that I inject, yes, you heard correctly, inject the drug directly into my thigh. Hopefully,  this avoids the stomach complications but I haven’t gotten a definitive answer from the Dr. on that.  I’m cranky and frustrated and  the next time I see an orange it will probably be to teach me how to inject myself.  Swell.

Fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis #3

My mother wants me to go to another specialist; she doesn’t know what KIND of specialist.  She also thinks I should go to the Mayo Clinic. I don’t know why. What I do know is that I think SHE cannot accept a few limitations that I have even though I can. She says I am too young to feel this way, I am 53. Not 23.  I’m okay with the way I am but she isn’t. I think it’s a mother’s love that prevents her from accepting that I am less than perfect. I, too, would want my child too to be in optimal health but what I have is NOT LIFE-THREATENING and I am grateful for what I do have.

Before the start of my medical cocktails (Synthroid, Cymbalta, Plaquananel, Methotrexate  (and Lecouvirin Calcium to combat the side effects which by the way does NOT work at all) and mega doses of Vitamin D I could barely move, every part of my body ached and I couldn’t get out of my bed.

I still ache, my joints are stiff and I do get tired easily. I’m ok with that. My Guru Dr. said that I would never be a ten out of ten, but he wanted me at an eight or a nine. The best I can do, so far, is a 6. I can live with that. The Guru Dr. wants me to inject a number of drugs (Methotrexate, Enbrel) and I don’t want to. Just reading the side effects of Enbrel makes me nervous; it’s one serious, heavy-duty drug.

I honestly don’t know if I should take the chance and deal with the higher dosage of Methotrexate (self-injected) not to mention even contemplate for a minute the ever so scary sounding Enbrel. I will see my Guru Dr. sometime in March and I will do nothing different until then. Except, I am allowing my mom to come with us to my next appointment so she can hear from the Guru Dr. himself that where I am, is not a terribly bad place to be at all.

I think it all boils down to attitude.