Saturday, August 4, 2012

When a trip to the grocery store is like running a marathon

Because of the larynx problems (vocal cords are shot), my rheumatologist said to hold off on the Enbrel shot this AM, until I can see the ear, nose and throat specialist on Monday to ensure I don't have any infection. Since Enbrel and all biologic drugs suppress the immune system, any minor infection can turn into a big problem and land you in the hospital.

Usually on Fridays the weekly Cinderella effect of Enbrel (my joint pain goes down to like a 2 out of 10) that lasts from Tuesday to Thursday winds down. So the bad news is that today my  rheumatoid arthritis joint pain and fatigue have returned with a vengeance; the good news is that the side effects of Enbrel (fever and chills) won't happen this weekend.

Trip to Harris Teeter schools me on my limit

Kate and I went to the grocery store to get supplies to prepare meals for the next several days. I started out feeling OK, a bit sore. I managed to limp around the aisles to get what we needed, occasionally leaning on the cart to stave off the searing bursitis pain in my left hip that the rheumatoid arthritis has "gifted" me over the last few months.  

God, we were only there perhaps 30-45 minutes but it seemed like an eternity. I told Kate that I was DONE. We got the packages home; Kate had to carry the heavy bags and I feebly got up the stairs with a couple of light ones. I am EXHAUSTED and in searing pain, just unreal and an unnatural fatigue. I'm typing up this post and then going to lie down. As I recall when these episodes happen (and it could be the fibromyalgia flaring up causing the fatigue). It is an unpleasant reminder of just how bad the chronic pain was before Enbrel. If all goes well at the ENT on Monday (no infection going on), then the Dr. will have me start Humira, another biologic that is taken by injection every other week.

One frightening thought -- this means I have to make it through the work week until next Saturday to take that Humira. Since I don't know how bad the side effects will be, I don't administer these meds on a weekday, so as not to lose time on the job. I just don't know how I'll endure this blowback flare pain for a week.

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