Monday, February 25, 2013

RA rears up and says "don't forget about me."

A big "duh" moment today. Realized that the perpetual fever/chills I've been having for months is likely from my untreated RA; it's a common symptom. I've not been on any rheumatoid arthritis meds for at least 4 months because I might need surgery. Since it's not clear whether I'm done with the knife, I still have not gone back on Enbrel.

My RA flares when storm fronts roll through and I can feel one's heading this way now without looking at that forecast.   I'm sure the inflammation from surgery trauma is making things worse, but the uncontrolled RA can cause joint swelling, low-grade fever, and fatigue when it flares up. And,  as I've said in the past, weather fronts coming in can really kick my ass when the RA is not in check.

Of course on top of that when I got the flu in Feb, the underlying fever just got worse. Now that I've licked the flu bug, it's no surprise that the low-grade fever is still hanging around.

I've become so used to my RA chronic pain that I just tried to put that out of my mind to focus on my back and healing for the last month. I guess it just likes to remind me that it's there when the clouds roll in.

Yesterday was a beautiful day and my pain level was way down and I was able to walk a good distance without really getting wiped. Today my joints and feet are crying uncle -- that's definitely the RA as the weather changes.

Nothing llike juggling the "normal" chronic autoimmune pain along with the post-surgery fun, they don't play well with one another.

The victory of being able to wear jeans for the first time since surgery is a sign of healing of my spine, so I celebrated that. I can't heal away RA; at least the fibromyalgia is pretty well controlled with the med I am on (Lyrica). I finally get back to see the rheumatologist in March; hopefully I will know by that time about whether my back gets the green light or not from the back surgeon, if so, I can try RA drugs again.

What's kind of frustrating is that while I need to get back on Enbrel, I know that won't be a picnic going back on that weekly shot and its side effects; it generally makes me sick for a couple of days (bad muscle aches, fever), but then for the next 5 days it's like my RA is almost gone. Not a perfect solution, but I have to tackle these things as they come. I was working on finding the right RA med with my rheumatologist over the last year, but when my back herniated in August, that had to go out the window. Getting back on track with the best RA regimen is the next challenge. Spine -- hurry up and repair!

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