Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gotta Hate It When My Doctor's Right

I realized the other day that it's been quite awhile since I've posted about the whole RA thing.
The last time I addressed it was in my guest post for Arena over at The Nerd's Wife.  Partly that's because I don't like dwelling on my disease, and partly because life has been so busy lately--which in itself has been shocking lol.  Since being on disability, "busy" is not really a term that's applied to me!  Which is probably a good thing.  Anyway, February marked three months since my last dose of Remicade and hydroxychloroquin, and four months since my last does of methotrexate.  I'm also off of my NSAID.  

Why?  Am I suddenly cured?  
Far from it, actually, BUT Bryan and I are trying to make a baby!  And all of those medications are SUPERbad for babies.  My doctor cleared me to try to get pregnant, which of course was very exciting.  Of course, his reasons for clearing me weren't all that encouraging.  In no particular order, they were:

1)  With the stress from teaching removed, going off all of me meds probably won't cripple me.
2)  I'm home full-time, so I can rest and take it easy when the flares hit.
3)  My disease is so active and so far progressed that I will probably never be stable enough for there to be a good time to go off my meds.  So, we might as well do it now, get it over with, and hope that it doesn't cause things to get really bad on the other end of the pregnancy.

Obviously, Number 3 was my favorite reason *sarcasm*.

But regardless of the reasons, I'm glad he agreed to let us try, especially since we're only planning on having one kiddo.  That said, going off of the meds has been quite a challenge.  The fatigue and the flares are all back.  I'm sleeping at least 10 hours a night--which is supposedly normal for someone with an unchecked autoimmune condition.  If I overdo it--like this weekend--it's taking me 2-3 days to really recover.  The morning stiffness is lasting at least an hour, and some days my hands don't loosen up at all.

The amazing thing?  All that said, I'm still doing better most days than I was when I was teaching.  My doctor was right when he said stress was a huge part of the RA equation!  Who'd have thought?! Maybe I should have listened better--after all, the man did go to medical school and then SPECIAL medical school to do what he does lol.

Of course, I'm sure the fact that I can sit down most of the day--until I get to achy to sit--also helps.  The ability to sleep 10+ hours a day might also be contributing to the doing better, not to mention I'm isolated from sick people and so I'm not getting sick as often any more.  That sucked because every time I got sick--at least once a month--I had to go off of my meds anyway, and then I had to deal with the whole readjustment period when I was healthy enough to start them again.  
And THEN I'd get sick again before they'd really take effect.  

I still hate being on disability.  I get lonely, and still miss my students and teaching terribly.  However, I have to (and hate to) admit that my body is just not able to handle an actual job.  At least with the job of housewife, I can accomplish things in small increments and rest enough in-between tasks, and the continuing severe mechanical damage to certain joints can be minimized.  Disability seems to have proven itself to be the right answer.  It's making it possible for me to actually live my life--if in a more limited fashion than I ever foresaw--instead of just suffering through it, AND it's made it possible for us to try for a kiddo.  From what my doctor has said, if I had continued teaching, my disease would have rapidly progressed to a point where I would have been in a wheelchair by 30 and where parenthood would have no longer been an option.

You gotta hate it when your doctor's right...and when it turns out the decision you hated is the one that actually helps you the most. :-)


  1. Sounds like you're handling it just the way that's right for you. Good luck on the baby making -- geez, that sounds completely inappropriate.

  2. Lol not as inappropriate as my dad telling us to "get to work making him a grandbaby!" Thanks for the well wishes!

  3. I remember that time. Granted, we got pregnant freakishly fast (and I'm not meaning to brag), but it's a really exciting time (and not a in a dirty way). When you take the test and get those two little lines, I promise you that will be one of the best mornings of your life! Good luck!!

  4. Thanks Meredith! It is an exciting all ways lol ;-). I'm so excited for y'all!


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