Friday, February 28, 2014

Health Challenges

There have been major changes regarding my health.  About a month ago, I thought I had a mild bladder infection.  I went through the stereotypical routine of drinking lots of water and cranberry juice and didn't pay much attention to it.  It seemed to be gone, and then I'd notice it again.  Life was extremely busy.  Before I knew it, three weeks had passed!  I finally got tested for infection, and the result was negative.  That's when I was pretty sure it was a new side effect of the medication (hydroxychloroquine - generic for plaquenil) I started last summer.  My previous medication (methotrexate) lasted 4 years before significant issues, so I was really hoping for a long reprieve.  I dropped my dosage down to half, and the side effect noticeably improved.

Last Friday, I saw my autoimmune doctor.  She said I could either try a new medication with a new set of challenges or try changing my diet and keep taking my current medication at half dosage.  She was definitely leaning toward the diet change.  I felt like I'd been handed a death sentence!  Food is one of my greatest joys.  It's why I've always struggled with being overweight.  All my favorite foods and most of what we eat wouldn't be allowed.  I was kind of depressed but decided to try it.  The next day, the annoying side effect of my medication drove me crazy even at half dosage.  I went completely off it and spent the weekend researching recipes.  It was VERY stressful!  Sunday and Monday, I had a headache that wouldn't go away due to withdrawal.  Monday was the worst.  My head felt SO off!  I spent most of the day in bed, occasionally getting up for short periods to use the restroom, get a drink, or work on a grocery list.

Even though I've been off my medication for six days, I'm still greatly struggling with discomfort from the side effect.  I would appreciate prayers in this regard, that there isn't any permanent damage or something more serious going on.  I am struggling with other fears - that the diet change won't be enough, and I'll have to go through the challenges of a new medication . . . or that my arthritis will come back full force.  When I wasn't taking anything, my arthritis got to the point where I was almost completely immobilized.

Overall, I'm feeling OK.  As soon as I went off the medication, I noticed an increase in stiffness in my joints (especially my feet), but it's livable.  The diet change is also livable.  I've had to do some experimenting, but I managed to find a few recipes for each meal of the day that are "edible."  Lol!  I'll probably do another post about my diet.


katrina said...

Continuing to pray over you, and your family!