Well, I am a fairly new fighter although the doctors have explained that I have had this disease for several years. The MRIs and bone scans indicate that the damage to my hips and spine began approximately 4 years ago.
I was blessed to spend those first 3 years fairly pain-free. At least, pain-free enough to forego any type of special appointments for pain or mobility issues. My first appointment for joint pain was with my family physician in February of this year, about 4 months after opening our home to the most adorable set of 2 year old (foster) triplets. I honestly thought the knee pain was caused by crawling around on the floor with the babies and forgetting that I am no longer a teenager.
Within days of my visit with “Doc”, I tripped over one of the triplets and dislocated my knee causing me to have to wear an immobilizer for several weeks. During that time, I developed a DVT behind my injured knee. And that, folks, is where I got onto the craziest ride of my life. I never knew that something you may have had for 3 years but had been completely asymptomatic until now could totally blow up in a matter of days…DAYS!!! I immediately began a regimen of blood thinning medications, INR tests EVERY OTHER DAY, and daily injections. All the while tending to my own teenage daughter, the 2 year old triplets, and working a full-time job. Did I mention that my husband is working away from home Monday through Friday of each week? Yea.
Now, I realize that MANY, MANY people have it far tougher and with many more obstacles than I do. Please don’t misunderstand. I am not heading off into a pity-party, by any means. My fear of NOT writing this story very well, has me just telling it…just as it runs through my head. Ok, so back to my story….
The triplets were only our second foster placement and, like many foster parents, we dreamed of adopting through one or more of these placements. Unfortunately, with everything going on medically with me and my husband not being able to be home during the week, we had to make some VERY tough decisions and were not able to adopt these precious babies that our whole family loved (still love).
Determined to fight the disease that caused us to have to make such a heart wrenching decision, I saw and totally stumped one very seasoned rheumatologist and had a nasty allergic reaction to Humira, but then….THEN, I found the Doctor I am seeing now. While I still have MANY days in which I must force myself to move in the morning and stay upbeat through the pain, I do feel like progress is near.
The severely bad days aren’t as close together and “no cure” does NOT mean quit to me!!! Right now, I take enough medications to fill two weekly medication dispensers and I undergo Remicade infusions every few weeks (we haven’t really gotten the infusion schedule down yet).
Since this disease is still so new to me and I haven’t had much time to dig to deep in new advancements, I will try to share more of my story as it unfolds. As for now…I am trying to be proactive in my approach to FIGHTING LIKE A GIRL! (any advice would be greatly appreciated)
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.