FLARE-UP

July 21, 2010

Rheumatoid arthritis is such an obnoxious, sneaky disease.  Example:  I went to bed perfectly fine last night (well, my normal “fine” that is).  This morning I was cruelly awakened by a sharp stabbing pain shooting through my left knee whenever I moved it.  My initial thought was, oh no…not this again.  I had had this happen once before when I had to go to the E.R. because the pain was so intense.  Luckily this morning I was able to carefully roll out of bed without passing out from pain.  I hobbled into the living room and noticed that my left knee was swollen compared to my right one.  So now, here I sit writing this blog with a bag of frozen peas icing my knee while I wait for my rheumatologist’s assistant to call me back about a plan of action.  I’m pretty certain that the doctor will order me to go back on prednisone.  Hopefully I won’t have to go into the clinic today.  This flare-up is especially frustrating because today would be Day 3 of me being prednisone-FREE again.  I so badly want to get off of that medication and STAY off of it.  I’ve been tapering down/off for the last three weeks.  If Dr. B puts me back on it, we’ll have to start the entire process over again.  However, I’d rather take prednisone right away if it will knock out this flare-up.  Anytime something like this happens, I get extremely nervous, of course, that damage is being done to my joint and that it will never return to normal.

Another depressing thing about this flare is that I’ve recently been enjoying riding my bike a lot.  I’ve been trying desperately to lose weight by biking but have also come to really love it and look forward to my daily rides.  I’m assuming that there will be no bike rides for a while thanks to this knee.

RA is really a jerk sometimes.  It obviously doesn’t care that I have two medical appointments I need to go to today.  Nor does it care that I also had to call in sick to work for tonight.  I know life is full of surprises and interruptions for everyone, chronic disease or not.  However I’ve noticed that my R.A. seems to get a kick out of rearing its ugly painful self in my life when it’s most inconvenient.  It’s a very helpless feeling when a disease controls you, forces you to lie around with a bag of peas on your leg when you feel perfectly fine otherwise, and stops you from doing the things you love – like those wonderful summer bike rides.

2 Responses to “FLARE-UP”

  1. Gaynor Says:

    RA is a jerk, just as you say. I think that RA should stand for REALLY ANNOYING or REVOLTINGLY ANTAGONISTIC. I’ve only just been diagnosed, but I suspect I’ve been living with the condition for years. Last week, after ending up in hospital with inflammation of gallbladder and liver, I decided that clearly I must have been a truly evil person in a past life!! At times like these you have to try to find the funny side. I love the pic of you with your peas on your knee. Who knew that peas could be such an effective diagnostic treatment! (grinning). Chin up and keep looking on the bright side.

    • Angela Says:

      Thanks so much for your comment! Sorry it took me so long to respond. I agree, Really Annoying, Revoltingly Antagonistic are much more accurate. :) I’m glad you like my bag of peas. Sometimes you just have to dig around in the freezer until you find something to throw on your joints. Um, I guess that’s my philosophy (or I’m too cheap and scatterbrained to be prepared with real ice packs). Good luck with you and with dealing with your recent diagnosis!


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