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Showing posts from August, 2014

A day in the life

Let me share with you the shape of a day since I developed this autoimmune disease:

I wake up. The room is pitch black, partially because I have purged it of all electronics including my alarm clock with a digital display, partially because I have the blinds closed, and partially because it is four a.m. and the sky hasn't begun to lighten yet. The first thing I'm aware of is the pain in my right shoulder and the inability to close or fully open the fingers of my right hand. Next I feel pain in the small of my back - this has been with me since July fifteenth; I don't think it'll be leaving me any time soon. I try a cautious stretch, and hear the succession of pops and crunches as my joints stir for the first time today.

I assess the damage. Will this be one of those days - still infrequent, thank God - when I just can't get out of bed? Will I be able to shake off the stiffness and stretch out the soreness and get to work on time? Or will it be the kind of day when …

Ego vs Empathy

On Wednesday, July 31st, I saw my new rheumatologist. The visit went very well. Though the wait to see her was longer, the doctor spent almost an hour with me, took my medical history herself, and asked a lot of questions. She was concerned with the amount of time that had passed since my first blood tests and did not understand my other rheumatologist's reluctance to treat my pain seriously. She declined to prescribe a narcotic, which was fine with me - I have no desire to live in a drug-induced haze. It's bad enough to deal with fatigue-induced brain-fog. The exhaustion makes it very hard to concentrate.

She prescribed neurontin, to be taken nightly, and tramadol, to be taken as needed. So far, I've only needed it once. The neurontin has helped my back a lot, and it has the nice side effect of reducing anxiety. Unfortunately, it also has the not so nice side effect of causing nausea and vomiting. However, the vomiting only lasted a couple of days and the nausea seems to …