Saturday was the best day I have had in a while. The pain level was extremely low to almost non-existent. . This is a rare occurrence. Days such as this have been few and far between over the past year or so. On days such as this, I don’t feel sick. I begin to think perhaps I’m well. That the medication is working. That improvement is happening. That the end of this saga has begun. I begin to feel hope that I will return to the person I once was before this all started.

Always when a day is this good I do my best to enjoy everyone & everything around me.

Injection day brought on the usual two day hangover. This week day one was pretty uncomfortable. The headache was intense and quite unstoppable. Tummy was on the fritz as well. Pain level and swelling in my right side was high. I was basically a miserable lump of clay, lying in bed all day, my faithful cat by my side. Too nauseous to even think about taking my daily dose of prednisone or anything for pain which are in pill form.

Day two brought improvement. Those side effects began to subside and lessen. Feeling comparable, I suppose, to the flu. At least I felt like getting up and moving about the house a bit. Nothing major. Just a hot bath, a cup of tea and a bowl of chicken soup for an early dinner.

That is why it felt like magic when I woke Saturday morning feeling rested for a change. Insomnia has plagued me for months, brought on by all the steroids, I am told. No measurable pain coming from my right arm. It almost takes my breath away to feel so good, so normal. Usually every morning begins with some level of pain in my right arm pit with stinging pens and needles going down my right arm and into my hand sometimes accompanied by swelling inside my elbows, my palm and index finger. Occasionally swelling occurs in my neck, behind my left ear and behind my knees. On this particular morning, no symptoms or side effects bothering me, I bounced out of bed and enjoyed a pain-free day with my husband. Happy, carefree times full of genuine laughter and love which I have learned to cherish more than ever and to never take for granted.

That is why when the symptoms return (in this case, the next day) it is difficult not to be sad, depressed, worried and anxious. I have always trusted my gut, my instincts. Over the past year, I feel as if I cannot trust or understand what my body is telling me. As someone who is used to having some control over such things, it is very stressful to feel as if I am at the mercy of an immune system that I no longer understand. And it is precisely why I try so desperately to enjoy the smallest of life’s gifts. They are all around us if we look…bees buzzing around the flowers outside the window, the texts or calls from friends, the compassion of strangers that have absolutely no idea what personal battles you are fighting, the perfect song on the radio at the perfect time, the smile on my dog, unexpected love notes found on my phone or around the house, a warm bath, a good meal, a strong and loving support system, etc.

Staying positive is the secret to healing as well as the secret to life. This I believe with all of my heart. I will do my best to let my light shine no matter how dim it may be burning at times. To continue to seek the beauties and wonders of existence. Please do the same my friends, everyone and especially all who suffer with chronic pain or diseases. You must. Ultimately, it is the only real choice we have.



Injection Day

Yesterday was injection day. This is the 3rd time I have had to inject myself with methotrexate. Once a week I do it. I choose Wednesdays with the hope that by the weekend I will be able to eat and drink and function at least on a sub-human level. I know the side effects will subside. It just takes time. And today, the day after, is always the worst. Weakness, nausea and a huge headache is what is happening now. My tummy is bothering me so bad that I cannot even begin to think about taking my meds that are in pill form. So my pain level is high. My major symptoms seem to spring from under my right arm down to the fingertips of my right hand. Other areas of my body are effected as well but my source of major concern is the armpit which is always swollen and painful, just in different degrees. On any given day, I never know how I will feel or what symptoms will rear their ugly head. On injection day and for a couple of days after, I pretty much know what to expect. Even so, it is difficult to get through so I hermit.