On Friday morning, I went to my cardiologist office for my routine visit – whilst fighting a gnarly RA flare – and, oh, did she ever have some good news for me.
Thanks to a few years now on monsterous – and ever increasing – doses of the Dred Pred, my previously excellent cholesterol level has shot up to 288. Yes, 288. And I haven’t changed my diet. Just added the Pred and subsequent Pred induced weight gain.
Along with the elevated cholesterol, my triglycerides are also through the roof.
But that wasn’t even the best of the bad news.
A venous study she did revealed that the blood flow in my legs is just shit. As in moderately impaired in the right and severely impaired in the left. Fantastic.
What to do?
Add a statin drug (more prescriptions! yay!), even more supplements (Amazon thanks you for your service, Dr. Rao), walk even more on my off days (easier said than done on flare days), and somehow find a way to lose weight on 40 to 100mg of Prednisone a day (doctors and spoonies everywhere are laughing).
As if that wasn’t enough fun for Friday, the evening got even better with a beast of headache and an abruptly blown blood vessel in my left eye that led to an ER visit.
The gnarly headache was found to be benign – thank goodness – and treated – though it still hasn’t left me.
The eye business is still cause for consternation as it is just the latest in a string of eye issues I’ve been having with my RA.
In the past month, I’ve had to give up my contacts due to RA related inflammation and dryness, discovered I’ve developed astigmatism, had major changes in my prescription, and now this.
Needless to say, I will be in touch with my eye doctor Monday about this latest issue.
But that isn’t why I’m awake now.
The ER doctor had me stay home and rest Saturday – instead of working my usual twelve – and I did.
I went to bed at 10:30 PM, with an alarm set for 4:30AM Sunday morning to get up and go back to work, flare be damned.
At 2:05 AM, though, I was woken up by the most horrific stabbing, searing, intense, throbbing pain in both of my knees. This has only happened – to this level of intensity – once before and I only know to describe it as repeatedly being hit with a sledgehammer that is on fire on the insides of my knees.
The bursts of pain come every second or two and are so blindingly intense that it is difficult to think or walk or move. And I generally have a really high pain tolerance.
Both times it’s happened this severely, it has woken me up from a dead sleep, and I’ve had some times in between where it’s happened to a lesser, but still really unpleasant, degree.
After about 15 minutes, I gathered my wits enough to grab my purse and take a gram of Tylenol, 800mg of Neurontin, and 800mg of ibuprofen because I HAVE to go to work today. If it were not a work day, I would be writing to you from the ER again.
Since taking the meds, the pain is still present, but they have, thank God, taken the edge off.
My plan now is to hopefully take the same doses on schedule throughout the day today, while wearing my knee braces and Biofreezing often, hit the bath as soon as I get home tonight, and call the Rheumy’s office as soon as they open on Monday.
This RA life is no joke, y’all.
It can be a real bitch.
And I’m not even going to attempt to put a positive spin on this one, as I don’t expect there to be anything nice about a twelve on these knees.
I’m going to hang on and pray.
But I am tough.
And, even if I have to sit down and cry a few times, I WILL make it.
Oh, and as always, she who laughs, lasts. 😉