As I’ve written in the last several posts, I’ve been experiencing a terrible flare that I haven’t been able to shake. I’ve already been to my rheumatologist for a work-in and made med adjustments – which will help eventually – and hit this with everything I know to do.
Still it has gotten worse.
And today I just couldn’t get going.
And kept collapsing back in bed to sleep for a few more hours.
And my ankles were incredibly tender, my knees were burning, my spine and hips were on fire, I couldn’t take a full breath due to pain in my rib cage, and my hands were so bad that they just won’t stop tingling.
So, by tonight, the only thing left to do was go to the emergency room, which I HATE to do, but my better half was kind of insistent in the nice way that he is and he was right:
So, Sara – my doctor support team – and I loaded up a little before midnight and headed that way.
Patients with a chronic illness are alway advised to use the same ER as we unfortunately have to go more often than your average bear. Doing this makes us less likely to be treated like drug seekers and more likely to get the help we need. It doesn’t always work but I have always used the same ER, and, with one nasty exception of a doctor that didn’t usually work there and one nasty nurse on another visit, every time I’ve had to go, the staff has reviewed my records, been incredibly kind and helpful, and treated me appropriately for my condition.
So, we checked in at exactly 12:00 AM:
After a short wait, we were quickly triaged by a sweet nurse who actually literally knew my name because I’ve used this ER since my diagnosis in 2014. She sent us back to the waiting room with assurances that we would be taken to a room quickly. Sure enough, we were called to a room within 5 minutes:
Once we were in a room, we had to wait for awhile but that was not a problem. I totally get that there are more immediately life-threatening problems coming in on a Friday night than an RA flare. I was just thankful to be in a room where I could be on a bed and more comfortable.
When the doctor did come in, she was one I had seen before and she was so so kind and thorough and willing to listen even though she was busy. She ordered labs, something for pain, and a heplock as well:
When the labs came back, it was a nasty flare (as expected) but no infection or anything (always a concern on immunosuppresants) so she gave me some IV steroids and IV anti-inflammatories and we were discharged:
Now I’m home and feeling quite a bit better with meds on board. I’m having to take breaks from typing because my hands still hurt as the meds aren’t magical and it will be several days before I know if this will be enough to break the flare or if it will take another round but I am so thankful for some relief.
Nights like this are just another part of the spoonie life and it is not fun. I am so grateful for my supportive, loving family, my faith, and good healthcare when I need it. Without them, this would be unbearable.
Be well, everybody.
Love and light.