I had my six-month check-up with my rheumatologist recently. I have been doing better in some respects, but not in others, and I didn't really know what to expect from this appointment.
The main thing that came out of it is that I will be switching from oral Methotrexate (MTX) to the injectable form.
I have been avoiding having to inject myself since I first got sick.
But now it seems rather unavoidable because my rheum thinks a higher dose will be more effective, but I have shown in the past that I can't be on a higher dose than 10 mg per week orally without feeling totally beat down and awful.
I know that MTX therapy is fairly commonplace in the treatment of RA. I know that I'm certainly not the first or last person to go through this. But it has thrown me for a bit of a loop.
I hope that I will be able to do this. Right now I have my doubts. Even though a nurse educator showed me to how to give an injection into a prosthetic piece of skin. It's one thing to stick a needle in plastic. It's another to stick a needle in me.
I'm sure there are many of you who have been through this and don't think it's a big deal.
But I really have mixed feelings. Having to inject myself makes me feel like a sick person. And I think maybe I've been in a bit of denial lately about that. I think that recently I've been acting more the way a "normal" 26-year-old should act. And in some ways, I feel like that is incommensurate with the lifestyle of a sick person, who takes big bad meds and sticks themselves with needles.
So this will be an adjustment for me, physically and emotionally. Life will take a bit more planning than it did before.
My main concern is that my body tends to plateau after I have been on a medication for a year or so. Inevitably, I either have to change doses or change meds. And it would be great if my rheum and I could get ahead of that, and stop it from happening so I don't totally bottom out.
Because I have a ton of needy students on my hands right now and a dissertation to write.
Will I ever be able to find regimen that works?
Will I ever get cut loose for more than six months?
I feel as if a new chapter in my illness journey is beginning, and I can only hope that it will be a positive one.
Published On: November 28, 2011