I must admit. I have not been one hundred percent on the ole gratitude meter for the last few weeks.
It’s not that I’m feeling ungrateful exactly, it is more like I’m feeling a little blase.
It all started with a cold virus. The invader appeared about three weeks ago. Normally, for me, cold symptoms are short-lived and fairly easy to handle. This is all due to the fact that my immune system is always in high gear. The rheumatoid disease makes it so. It has its good points and bad points.
It is good that my immune fighting white cells are always in abundance to fend off invading bacteria, viruses etc. It is not good that those same immune fighting cells collect in the synovial fluid, create inflammation and wreak havoc on all my joints and tissue causing incredible pain and debilitation. Thus the need for a medication that bats down those over-zealous fighter cells to a more manageable level.
So this time, the cold symptoms hit me hard. Stuffy sinuses, very sore throat, lots of coughing, chills and shivers, went on for days, then turned into weeks. In the meantime, I was due for a change in the Rheumatoid meds. The Rheumatologist decided to try a new drug with me to see if it would work better than what I was taking. It is recommended that one should NOT take the drugs if one is experiencing some kind of infection. So I postponed the meds so that my immune system could deal with the cold virus.
Every week the virus continued and I didn’t take the RA meds the rheumatoid symptoms got worse and worse. My feet swelled, ankles swelled, my hands swelled, wrists swelled, shoulder joints swelled. On and on until I could barely move my entire body.
The other day I stopped at one of my favourite eating spots for a leisurely mid-day lunch whilst I read my book and made some notes. You have to go during the off times because the restaurant is very crowded otherwise. As I made my way to the gift store to pay for my meal, the lady behind the cash register asked, “What’s happened? You’re moving much slower and you look all ceased up.”
I replied, “I have rheumatoid arthritis and I’m going through a rough patch right now.”
“Oh my gawd, my cousin has that…I know how painful it is.” She continued, “I just have arthritis, not rheumatoid.”
“Well….no matter what, pain is pain and not much fun for anyone,” I replied and then we chatted for a few more minutes.
Yesterday, I got the new RA drug injected. Oops, did I say “injected”? A slip. I should have said “infused”. Apparently, the proper terminology is “biologic infusion”.
A few months ago, I was introduced to the “biologic infusion” terminology while reading a magazine article in a pharmaceutical publication at my doctor’s office. The article raved about a new miracle treatment for RA. It sounded like the treatment took place at a medical spa and it took the form of a “biologic infusion”. Some of the recipients even went into remission from this new treatment.
I thought, “Why hasn’t my Rheumatologist told me about this, surely she must know about it.” I hated the painful injections I currently received. The solution burned as it passed from the needle into the fatty abdominal tissue. More often than not, it left a huge swelled red area right where I had to zip up my pants. A biologic infusion at a medical spa sounded wonderful in comparison. I imagined myself sitting at the medical spa sipping on a biologic infusion. My mind said, “I’ve got to show this article to my Rheumatologist.”
As I continued through to the end of the article it became very clear to me that biologic infusion really meant injection with a syringe and solution that burns when it goes into the skin and then swells at the site. Boy, did they have me fooled.
So, I’ll continue to call it an “injection” because that’s what it is. But, the story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t tell you that before I called it an injection, I called it a “shot”. I would write in my day-timer the phrase “get shot” on the day I had to take the meds. Then I remembered that someone told me to be careful about the language I use to describe my situations. In future, I wrote “injection” in my day-timer. Infusion, just doesn’t work for me….it’s too convoluted.
I’ll confess that I fell off the gratitude wagon for the last few weeks. I’ll just have to pick myself up, dust myself off, smile and jump right back on. Only fourteen days left in this 100 day challenge.