Too many doctors, too many meds…

…because I have too many freaking problems!

I am positive this is what my hematologist meant when he said to me on Monday, “You know, you have a lot going on.” Ha. Ya think?! Today is only Wednesday and I’ve already seen my hematologist, rheumatologist, and podiatrist. All three of them stuck me and two of them prescribed new medications. It never ends.

I was so excited last week to be seeing the light at the end of the medication tunnel. I stopped taking Humira in November and was ecstatic to not have to give myself shots, anymore. And I have been having so much trouble with the prednisone, that I had been tapering it with the intention of stopping it altogether with Tuesday’s dose being the final one. I took my very last dose of methotrexate on Monday, too. As of yesterday, I was med-free except for an anti-inflammatory and a multi-vitamin, plus some nighttime itch stuff to take as-needed.

This purging of the medicines was, I knew, temporary, because the plan was to start Plaquenil for my lupus after seeing my rheumatologist yesterday. Well, not only did he provide me with a script for Plaquenil, he also wants to start me on Cosentyx for my psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. That means shots. Again. Two shots a week for six weeks, then two shots once a month. Oh, and he upped the hated prednisone, because I need a “bridge” to get me over the hump until the new meds start kicking in. As for the sweats and chills and other nasty prednisone side effects, I’ll just have to deal with it, he said.

And I cried. I try not to do that at doctor’s appointments. I try to be calm and businesslike, because I need to keep my cool if I want to remember everything I’m supposed to do between visits. But I couldn’t help it. I don’t want to give myself shots again. I don’t want to stay on prednisone. I don’t have a beef with Plaquenil, yet, other than the fact that it’s another pill I have to swallow every single day. So I cried in front of my doctor, because I sort of realized in that moment that — you know what? — I’m going to have to take medication every day for the rest of my life.

For the rest of my life, I’m going to have to deal with finding treatments that work, which means subjecting myself to treatments that not only don’t work, but make things worse. That’s the double-edged sword I dodge… having to give up two medicines that work for one disease — Humira and methotrexate — because one drug made my other disease worse and the other drug damaged my liver. And that sucks.

Yeah, it could be worse. It could also be a hell of a lot better, like it was a couple of years ago, before the problems (and the treatments!) started. I’m still not sure which is worse, the diseases or the cures, but they are neck-in-neck. Some days I am tempted to dump all the medications and take my chances with the diseases, but then I remember…

  • I miss running.
  • I need to be able to drive a car, which I cannot do if I cannot grip the steering wheel, and I’m dropping things now because my grip is gone.
  • I would like to be able to stand up and not feel pain shoot through my feet up into my legs.
  • I would like to be able to sleep at night and stay awake during the day.
  • I’d like my hair to stop falling out, my eyes to not look like raccoon eyes, my back to stop hurting.
  • I want my life back.
  • I want ME back.

So I made the obligatory trip to the pharmacy to pick up the prednisone and the Plaquenil and I am patiently awaiting delivery of the Cosentyx. I dutifully swallowed this morning’s usual handful of pills. And I’m trying not to whine about it, because I don’t want to upset my sweet little Indian doctor, who said to me yesterday, “I’ll tell you a joke, because I don’t want you to cry. If you cry, then I’ll feel bad the rest of the day.” Thanks, Dr. B! You did make me laugh!

But I still don’t want to take all this stuff…