Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the good, the bad, the ugly, and the uncertain

The good: I decided to take up running again, and it went really well at the start. Within a few runs, I was able to run 2 miles without stopping, and was averaging over a mile of running each time.  My short-term goal is a little over 5K distance, and my long-term goal for a year from now is The Great Cow Harbor 10K.  I'm supposed to be running 5.3K (3.3mi) in a relay team for the Town of Huntington Sprint Triathlon, and that was looking really promising this time last month.

The bad: Between TS Irene, shin splints, and Susannah starting kindergarten, I haven't run in almost 3 weeks.  The triathlon is 12 days away.  I was proud of myself for going 2 miles without stopping, but on the flip side, I've hardly run 2 miles without stopping...that was before the hiatus!  I'm afraid I've really set myself back now.

The ugly: My left knee decided to revolt last night, and unlike my typical RA joint pain that tends to be better by the morning (or, should I say, after my joints loosen up), it is still swollen.  I've iced it, rested it, elevated it and had it in a compression sleeve all day.  Still puffy, still sore.  So I'm thinking that I've actually hurt it and that it's not just RA pain.

The uncertain: I thought for sure at first that I would be able to throw up my swollen middle fingers at RA and say, "Fuck you, my lower body is strong enough that I'm going to run 15 miles a week, and it's gonna be awesome!!!"  Now I'm thinking that I'll have to very humbly apologize to my body for being so reckless.

Oh, and just for an added bonus, my inner upper gumline, my hard palate, and the back of my lower gums are like a big minefield of sores.  You would think that this would at least help me lose a little weight since eating is so painful, but no luck there - I've got eating more than covered!  I've been stuffing my face with soft things like bread and pasta since I feel like I'm going to vom if I don't.  Yeah!!!

Dr. Rheumy told me at my appointment two weeks ago that I could quit the MTX, since I've officially "failed" the treatment (I'm not noticing a difference in my symptoms this time around) and should be starting Enbrel soon anyway.  I'm too scared to discontinue for good.  Now I'm not so sure why...surely untreated RA isn't as bad as unresponsive RA coupled with unrelenting nausea and what seems strangely akin to leprosy in my mouth.  (Sorry to anyone out there suffering from leprosy - though at least there is a cure for it that the WHO will provide free of cost.  I wish there were a free, readily available cure for autoimmune disease!)

Why am I torturing myself again?  I can at least answer that question: because of that pesky little thing called hope.  Deep down, under my pragmatic cover, I am a hopeless dreamer.  Maybe - just maybe - the MTX will suddenly start to do something.  I've only been back on it for 8 weeks...maybe it is just taking my body a little longer than usual to respond to it.


  1. I understand how you feel about the methotrexate, I never thought it worked until I had to go off for two weeks. My rheumy thinks the enbrel works better with the methotrexate so I'm staying for now. Love your blog, especially as a fellow long islander.

  2. Hi Elisabeth, thanks and nice to see another LI'er! I was off it for 2 weeks this time because I was waiting for my MMR shot and was told not to take it that week. I had my titres tested instead and I have immunity, so I started Enbrel last week and restarted MTX today. It's hard to say if I've been worse the last week or not; I seem to forget how good or bad I feel from one week to the next.