I started flaring a few weeks ago. I thought it was my infusion "running out." Three days post infusion, my joints were still wonky and I was still running fevers. Last week, we did a "industrial dose" steroid drip (my rheumo doc's words :) ). Initially, it took the edge off my fatigue, but a day or so later, I could barely walk due to inflammation in my left ankle and hip joints. Unfortunately, rheumo doc was out of town until yesterday, so I've been a big fan of laying in bed and sleeping this week :) . The fatigue I am experiencing during this flare is CRAZY. It's never been this bad. Jim will be talking to me and my eyes will just close and I CAN'T keep them open. Very weird feeling. And my limbs feel weighed down a lot of the time. Creepy.
Rheumo doc got me in yesterday (have I mentioned how much I like my rheumo doc?) and we went over my list of symptoms (pretty much every lupus symptom I've ever experienced has reared up, including stomach issues and an awesome red rash on my limbs). We talked over the meds I've taken in the past. Short term solution is to up the dosage of one of my immunosuppressive oral meds and see if that can settle things. This bummed me out because I spent the last two years weaning down my dosage (from 3000mg to 1250mg) and I've sat stable at 1250mg for about a year. We upped it to 2000mg. And I'm getting some labs done today to see what's going on with my counts and if there is any infection about that might be causing the flare.
Long term is seeing how the upped dosage works in connection with my infusion I have in about a week and a half. If I do okay and get better, then we will leave things as they are and monitor. If not, I will either add a new oral immunosuppressive or switch my infusion meds to a different one. I'm glad we have options.
In the meantime, I've (of course) been researching what else I can do from a naturopathic perspective. I came up with a list of things I do already that I need to continue doing (clean eating, low sugar, yoga, enough sleep), things I need to be more disciplined at (less caffeine, less red meat, less sugar, no potatoes), and things I can add (fish oil and turmeric supplements, hemp protein powder smoothies). All of those things help with reducing stress and inflammation in the body (or at least, so say the many people that do them and some supporting studies :-) ).
All of this comes at a time when I have been recognizing my perfectionism coming out as I learn to be a wife and to balance work and life in this new role. And I am seeing that my expectations don't match reality. And God's expectations of me ARE reality. And I am learning to humble myself and submit to Him.
And that's the lead in for my next post :)
So yay for doctors and meds and options! So many things to be thankful for even though I can't explain why I started flaring or what caused it.