Today I was supposed to go to my rheum doc, but when I got up I was too stiff and tired and “grogged out” to drive. So I had to reschedule.
This is a major irritation, as I need a medication adjustment. I recently had to cut one drug dose in half because of side effects – which led to a major shift in my disease – the RAD started progressing faster. Most of us with rheumatoid autoimmune disease (formerly known as rheumatoid arthritis) have experienced something like this. The side effects of a drug become toxic, the dose is cut (or the drug is cut out) and the disease flares. Can’t win for losing, sometimes.
This is one of the reasons a push for a cure is needed. At any one time there are between 30 and 50% of patients who are not having good response to their medications, or who struggle with side effects of the drugs. Lets see, do I want my joints to hurt less and have less swelling while my hair falls out and my mouth is full of sores? Do I want the swelling to go down while having back pain; diarrhea; dizziness; hair loss; headache; indigestion; muscle aches; nausea; runny nose; and weakness? How about blisters on the inside of the eyes, nose, or mouth; chest pain; fast or irregular heartbeat; feelings of numbness or tingling; muscle cramps, red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent vomiting; symptomatic high blood pressure; liver problems, easy bruising, easy bleeding or unusual tiredness? [What is “unusual” tiredness? You mean MORE tired than I am just with the disease?]
Sound like the treatment is worse than the disease? In some ways, but the complications of untreated RAD are even worse! Rheumatoid nodules can form on affected joints and along bony areas that are stimulated – like along the outer bone of the forearm (the ulna), the ribs where a women’s bra may be too tight, or on the “seat bones” (the inferior ilia). They can also form in the lungs and in the lining of the chest cavity. Cardiac complications include sudden death from heart attack – not necessarily related to coronary artery disease – that’s a pretty serious complication!
So, back to being tired. Fatigue has been the ongoing bane of my existence for the past 25 or 30 years. Fatigue is a major component of fibromyalgia (one of my diagnoses) AND of any autoimmune disease. While I don’t have the fevers some patients do, the fatigue gets much worse just as I flare, and seems to improve as I begin to come out of the flare. But it NEVER goes away.
- Painful Rheumatoid Nodules – What Can Be Done About Them? (everydayhealth.com)
- Tired of Feeling Tired (everydayhealth.com)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs – Pros and Cons (everydayhealth.com)
- Do I Have Asthma or Rheumatoid Arthritis in My Lungs? (everydayhealth.com)
- Rheumatoid Arthritis from A to Z (everydayhealth.com)