Monday, April 30, 2007

Arthur is a Badass

I feel like shit! Really – all soft and brown and stinky.

About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. You know the old joke:
“Them Ritis boys is bad, but Arthur’s the meanest one.”
Well. arthritis is bad and rheumatoid is the meanest one. The reason I was diagnosed tells you how strange this disease can be. While sitting at home watching TV one evening, my hand began to swell – quickly. I ran to my toolbox, grabbed some side-cut pliers and snipped off the ring I wore on that hand. In 5 minutes my hand had swollen so much that the ring was imbedded in flesh. After a bunch of tests, rheumatoid arthritis was found to be the culprit.

Then it was weekly trips to a rheumatologist, trying different drugs and combinations of drugs to see which my body would respond to. Some of them were dangerous – others just had freaky side-effects. The steroids I took eventually dissolved the cartilage in my right hip. I had a hip replacement. They also affected my eyes. I had cataracts removed from both.

Now I’m on an injectible drug called Humira. I give myself a subcutaneous shot once every two weeks, and it seems to be working. At least it did seem to be working.

Friday night my right foot started to ache. No big deal – I get aches and pains all the time. By the time I got ready for bed, however, it was getting difficult to walk. By Saturday morning I needed a cane to take the weight off my foot. It felt like a sprained ankle, but there was no swelling. By Saturday afternoon my foot and ankle had swollen dramatically, and I needed crutches to get around.

Sunday morning I finally said, “fuck this,” and went to the local Urgent Care center where I was told that x-rays showed no bone damage and this was probably connected to my rheumatoid arthritis. I should see my rheumatologist as soon as possible.

I have an appointment at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning, and as long as the Vicodins don’t run out I should make it till then.



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