What the heck happened a week ago?

Saturday January 19th 2013, AT 9:53PM   6 Comments;

One week ago I had one of the most terrifying nights of my life. It actually ranks up there in the top three terrible nights. When I think about any of those events I can feel panic rise up and my heart starts to pound much faster in my chest.

I have tried to figure out what to write and how to share it with you, because people have been asking how I am and what happened. I wish I could put it all together, and I have tried. I have written five pages so far to try to tell the story but it’s rambling and can’t adequately express the level of terror and pain I experienced.

Here’s what I know. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, and it has been fairly active lately. I am being seen by various surgeons for joint replacement operations in hips, shoulder and knuckles.

Last Saturday evening, an inflammation marker in the blood that is usually high for me (at 25) spiked up to 73.5, as measured in the hospital when I was brought in by ambulance on Sunday morning, after spending an absolutely agonizing night with increasing pain and decreasing mobility. I was convinced I had broken my hip somehow, maybe a bone chunk had come off while I was getting into the shower.

I was given a lovely cocktail of drugs to try to stop the inflammation and disease flare with the two main ingredients being morphine and prednisone, and was admitted.

I was released the next morning, and I have been slowly experiencing less pain every day this week. I’m not back to normal – I still have the shakes and feel like my legs are going to collapse under me, but I did do a pretty chilled out workout today and I am starting to think maybe I won’t need an emergency hip replacement, after all. (I’ll find out at my appointment with the hip surgeon on the 29th.)

So that’s what I know. There’s a whole lot more that I don’t know. I don’t know why this happened, what and if anything precipitated it. I don’t know how to prevent it from happening again in the future. I don’t know if there’s something I am supposed to do or not do, drink or not drink, eat or not eat, take or not take to get myself better and stronger and past this. And I don’t know if there is a past this, or if this is a new normal.

I thought I knew everything there was to know about Arthritis, but I was very wrong.

I just don’t know.

But I wanted to let everyone know that I’m okay, and I’m working through this.


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6 Responses to “What the heck happened a week ago?”

  1. Tamara, that is awful. I can relate in the sense that I live with a scary, serious chronic illness too, that has relapses and inflammation and steroid treatments as part of the package. It’s horrific when you are in that much pain and are powerless to stop it. It’s always scary to have to be admitted to hospital and to lose your mobility. I get it.

    I hope that your doctors can help sort out what’s triggering it, so you can work towards trying to manage it more effectively with their help. I am glad you are home and recovering. Holding good thoughts for you. You are one tough cookie!

  2. Merilee says:

    Dear Tamara,

    Hope you are doing better and better every day. I know what you are going through–I have lupus. Sometimes I have a flare that can be directly attributed to something that happened; sometimes I have a flare for no apparent reason. It can be frustrating and scary.

    I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts as you recover. Good luck and I will be watching for future posts.


  3. kez says:

    Hey Tamara,

    I am glad to hear you are feeling better but sad you went through that, sounds very scary.

    You probably have tried this at one point. If you will permit me to share how acupuncture and Chinese medicine completely turned my life around.

    I have a condition that is the reverse of endometriosis. After years of pain and being knocked out for several weeks every month I was tired of being on heavy hitting pain killers and being incapacitated. My quality of life was not what it could be and my stomach ruined from years of pain killers that it turns out I am allergic to! The specialists all recommended complete hysterectomy.

    I took a risk and gave up all my current prescriptions and methods and started acupuncture once per week and Chinese herbs. Four years later I am a completely different person. I maintained the once per week for about five months then went down to twice per month for the rest of the year. Since then I have been doing once per month and have been taking the Chinese herbs as well. I did not have a hysterectomy! Once per month I do have to take Tylenol but heck, it’s not codeine, Tyl 3′s or morphine!
    Anyways, I know it is not the same condition as you, I was just amazed at how acupuncture could help me do a 360!

    cheers, hope you and your family are having a great day. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  4. Pam says:

    Tamara, So very sorry for what you are going through. You are in my thoughts and payers.

  5. jenn chic says:

    Dear Tamara,
    I hope you’re feeling much better now. Thanks so much for sharing your journey – looking very much towards our paths crossing again soon. In the meantime, I’m sending you lots of love and am grateful for you continually inspiring me creatively. Aaaah! You’re the best!

    Thanks goodness for Finn’s hugs and snuggles!

  6. Sharon Benedetto says:

    Hi Tamara,

    I have polymyalgia rheumatica and can sympathize with you. You might want to read Dr. Susan Blum’s book, The Immune System Recovery Plan. It’s an empowering new perspective on dealing with immune illnesses. Be well…

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