at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Forgetting My Medicine -- And Other Small Victories

I don’t like to think of myself as a forgetful person, but sometimes I am.  When it comes to taking medicine, I can usually get into a routine and keep it going without forgetting very often.  Of course, this is easier under a couple of conditions: 1) When the medicine is taken daily, 2) When it has few requirements on *when* you can take it (e.g. doesn’t have to be with food, or a certain time of day), and 3) When you have fewer other medications that you have to take.  With my recent treatment changes for my RA, I ended up taking more medications than I had in recent months.  For one, I upped my naproxen dosage to two times daily.  Then in March, my doctor had me add Plaquenil to the mix – which is two pills that I take together once a day.  Then there’s the Humira, which is a once per week injection.  I’ve also been trying to get back in the habit of taking a daily multivitamin.  So – there’s been a little more to keep track of.  My problem is, once I break the routine, it often takes me a while to get back into it.  Last week, I broke my routine.

Humira...waiting to be taken.
I was on a schedule of taking my Humira on Tuesdays.  I came to a vague realization last Friday that I had not taken my shot that week.  Even then, it wasn’t until Saturday that I finally took it.  What’s the significance of this other than the fact that it highlights my failure to comply with my treatment instructions and my apparently faulty memory?  The significance is that normally if I forget to take my medicine, in the next day or two, I will start experience an increase in symptoms.  Often I will dumbly question why I’m feeling worse when it suddenly dawns on me that I’m overdue for my injection (DOH!).  This time, I couldn’t tell the difference.  I still felt great.  I shared this on Twitter and a couple of friends mentioned how good it is when you can forget your medicine.  For many, the symptoms are so severe and persistent that they are counting down days and hours until their next dose.  The fact that you can skip a dose and not be able to tell is a victory!

I’ve had a couple of other victories, as well.  I’ve been taking the Naproxen a lot less frequently…although, I’m learning today that I think I still need to be doing at least once a day or my wrist pain starts to come back.  But, if I can take it less than twice each day, I’ll be happy.  This winter, I was strictly two times per day at 500mg or my wrists would start screaming.

The other victory from last week was related to my fingers.  My fingers have traditionally been the most persistent problem areas.  It was symptoms in my fingers that originally led to my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, and, since about two and half years ago, they have had a lot of persistent swelling and enlargement of the joints.  What that has led to is having my wedding ring stuck on.  This has not really been a problem since I really never took it off anyways – just to clean from time to time and have inspected at the jewelers a couple times each year.  What bothered me (besides the fact that it’s always dirty now) was the idea that if the base of my finger swelled enough, I might have to cut the ring off.  That would be traumatic.  Fortunately, most of the swelling has been in my middle joint and the part of my finger where the ring sits is unaffected most days.  I still think that some of the changes in my joint are permanent, but last week the swelling was down. Significantly.  To the point where I was able to get my ring off!  I didn’t actually take it all of the way off for fear of not being able to get it back on…but I was able to slide it completely over my joint…and then immediately back down again.  I really don’t think I’ve been able to do that for over two years.  Progress. 

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!