Rheumatoid Arthritis, Pain and Prescription Medications. II

… continued

Upon my arriving home I ventured back into my usual routine of visiting doctors and arranging tests. At one of my doctors’ visits, he inquired about how well the new medication was working, I told him I was pleased with the results and that my pain had decreased significantly. As a side comment, I casually mentioned how the taste of food had become bland. I quickly discovered that this lack of taste was due to one of the many side affects of this new medication. With this in mind, we promptly agreed to remove the Prenicillamine and replace it with yet another new medication.

Every two weeks I went through a series of tests and evaluations. The grueling doctor’s visits and tedious tests eventually started taking its toll. Yet through it all, my friend and I continued our daily commitment to working out at the health club.

As my life seemed to be getting back to normal, my husband of 11 years had become very ill. One day, out of the blue he started experiencing overwhelming pain. After rushing him to the hospital, and sending him through numerous tests, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He promptly had surgery to remove the tumor and was eventually released from the hospital to return home to recover.

With the grace of God, I managed to find the strength and stamina I needed to care for him at home. After months of healing he felt stronger and returned to work, but unfortunately, his recovery was short lived. One year after being diagnosed with colon cancer, doctors discovered he now was suffering from malignant liver cancer. After a hard and exhausting fight with seven months of chemotherapy, he eventually lost his battle for his life and died.

With the passing of my husband, the depression and stress ignited another painful flare-up with the arthritis. Once again it was back to the doctors every two weeks for blood tests and evaluations. Once again, I called upon God and my inner strength to pull me through this present challenge. I refused to give up; after all I had my children and my precious grandchildren to keep me going.

After my last set of blood tests, I began to feel much better. The doctor once again removed me from my current medication and put me on Ascripitin AD. Another anti-inflammatory for pain with fewer side effects.

For the first time since experiencing this illness I finally had a medication I could tolerate.

Through all this I continued my commitment to working out at the health club. One day while doing my usual routine, I was talking to some of the other members about my situation. To my delight, they told me about a group called The Chronic Pain Association. I later discovered that a friend of mine had been involved with a local chapter that met only a few miles from were I was living at the time.

When I tracked her down, she gave me the details of the group and I decided to attend my first meeting. What a blessing; the people in attendance came from all walks of life, I found most easy to relate to. We all suffered from one thing in common, “pain, ” each with different varieties and varying degrees but nonetheless, pain.

Through these support meetings I was taught to take control of my pain, I became more assertive in dealing with the doctors and medical staff.

The Chronic Pain Association was helpful in recommending various types of books that were informative. Books that provided support, such as, “Bad Things Happen to Good People” were especially helpful for me and dealing with my daily challenges.

I was not only learning to cope with the physical pain of arthritis, but also, the emotional pain of losing my husband to cancer, I found this Association to be very therapeutic and supportive. They helped me to become, once again, a productive and contributing part of society. It took a combination, of modern medicine, the physical support of the health club, the mental support provided by the Pain Association and most important to me, the spiritual support I found through God.

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