Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This is What Better Feels Like

I think I've described what it's like when I am sick or in a lupus flare. I was treated twice in the past two weeks with a very specific therapy that targets B cells from my immune system. (Those are cells that contribute to lupus, which comes from an overactive immune system.) I tried to pay special attention to what is better now that I've been treated.
Within three days of the first dose, my joint pain improved and my energy increased. At the end of that week I was able to take my first decrease in prednisone dosage. By ten days post-treatment, I was using approximately half the pain medicine as before. In the past week I've done house cleaning and grocery shopping much more easily. I walk faster and I can go to more than one store when necessary. This week I decreased my prednisone again, and with no rebound of symptoms. When I woke this morning I realized that-once again-I can start my day with no pain.
There are a few foundations that help patients like me pay for this treatment. Without their help, my out-of-pocket expense would be more than $8000 per year, impossible for me and my post-recession economitis. Medicare only covers a fraction of the cost. It's a frustrating situation, as my being free of flares means less other medication has to be subsidized by Medicare, my need for expensive physical therapy is reduced, I can care for myself independently in my home, and I have less possibility of side effects from prednisone, which can cause expensive chronic diseases like diabetes and osteoporosis and cardiac disease.
People think of preventive medicine as being about physical exams, vaccines, cholesterol screening, mammograms, Pap smears...For me, prevention is about minimizing the debilitating effects of lupus and of the treatments for lupus. Both kinds of prevention are good for the country's annual health care expenditures.
On the knitting front: Lately I have been consumed with ideas about nontraditional design. I'm trying to throw away some conventions and produce pieces that are more sculptural and texture-driven. I'll get some photos this week and post them.
Peace! All power to the Wisconsin workers!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad, that you feel better with the special therapy :D
    *Hug* Katja