Wednesday, January 18, 2012

...And So It Goes-More Disease, Less Romance

Could my topic be more depressing?  There's a reason I don't like to blog when I am sick.  I hate the lists of symptoms and complaints and canceled activities and extra doctor appointments and new or increased meds.  I figure others hate reading about it as much as I hate writing it.  But I have promised not to sugar coat this lupus thing, and the only way to adhere to that is to be true to the real battle.  So...

I had a long flare last November.  I had to take prednisone (corticosteroid treatment) for a whole month to get it calmed down.  I had previously been able to stop prednisone altogether, and the weight was melting off me like an icicle in June.  The big dosing and long taper stopped that.  When I saw my doc again, 5 of 16 pounds was back.  That same visit, just a few weeks after ending the big prednisone, my sacroiliac joints were showing some inflammation.  They hurt like hell whenever I stand or walk if they are inflammed, and direct injections of steroids into the joint area is the only effective treatment for me.  So I got injected-one big needle at the top of each buttock-in December.

The first three weekends of December were the only Chattanooga Market sessions I could attend, but they were the holiday markets and I enjoyed them immensely.  I seemed to have some respite from my symptoms as I interacted with customers, friends and market folk.  I knitted during the market hours, went home and produced as much as I could before the following weekend.  My stock of fingerless gloves seemed to disappear at each market session, and I was making up to ten pair per week, rising at 4 a.m. to buy some extra knitting time.  By this time, those gloves were made without planning or diagrams or notes.  I have developed a consistent way of building my gusset (that triangle that makes room for the thumb base) and I use designs that can be easily read, so I can make sure the second glove looks like the first.  I had a lovely time with all the ribs, intricate stitch patterns, columns of lace, cables and spirals that came from my head without much thought.  I knit in every weight from sock yarn to chunky, and every pair but one had a real gusset and thumb base, rather than just a slit for the thumb.  If I had to pick a favorite yarn for fingerless gloves, it would be Aslan Trends Bariloche.  Or Koigu Kersti.  Or Karabella Aurora 8.  Something like that.

Christmas fun truly started with the markets and continued as my daughter came home, my son made a drive-by, one-night visit, and we had our first Christmas in the Woods house without Mama or Daddy.  My sister did a remarkable job of getting a bunch of family together, amassing mountains of great food and keeping things festive enough to take the focus off the parental absence.  In truth, Christmas hadn't been truly a family event in that house for a few years, as the parents became weaker and less able to tolerate company.

Somewhere in that December whirlwind my relationship ended.  It was an amiable parting, sad but inevitable.  And that's enough of that.

January is doing its best to remind me that I have lupus and that lupus ain't pretty.  The sacroiliitis that quieted with previous injections came blazing back.  I cannot stand for three minutes, and my slow, labored walking is hampered by the feeling that my lower back is made from brick.  Because of its severity, my doc has agreed to move the rituximab treatment up by a month.  Tomorrow I will go have my long day of tests and IVs, and hopefully next week I can sing a brighter tune.


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