My Body Returns!
I was nervous heading into the first Remicade infusion. Sitting alone in a quiet doctor's office for 2 hours while medicine was pumped into my veins, was a strange scenario. But, hell, my life had not been "normal" for quite some time. The medicine burned as it coursed through my veins, but arthritis patients deal with constant discomfort. Translation, a needle is small potatoes compared to morning stiffness!
I stared at the slow drip of the medicine and got lost in my thoughts.
“I really hope this works.
I wonder how much this will cost?
How am I going to get back to work?”
I choose not to drive, do not have a car and my spouse was at work. He would have come to get me, but I can be a tad stubborn. There are countless occasions of me walking home from a variety of places. I loved my independence in that sense. That is one of the reasons my medical challenges weighed so heavily on me mentally. When I needed help getting out of cars and running errands, I felt helpless, which is one of the worst feelings I’ve experienced.
Fast forward several days later.
I feel better. There has been a noticeable difference in my pain and stiffness levels. I'm hopeful for the first time in years.
Is this the light at the end of the tunnel?
Is the life I thought I had to give up coming back?
After the second infusion, my mind AND body were flying high. Activities I had to give up were slowly coming back into my daily planner:
Going to the gym; the sounds of grunting men lifting weights made me smile.
Walking to the bar with my twin sister for drinks on a Saturday night.
Taking my dog on long Sunday morning walks.
Playing video games with my spouse, sans swollen fingers.
Happy days were finally returning!
My happiness continued during my follow-up appointment with Dr. M. He examined my wrists to gauge pain levels and joint damage. I smiled through the entire exam and did not wince or pull away ONCE. He was happy and said I was on the right track. I agreed by giving him a big hug.
When my Aunt Sarah and I headed to lunch on a Saturday afternoon, I told her the good news. She was happy but said the treatments were expensive. She was right. Those closest to me know my penchant for saving money. And even with insurance, Remicade was expensive. Each infusion cost several hundred dollars. But, as I told my aunt, it was worth every penny to get my life back.