Friday, January 29, 2010


In Phillipians 4:6, we are told to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
The last time I received treatment for my arthritis was 2 days before I ran the New York City Marathon in 2007. By the way, it IS okay to have arthritis and run! We were ready to have a child (or so we thought we were) and I didn't want to be on any meds. So, I gave myself that last injection, prayed for my health and patience and ran a marathon 2 days later. Troy was born in September 2009. As I've documented since I was pregnant and since his birth, I went through a wonderful, fantastic remission. About 6 weeks after he was born, it was back. Not the devil but the little thing that lives inside me and causes pain and inflammation. Dealing with it has been okay but a week ago today I went back to my rheumatologist. I told him that the steroid shot I had 2 weeks prior wore off after 3 days. Proof was in my knee - the fluid was back and the pain was in my back/hip again. I had not exercised and this in and of itself makes me a crabby person. We all need our exercise, right?

So, I came in with my new droid where my browser was opened to the latest studies about Enbrel (the medicine I took). My doctor is so funny to me. He's a bit harsh, isn't a softie AT ALL. He has a very interesting sense of humor. If you don't listen intently to his (Persian) accent, you'll miss whether he's joking or not. But, I love him. He tells me what I need to hear. Previously, he would ask me if I could stand the pain and although I didn't want to, I'd tell him that I could; he would withdraw some fluid (sorry, very yucky) and inject a steroid. I'd feel like a new woman! In fact, the day after the last shot, I payed for my plane ticket to go to Big Sur and run a 10 miler.
When I went to see him last week, I knew I'd need to be ready. Honestly I was throwing up the white flag. I checked with my lactation consultant who told me about the molecular weight of the medicine (150KDa). And I THOUGHT you'd never use chemistry again! I made sure I knew about the maximum size of a molecule which could be released into breastmilk, read all about Dr. Thomas Hale. His information was given to me by my lactation consultant. Learned about how a baby's digestive system enzymes dissolve certain medications. So, I walked in there with guns a blazing! While I thought he would ask me a bunch of questions, he simply asked, "What do you want to do?" I contemplated a moment and said, "Well, I don't want to stop nursing but I can't do this anymore. I want to take the Enbrel again." He said there aren't any studies showing it's safe. I asked if I can make the decision and he said I could. He consulted with the other rheumatologist in the clinic (mind you I've been going here since I was 19 except for the 3 1/2 years we lived in LA). So he tells the other doctor that I'm a documented AS patient for the past 12 years, have educated myself on the medicine (insert pat on the back here) and want to take Enbrel again. The other doctor said there aren't any studies (I mean were they TOLD to say this?). I said I understand but I feel comfortable enough to take it again. They both said OKAY.
Here I am, one week later, knee painfully swollen, back/hip throbbing and SO excited because the medicine is coming today.

Before I made my appointment, I asked God for guidance. He led me to the lacation consultant, then to many websites where I read others' stories. I'm not the only one, of course. I have prayed faithfully about this decision and I still feel confident about getting back on the medicine. I have faith that Troy is going to be fine. I'll be a better mother because I'll be able to care for him better (picking him up and carrying him around has been a hassle).

For your entertainment, here is my knee. Probably doesn't look so bad but I am SO excited about it going down and being able to exercise soon. I haven't been able to do ANYTHING in 13 days. Ugh.

So I'm wondering when the UPS man will come today. I'm not anxious but very excited.... AS It'll take a while to kick in but there's hope, right?!?!

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Shana said...

Elyse, I am SO proud of you for knowing so much about your disease process and your medications. I can't tell you how many patients I see that haven't a clue as to what diseases they have and what medicines they are on and why...WE APPRECIATE YOU. I really hope you get to feeling better soon.
love you girl.

Hodges Family said...

Will be praying for you!!!

Leigh said...

So glad to hear that you will get some relief soon.

Carla said...

Great news that you can continue to breastfeed AND feel better soon! You're a dedicated Mom! :)