Definition of TWINGE transitive verb 1 dialect : pluck, tweak 2: to affect with a sharp pain or pang[i]
A typical day with RA includes gentle reminders such as stiff and tender fingers while typing, difficulty getting up out of a chair if sitting more than 30 minutes, a knee that pops loudly while flexing, elbows that ache, and then there’s the ubiquitous fight with fatigue. After three ankle surgeries on torn Achilles tendons, tendon insertion tears, and bone erosion in the heel, these areas are omnipresent reminders of RA. Most days it’s tolerable and doesn’t impact walking – although strenuous exercise is out of the question. But every once in a while when going up or down stairs a sharp pain comes out of nowhere to scream a very loud reminder. This twinge catches me by surprise. Many times the pain is so bad that I must stop on the stairs and change the way I walk. Many have seen me limp away from the stairs. The sharp pain usually lasts for a few hours before subsiding. Once the major pain is gone, I usually forget it and move on. But the little voice in my head always asks if there is more RA-induced damage that will result in another surgical procedure someday. Ignoring that voice is helpful as there’s nothing to do about it now.
Recovery from sinus surgery seems to be going well. It’s been 10 days and the bleeding is almost gone, breathing is better, headaches are less intense, and energy levels are slowly returning yet with peaks and valleys. The best news is that today was the last dose of the antibiotic Cephalexin. This is the last of four antibiotics taken over the past 3 months. These strong antibiotics impact the GI system in very uncomfortable ways which won’t be missed. Arava will be added back to the RA treatment regimen tomorrow. Of course, Arava brings its own set of GI side effects which aren’t too bad at the 10mg per day level. The next Orencia infusion is Tuesday and I’m glad that I didn’t have to miss a dose during this entire sinus situation. Hopefully sinus infections will be a thing of the past.
Early next week I plan to write a post about the role of cell death in rheumatoid arthritis, genetic links, possible treatments, and how this is connected to cancer. Have a good weekend!