Seeing Clearly


I had my Remicade infusion on Thursday morning.  Because of my recent long flare, my rheumatologist decided to increase my dosage by one vial, and also to move my infusions from every 8 weeks to every 6 weeks.  We’re hoping that this will do the trick; otherwise, we may have to think about a change of meds.

On Friday morning I woke up.  I lay in bed for awhile, not moving, feeling cautious.  How was I feeling?  What would happen when I started to move, tried to walk?  Then I got out of bed.

The sun was shining.  The birds were singing.  I half-expected small woodland creatures to come to my window. 

There was NO PAIN.

The absence of pain is a truly extraordinary thing.  It’s like waking up from a long sleep (hence the above picture of Sleeping Beauty, for those who didn’t recognize her).  On a day-to-day basis, I don’t always notice the pain – I have learned to block out large portions of it, and it manifests instead as fatigue, or brain fog.  But when it is taken away, I can see clearly just how much pain there actually was. 

The rest of the weekend didn’t go quite as well – on Friday night, my toddler got the croup, beginning a period of several sleepless nights for everyone in the house.  When I found myself dead exhausted on Saturday, my first (illogical) thought was, “Oh no!  Maybe the Remicade didn’t work!”  Then I realized this extraordinary fact:  It’s possible for me to feel crummy for reasons that have NOTHING TO DO WITH RA.  Normal things, like not getting enough sleep, or taking care of a sick toddler, or, later, catching his virus myself.  (Carla, from the RA blog “Carla’s Corner”, writes about this very issue here – what perfect timing for me!)  And it sounds strange, but this makes me happy.  On Monday I went to work, feeling completely worn out from my weekend – but then I walked from the parking lot to my building, and realized that my body felt light and easy, with no pain in my knees or feet.  This walk is usually difficult for me – in fact, it was on this walk that I first noticed the painful feet that were the first sign of my yet-undiagnosed RA. 

So now I am sick, but still rejoicing in my lack of pain!  I hope I’ll get over this little virus soon enough to REALLY enjoy it.

And since this is a musical blog, here’s a song (not one of mine) to mark the occasion!

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  1. Helen says:

    I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring pain, too.

    I’m glad you’re feeling so good on the Remicade! It feels great to wear yourself out by actually doing things you love, or by doing something “normal” like catching cold. Hope the virus clears up soon so you can enjoy your pain-free body!

  2. Glad it worked and hope it continues working. I know exactly how you feel. The first morning I woke up after my first Simponi injection was AMAZING. Congratulations on making progress!

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