Visit With My Rheumatologist and Update

Last Thursday, I went to see my Rheumy and my “numbers” from my lab work are getting better. I still have my “normal” stuff happening daily but I can handle that more than what I just went through. I just can’t handle everything being amplified plus more pain, exhaustion, brain fog, difficulty breathing, and “fighting” Pneumonia for about a month all at the same time. He said I could lower my Prednisone dosage again. So the plan is to go down to 15 mg for 2 weeks and then down to 10 mg until I see him again five weeks after that. I’m very happy about getting weaned off of Prednisone. I can’t wait for all of this to be a distant memory. I don’t want to get too excited yet since I know how all of this could change in an instant. Yet I fervently hope that soon this episode of my life will be over. I don’t want to be on “survival mode” anymore, I want to start being in “living mode.” The last thing my Rheumatologist said to me before I left was, “Our next goal will be to get you looking more like this,” he pointed to my employee badge that I forgot to take off during my lunch break/ appointment. I absolutely agreed with him.


I started that post almost a week ago. Since my last post and return to work, all I could manage was to get through my work day. There was no energy for anything else. Lately I also have been trying to “remember to breathe” when I get in a negative situation that I don’t want to be a part of. I’m one of those “high stress” people. I hate the way anxiety feels so much that I will go out of my way to avoid any type of conflict or confrontation. It’s very uncomfortable and I will remain angry and stressed out all day and even after work. Nowadays I try to just shake it off. Today was a horrid work day (worse than yesterday) and I couldn’t shake off anything until after work. Luckily I was finally able to just let it go, even though it took a while. I understand that once something is in the past, it’s in the past. There’s nothing I can do at this point in time to change the outcome of any past event. And all I have control over are my feelings. I need to re-remind myself about this frequently.

In the past few days I have been feeling a lot better than usual but still have my bad days. The pain from the nerve damage in my feet started to come back yesterday. I joined a gym because they had a corporate discount for us and only went twice so far (Monday and yesterday). I’m starting off slow but was happy when I realized that I could actually complete my goals for the cardio workouts (stationary bike and treadmill). For a long time I had more difficulty breathing, could barely walk from one room to another without feeling dizzy or needing to catch my breath.  When I did try to walk “further” on my “better” days, I was out of breath within 30 feet or less and had to walk slower or stop to sit down.

I am embarrassed to say that I am extremely self-conscious about my weight gain (especially because it includes a lot of retained water and a “moon face.” I was hoping that by the time I returned to work, I would look more like myself. When I look in the mirror, I feel like I am looking at someone else. And that I am “trapped” somewhere in this body. I have weight issues as well that started when I was in my teens. Right now I would rather “hide in my cave” than have to join the outside world again. I wasn’t exactly ready to return to work but when I found out that I had exceeded my FMLA hours for the year, I had to go back because I need my job. I was given an incorrect FMLA total because when I calculated my return to work date, I left two weeks of FMLA just in case I got sick any time before November (when I need to renew my FMLA) and also wanted to make sure that my job was secured despite my absences that started in December. My depression (which comes and goes) is getting better now that I’ve returned to work. Even though my job can stress me out sometimes because there is never enough time to finish everything that I need to do (and I am very efficient), I love the people that I directly work with. I usually like to only hang out with me, myself, and I (for various reasons) but I guess there is a part of me that needs to be social sometimes. All the employees in our department have a good sense of humor and can take my jokes and don’t get offended by off the wall comments that I make. 🙂