"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Tired Of It All

by - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's been three weeks today since I took my first dose of arava and I'm officially in struggle town. Side effects are in full swing and I'm tired of it all. I started getting headaches two weeks ago, and they are still hammering away in my head. Waves of nausea don't want to leave either and I've had enough. I just want out, but there is no way out. I feel like I'm a prisoner of pain. I feel like I'm being punished for a crime I didn't commit. I'm tired of the side effects. I'm tired of the headaches, the nausea, the loss of appetite. I'm tired of the eczema and acne. I'm tired of the weight loss, extreme fatigue and profound pain. I'm too tired to do this anymore, I just want it all to stop. It's been four years of constant pain that never goes away. It never lets up, and after four years I'm left wondering when/if it's going to get any better. It's taking me hours to get to sleep due to pain and in the morning I don't have the strength to wake up at a decent time. I'm sleeping up to fifteen hours a night to maintain the fight against fatigue caused by the drug arava. When I wake up I don't feel well at all. I'm greeted with a sore throat and feel disheveled by dizziness. It's horrible. I'm beginning to think the combination of arava and methotrexate is too much for my body to cope with. Upon researching arava, I read that it can take up to four to six weeks to notice a decrease in pain and up to three to four months to see optimum results. I can't wait that long, I don't have patience when it comes to needing pain relief, I need it NOW! Besides, it might not even work and my evaluation of arava so far? Epic fail.

Today was another tough day with side effects. I'm beyond tired, I ache all over, I've had a constant medication headache for two weeks, the skin around my eyes is stinging like crazy because of eczema caused by the drug and I'm grumpy. It all got a bit too much to deal with today, so it was time to ring the specialist. My rheumatologist didn't seem at all surprised that I was struggling on arava, advising me to stop it straight away. That's it I'm now done with arava. Thank goodness! Apparently I'm the second patient of hers to stop it today, glad I'm not the only one feeling like crap! She said that I should be seeing results now and I shouldn't still be having such horrible side effects so arava is definitely not the drug for me. I was also informed that arava is not up there with the best in terms of drugs used to treat arthritis and I'm now confused as to why I wasn't told this during my last visit. All I was told that it was the fastest acting drug and seeing that I got to choose between arava, some other drug or an increase in methotrexate, of course I chose the fastest acting one to try. According to rheumatology journals, methotrexate is up there with the best. So there is now talk of increasing my methotrexate dose. More headaches, sigh. This drug helps me to live a limited life but hey at least it's something. I really can't live without this drug, that's for sure. I don't know why I didn't just choose that option in the first place but I guess I was tempted by quicker acting drugs which obviously weren't so in my case. Such a let down! I guess I preferred the arava option over the methotrexate increase because the increase would be in injection form, not tablet form. I could do without more needles being shoved into my skin! I went through exactly the same frustration of drug trials and fails back when I had fibromyalgia until I finally found one that helped with pain. So it's going to be exactly the same deal with finding the right arthritis medication. Trial and error as with everything else in life. So what next? I'm being sent out some samples of the drug lyrica to try until my next appointment in August. Then other drug options will be discussed in more detail.
I am so looking forward to some headache and nausea free days, I could really use the break. The drug wars have officially begun all over again.

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