Why hello there, weekenders.
I only do autoimmune disease updates when there’s something to report for those of you who follow my autoimmune adventures. Adventures, we are having! All kinds of adventures! I’ve been navigating a flare these last few weeks. This time, the joints under attack are those in my left thumb… mainly its middle joint and the large joint at its base.
My rheumatologist ventured that she could put me on prednisone, but she’s in favor of my rejection of that option. I also want to avoid going back on methotrexate, because with my work hours, monthly visits to the V.A. hospital for labs won’t be possible… at least not right now. I’m still too new at work; I don’t accrue sick time yet. I wouldn’t enjoy having to ask for time off every four weeks, regardless. Not to mention, methotrexate nausea at work would really suck.
Instead, we’re doing a trial of topical gel medication (your basic diclofenac sodium) three times a day and a restriction splint that she ordered for me from the prosthetics department. I only wear the splint at night. It helps. Without it, the pain in my left thumb is excruciating in the morning, and the joints are locked up, and my hand is so weak, I can’t hold anything with it. Thankfully, I’m right-handed!
So far, I’m doing okay on this treatment plan. It’s alleviating the pain somewhat, and it’s helping to keep my left hand in working condition. My thumb is still weak, though, and its middle joint still locks up and pops. Its natural state is bent, and I have to pop it to straighten it out. When it’s locked up in a straightened-out position (the most painful circumstance in the flare… it just now happened, in fact), I have to pop it. Pop it to unlock it. That’s when the pain is the worst: when my thumb is straightened out and frozen.
These things happen from time to time even if you take your daily dose of hydroxychloroquine without fail. If you know, you know. The medication is effective, but like many, its superpowers aren’t 100% all of the time. Flares will still hit. I’m hoping that the topical and the splint and the Advil will end the flare, because I cannot be going around at work with a methotrexate throw-up bucket.
On that note, I’ll leave you with a pic of the food I devoured for dinner tonight, because why not? It was simple and amazing. I was craving kimchee. This hit the spot:
The vegan chicken from Gardein’s Mandarin orange crispy chick’n kit, though! Highly recommend, my friends. Throw it on a baking sheet and stick it in the oven and call it good, because it is.
Happiest of weekend vibes going out to you!