I’m going to allow myself to have a small pity party in this post, if you don’t mind. My first visit to the doctor this year sucked. I love my doctor, don’t get me wrong. I always tell people that the man is not allowed to retire or die, because I want him to take care of me forever. I just wish he had better news for me today.
Even though I haven’t been in pain much lately, I’m showing signs of joint damage in my hands. If I place my hands on a flat surface, you can see a dip in my knuckles. Now, I’m being forced to make some pretty big decisions.
He wants to switch me to Methotrexate for a few months, then possibly to Enbrel or Humira. He told me he wanted me to put some serious thought into taking the more aggressive approach, so I have until my next appointment in May to make the call. Here’s the dilemma: if I don’t go on the new treatment and stay on the Plaquenil, my joints are going to continue to get worse. If I opt for the new treatment, however, he told me that it’s not very likely I’ll be able to have children, since none of these medications are “baby friendly,” as he calls it. Even worse, it’s possible that we’ll run out of treatment options that much sooner, meaning there won’t be anything left to help me when I’m, say, 40. I’m devastated. Mom’s a mess. My friends are speechless. My family is trying to convince me to freeze some of my eggs so I can become a mom someday.
I thought I was doing so well. As much as I don’t want to start taking chemo drugs or risk my fertility, I don’t see any other option. I need my hands. I’m a writer and, more recently, a jewelry designer. I’m 21 years old, I need to be able to go out and make a living for myself without having to depend on other people to care for me.
I’m too young for joint damage. I need some more time to think and get my emotions in check. I also need to do some research on Eastern medicine. I’ll be damned if I have to get old before my time, and I’ll swallow any amount of roots or barks to slow that process down. Meanwhile, could you send some good vibes/prayers my way? It’s been an awful, highly emotional week for me. Maybe you think I’m being over-dramatic or selfish, but I do realize there are people out there who have it worse. I have a friend with terminal cancer. I know myself, and I know eventually I’ll start looking at this situation with a positive attitude. I just need a little push to get there.