Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sometimes It's The Little Things


You've probably noticed that I don't blog as much as I used to. I've been pretty sick the last two years. Nothing new, just my usual auto-immune disease rearing it's ugly head. I've been more consistently sick the last two years than I have in the entire 10 years I've had my diagnosis. 

Auto-immune diseases are assholes like that. You go through periods of remission where you feel pretty normal, and then your body rebels, the meds stop working, and you're right back to being sick. 

My particular auto-immune disease is Crohn's disease. The usual treatment is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as maintenance, and steroids when things get out of control.

Because my disease was getting out of control all the time, the doctors would try courses of steroids to get the inflammation back under control. If you're not familiar with steroids, they tend to make you swell up. Especially your extremities. If you've ever worn a pair of dressage tall boots, you know there is just no room for swelling in those things. 

Since I was taking steroids so frequently, my tall dressage boots haven't fit me in a long time. Because of that, I haven't shown in a recognized show in over two years. I suppose I could have just bought a new pair of boots, but I'm cheap and I refuse to spend my money on a new pair of boots to fit my steroid-swollen legs. It's much easier to just say, "I'll show when my boots fit again."

A few months ago my doctors decided that my disease had advanced to the point where the standard NSAID treatment would never be therapeutic. I was steroid dependent, in that it was the only way to get my disease under control. So, they went for the big guns: Immune suppressants.

Not gonna lie, I was scared. The immune suppressant drugs have some pretty rotten side effects. But, Crohn's has even worse side effects, so maybe the drugs aren't so bad.

I'm a few weeks into my immune suppressant treatment, and so far I'm OK. I haven't noticed any side effects from it, but I'll have to have routine bloodwork for the rest of my life to make sure the immune suppressant drugs are behaving themselves. 

The best part: I'm a week and a half steroid free, and my tall boots fit again.



They need a serious cleaning, but at least they fit.

6 comments:

  1. I hope that this works for you with minimal side effects. Crohn's disease is no fun.

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  2. Hoping this approach brings you consistent relief. :D

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  3. You and Alyssa have the best attitude in the worst situations. So glad your boots fit and I hope you're back into remission. :-)

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  4. boots that fit are a very nice silver lining. wishing you luck in the treatment and management of the disease

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  5. Those boots look good on you and what they represent is even better. Wishing you only the best. Being laid low by your own health is a real bummer. But you still have managed to keep a positive outlook and do a lot. Managing those shows and clinics was hard work and I am impressed with your energy and devotion to "everything horse" despite your illness.

    Way to go, girl!

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  6. I had a really great friend who also suffered from Crohn's disease. He had the same attitude as you -- always making the best of things no matter what. It's so inspiring to speak with people who are like that, and I have the utmost admiration for you!! <3

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