Impact of One Shot for RA – 10 Signs

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Has a shot for RA ever rocked your world?

I had a strange experience arriving for church Sunday. I woke up, got dressed, even fixed breakfast, and then somehow arrived fifteen minutes early. Why did it seem like I had all… the… time… in the world? It went back to last Thursday when I got a shot for RA…

If a biologic shot for RA works for you, maybe you’ve experienced this dramatic change before. For me, only steroids make a difference. It is like temporarily going back in time (since the disease is always “progressing.”)

Crossing my arms over a shot for RA

Impact of One Shot for RA – 10 SignsBy last Thursday I could barely walk. No, that’s not true, I actually could not walk Thursday. For weeks I’d been barely dragging myself along, but by then I couldn’t put any weight on my right knee. It collapsed each time I tried.

But a few hours after the shot Thursday morning, I could walk. Not without my knees painfully clicking – but I could. Also I was astonished – and pleased – that I could cross my arms, as you see in the photo. But that’s not all…

If it works, look at the difference one shot for RA can make

  1. Put on big girl shoes. Shoes are one my biggest challenges. And closed shoes are my nemesis.
  2. Stand up from the toilet. In recent months, this private struggle has been agonizing.
  3. Type – nothing like I used to, but I could.
  4. Baked blondies. Not without a lot of sucking air from elbow and wrist pain, but I baked.
  5. Omygosh imagine my joy: I could sing. Not well enough for others to hear, but I could.
  6. Cross my arms. As you can see I can do this simple task I usually can’t do.
  7. Open my car door. For a couple years, I’ve pushed with my head and all of my weight only to have the door close back on me half the time. Now, I push hard, and voila. Open sesame!
  8. I blow-dried my hair. Someone even said it looked nice. That never happens any more.
  9. Sit down. Usually I have to lower myself as far as I can bend, and then just fall the rest of the way.
  10. The biggest difference is the way I sleep at night. Now, I am sleeping normally, which for me is like a very happy rock. When disease activity is rampant, I can’t turn over or grasp covers. I have to wash up, put on pajamas, and end my day about 8 p.m. Every night is a living hell with pain and effort similar to having a baby.

That’s part of my list. I’ll be curious to hear about if yours.

It’s not a secret shot for RA. So does anyone notice?

Whether it’s nodding, chewing, or crossing my legs, there are little and big things no one but me seems to notice I can’t do. What difference does it make if I can barely hold my phone to text or if I drive by hugging the steering wheel I can’t grasp? Or if there are things I try to do every day that I can’t?

As it turns out, it makes a bigger difference than even I realized. One side effect of higher dose steroids, either oral prednisone or corticosteroid injections, has often been a sense of euphoria. As the medicine takes effect, I start feeling like I can get things done. And then I start thinking everything is going to be okay. Even though the pain is still real, sometimes I forget for a moment that the relief is temporary. After dozens of shots, I’ve finally concluded it’s not just drug side effects, but deep inner appreciation for the ability to move.

Parting shot for RA

It’s been a week today since my shot, and its wonderful effects are wearing off now. It’s like going back into my dungeon and putting my straight jacket back on. I’ve been though this cycle several times now with steroids, which make life more possible and more normal for a short time. Sometimes I wonder which part seems more like a dream – the times when I’m so medicated I am somewhat normal, or the rest of the time I’m imprisoned in my body unable to move very much.






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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 17th, 2017 at 10:57 am and is filed under Living with RA / Managing RA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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