This weekend I have discovered what stress can do to the body when you have an auto immune disease (well stress is no good for anyone let’s face it!).
My new puppy Brutus, was rushed to the veterinary hospital yesterday with suspected parvo virus – luckily he tested negative but the severe gastro he did have made him seriously ill.
Methotrexate and the obligatory ‘rest days’ that come afterwards
Now for those of you that take Methotrexate either by injection or tablet, will understand me when I say that the couple of days after you feel pretty crap and you have to take it easy because if you do too much, you pay for it handsomely.
My Methotrexate injection is taken on a Friday evening and Saturday I am fit for nothing and Sunday I am on a ‘go slow’, Monday I start to feel better but if I exert myself by doing to much on a Sunday then let’s just say I have used up all my spoons (read ‘The Spoon Theory’ for those of you that don’t know what I mean). See below for link:
Well Saturday my new puppy came – Brutus, a 13 week old Kelpie/Rhodesian Ridgeback cross and very cute he is too.
What a difference 1mg can make
On Saturday I woke up feeling dry and in pain to the point I was actually scared, it hurt to breath in, my lungs were so dry and my throat that each time I swallowed I was choking – all Sjogrens people will know what I mean by that and as I had reduced my steroids by 1mg, I never imagined for one minute that I would notice the difference, but I did – big time.
Used up all of my ‘spoons’
So my new puppy was brought to me and as you can imagine, I didn’t rest at all as keeping an eye on a young pup that is trying to drag the fan into the middle of the room while it is switched on, amongst gathering your entire shoe collection, is akin to chasing a small child around the house – not that I have children but one still needs to have eyes in the back of ones head to stop them getting into trouble.
Sunday I woke up feeling in pain and dizzy and tired – that was it, my body was saying ‘you bitch! this is payback for not letting me rest’ and if we are talking ‘Spoon Theory’ then not only had I ran out of spoons, but I had borrowed an entire collection and was in ‘spoon debt’.
Sick as a dog
Seeing that Brutus the puppy was exceptionally sick, I drove him to the veterinary hospital, completely forgetting to take my steroids, eye drops and pain killers, thinking that I would only be a few minutes.
A few hours later I was still in the hospital and as anyone with Lupus or Sjogrens can verify, even a half an hour delay on medication can upset the balance on the whole day if not week, and basically your immune system has one hell of a party to which you are not invited – who would have thought a few hours would make such a difference?
I was nearly at the stage and I kid you not, of asking the veterinary nurse if they could give me some prednisolone and ASAP and if they could spare some pain relief. There I was in reception for over an hour, no water in the reception area and having Sjogrens and no water is like eating Muesli without the milk.
When I was in the consulting room, it took some courage to ask the vet student for a glass of water and when she gave it to me, I virtually inhaled it as though I hadn’t seen water in years.and the vet student looked visibly shocked as this plastic cup of water disappeared in seconds and even after that, I still had a tongue like an old London cobbled street.
I had no my eye drops in my bag so my eyes were bright red and burning, especially after making attempts to cry over my critically ill Brutus pup who was now lifeless on the tablet and we won’t even discuss my swollen fingers and ankles. Let’s just say that I probably needed as much help as the animals in reception and it was a stark reminder of just how many drugs that I needed to function in order to live a nearly normal life.
That is when you really notice the affects of Sjogrens or Lupus, when you are taken out of your routine, when you ignore your body when it shouts at you that it needs rest and it is not as though you can ‘teach your body a lesson’ and just push yourself because if you do, you pay for it – you pay with pain, you pay with dryness, you pay with dizziness, it hurts to breathe and cough – you just pay and you pay with interest.
Brutus was transferred to another veterinary hospital and is still in on a drip although I have been told he was barking his head off this morning so he must be a lot better which pleases me as he is an adorable dog and I love him, and we both fought for our health yesterday not to mention that he fits in very well with my Kelpie Rocky and my cat Gordon as you can see below:
Today is just another day in the life of a Sjogrens person
I did not sleep well last night at all, my joints felt so tight, I felt dizzy, my lungs hurt, my eyes hurt, my ‘everything’ hurt. I don’t get sick pay as I am a temp but if I did, I would have taken today off in an attempt to bribe my body into behaving and to say sorry for pushing it to the max this weekend.
Auto immune diseases and stress do not go hand in hand, they are not friends in fact they hate one another with a passion.
Which makes it all the more reason to minimize/reduce stress wherever possible, except of course when it comes to sick animals/kids but that is another ball game because you don’t want to end up like me in a busy veterinary hospital almost begging for a dose of prednisolone and a glass of water and a kennel to rest in.
This morning I have had my pain relief, but have succumbed to an energy drink to keep me awake, yes I know, slap on the wrist but I am not keen on coffee and needs must. I have also said sorry to my ‘Sjogrens self’ and promised to always carry my medication and eye drops and a bottle of water and avoid stress (yeah right!)
And hopefully in return tonight I will get a good nights sleep, no dizziness or lung pain, no swollen joints and even a bit of saliva.
And talking of avoiding stress, did I tell you that Brutus may come home today? Go on, you have to admit he is cute….
Right, it is time for me to drink some more water, there is nothing quite like being held to ransom by your immune system.
Have a lovely week everyone.
Samantha Rose (C) Copyright 2013