Jan 19, 2019

Living with rheumatoid arthritis isn’t easy. Today, was no exception. I took it easy because my knees have throbbed all day since I woke up this morning.

I don’t know how to describe the pain. It feels like there is something putting pressure around my knees even if I’m laying down they are throbbing. When I move, the pressure and the pain intensifies; I want to scream.

So, I’ve put on a brave face not alerting my family of the ordeal or the pain because I don’t want them to worry.

Sometimes, I can’t hide it and just accept the offer of help. It makes life easier for me when I’m having a terrible day.

I focus on moving to keep my joints limber. The intense pain in the joints can become stiff, making me unable to move without assistance. I value my mobility so I keep walking.

When I was a teenager the years of therapy taught me to move despite the pain. Back then, it was harder for me to move the arthritis was more aggressive and fewer treatment options were available.

Back then, a terrible day affected all the joints including my knees. It took me forever to do anything or to walk anywhere and have people wondering what was wrong with me. I walked like an old person. People didn’t understand that arthritis can affect anybody at any age.

The internet has brought more knowledge to people understand arthritis can affect anyone at any age. The older I get, the less I hear of the myths.

The thing I struggle with the most is how fast the pain can hit suddenly. Here is an example, yesterday I felt good my knees ached, but the pain went away when I took some extra meds. I went to bed I felt good. No pain. Then this morning, I woke up with my knees and my hips throbbing. I took extra meds and the pain in my hips went away, but my knees continue to hurt.

The main factor is most likely the weather. A snowstorm hit my area earlier today. Now the temperature plummeted as bitterly cold air settles in for two days.

So, I will take it easy, take extra meds, watch some TV, and maybe read. I will pray tomorrow will be better.

Horse Pills

Why do doctors like to prescribe horse pills that people could choke on? I’m not talking about actual horse pills for horses. My rant is about huge pills to swallow. I’ve discussed in previous posts about dealing with rheumatoid arthritis since I was seven years old. The arthritis affects my neck and jaw joint, which makes it difficult to swallow huge pills.

Every few months, I need blood work done to check different things. This past summer, my blood work showed that my potassium was low. So, I added a potassium supplement, hoping to void a potassium prescription because the pills are huge.

About a week ago, I had my blood work done; the lab order indicated that my rheumatologist and my primary doctor wanted to check my potassium levels.

That Friday, I received a call from my primary doctor’s nurse, and she informed me that my potassium was low. She asked if I was taking any potassium. I explained that I was taking a supplement and how much. She said she would tell the doctor and to see what he wanted to do next.

Well, I knew what my primary doctor would prescribe a potassium prescription that were horse pills. An hour later, the nurse called me back to say the doctor had sent a prescription to my pharmacy and wanted me to start that night.

I asked, about the dose, and soon learned that the pills were horse pills. Then I explained to the nurse, I couldn’t swallow those pills simply due to the huge size. She told me to cut them in half. I explained, that I had and still had difficulty swallowing them. What most people don’t understand a huge dose of potassium comes in a tablet form and once the pill is cut, still leaves it thick, and there’s a bitter chalky taste afterwards. Then she suggested the liquid potassium which it tastes nasty. It does! Yuck!

I explained that I took it before and I can’t handle it.

The nurse lectured me the importance about potassium and how it could damage my overall health, which is true. She acted like there were no other options available to my problem.

I was mad, my temper was about to roar. I don’t like to be treated like a child just because I’ve health issues. I had explained many times to my primary doctor I have difficulty swallowing my pills, and when the pills are huge I can’t swallow them. I wasn’t against taking potassium because I need it, but I was looking at the situation that I would probably be taking potassium for the rest of my life; I wanted a pill that I could swallow.

During the nurse’s lecture it was up to me to discover a solution. So, I ask, what about a smaller dose?

She said, that I would have to take two pills.

That was fine with me.

So, I went to pick up my prescription and learned that my doctor order capsules, when wet, these pills are slippery. As a bonus, they are extended release I can take one in the morning and evening! Yay!