Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I've been reading a lot about the medications some people use when they have lupus. I have by no means used them all, but several have worked for me.

First, I was prescribed Prednisone. This steroid relieves the swelling and thus the pain associated with the pain. It worked for me. The side effects, though, are not enjoyable.

First, I gained a lot of weight. I think every so often about a woman I knew who was a model, and she had gained 100 pounds and lost the life she used to lead. I almost hid from others, ashamed somehow of my modest 30 pound weight gain, and lacked the new clothes for my new, larger figure. But I should have known strangers' opinions don't matter, and my friends still love me, no matter what size label is in my clothes. And I began losing my hair. Not sure if that's from the steroids or what came next:

Cytoxan and Imuran. I had to take those meds, can't remember which one came first, because I developed vasculitis in my ankles. Couldn't walk very well. Had to wear lace-up shoes and carried a cane. Talk about embarrassing....falling down en route to a job interview and stepping out of my shoe while being dressed down in my boss-of-the-day's office. One of the meds caused me to have a taste in my mouth as if I had licked a dirty ashtray. Needless to say, I lost my appetite.

Then came Plaquenil. I took Plaquenil while I was still taking Prednisone, for three months; then the doctor weaned me off Prednisone. The Plaquenil has worked well for many years and I can live with the side effects: I have to protect my eyes and have periodic eye exams.

But it's worth it.

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