New Medicine, New Problem, Keep Breathing

I hate when we are switching medicines around!  That’s what happened this weekend.   New med – new problem.  My husband woke up with a painful leg – thought he’d just slept on it funny at first.

By the next day his knee was swollen and extremely painful, then the other leg started hurting.  He could hardly bend his knees or support his weight.

He felt miserable.  Barely ate.  Had more trouble breathing.  Blood pressure all over the place.  I could see the worry in his face.

Was this our new normal?  Neither of us said it but we were both thinking it.

Adrenalin and cortisol were crushing through my body.  My own shoulders were up around my ears.  As I did my best to support and balance him as he moved from his bed to wheelchair to the bathroom, etc.  I could hardly breathe.  I could hardly hold him up.

My mind was racing.  How do we manage today?  How will we manage this if it lasts?  Why is this happening?  What’s different?  What could be causing this new symptom set?

Stress comes from what I have to do, but also from what I can’t control.  What I don’t understand.  What I don’t expect.

Finally I caught myself.  Just breathe, I told myself.  Relax those shoulders.  Unclench your teeth.  Just breathe in and out.  Stay in the moment.  Don’t let this stress rush through your body.  (I kept thinking of the statistics on stress and health.  I can’t afford to be ill.)  I found myself able to relax my muscles.  They’d tense up again.  I’d tell myself “relax.”  It kind of worked.

A friend was visiting and we started looking online.  Finally found an obscure possible side effect of his new med. It could cause Lupus-like joint pain and swelling.   There were other meds that had been changed as well but those changes had been several weeks before.

He went off it.   We managed to get through the weekend, but I had many moments I felt close to my breaking point.  I’m sure he did too.  At least we started seeing some improvement.

Today (three days later) he feels back to his regular normal.

“This is great,” he said.  “I never have things get better.”

I think it’s great, too!  But I can’t help wondering what’s to come.  That’s the constant worry with a progressive disease.

Stop!  Relax.  Breathe.  Stay in today.  Things are better than yesterday.  Enjoy.

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