I’m at a critical point right now. My doctor wants me to start the IV IG treatments again the day before Thanksgiving, and I told her that I was OK with that, but now I’m having second thoughts. I just got down to 5 mg of prednisone again and am starting to experience a flare today (fatigue, aches, and swelling behind my cheek bones), but do I really want to keep using up so many donors’ blood for my treatments? (The IG = immunoglobulin which is extracted from thousands of donors’ blood donations.) Secondly, there’s a slight possibility that one of these donors could have a communicable disease. Thirdly, it’s extremely expensive, and my medical insurance doesn’t cover all of it. Last, I feel like I’m just buying time…and since I spend most of my time working (at my workplace or at home), I can’t help but think…why bother? There are no really bad side effects to the IV IG treatments (unless I contract a disease), but I’ll still probably have to keep taking at least 5 mg of prednisone which is turning my bones into cottage cheese. I’ve been on it nonstop for the past 15 years, so there’s no telling how much damage it’s done over time. My body is falling apart. It’s like a bucket of water that keeps springing leaks. I may plug one hole, but another one is just going to open up. In my case, the same old holes open up along with new ones as I develop new symptoms. Every year, the arthritis is a bit worse than the year before and I develop new symptoms such as intense leg cramps I’ve developed this year. I see my mother, who is living with me, and think…she takes a handful of pills everyday but lives in so much pain she can barely walk or bathe herself. She’s mostly deaf and blind as well. Why extend one’s life if the quality of it is so awful? She may be a fighter, and I support her determination to keep living as long as possible, but I just don’t think I’m the fighter that she is.

If you read this post, please pray that I’ll make good decisions regarding my treatment and, better yet, will go into permanent remission.

OK, time for bed. Good night.

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