Thursday, March 13, 2008

Three Days In, So Far So Good

So here I am, three days into my new prescription of Plaquenil (600 mg/day) and I don't seem to be having icky side effects yet. Which is good news, since I'm pretty sure I was having nausea by the time I hit three doses of it when I tried it last fall.

That time, my internist was monitoring me on it and when I told her my symptoms after being on it for a week, she decided to take me off since I wasn't really showing any improvement and I was feeling really miserable -- severe nausea, hot and cold flashes, increased fatigue (like what I already had wasn't enough! :), and so forth.

This time, I chose to take it in the evening rather than in the morning, and while my sleep has been a bit disrupted (hard to say it's because of the medicine since we have a sick 3-year-old in the house), I haven't really been feeling the start of those side effects this time around.

And that's good news, because my rheumatologist told me it would take at least three months before we'd know whether the Plaquenil was helping or not. That seems like forever right now, but I'm sure June will be here before I know it. And it would be nice if I were feeling better before my one-year anniversary of getting sick.

So I'm hoping. And I appreciate those of you who are hoping right along with me! :)


Meanwhile, I had a really good conversation with the department chair of the paralegal program at Portland Community College.And I'm kind of excited about starting the program.

But I did decide that I wasn't in a good place to start classes on March 31, when the spring term starts. So I'm going to hold off and take my first class during the summer session, which starts toward the end of June.

Meanwhile, I've got a meeting set up for Monday with someone in the disability services department to discuss what kind of accommodations they can help me with, if any. I was really excited when a new friend told me her community college provides notetakers to help her through her program. I don't know if it works differently where she is than it does here, but essentially here I have to find my own notetaker and hope their notes are both legible and complete. I'm a little skeptical on how well that works, although the college does provide this carbonless copy paper so the person can give you your copy of the notes at the end of class.

I think the solution I'm going to settle for is audio taping my classes and using a laptop (ooh! an excuse to buy another computer! :) to help me take notes. The truth is, there's no way I can type non-stop for a 3-hour lecture any more than I could good notes that long these days. (I have mostly fond memories of spending 8-10 hours days taking notes in court rooms or at conferences when I was an AP reporter, but those days are long behind me thanks to this lovely illness.)

So I'm hopeful that I'll be feeling well enough by late June that I can commit to taking a single class and that the length of the class won't be quite as difficult for me as the Living Well With Chronic Illness class I took earlier this year. As I said the other day, I'm thinking positive.

The fun thing is that a former AP co-worker that I'm trying to lure away from the company has decided to enroll in the program too. But she's starting with the spring term, but we'll take the same class during the summer so I'm pretty sure she'll help me out with notes if I need them and I'll have a built-in study buddy. :)


SharonMV said...

Hi Aviva,

Keeping my fingers crossed that you'll continue to tolerate the Plaquenil & that it starts helping you soon.


Aviva said...

Thanks, Sharon! So far so good! At this point, I'm fairly confident I'm not going to develop any intolerable problems with it so now I'm just hoping it kicks in sooner than the three months my rheumy said it would take!

How are you doing??