Rheumatoid Arthritis, Roomy Toe Boxes, The Inner Landscape

A Watched Pot

On my stove, carrots cook in the steamer. I find I am watchful. The last time I tried steaming a whole bag of carrots, I grew bored with waiting, wandered off, and burned off all the water. We're still scraping black off the bottom of the pan.

But a watched pot, so they say, never boils.

I'm watching my hands today, too. Since the removal of prednisone from my medications, my fingers have been swollen, my wrists tender. My toes feel swollen, too, though they are less on my mind for being covered by shoes or socks or slippers.

At the end of last week, the doctor instructed me to boost the weekly dose of methotrexate from 17.5 mg (7 teeny little pills) to 20 mg (yes, 8, you must be really good at math!). This afternoon I realized I didn't ask the most important question: how long will it take to notice a difference? After all, it took a long time for the initial dose to make a significant change and, really, because I took it with pred, I really have NO idea how quickly it worked. I know I feel better than I did before the pred, dramatically better. I know I maintained most of that "better" even as we decreased it.

I also realize I didn't think to ask whether I should look for an increase in side effects.

I didn't think of much of anything except to write down the instructions.

So now I'm watching my symptoms and my side effects. I am a watched pot.

There are many other things I could be doing, and really, I am doing many of them, with the watching as a background activity in my multi-tasking. I can't help noticing when my hands don't work well, or my wrists hurt. I can't help making a note that my new shoes feel good and do not squeeze my toes. I can't help feeling the stiffness in my knees and trying to measure whether they have felt this way all along, ever since the pain stopped stabbing.

I consider that with a chronic illness I'll probably be watching myself, like a pot, for the rest of my life, trying to avoid boiling over.

This wasn't what I had in mind.

10 thoughts on “A Watched Pot”

  1. You know, this week I totally get what you mean about the watched pot…sigh.
    Hugs to you, and hope the meds help soon.

  2. A watched pot is a perfect description for living with a chronic illness. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  3. Changing medication is always so troublesome isn’t it? My mother-in-law has PArkinson’s and the Dr. just gave her new, very strict, instructions about her meds. She hates it (mind you we suspect she was overdosing as she would tend to take a pill whenever she felt down rather than according to instructions) since it is less medication than she feels she needs.
    Hopefully in a week or two her body will adjust…

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