Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Story Polymyositis Part Five

     1999 was going to be the year I took control of my life again.  I wasn't going to let this physical condition rule my life any longer.  I was about to graduate from high school.  I wanted to go to college and start living my dreams.

     I had dreamed of going to Florida State but I knew that I probably wouldn't get to now and I had made peace with that.  There were still tons of colleges I could go to.  

     In January of 1999, my mother and I went to North Carolina for an appointment with Dr. Reed at Chapel Hill and Dr. Wilson at Great Smokies Medical Center.  Dr. Reed suggested monthly IVIg treatments.  Dr. Wilson was a holistic doctor and did multiple hair and blood labs.  He recommended electro acupuncture, a stool test and a diet program.  Sometimes holistic medicine is awesome and works for some people.  I was skeptical....I told my mom she had just taken me to a voodoo doctor.  But we were desperate and ultimately just wanted me to get better, no matter the means.  

     For my 18th birthday in February I was completely weaned from oral prednisone.  What a fabulous gift that was.  Even though we still weren't completely sure why I wasn't responding to any treatment, I felt like I was on the road to recovery.  My mind set was much better and I was actually regaining most of the strength I had lost.  I could even climb stairs again.

     I was still taking the imuran and methotrexate which caused me to have serve headaches.  I went to Dr. Brackett's office every week for my methotrexate shot.  My brother volunteered to learn how to give the shots to me so I wouldn't have to go to Dr. Brackett's every week.  It was a very sweet gesture, but I wasn't entirely convinced he didn't just want to poke me with a needle.

     By my high school graduation in May, I had completely weaned myself of all medication because I didn't feel as though it was making a positive difference.  My strength was continuing to improve and I was able to walk across the stage in a pair of high heels to accept my diploma.  I did have to duck out of line and have my brother carry me up the side stairs to walk the stage.  But none the less, I was with my graduating class.....something I didn't think would happen when my senior year started.
(The effects of the prednisone still weren't completely gone, even after 4 months.)

(I didn't have my senior pictures taken the summer before my senior year because my appearance was drastically altered due to all of the medicine.  Instead I waited until May of 1999.)  

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