Last week I started feeling some symptoms returning and I knew it was the Remicade wearing off. Typically when you start Remicade for the very first time, you receive what are called "loading doses". This happens two weeks after your initial infusion, then again at four (if I remember correctly) and then you receive it at the normal eight week intervals. Now, since I had already been on it before and I was receiving double the amount, my doctor decided not to give me the loading doses and just see how I felt.
Considering I am at a very low dose of steroids, I feel okay. But not how I was feeling right after I got Remicade several weeks ago. I talked to my doctor and thankfully he agreed to give me another infusion next Friday instead of waiting until the 19th. Part of me is concerned because after receiving a double dose and having it wear off so quickly, I shouldn't be feeling so iffy. But I am not going to worry, yet, because it has been a year and a half since I stopped getting it and I haven't been given the typical loading doses.
In the weeks following my infusion, I started doing a lot of things I love again. When I feel good, it just improves my overall mood and productivity. I've been walking a lot again, reading, studying for the GRE (that's another story for another time). It just feels really good to feel optimistic and have time to do things for myself that don't involve doctors appointments and testing. For so long everything I did was for me, but it was for my Crohn's. Just because you are doing things to improve yourself (such as those doctors appointments) doesn't mean they are doing much for your mind and spirit. Sometimes you have to stop and remind yourself that you need time to heal other things besides your body.
In addition to all of this, I've also been babysitting the cutest little guy ever (well until my nephew is born in September!). It's great because it is my neighbors kid so I merely walk across the street. Once again, this is something that is definitely part of healing me. It feels good to have some income again, no matter how small. It's just an overall feeling of independence and freedom when you have other people who can depend on you and you can confidently carry out responsibilities.
It's not always easy. In fact, most days it's hard. But I feel like I am dealing with it okay and I've come to realize that this is my life. I am not always going to feel great but neither is most of the world. Everyone has their baggage (pardon the pun) and something in their life they wish they could change. Mine just happens to be this and while I wish it were something else, I am going to do my part to make the best of it.
How can you not believe that there is more to this life than suffering and pain when you have access to something as beautiful as a walk on Kelly Drive at sunset? Sometimes I really love this city.