Friday, December 10, 2010


I’m nursing a hangover of sorts. Not the kind preceded by an evening of tequila shots and dancing. This is a different kind of hangover – the kind where the fun comes after the headache and nausea – not before. It’s what I fondly refer to as the Methotrexate Hangover.

I know plenty of people who take Methotrexate. Many suffer no side effects. I am not one of them.

Today’s side effects are unusually severe – blinding headache, nausea rivaled only by pregnancy, exhaustion, the inability to do anything productive. I take my MTX on Thursday evenings after dinner, and on a typical Friday, I’m more fatigued than usual, with a mild headache and a little queasiness. But on occasion, the meds affect me more or less than the average. Today is a more day.

On the whole, these days don’t bother me anymore. I have learned to accommodate them; to be flexible with my own routine. I am aware that anything scheduled on a Friday may have to be postponed or cancelled. I am also aware that some Fridays, I feel almost fine. The question is: do we gripe, complain, and hate life because our meds have side effects? Or do we slow down on those days, thankful to have fairly normal movement and minimal pain the remaining six? I choose the latter. I’m enthusiastically willing to sacrifice one day each week, so that I can feel well and productive the rest of the time – especially knowing that I am preventing long term damage and deformity to my joints with this one day.

I don’t know why some weeks are worse than others, or why some people suffer while others don’t. After five years of questioning, I still haven’t found a pattern or a trigger. For me, the benefits of MTX outweigh the risk of side effects. I am content in knowing that I can proactively impact my RA – that I am empowered – by my meds. Even if they make me feel hung-over sometimes.

1 comment:

  1. My med plan has failed. I have been pulled off all my dmards for now as I had a fungal reaction to the metho. Meaning in short, my body was being infected from the inside out. My old surgery incision (5 year old incision) started getting really raw, festering, painful. The doctor immediatey pulled me not only from the metho but also the plaquenil. I'm awaiting approval for the injection meds now. If we can't afford them, I don't know what we will do. I hope you feel better very soon. Hang in there. Tammy