I’ve finally some good news in regards to my mother’s health!
The steroid injection for her sciatica finally started working on Tuesday last week, dropping her pain level by about half. All of you, as people who cope with chronic pain, know what a huge relief it is when the pain level decreases, even when it doesn’t disappear entirely.
For my Mom, it’s been wonderful. She’s able to get up and about much more easily, and mostly does so without the hated walker. Her appetite has improved. Since the narcotic pain relievers are to be taken on an “as needed” basis, she’s been able to get by on three-four tablets a day (as opposed to six), lengthening the time between doses, and has also been able to decrease the neurontin dose to twice a day, rather than three times.
As a result, she’s been much more interested in the world. On Thursday, I took her to her hairdresser and she had her hair highlighted and cut — and I got a haircut, too. We went out to lunch afterward. And yesterday, after having a shower, she dressed herself in her nice clothes, put on makeup and even wore one of her pretty necklaces. I think I mentioned that she’s always very put together, always color-coordinated and neat. It’s wonderful to see her getting back to normal.
And I got a bit of a surprise. I’d let my hair grow quite long–it was about two inches below my shoulders. I liked it, but was getting a bit tired of washing and drying all that hair, and, unless I wanted to spend a lot of time with curling irons and the like, my style options were limited. I could wear it loose (which irritated me, as it was always getting in my face or strands caught in my mouth), or clipped up in a twist, or in a ponytail.
So I decided to go ahead and get it cut again. And the surprise? My hair has become quite wavy and curly! With it long and heavy, the waves were there but not all that noticeable. But cut shorter–wow. I’ve had dead-straight hair all my life, so this is something of a novelty for me. And the only thing I can think of that might cause such a change are the RA meds. It’s been a long time since I tried methotrexate, but I’ve been on Arava now for about two years. Both cause some hair loss, and while I’m not losing any right now, I did for months. Might the chemicals in the Arava have changed my hair folicles? Hmmm. Well, if they did, I’m not complaining. I like my new hair!
It’s also much darker than it used to be. I’m a natural blonde who’s resorted to blonde highlights over the last few years to brighten my natural color up. The remainder of the highlights were trimmed off the other day, so my hair probably appears a bit darker because of that. But it’s not, I think, just the missing highlights. Overall, my hair has darkened by several shades. Interesting.
I’m so relieved to have good news regarding my Mom. Next week she’ll see the pain doctor for a follow-up, and I’m pretty sure he’ll give her a second steroid injection, since the pain hasn’t gone completely and is still pretty debilitating. My hope is that the second injection will take it all away, so that the only task we’ll still be facing is building her overall strength back up. She still gets alarmingly exhausted when she’s up and moving around, though there’s some improvement in that, too, since the pain levels have dropped.
Overall, things are really looking up. I’m pleased.