Tonight, tomorrow, and Friday will be taken up with much reading and paper-writing. I am feeling fairly confident about this. I'm working on a little cold or something, and I hope I can knock it out before next week. Being sick and having surgery do not go together.
I talked with the rheumatologist's nurse this morning. I am not having significant problems with my hands; but I am having pain in my back often and my knees and elbows a bit of the time. Very occasionally, it spreads into my feet and hands. I will be going back up to 9 mg of Prednisone for a month and then tapering 1 mg every month. I'm not having tremendous amounts of pain; but apparently a little bit is not really very good. Perhaps this will improve my studying, decrease my rather excessive sleeping (nine or ten hours a night), and allow me to speak a full sentence... My peak flows are good, but my back pain can cause difficulty breathing and speaking when it flares. Once my eye has been looked at, I'll start Plaquanil, which may mean that I post more updates on my health. Besides the fact that it is useful to track my progress, I hope that somewhere my tracking is useful as encouragement for someone else who is trying to hang on to the ability to do "normal life" with autoimmune disease. It has certainly been helpful for me to read other people's personal experiences.