Working on Me

I am a horrible patient.  I tell my doctors that too... straight up... no sugar coating.  They tell me about a medication and I tell them it's not gonna happen.

I skip doses.
I self medicate.
I procrastinate.

Basically if I don't "feel" like the medication is "working"... and working means instantaneous relief... then I stop.

I think I'm irresponsible about this because I've had these two diseases for such a LONG time that I'm tired of it already.  I've had COPD since birth and RA since I was 17.  I'm over it.

Let me share with you the long laundry list of my medications:
Advair: 1 puff, twice daily

Spiriva: 1 capsule inhaled daily

Combivent: Rescue inhaler as needed
The Vest: Done once daily for 20 minutes.  See my vlog here:
But mine is pretty in PINK!
The Acapella: Breathing exercises one twice daily

For RA:
Enbrel: One injection a week

Methotrexate: 6 pills, once a week

Like I said, over it.  But just because my mind is over it, doesn't mean my body is.

So I went in to the pulmonologist a few weeks ago to do a Pulmonary Function Test (PFT).  It's a machine that you blow into and it measures your lung capacity.  When I did the test back in April, I had about 46% lung function after medication.  This time around it was worse.  Much worse.  So bad, that my doctor refused to even give me a number.  She just told me to be diligent about taking my medications over the next month and we'll take the test again in a month.

Ok, I told her I'd give her ONE month... with no cheating.

And guess what?!  I feel better.

I feel like I can take deeper breaths.  I feel like I'm not as winded while doing my daily activities.  When I lay down at night, I feel like I can exhale fully without hearing a symphony of crackles in my chest.

It's actually quite amazing.

I'm not trying to sound like I'm complaining, and I know I could have it a lot worse.  So I finally realized... after 29 years... that it's time to be responsible.  It's time to work on me... I need to be a grown up now and take care of my OWN health... because no one else is going to do it for me.  And if I skip doses, procrastinate or self medicate, I'm only hurting myself.

And I've decided I want to live for a long time.  Like a really long time.  And not just live... but live WELL.


Shawna said...

Ugh, I hear ya on this! I am horrible at taking my meds to. I took them when I had my RA flareup after having Brielle and as soon as the flareup was better I stopped taking them/forgot. Then I forgot so long I figured why start up again. If I'm not in tons of pain I just don't think of it!

I've taken both enbrel and methotrexate lol. I'll probably go back on methotrexate after I'm done having was my "favorite" :-P

Lindsey said...

I'm sorry you're going through all this mama! Sending prayers that you can get relief and are able to decrease meds because I know how frustrating it is to take so many! Xo

Callie Nicole said...

Wow, that's quite a list of meds! I'm glad it's making you feel better, keep it up!

Ashley said...

I'm sorry you have to take so many meds, that sucks. But girlfriend, take that medicine!!!

Danielle-Marie said...

Wow, that's intense. I checked out your vlog too so I could get a background on your lung condition. Take your meds! On schedule! Routinely! Be a good patient! Or face my blog comment spamming wrath!

Allie said...

I am so horrible keeping up with stuff too but geesh mama amen to you for keeping up with all of that! I love that you feel better from it! Keep it up sista!! xoxo

Heloisa said...

Nicole baby!!
Thank God that these drugs! I myself take 17 pills a day! THEN, promising to me, Nicole, I love you so much! In Jesus' name! do it! and I will continue praying and asking God to give you the 40 minutes that you both need!!