So it’s been a while since I’ve done an update on Kim’s health and today seems to be a good time since we’ve had an eventful week. She has been feeling pretty good recently. Better energy, less pain, and less swelling all are very good things and we are thankful when it happens.
Starting on Monday of this week Kim woke with some pain in her lower left rib cage, about six inches from her spine. She chalked it up to sleeping in a wrong position and she moved onward hoping that the pain would “work itself out”. Over the next two days she had me try to massage it out, but the pain got worse and she begin to take more pain pills to help her cope with the back pain. The slightest pressure on the spot on her ribs would send her through the roof in pain. I told her this wasn’t right and it didn’t seem like something was “just out of place”. Tuesday night and Wednesday she was completely exhausted and even took a nap on Wednesday. By Wednesday night she was complaining of feeling like she had a fever, but she wasn’t warm at all. She just would feel “chilled” and then warm.
At this point we hadn’t put all of the pieces together, but as we were getting ready for bed on Wednesday night I noticed she had a large, red, raised bump on her side by the pain in her ribs. It was almost the size of a quarter and it looked to me like poison ivy. I pointed it out to Kim and told her what it looked like since she couldn’t see it. She said, “I bet I have shingles.” When she woke up on Thursday morning the rash had spread from belly button to her spine, wrapping around her left side. She was in a lot of pain and had trouble sleeping because of the pain.
While we were waiting yesterday morning to see if Kim’s doctor could get her in for an appointment we discovered that you have an increased risk for shingles if you are on Humira or methotrexate. Kim is on both. Fortunately, her regular doctor was able to squeeze her in yesterday afternoon. He put her on an anti-viral medication, upped her prednisone dosage to boost her immune system, and ordered her some morphine for the pain. Kim emailed her rheumatologist and he told her that she needs to stop taking the Humira immediately and will need to stay off of it until the rash is completely gone. Unfortunately, we also found out during the night that morphine is yet another pain medication that Kim cannot take. It severely upsets her stomach and causes yet more pain. So she didn’t sleep very well last night either.
As I told a friend yesterday, this is just a bump in what we knew was going to be a bumpy road. As always, we appreciate your prayers for Kim and our family. If you could pray for relief from the pain for her and also that she wouldn’t flare badly with being off of the Humira.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)