Monday, October 3, 2011

Forteo: Friend or Foe

As I enter my 5th week of Forteo injections, I've been experiencing a typical side effect of achy knees and ankles.  A few days ago I lengthened my daily walk a little bit which includes one of the steepest hills in the neighborhood.  That same evening, I started experiencing an intense lumbar ache above and beyond my "normal" daily pain.  Have you ever had the flu where your body aches terribly?  This is how it feels in my lower back now.  I spoke with my endocrinologist's office last week who confirmed the aches are a side effect of Forteo.  

I've read other Forteo patients say the aches are an indication that new bone is forming.  As much as it hurts, I'm thankful for this experience and keep telling myself the aches are a good thing.  Forteo is my friend, Forteo is my friend (chant to the rhythm "There's no place like home).  It's a painful but positive relationship, or should I say it is a positively painful relationship?   :)

I realized the other day I've been exercising everyday nonstop since mid-July.  The exercise has been prescribed by my local physical therapist and approved by Dr. Lenke's physical therapist as well.  I've been instructed to walk every day at a minimum of 45 minutes to 1 hour because Dr. Lenke wants his patients in top cardiac condition.  Jeremy suggested I take one day per week off from exercise because my body probably needs rest to recover.  I simply didn't realize I was over-exercising and should know better.  Yesterday was the first day I did zero exercise and I really felt crummy laying around all day.  It was a not-so-good-day as far as pain.

I have an exhausting daily routine now: physical therapy exercises followed by yoga and then walking.  You would think I'd easily fall asleep at night.  Not so much.  Almost two weeks ago I've had difficulty falling asleep; laying in bed for 2 - 3 hours begging for sleep.  My primary doctor said I have "sleep initiation" issues which are caused by the stress of the surgery journey.  He prescribed sleeping pills but recommended I not get into the habit of taking one every night.  They've helped me sleep very well the past few evenings, but I won't take one tonight and see how I do.

Since my goal is to NOT take a pain pill every time I hurt because the narcotics can be addictive, I pray for God to pull me through the pain.  I'm trying not to bellyache (complain) about my pain but want to candidly diarize my journey in hopes that it provide insight to folks who may have similar experiences.  I keep reminding myself that God does not give us situations that we cannot handle.  Thank you, Jesus, for my journey.



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