I'm reaching the bottom of my first 20-pill bottle of Plaquenil.
So far, I haven't noticed any major changes. The course of prednisone I took helped for a few days, but the improvements seemed to fade by the time I had finished. I'm still waiting patiently, though; my doctor told me to give it six weeks, and I know that if this doesn't work, we will move on and keep trying.
In the meantime, I am slowly removing as much stress from my life as I can. I can't get rid of all of it, of course, but I'm trying really hard to get things off of my to-do list and to start saying "no" (without feeling guilty - that's the tough part!). Even if I'm stiff and sore, I want to make sure I can still make time for a hot shower before bed, or an indulgent massage, or (most importantly) exercise.
One of the difficulties with having an invisible illness is that people forget about it, and I'm often asked to help out with things I really shouldn't be doing. And sometimes, rather than reminding friends or coworkers about my arthritis, I just suck it up and pitch in, all the while thinking "ow! ow! ow! ow!". So I was pleased with myself this weekend when I told my fellow bridesmaids and the bride's mother that I couldn't help carry shower gifts downstairs.
This flare is definitely a learning curve. It's been a long time since I've had to make arthritis a part of my every day, since I've had to plan around it. There have always been things I couldn't do, and there has always been pain, but now I find myself having to really think about my arthritis, and respond to it. That's not a bad thing, but it's a new-ish thing, and a thing that will take me some time to re-learn.