I honestly did not think anything was going to show on the x-rays. For so long I had become accustomed to there not being any visual evidence of my pain. I just assumed the outcome would be the same and that I would continue on as before. But my x-rays showed that there was sacroiliitis present, or inflammatory arthritis of the sacroiliac joints.
This was a blow to me, maybe more so then finding out I had ulcerative colitis. I had found hope in food and my ultimate goal was to become medication free through the SCD diet. With ulcerative colitis, there were changes I could make in my lifestyle that would help me heal. But now I had two conditions that needed treatment. I asked my rheumatologist if I needed to be on biologics for the rest of my life and he said yes. Without treatment, the arthritis would get worse and eventually completely restrict my mobility. Unlike ulcerative colitis, there was no diet to get on that would heal and stop the damage done to my bones. I was pretty depressed.
That wariness and depression disappeared soon after my first infusions. I could not believe the difference. It made me realize how much pain I had been dealing with before. All those days in the past where I considered my pain level to be a zero were in reality more a three or four level. It also made me realize how restrictive my life had been over the past few years. I always needed to worry about my back and how whatever I was doing was going to effect it. I was free for the first time to be adventurous again. It was wonderful.
For four months I felt normal, which was amazing. I still had to work hard at figuring out what my body could handle and what foods I could eat and when I could eat them. I still had to deal with feeling alienated occasionally because of my diet. But everything was going pretty good. And then it wasn’t. The story continues in Part V – The Second Flare.