I've been taking generic form of Plaquenil for just about a month now (since October 3), and I can't deny it anymore...it is definitely helping. No question about it. I still get a little bit of joint pain sometimes, and I still feel a bit tired sometimes, but nothing like it was before. I have more energy now, and my brain definitely feels a lot sharper. Before, I used to feel like I was spacing out all the time and I even had trouble talking. I just couldn't put my words together. But I feel a lot more alert now.
I mean, I'm not like "Yay !'m all better now! I'm going to jog a mile!" I still don't feel completely normal, and there's no denying that I'm still sick. But at least now, I can have a life. I've been able to get out of the house again and do things, and have fun. I haven't had to take naps all day like I used to. My life has been completely turned back around from what it was a month ago. Before, I felt miserable most of the time and I was grateful for when I actually had a good day. Now, it's the opposite...most days I've been feeling okay and I just have a bad day sometimes where I don't feel well. My parents even said that I seem to be more alert, and my counselor also said that I look better. I'm trying to keep my hopes tempered, but so far, so good!
I'm so glad I changed my doctor! I switched doctors because they weren't listening to me, and kept trying to pass all my symptoms off as being from "anxiety". (Why do so many doctors do that now?! We need to make stricter laws which FORCE doctors to take patients' physical symptoms more seriously!) My new doctor listens and takes my symptoms seriously. I also started going to a better rheumatologist, and he's the one who put me on Plaquenil.
So I'm hoping maybe this will give some people a little bit of reassurance that medicine can help. Also, don't take any crap from anyone! If your doctor isn't listening to you, then don't suffer needlessly! Switch doctors! Demand to speak with a supervisor! Make a report to your Department of Public Health (or whatever the regulatory agency is called in your state or country). Do whatever you have to do! You have to be firm and stand up for your rights. This disease will not go away, and you WILL keep getting worse until you get treatment. So you have to be firm, and yes sometimes you do need to get angry. It's your health, and your life...stand up for yourself.
I like to remember this line..."Anger is more useful than despair." It's actually from a movie, Terminator 3. LOL. I didn't like the movie too much, but the quote is great. When something is wrong, sometimes you just have to get angry and get in someone's face if need be. If you're stuck in a bad situation, anger will motivate you to do something about it, whereas if you are crushed by despair nothing will change. So if someone is mistreating you, get angry. Make written complaints, firmly assert your rights. Whatever you have to do. Anger can be useful if it is channeled properly. The only reason I'm starting to get better now is because I got angry and I refused to listen to the other doctors' nonsense. I knew something was seriously wrong, and I fought to find out what it is and to get the treatment I need.