Tricia Looker

 

Greetings to all!

My name is Tricia Looker, and I have Adult unset Stills Disease.  Iwas married, had two children, was divorced, remarried and widowed before I was 27.  In 1970 at the age of 30 I married Dennis D. Looker.

I was very healthy.  Enjoyed running for miles, rollerskating, dancing etc. and I worked full time at a platic factory.  In 1976 my R. wrist became swollen to the elbow, and very painful.  I ran temps of 101-103, and felt loke a severe case of the flu had developed.  Which in itself was strange because I never got the flu or colds.  Always the heathy one.Was hospitalized for 2 weeks. Put in isolation.  Diagnosis "they  didn't know."  Put on prednisone.  Sent home.  Weaned off the Pred. in three months.  Was fine until 1973.  Sore throats.  Family Dr, tried many different antibiotics.  Woke up one a.m. with 106 temp. and   throwing up.  Three different hospitals 2 1/2 months.  The horror during that time only you with this disease understand!  Everyday the teeth chattering chills, fevers usually 104-105.  At night drenching sweats numerous times over. It got to where they would just leave a whole stack of clean sheets and hospital gowns on a chair beside the bed.  Many tests.  Most of you know what I mean without going into it.  Don't you wonder who thinks up some of those tests?  One of the few test they did not do was the lower G.I. thing.  Oh they meant to, but someone forgot.  And hey I wasn't going to remind them.I had enough stuck in me without the barium stuff too!  Well then they wanted to do a liver biopsy....by that time I'd had enough. I said "let my liver rot!"  At that point they sent me home.  Temps were down to abt. 101 a day.  Was put on a super large dose of methlyprednisolone (Medrol) Which in turn gave me diabetes.  So also had to inject myself with insulin for three months until I weaned down on the Medrol.  I had very long thick hair which fell out, and of course was plagued with all the other side effects that are a result of high steroid doses.  such as the moon face weight gain etc.  By the way...none of the Drs. told me to expect these side effects, so that was difficult, not knowing why all this "stuff" was happening.  Tapered off the steroids.  Diabetes went away.  Hair grew back, and the weight went back to 105 (I'm 5'1") Was "drug" free and feeling ok by Nov. l974.  I became pregnant in Dec. l974.  Drs. wanted me to get an abortion because of all the steroids I'd been on.  I refused.  Sept. 22, 1975 I gave birth to a beautiful little boy.  The Drs. tan many blood test on him, and finally pronounced him to be a healthy miracle baby,  We named him Jesse which means "gift from God"  Remission until l979.  I became pregnant again.  Within two months I became very ill, ended up in hospital.  Disease (still no diagnosis) was back in full force.  I lost the baby.  Got the fever, chills etc. again.  Went home but very ill for months.  Many different meds over the following years.  Finally in 1986 I was referred to a Rheumy who diagnosed me.  In 1989 had r. shoulder replaced.  That went well.  In 1998 had R. knee replaced.I can walk w/o that dratted cane!  Left ankle is bad though, and left shoulder needs replacing.  Like many of you I have been on many different meds throughout the years. Have been on Methotexate 7.5 mg a  week. Oral dose for a few months.  Am having some problems, but am hoping to tolerate it.  Also am on 6-8mg. of medrol a day.  Take Xanax to sleep at night.  I want to get off this stuff but am addicted. Am in need of sleep that is hard to come by.  I knew there were others who have this disease, but wherewere they?? This is the first time I don't feel along with this "thing."  I do have a very wonderful supportive husband, but he has his own "boogeymen" to contend with.  In March of '96 we witnessed a horrible deadly semi versus car accident.  Dennis was the first one to get to the wreck, and see the dead, and it triggered Viet Nam memories for him.  So now he needs emotional support from me, and I'll give all I can.  At this time, he has more Drs. appointments than I do.  Even though I've had to deal with the Stills for many years, and there has been so much pain, suffering, praying, crying etc.  there have also been accomplishments.  We have raised three children who are all healthy, and happily married.  Oh yes, one beautiful grandaughter 3 years old.  I feel very blessed.  There is so very much more about my life with the Still, but I feel I've already gone on long enough.  Please feel free to contact me at my e-mail address. p.s. We live near Weyauwega WI.  Any of you remember the big train derailment of Weyauwega March 4, 1996.?  We were on the edge of the evacuation, and we became the a large part of the pet rescue group.  Interesting and enjoyable.  Brought on a major flare afterwards though.But it   Was worth it!

Tricia         wega2@execpc.com

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