A recent “date night” found us sitting in a quiet booth while the waitress approached the table with a warm welcoming smile. The Friday night dinner rush was over by our 8:30 arrival, and we had only waited a few minutes for our table. Earlier, she assured us, was pretty zany at this local authentic Mexican restaurant we had all but forgotten about in recent years.
Tired some of our usual dinner spots, a return to the casual charm of this unpretentious eatery was long overdue. The decor had not changed in the decade or two since our last visit, but it really didn’t need it. Part of its southwest charm is the rustic feeling of being just over the border from Mexico, while really eating dinner right in the middle of Phoenix, more than a half day drive north of the border.
While notably absent this evening, it seemed there might still be a faint echo of the mariachi band that had once strolled between the tables during dinner hour. Amused while studying the menu for tummy friendly fare, a chuckle was stifled while considering my possible order. Over the past few weeks, life had indeed served up a new menu of possibilities and adventures.
What would I like today with my lupus? Well, how about a double dose of doctors, a lupus infusion, and a little Lumbar epidural on the side? Seriously, the mild enchiladas, rice, and beans hit the spot quite nicely. We enjoyed some quiet small talk over dinner while reviewing events of the day, and contemplated the long-awaited relief achieved by recent procedures that treated a nagging herniated disk.
With a total of three epidurals over the past few months, there was finally relief from the unwelcome companion of low back pain and leg muscle spasms. After several months where the need for pain killers (tramadol) became increasingly frequent instead of episodic, it had become clear the chiropractic treatment we tried was woefully inadequate. So, after visits to three different doctors there was a new personal record, as a little lupus treatment was sandwiched between some “minimally invasive” spine treatments. Each epidural required a day off of work, sedation and a full day to rest and recoup. With each of three treatments, the intense pain of sciatic leg cramps and low back pain subsided to more tolerable levels.
It seems that Lupus alone is quite enough, but when other medical issues overtake a lupus patient, the combination of other medical difficulties and challenges can threaten to overwhelm even the strongest of souls. It seems this is just the right season of life to be thankful for quiet lupus biomarkers, and be grateful for the blessings of relief from many months of intense pain. Monthly Benlysta (belimumab) infusions have controlled lupus well.
Thankful to be out enjoying the “date”, and thankful for relief from pain, our Mexican fiesta, without the side dish of screaming pain was delicious!