Rheumatoid Arthritis – Changing of the Meds…..again

Changes – lots of changes in my world in the past 10 months.   Finally feel I am getting my head around a lot of it and have some perspective.   Today I am feeling very fortunate and actually quite happy.   I’ve been battling an aggressive RA flare since about November of last year.  My medication cocktail of Sulfasalazine, Plaquinil, Gold and Methotrexate injections were not managing my inflammation and my condition was worsening.

I took a major step on June 15th of this year and stepped away from my job opting for a medical leave of absence.  It was a difficult transition for me.  Surprisingly (to me at least) it very hard to ‘give in’ and to admit my limitations were such that continuing to work at a full-time and demanding job was more than I could handle.  It was quite an emotional transition for me.  Looking back now, at only two months into my leave I wonder how on earth I managed to stay so long.  I think I put myself, mentally into automatic survival mode.  I did what I felt needed to be done.

My new project to manage is me.  I need/want to regain a balance of health and am going to be working on both a medical and holistic approaches to my health and well being.  There is a lot of work to do.

On the medication front, yesterday was a bit of a milestone.  I had started on Methotrexate six months ago to try to address the active inflammation but for whatever reason, it has not had any impact on my RA what so ever.  It did contribute to me making a change to my drinking habits as alcohol consumption and MTX do not mix.  As a result, I’ve managed to tame my ‘wine habit’ which is not a bad thing but I have not had any relief for my RA and in fact was getting progressively worse.   As of yesterday I have now crossed the threshold into a new category of meds used to treat severe Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Welcome to the world of biological or TNFa blockers.  The one I have started is called Humira.  It is taken by injection every two weeks and is supposed to greatly reduce my pain, inflammation, increase my mobility, range of movement and prevent further joint damage.  These ‘benefits’ do not come without ‘cost’.  I’ll speak more to that in another post.  I am still taking Sulfasalazine, Plaquinil and Methotrexate along with the Humira as per my Rheumatologists recommendation but have stopped taking the Gold injections.

Today I am feeling hopeful, and encouraged and at this point, 12 hours after the injection I am not experiencing any reactions or ill effects.  I’ll take it, it’s a good start.  I’ll report back soon from the Kitchen.

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About Arthritis Kitchen

Living Authentically - Striving for Wellness - Navigating Through Illness – Speaking from the Heart.

Posted on August 25, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Have had RA for 14 years, mostly taking methotrexate at levels of 15-22mg during that time. 6 months ago, went on Enbrel. Like night and day. Inflammation gone. No more aching shoulders, ankles,hands,wrists,etc. Reynauds has surfaced though suddenly. My rheumie and I suspect the inflammation caused blood flow into my extremities, hiding the underlying Reynauds. Interesting theory anyway. It’s not fun, but getting rid of sore joints is well worth it. I use the SureClik injector pen (50mg/week).

  2. I also took gold shots many years ago. It did help at the time

    Good luck with the Humira. It helped me though I did not realize it until a few months had passed. Suddenly i realized that I could actually exercise longer than before, and also that I was not wiped out from a few stretches with a Theraband. It used to make my hips feel like spaghetti for days

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