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Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted by ginnier (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 16, 06 at 20:56

Anybody fighting this one? I'm on Prednisone, Folic Acid and a weekly blast of Methotextrate. Wow, does it help...I'm just wondering if this is life long battle. Or does it come and go? How did you manage your stress? I didn't think I even had that much stress (altho I'm doing some caregiving with my folks, but it doesn't seem stressful, but occasionally there are times when I HAVE to run the show, make the decisions and push thru the barriers. LOL What's been your experience?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

I can't give personal experience because this is all new. My DD is twenty five and just diagnosed yesterday. Her symptoms have come on really fast, or so I thought, until I started educating myself on RA. I believe she had had some ongoing symptoms that no one picked up on. At this point she is blissfully ignorant and I don't want to burst her bubble. I hope to get my self educated enough so that I can help her cope if her condition worsens. She went to her primary with what she thought was a spider bite. After two rounds of different atibiotics her condition only got worse. Then they moved on to testing and exrays. She started on steriods yesterday. The stress level in her life has decreased somewhat since she changed boyfriends but increased now that she has two jobs. Lesser of two evils.
I'll be checking back here often to see what others have added. Thanks for letting me vent.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

I'm not the ideal person to answer either. I can only tell you my observations based on my grandmother, mother-in-law and two aunts who all had RA. It is a mean disease, but not life limiting. All 4 of the people listed above lived into their 80s and 90s. How they managed the disease seemed to depend an awful lot on their attitude and on the attitude of their respective spouses because they all needed quite a bit of help. My mother-in-law tended to give up very easily and so her skills just declined and declined. The other 3 were fighters and managed to continue to be active for a long time though all of them had to give up things like knitting, piano playing etc. eventually.

I think it would behoove you to pursue hobbies that don't depend on fine motor skills so you will always have something to do that you enjoy. I believe that you will want to stay as physically active as you can. I have fibromyalgia which in some ways is similar to RA. I exercise in a heated pool at a senior center.

Be aware of the possible side effects of prednisone. You will need to have your blood sugar monitored more closely because cortisone deritives will often push blood sugar levels.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

lizql, was your daughter properly tested for Lyme disease? Just curious. A friend of mine was told she had everything from depression to fibromyalgia to RA and it turns out she had Lyme the whole time. Now she's als got 2 types of Bartonella because of the immunosuppression, her gall bladder exploded, she has a permanent IV catheter in her chest for IV antibiotics and pain management, and she'll probably never get to be the surgeon as she hoped because of the joint and nerve damage in her hands. Some doctors won't test for it because they don't think it's a problem in their area.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Yes, ginnier, this a lifelong battle. I too cannot give you first hand info. But I have watched my 45 year old daughter struggle with this nasty disease for 25 years. First you need to know that treatment has advanced greatly since her grandmother's struggle with RA in the 70's. DD was hospitalized more times than we can remember in the early years. Then came methotrexate, which helped the RA greatly, but she was in the hospital twice with infections caused by her weakened immune system from it. She took it for a time by mouth and it eroded her esophagus, so she was put on injections for 8 or 9 years. She did quite well during that time, but by the age of 40, she had both knees replaced and a wrist fusion. When enbrel came out she was put on it in addition to the methotrexate. Since then she has been doing well, but I am aware of a slow but steady decline in her stamina. She has worked for 20 years as a physical therapist assistant. She knows what to do to keep herself at her physical best. She rides a bike when she can, and does water therapy regularly, but has just applied for SS Disability because she cannot be a reliable support for the patients she works with in her job. What she wants is retraining for perhaps Occupational Therapy through the BVR, but she must be declared unfit for her present occupation first.

Stress does play a role in RA. When you are stressed you are more likely to have flareups. And the disease does ebb and flow. DD had months of symptom free time and with the addition of the newer drugs her flareups were further and further apart. The support of family and friends will be a big help to keep you less stressed. A positive outlook (I know it will be almost impossible at times) will be your greatest ally, along with a close relationship with your doctor.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have RA, diagnosed about 1987 but I was sick a number of years before the pain drove me to the doctor. I take Celebrex (I also have Osteoarthitis), Methotrexate,and Prednisone and several vitamins. The Methotrexate and Prednisone I have used for many years. A few years ago I used Remicade in addition until I had a severe reaction and had to give it up. Then came Humira for a year. I will soon be starting on the Enbrel shots. I haven't had a real flare up in several years so I guess it's pretty well under control. Good luck to you.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Somewhere on another website I saw where people are useing %100 olive oil to rub on their hurting parts.I have been using it for about four weaks and I can tell the difference.No more pain but a little stiffness.every little bit helps.What ever gets you through the day.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

I too am on Methotrexate, and Folic Acid. I was also on Predisone, but I ask my rhumetologist to wean me off of predisone and she did. I have tried humira, but it did no good and I stayed in the active stage of RA, now I am taking Remicade as an out patient every six weeks, along with Methotrexate and Folic Acid and am doing Extremely well. I too have osteoarthritis also for which I take Mobic and extra strength tylenol or tylenol arthritis for the pain. Mobic cannot be taken with any asprin products only with acetaminophen.(tylenol)


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hi, I am 26 years old, started having RA 2 years ago, been on methotrexate but my liver test got bad, so I stopped it, I was on Enbrel but it was causing my kidney hurt, I am just really sensitive to drugs, my body just acts out in any little pills I take. Recently I took Cholystramine to flush out Leflunomide out of my system but then I got one of the worst flare ups in my feet and my index finger, I am taking prednisone which is 30mg a day for a week now, it got better but still unable to walk right, I am worried if I am taking too much dosage, cause 10mg a day don't make them improve. Other than prednisone, I am only taking lots of vitamins and Apple cider vinegar tablets... I am worried if I am taking too large dosage of Prednisone...I am also trying to be positive and not stress out...its really hard though.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

I don't have Rheumatoid arthritis, but my arthritis and my Mom's, was bad for awhile, then good. It was not severe for either of us. At one time I could not go barefooted because it felt like the bones in my feet were coming apart. I could not stretch my feet because one of my toes would go out of place. Neither of us had to take meds for it but if I stubbed my toe I would want to scream with pain. I don't notice that anymore. My Mom got to where she had no pain at all as she got older and my discomfort has lessened a lot.


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RE: Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have Psoriatic Arthritis, which is another autoimmune disease. It attacks your body the same way but you get the bonus plan - spots all over your body with it;). I was taking a DMARD and Celebrex and started reacting to it. I also hated the monthly blood testing to make sure liver and kidneys were handling it alright. I started with naturopathy and couldn't be happier for it. I had to find out my food intolerances (gluten, dairy, soy, sulphites, chicken to name a few) and take supplements (fish oil, MSM, glucosamine, vit D, multivitamin), eat a very whole foods diet with minimal sweeteners, do oil pulling which really just helps my teeth I think but the results are so great I keep at it) and do a 25 minute workout that involves a hard sweat everyday. Anyways, it's a strict diet and lifestyle but I'm happy I made the change. I don't even have to take an Aleve or any other shelf anti inflammatory. Two years ago I was sleeping 14 hours a day, couldn't make a fist, rise up without help, open a door with one hand. I am pretty young too - 40 and am (and always was) at a healthy weight. I wish it was temporary but I am sure it is a lifestyle I have to keep up because when I fall off course all the inflammation starts up again. I would recommend an elimination diet to anyone who has this debilitating disease because if you go hardcore you will see the results within two weeks and what is two weeks of your life on a limited diet just to see?


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