Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rheumatoid Arthritis Update

Now that I have been on Methotrexate eight weeks, I went in for my required blood tests last week. I truly haven't missed having my blood drawn the last two years of being off meds. The nurse called Wednesday to let me know my liver panels look great but my inflammation rates are still pretty high. I see the rheumatologist next week. The nurse said she will want to discuss increasing Methotrexate and probably adding on another medication.

I am not surprised at the results. Honestly, I told my husband after having the tests run that I expected them to be high. I have definitely been feeling better overall and enjoying some of the things I haven't been able to do in a while, but there is still an overall pain and the last few weeks it has been intensifying again. Plus, I can't get the swelling in my fingers and right knuckle to go down. And I continue to get cysts (not nodules, although I do have one of those, around my wrists and ankles. My PCP said it is fluid from too much inflammation. Not attractive at all.)

I am not sure how I feel about increasing and adding on meds. My mind changes everyday. Overall, I feel tired of worrying about it. I have made a list of concerns I have with increasing Methotrexate such as continued hair shedding and nausea. I emailed my naturopath yesterday and she said she doesn't recommend medications very often but she feels in my case I need them and she will help with controlling side effects.

This weekend, I am going to let it go and just enjoy a relaxing weekend with my family. Until I hear exactly what the rheumatologist wants to do, I am really just wasting my time worrying. Plus, I am seriously getting tired of hearing myself talk about RA. I will update everyone on Thursday.


  1. I hope you have a really nice, peaceful and low-pain (or pain free -- we can always hope!)weekend, Cathy. It's been so nice to hear that your rheuma has been better since you started the MTX, but I do understand your concerns about taking it, too. I hate shedding my hair all the time (Arava causes that, too). I guess we just have to weigh the benefits against the possible bad effects. At this point in my own life, I'd prefer the low-to-medium-intensity pain I deal with most of the time, thanks to the drugs, to the truly awful pain I might be facing without them.

    It's too bad that rheuma can become so all-consuming in our lives, but the pain, stiffness and illness it causes is pretty hard to ignore. It does get tiresome, but I'm glad we're able to talk about it, here, where there are others who understand and empathize with us. You can always vent here, even if you don't want to bore your family with it. Talking about this pain and frustration does have a real therapeutic value.

    Anyhoo ... be well. Walk in peace. Enjoy your free time and stay cool. ;o)

  2. I know what you mean about adding more meds. Pre RA days, I didn't take any meds. In fact, I had to be hurting pretty bad before I would take any kind of a sinus pill or anything for a headache.
    Not worrying is the best thing you can do. Worrying will just add to your stress which in turn causes increased pain from your RA. It has taken me several years to learn this, I used to worry about tons of stuff, I don't worry about anything until it happens now.

  3. Cathy:
    I love you and I love your honesty and it is okay my friend to be angry!
    I understand and I too wonder how many of the chemicals caused my fibro.
    Enjoy your visit and I will pray for you a pain free one!