A gimps of what normal once was before RA

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A week ago I had some surgery on me knee for a cartilage deteriation and bone marrow edema,, caused by my RA. The surgery went very well. For the past year I have been struggling with the joint pain from my RA and have been on methotrexate, paqunil, Sulfasalizine. Meloxicam and folic acid and I just assumed it wasn't going to ever feel normal again. I was presctibef Norco for post op pain management, I take 2 a day and I notice that I have felt pain free in all my joints. I know Norco is not a long term solution.

I am wondering if I should talk to my Rheumy my about changing my meds since I have finally gotten a glimpse of life was like before RA. I am currently on the highest dosage of all my current meds. Has anyone had good luck with biologics and started to normal again.

I just am not sure how to approach this with my Rheumy about it. Any suggestions would be great?

Thank you

Lorraine

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  • Posted

    Hi Lorraine,

    Sorry to hear about your surgery on your knee, hopefully its feeling better! Looks like they really have you on the drug regime - I'm surprised they have not suggested a biologic instead of 2 pain meds and 3 DMARDS. Its going to be hard for you to get off of the Norco the longer your on it, so please be careful. I was on MTX and Plaquinil at top doses and it didn't help. The only relief I got was when I was on Prednisone - which we know is not a long term solution either. I couldn't tolerate the top dose of MTX (I do injectable) I was sick for 3 days of the week, and almost disfunctional I was so tired. Recently I started taking Enbrel. I can say that after 3 injections my life has changed already. I have energy almost like I used to have, I no longer feel sick and hopeless either. I feel like the MTX made my personality change and I was down and depressed ALL the time, which is not me at all. The Enbrel is VERY expensive, but right now I feel that its worth every penny because of how well its working already. Sure I still am a little stiff in my feet in the morning, but after an hour or so I pretty much forget I have RA! I'm still taking the MTX injection, but at a much smaller dose, and my dr tells me I can wean off of it if I feel that the Enbrel is working. I'm not ready to say I should be off the MTX entirely, but I'm down to 10mg a week along with 50mg injection of Enbrel and I feel AMAZING!! I've been able to resume running, biking, and gardening with no post activity flaring at all. I hope you decide to talk to your dr and check into a biologic. Its been life changing for me!

    All the best to you xx!

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    • Posted

      I did too, in fact it took me almost 4 months to talk myself into it. My husband finally told me just to take the chance and do it so that I could hopefully resume my normal life again. I'm sure this has been hard on him too, but he's been very supportive and I'm so thankful for him. Just to warn you, the Enbrel burns like a son-of-a gun when you inject it. I'm totally used to self injections since I've been doing the MTX for close to a year, but this stuff is something else! After talking to others, I've found that if I take it out of the fridge and let it get room temperature (about an hour), and ice the spot where I'm going to inject and I mean ice it til its almost frost bit - then it doesn't sting quite as bad. It still sucks but its more tolerable. Good luck to you, I hope it works for you! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for everyone's input. My knee surgery went well and the Narco is only for my knee pain from the surgery. I will be off it next week. It did just give me a glimpse of what normal used to be. I lost sight of what normal was like. I did email my Rhuemy about how much better I felt taking the NORCO and realize it is not a long term fox nor do o want to continue taking it. He responded by saying that since I am maxed out my current meds, it's time to look into biologic options, especially since what they found during my surgery was arthritis related. . I cannot take prednisone because I am diabetic. I hope starting a biologic will get me a lot closer to normal, now that I know what that feels like again from my short term use of Norco.

      Thanks for the responses and advice. I am just sick of the pain and limitations as I am sure you all are as well

      Thanks

      Lorrainr

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  • Posted

      Lorraine

           I think you should definitely discuss this with your doctor.   If you have been struggling with all that  joint pain and now you experience relief and know that's possible then I think this is what you need to tell him that it's time to try a biologic

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Lorraine, you've been through the mill, haven't you! I know what you mean by wanting to feel normal. I lost sight of what that was then I started Humira. It was wonderful and yes, I felt "normal." However, I had various problems and had to stop and start my Humira and it seemed to lose its effectiveness. To cut a (very) long story short, I've now restarted Benapali with good effect. I'm currently just taking Benepali and trying to reduce and come off steroids but I'm feeling great. Feeling normal, which is fabulous. I really hope you decide to give them a go and get to enjoy some of the potential benefits. Good luck. Carol (UK)

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