Synovial Syntax

Posts Tagged ‘Methotrexate

So, I’ve been under usual measures on the vitamin D front, I learnt at nurse check up today. Symptoms: fatigue, joint pain and other familiar bad boys for those of us blessed by RA. Ho-ho, I joshed, so maybe the RA diagnosis a whole fantasy of modern diagnosis for me. Ribald laughter from us both. But oh, I wish! Did another test fo Vit D, to see if still down and needing supplementation.

Still all else is very equal. Struggled when kids went back to school with the usual September onslaught of minor infections that lingered like the clap in brothel. Seem to be done with that now, and really doing well with the injectable methotrexate. Cannot discern any side effects from it at all.

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Just had my 6 monthly Professor visit. 17.5mg MTX + Humira have me as well as can be hoped, hurray. Got my non-swollen knuckles rapped for falling off of nurse’s radar and missing 2 monthly checks. Ah, the joy of feeling well enough to, heh? and I’m pleased to report I am 34lbs lighter than at my last post and very much more active and toned 🙂

Ah, well now, wasn’t expecting that. Bloods a teeny tiny bit elevated recently, Prof taking my niggling aches more seriously than me. He ‘doesn’t like’ that my elbows are beginning to give when weightbearing. No, me neither, but I’m still a bit deflated to have him finding issue…and increasing my sub-cut MTX to 17.5mg.

Other than that, watch and see. It could all just be a reaction to the pressure of the year so far – see previous post re: husband working abroad and me starting a new job. It might be all that is keeping me from remission status, and in slight progression status.

To be honest, I’d rather feel that life was engaging and developing and I was in slight progression, than that I coudn’t work and husband had to prematurely rein in work for me to acheive a period of formal remission. So, I may be trading stress to get interest out of life. It seems a fair trade at these not-wildly-stressed/not-wildly-inflammed levels!

He has said to take more note of aches and pains and joints slips and weaknesses though. Apparently there’s a number of us whose pain thresholds get so high, and pain medication use gets so efficiently targeted, that we don’t get enough messages from what our bodies are trying to tell us after a few years of RA. I hadn’t really thought of that, I can see some truth in it for me. Anyone else?

Back to the blog. Have had my husband working abroad since winter, and I’ve started a new job this spring. This has eaten most of my hobbies alive (sob, blog, sob, book club, sob gossiping on mumsnet and the other usual social network suspects).

I am prompted to get back here by Wednesday’s upcoming consultant appointment. All is well, or well enough. The big RA problem in my life now is my inability to exercise without hurting myself. I still can’t figure it out in the time and resources available to me. Anyway, update pic:

RA Obsessive detail May 2011

Noteworthy stuff:
Spike for onset of cold winter weather last autumn

Spike for MISERABLE bout of flu over Xmas, despite vaccination

MTX transferred to injectable, nausea and weakness begone! Lovely improvement in feeling of wellbeing.

Small spike in March from tonsillitis, occurred same time as start of new job

Levels of ache and pain not really down as well since, though that might be stress of adding routine work to my life.

Noteworthy stuff not on pic: first holiday since this all began at the end of this month. CHEERS!

I’m just out of consult, and it’s as good as it gets. It’s a sort of remission, or a serious damping down at any rate.

I have to live with the monthly peaks, plan around them and get exercising again preferably without injuring myself this time. Lesson learnt, just because it feels good at the time, I can’t really thrash things in the pool like I used to! Plus I must stop trying to play so hard with my ever growing young boys. The main impact of injuries in my case seems to be, apart from extra joint damage, that I then have to take steroids which melt my immune system, increasing infections rate and severity and meaning I have to delay the MTX and Humira. Which in turn cycles me into non-healing joints etc.

I live and learn.

Bloods are all behaving nicely. It was also reassuring to hear about new research which shows anti-TNFs reduce cholesterol which been raised a bit by MTX.

I had a good whinge about my GPs daft notion that I go in 24 times a year to present blood results, despite only have my bloods done 6 times a year (which needs 12 visits only). Hopefully I’ve imploded that situation anyway by arranging with pharmacy to run my repeat MTX situation. They seem infinitely more efficient and less panicky than the GP reception staff.

That’s it really. I know this situation is as good as it gets, as my next appointments are in the agreeably hazy future, and not next month.

Huuray:)

Been AWOL, not entirely sure why. Combination of boredom with RA, resurgence of activity after the boredom and switch of browser where I didn’t tab this site as a daily look-at. Mistake! Out of sight, out of mind.

Anyway, a brief update:

  • End of winter was hard. Many bugs from older boy’s new school, round after round of infection in cold, damp weather. Got to the stage where I was only able to take Humira about once a month, so of course, I flared.
  • Once that was under control we experimented with reducing dose of methotrexate, mistake, flared again. Methotrexate back up again, Humira taken every 2 weeks, happy result: I’m very comfortable and very well feeling. Just very mild joint warmth and slowness in the morning.
  • Oh and during the whole flare-y winter period I also injured my shoulder quite bady. Swung the younger child up onto my hip and just felt my shoulder give. Fissured but luckily not torn tendons, then bursitis with synovitis. Got about 60% of that pain under control with a local steroid shot, but it was a subsequent systemic steroid that really healed me. I did not enjoy living on tramadol etc for a couple of months, but needs must…I stopped the addictive drugs with a couple of days mild headache only. Lovely to have a fresh head again.
  • Am being very conservative about activity still, though oh! I would love to swim or something.
    Especially as I’m losing weight after a good period off steroids and healthy eating.
  • Workwise: I did some simple consulting, failed to get a job in my old field that was part-time on grounds of being over-qualified and am currently doing some data analysis in a different field which is very refreshing and reviving. Not much, a sporadic 10-20 hours a week only.
  • More sooner, I seem to have found my discipline mojo recently.

    Haven’t had one of these for a while! Except the slight upswell of discomfort days 11-14 as Humira wears off. This one occured days 6-10. Very clearly started with extra tiredness, and hunger, then moved onto increased shoulder and hip pain on the right side. These ones almost always hurt by the end of the day anyway, they take serious childcare punishment! But my hands went up as well days 8-10, with some stiffness and gelling on rest.

    Possibly the recent reduction in Methotrexate, possibly a change in diet, more of which in soon-to-come post. Anyway, there it is for the record. Glad it seems to be over today, and energy especially back to normal. I get bored grim by the effort of mentally flogging myself through the day.


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