After hoping (don’t know why) that I had chronic Lyme disease, I’ve discovered that I have a good, old fashioned Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare. Not doubt about it, I’ve been lucky. I’ve had low disease activity and basically been in remission since at least 2008. The last flare was self imposed because I decided to stop taking methotrexate. That lasted about 6 months until I had a bad flare and a bout with depression. No wonder, stopping a serious medication cold turkey.
So I’ve been in a mostly good place and managed my RA since 2008. I was always in charge. I would tell my body when it could hurt and I would take a day of rest, but other wise, I was moving and living life on my terms. Mostly. Which is very lucky for an RA patient.
I’m not sure if stopping my meds for much of February due to illness helped bring on the flare. The physical symptoms started in March. I’ve also had some job stress over the past couple of years with a move to a new office, with new players to manage me. I work in a male-centric environment now. My assistant died of cancer. Several people close to me died of cancer. I tend to hold everything in for a long time and then fall apart later. Perhaps this is a late response to the stress and grief, coupled with the brief time without my meds.
I hurt. Mostly my left knee, but my hands and wrists hurt, my fingers are stiff in the mornings again. I’ve been limiting movement because it hurts too much and I’m fatigued. I can’t both work my job and play hard right now. I don’t sleep well.
Fortunately when I last saw my Rheumy several weeks ago he gave me some pain meds, so I didn’t have to deal with that complicatory factor. I’ve been taking one or 2 most days to tolerate the pain and get to work. I’m taking my injections twice a week and hoping that I will get some sign as to when it’s time to change our biologics. Perhaps the Enbrel has reached the end of it’s effectiveness for me? I’ve been on it since about June 2008. Eight years is a long time. I’m not sure when you know that a medication has lost its effectiveness. Trial and error? Patience? I’m not a very patient person.
I am going to try acupuncture this week as well – I’ve thought about it in the past, but felt good. Desperate times….. So for the time being, I’m calling the shots and trying to remind my RA that I’m in charge and to stop flaring.