Meloxicam

 

Meloxicam is a drug I take for the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.   I have been using it since 2/2013.   Without It,  my pain would be triple what it is.

 

  • Mobic is the trade name for meloxicam.
  • Meloxicam is a prescription drug in a class of drugs called NSAIDs:  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Meloxicam helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation in active joints.
  • It does not stop or slow the progression of the disease.
  • The pill I take is tiny and yellow at 7.5mg. I take one in the morning and one at night. It is the maximum dose. It also comes in a 15mg pill that is taken once a day. It also comes in liquid form.
  • My rheumatologist feels meloxicam is the safest drug in its class.
  • Only one NSAID can be taken at a time.
  • I  take omeprazole, 20mg. to protect my stomach.   NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding.  My rheumatologist says its possible to have stomach bleeding without realizing it.
  • There are contraindications or cautions to taking NSAIDs. Heart disease, elevated blood pressure, kidney or liver disorders.

 

 

Adapt and survive definitely not easy

RA Just sayin

You might wake up well rested, feeling pretty good. Out of bed.  Start moving.  Your middle toe starts hurting.    A piercing pain shoots through the bottom of a foot.  Just keeps going until every joint in your body in inflamed and in pain.

All had been well this last week. Lots done. Exercise class included. Pain level at a simmer. No need for the narcotics. Pleasant.

Then blindsided!      Unpredictable!    Discouraging!

Now,  it is just hard to exist. Fatigue has joined the rest.  Fatigue feels like an overwhelming exhaustion that makes thinking or doing hard to do. Just simply surviving is hard to do. Each of those joints supporting the 28 bones in each foot cry out for attention. Their chorus is joined by the joints supporting the 27 bones in each hand. Then there are the ankles, the wrists, the shoulders, elbows, and the joints  of the chest bones.

To stop is to adapt. There is no choice, not really.  Time for a rest day, a veg out day, time out.  Time to take those serious pain meds, a hot shower, favorite foods.  A good day to watch movies, read a book, a chill day. Your body demands it only because it needs it. Time to slow down.

This is part of the RA lifestyle.  Adapting means accepting the days when you need a chill day.  That is a hard adaptation to make.  But, It is part of your new life with RA.   Surviving is understanding that pain needs to be managed.  It means that you need to plan the best pain management program to prevent as much as possible a total meltdown.

Managing a flare also means going with the flow of the situation. Rest in a flare. It is time to take care of yourself. It is also a time to understand that life will be better.

The rheumatologist may need to tweak your meds, which don’t work forever.  You may need to tweak your lifestyle. More planned rest. Less exhaustion. Massage. Support groups to learn about coping.  Physical therapy. Chair yoga. More entertainment. Movement.

Team leader back in the saddle. Oh, darn. Adapt and survive is working.

 

 

The RA challenge: Adapt and survive

“It isn’t the strongest of the species which survives, neither the most intelligent, but rather that which adapts best to change.”  Charles Darwin

He must have been talking about rheumatoid arthritis. The most difficult aspect of RA is its unpredictable nature.

  • RA may be simmering.  Suddenly, without warning, a severe fatigue, an exhaustion so bad its immobilizing,  arrives to totally disrupt your day.
  • New severe pain in your right foot makes walking impossible.
  • The simmering pain becomes more than simmering and the constant hurting becomes discouraging.
  • A drug that has worked so well stops working.

A very short list of RA’s unpredictable nature.

What to do?

Adapt and survive. The number  one consideration is your attitude. You will need to come to the understanding that you have a chronic, progressive  illness. It is not going away.

And YOU are in charge.

You have the balancing act between controlling symptoms of RA and the side effects of medication. You know the importance of RA medication is to avoid crippling disability, which is guaranteed without proper medication.

Consider your health care team: rheumatologist, pharmacist, physical therapist, exercise specialist, nutritionist,  psychologist, social worker, other supportive members. You are in charge of your team. You call the shots while getting expert advise from your team.

The first thing you will need

  • is to understand your illness
  • and what it is that you will need to do  in order to to manage your disease
  • and to have a good life in spite of rheumatoid arthritis.

 

A few symptoms of RA

RA Just sayin

The only certain thing about Rheumatoid Arthritis is its unpredictable nature.

It affects each of us differently and our response to treatment is also unique.  It is  a disease that is considered hard to diagnose. The one who can do it most efficiently is a rheumatologist.

Characteristic of RA is small joint involvement.  That is why the joints of the fingers, hands, toes, feet, wrists are frequently affected.

Also characteristic of RA is bilateral involvement. That is why the middle finger of the left hand and the middle finger of the right hand might be involved.  Bilateral. Both feet. Both hands. Both ankles.

I had problems with my feet for a long time. My primary doctor thought I was too old to have RA. Treatment was delayed and now I have foot damage. I have a hard time walking.

When my RA became extremely acute, the pain started in my left shoulder. Soon both hands as well as both feet were affected. And on it goes to most of the joints in my body.

How did yours start?

 

Methotrexate Injection

Methotrexate Injection

Methotrexate Injection

Why injection?                                                                                                                                            To avoid side effects or to have more of the medication absorbed by the body.

  • There is 25 mg/ml of medication
  • The syringe is either tuberculin or insulin
  • Both have a one ml capacity
  • Both have very thin needles

Have all your supplies ready

  • Vial of methotrexate, syringe, alcohol swab.
  • Also access to your upper belly or outer thigh.

It’s easy as this

  1. Wipe off top of vial with alcohol
  2. Remove covers on syringe
  3. Draw back on the syringe to add about .5 ml of air
  4. Insert needle of syringe into vial
  5. Push in the air(avoids med leaks)
  6. withdraw the correct dose of your medication( mine is 25 mg or 1 ml so I withdraw up to the 1 ml mark). Tap out the air bubbles.
  7. Pinch a bit of your skin, belly or outer leg
  8. Wipe with alcohol swab
  9. Insert the needle(think dart)
  10. Push plunger to empty
  11. withdraw needle
  12. Wipe skin if any leaks.
  • There are no blood vessels in these particular areas that you need to be concerned with.
  •  Put your vial back in its box to protect the medicine from the light.
  • Put your used supplies (syringe, DO NOT RECAP THE NEEDLE, and alcohol wipes) into the sharps container
  • This is awkward at first(new skill) but you will become expert after two or three administrations.

what website has the best RA info

RA Just sayin

 

Maneuvering the tangled jungle of internet information can be extremely frustrating. There is a lot of misleading information by reputable sites.  A lot of information is summarized and then vaguely  jumps to  faulty assumptions.  All this adds to our confusion.

 

Reputable resources may vaguely summarize information for patient information sheets.

The American College of Rheumatology is a good  resource for general information about  RA.  However, patient information sheets are generalized and vague.  I wonder if the science writers think we are too dumb to get the real stuff.  A lot of our confusion about RA stems from getting peace meal information that is vague.  Rheumatologists actually do use the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria to assist diagnosis.  Why don’t they tell us about it?  It sounds pretty black and white to me.  PubMed comments on the criteria show how the new criteria is the game changer tool to diagnose RA. The classification tree of the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria is worth checking out.

Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center is a respected source of Rheumatoid Arthritis information.  Check out their patient information site.  It is clear and helpful. The site’s explanation of what is happening to the body with RA is well thought out.

Be careful of pharmaceutical companies posing as RA info sites. Their information may be grossly slanted to support their company interests.

The Arthritis Foundation has some good information but it is a busy site and  may be misleading to someone new to RA.  Check out their site.

Here were just a few thoughts on why we can be left more confused than ever after cruising the web. It’s not because we are just too dumb to understand these things. It is because we are being fed vague information. The clear info is available.  We just have to be more discriminating on what information we are willing to accept.

 

Rheumatoid arthritis progression attitude

RA Just sayinRheumatoid arthritis sticks to me like glue.  Severe.  Persistent. Progressing.    OMG!    I have a tough one.  But then, so do many, many others.  I am alive.  I am grateful.

Life is good.  Every minute of life is a gift.  Believe it or not, the biggest joys in our life happen in our everyday life.  Stop and think about it.  What are the five best moments you have had this week?

Remember, this week your life is ticking by.  Life is now and a daily experience. Love it.

Life has changed dramatically for me.  My pace is about 20% of what it was.    Am I sad.    Not.     Probably  because I am spending  my time  managing my day.  I’m living today.

A lot of the maneuvering is  about energy and pain control.  So life is about balance.  A little of this and a little of that.  Breaking time into chunks. Working on re-potting plants. Then reading a good book or writing articles for a while.  Lucky for me I can do many of the things I love.

When I have lunch with a friend, I always have a great time.  I keep my adventures out of the house to a few hours to avoid severe fatigue.  It helps to set limits.

I love getting letters from friends, especially my granddaughter. I love a good cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I love to journal. I love to see the lovely blend of colors in my weekly flower bouquet. I am thrilled when Baldacci or Preston and Child come out with a new mystery. I love online jigsaw puzzles.  I love movie night with my son.  I love the New Mexico air.  Lots to keep me happy.

I could be mad, depressed and discouraged.  I am not.  Life is too short.  I am human. That means I am  resilient,  creative and joyful.  Just what I’m talkin about!