All posts filed under: tools

Purging, Bloodletting and Algorithms

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the old remedies of purging and bloodletting were left behind. Lister’s concepts of cleanliness had finally become widely accepted. Human anatomy was documented. The culprits of bacteria were identified. Medical knowledge base was growing beyond imagination. Yet doctors were stuck. There was no cure for a bacterial infection. There was no cure for a strep infection. If you were stricken with a strep throat, there was a good chance that you would die. Doctors had no solutions and people of all ages died from pneumonia, wound infections, meningitis, and more. Infection was feared. Today all this is unimaginable. But then, Ehrlich’s ‘magic bullet’ was yet to be discovered. The world changed forever with the discoveries of sulfa in 1936. Penicillin was refined and put into production in the 1940s. There were many more ‘magic bullets’ to follow. Doctors finally had new tools for their toolbox. It became the age of knowledge plus tools. Life became much better. Lifespans became longer. Today, in the twenty-first century, our doctors have …

RA, Biologic Medication and the numbers

Reading the fine print on a medication insert is not done by many of those with RA. I suspect the big reason is the amount of time it would take to understand all the information or even to understand the information of value to you. It does seem like too much work. But there is a time to buckle down and read the inserts. I am at that time. I need to make new decisions with my Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) treatment. I have tried three of the biologics. One didn’t work. One worked about 50% for nine months and then left me to a bad flu and a worse flare. The third just made me sick. I felt like my life was being sucked out of me. It was not a good feeling to have. For the last six months, I have sustained myself with methotrexate injections coupled with hydroxychloroquine, meloxicam and methylprednisolone. I love methylprednisolone (Medrol). It makes me feel better. I morph from a cripple in excruciating pain into someone feeling almost well. My …

RA nodules

Rheumatoid nodules are commonly talked about when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is discussed. It might surprise you to know that only 7% of those newly diagnosed with RA have rheumatoid nodules. So they are not characteristic symptoms of newly diagnosed RA. Photo: Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners Overtime, about 25% of those with positive Rheumatoid Factor (RF) develop nodules. Nodules are frequently present in the more severe cases of RA, those more likely to have rapid progression of joint destruction and to develop vasculitis.  75% of those with Felty’s syndrome, more common in white males, have rheumatoid nodules. Current smokers with RA plus nodules usually have more severe disease. In those with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, about 6% develop rheumatoid nodules. The condition of having rheumatoid nodules is called rheumatoid nodulosis. The nodules form below the skin near joints. They are firm and frequently moveable. They are not tender and are not usually harmful. They are 2 mm (.008 inch) to 5 cm (2 inch) and may occur singly or in clusters. They are formed …