All posts filed under: tools

My Journey with Orencia

I published this series of posts during the year I was on Orencia. The following are my experiences. August 2015-August 2016 Tomorrow I have my first infusion of Orencia. It is a biologic used to relieve symptoms and slow the joint destruction of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have just read the medical insert for Orencia. The studies are hopeful. (Having statistics in college finally pays off. The infusion  will take 30 minutes. My son is going with me. He is good company and a morale booster. In two weeks I will have another infusion. At one month I will start infusions monthly. I will be happy to have the infusions as long as they help. I have read endless online comments of those who have taken Orencia. They have met with success for the most part. Success means less pain, less disability. It means more energy. It means more life. Orencia , after three months I knew Orencia was working for me one week after my first infusion. Swelling in my hands, ankles and feet gradually …

RA feet and orthotics

My RA started in my feet. About 20% of patients are introduced to RA via painful feet and about 95% of RA patients eventually do have feet involvement.  RA struck my poor feet first.  Diagnosis was slow as my primary doc, an internist, later said I was too old to have RA and that the pulses in my feet were strong so my feet were fine. Once I was diagnosed. Methotrexate (MTX) was my first RA drug. The dose was gradually increased until I reached the max of 25 mg/week.  I tolerated the nausea and diarrhea which eventually passed.  MTX helped me but by this time my feet were in a lot of pain and I walked with great difficulty. I was sent to a podiatrist who declared right off the bat that he didn’t do foot surgery for RA. Fine, I thought. I had read about the horrors of RA foot surgery and I wanted none of it. I did need to know what would help. He did three things for me. He ordered …

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Oral bacteria, rheumatoid arthritis and the TSA

There is a growing link between oral bacteria and rheumatoid arthritis. I keep this in mind as I pack my suitcase for my visit to my favorite people, my grandchildren, Madison and Nate. I packed my fancy toothbrush, my Tom’s toothpaste, floss and pics. I had a small container of Biotene mouth rinse. However, I only had a big jug of Crest Pro Health Multi-protection mouth rinse. I could not find a travel container among my travel gear. I improvised. I had a snap-it plastic container, guaranteed never to leak. Perfect, I thought. I am set to go. Traveled. Arrived. Couldn’t find my mouth wash. Managed with what I had. Enjoyed a wonderful visit. Traveled home. As I was cleaning out my suitcase I noticed two pieces of paper. The first said my luggage had been chosen to be inspected. The second was as follows I found out what happened to my mouthwash. The TSA has saved the country again by confiscating the very mouthwash that helps protect my mouth from disease and consequently worsening …