All posts tagged: Blogging 101

No More wonder drugs for my RA

I am at the end of the biologic wonder drug line. I have completed the ACR (American College of Rheumatology) treatment plan. I have also completed the EULAR (European League Against Rheumatism) treatment plan. Both are similar. Whatever is next? My doctor’s treatment approach centers on drugs. Are there any rheumatologists who offer more to their treatment plan than drugs? I am out of drugs. My doctor was angry with me when I brought her the statistics on Actemra. She said I read more than her other patients.  She said that Actemra was safer than Medrol. That is so wrong. My last possibility was Actemra. It turns out that I did have histoplasmosis. My doctor told me I couldn’t have had it, but I did. I had it when I lived in Nebraska. It is a contraindication. Actemra may reactivate the histoplasmosis. There also is a possibility that I had diverticulitis. Another contraindication as bowel perforation is a real possibility for Actemra users. So, my article on Actemra was timely. I am not depressed over this. …

RA treatment in the 1920s

In the early days of the twentieth century very little was known about rheumatoid arthritis.  It might have been called chronic infectious arthritis, proliferative arthritis or atrophic arthritis. Rheumatology was not a specialty. There were no rheumatologists. It was not a good time to have RA. Arthritis treatment at the Mayo Clinic  included bed rest. Patients were admitted to the hospital and put on bed rest for several weeks. They were given a balanced diet. Physical therapy was an important therapy. It improved range of motion, strengthened muscles and prevented deformities. Heat and massage were used  to improve circulation and to remove toxins. Bracing and casting were used to support joints and reduce contractions. Canes were prescribed. Shoe corrections were prescribed. Vaccine therapy, fever therapy and sympathectomy were popular treatments at the Mayo Clinic based on the theories of the time. As medical knowledge grew these therapies fell out of favor. Salicylates were drugs of choice. Remember this was before sulfa, penicillin and cortisone. It a was long time before ibuprofen would be formulated. Any …

Adding a second autoimmune disease to RA

I have long  appointments with my rheumatologist. She is thorough and listens to what I say. She does think out loud which may be disturbing to some. I understand where she is going and I understand she is throwing out possibilities not absolutes.  I had a number of revelations but a big one was the possibility of adding polymyalgia rheumatica to my RA diagnosis. For the last six weeks I have been having excruciating pain in my left hip and my whole pelvic girdle. I was also having excruciating pain in my left shoulder. Life was  difficult. I had no idea what was going on. I have a protocol to increase my medrol for flares.  I did. Medrol did provide relief. Once I was done with the medrol my pain returned. My doc listened, examined. She ordered x-rays. She mentioned the possibility of sending me to an orthopedic doc. She mentioned             polymyalgia rheumatica. Then we moved on to other issues. Polymyalgia rheumatica affects those over 65 years. It affects the pelvic girdle and …