All posts tagged: RA progression

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 …

RA doctor visit

Here in sunny Albuquerque we are expecting the thermometer to hit 104 this week. It is that time of year where hanging out in the house is a good idea. 90 is livable but once it passes 92, it is just too hot. My son is keeping the garden watered so we won’t have any plants that succumb to heat stroke. I finally connected with my RA Doc.  After x-rays, blood work and an exam, she can see the excruciating pain that I am in. She is thinking hip replacement. Tomorrow I have an MRI. I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon early in July. In the mean time she ordered Percocet and said to call if I needed more. I guess this is the holding pattern until the next step is reached. I am amazed that the pain is so immobilizing. I am still trying to do some restorative yoga, but there is something not moving the way it should so I am going with forward bends and shower wall push ups. Maybe …

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. …