RA is driving me into depression

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_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/6/2008 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
OK, Last year at this time I had a major meltdown.  I was diagnosed with major depression.  By May it was changed to Bipolar Disorder.  We messed with medication till finally in late January I finally felt "stable".
February 21 I received a phone call that the Rheumatoid Factor in my blood was "way high" and I was sent to a rheumatologist.
I hurt all over.  It hurts to type.  It hurts to stand, lift, get up, sit too long, lay down too long- all day long.  Some days are better then others, but all days are uncomfortable now.
I am in college, and have to re-think my career.  I was supposed to go into nursing, but if I have to take immunosuppressant medications, I can't do that.
I feel like the RA (arthritis) has stolen my future, and is making my days nearly unbearable.
I want to get better, but i don't know how.  I'm afraid the pain will just get worse.
I go to the psyc tomorrow morning.  I'm gonna be OK till then- but I need hope.  Maybe today was just a bad day.

Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/6/2008 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Christina,
We can't say we know how you feel but each of us has been their. I was in my first year of graduate school when I got the news and it has limited my career choices but I found a job I can do that I love.
You still have time to find a field that interests you and that is more open to someone with the physical limitations you may face.
Once they get you started on the right meds-and that may take a while as you may not respond to the first thing they try-you will feel better than you do today. I remember sitting in my doctors office while she informed me that I had RA (I already knew and had read everything I could about the disease) at that time they did not have cox 2 inhibitors or biologics and most people ended up quiting their jobs and many ended up in wheel chairs so I figured that was my future. My doctor said "actually this is probably the worst you will ever feel because once we get the inflamation under control you will start feeling better"
I did not completely believe her I had been sick for months (sleeping 16 or more hours a day and feeling exhausted when awake) I could not imagine feeling better.
I went to a rhuemotologist and he started me on high doses of advil (this is no longer standard first line treatment but they used to hold of on the DMARDS until later and the biologics did not exist). I felt a little better within days and by the end of two weeks was functioning well enough to finish the semester and pass my exams.
Plaquinel was added later and it was a miracle. I got my life back.
It may not be plaquinel that does it for you it may be the biologics or something else-and you will have some limits that others don't but you can have a life you love.

You are doing all of the right things, seeing a psyc (dont know if you mean psychiatrist or psychologist or both) and a rhuemotologist. If you haven't done so yet talk to the disabilities counselor at your school and have them set things up so if neccessary you can have extra breaks or days off or what ever you need to get through school. Also either the disabilities counselor or another counselor on campus can help you to explore career options.

Oops I did not mean for this post to run on so long but I want you to know that things can get better that finding a diagnosis is the start of getting better.
Good luck and my prayers are with you.
Sj

Raven67
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 3/6/2008 9:23 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Christina,

I can relate to how you are feeling.  This disease is not driving me in a depression, i think I'm already there. 

I definitely do not want to depress you more, but know that I am right with you and available to talk anytime through this forum or by e-mail. 

My whole life has changed and although I try to figure it out everyday I haven't come up with an answer yet.  I am sitting here typing, in tears no less.  I am in pain and exhausted everyday single minute of every single day.  I continue to see my Rheumy and am told things will get better, it's been about 8 months or so and I have not been able to return to work and still nothing is resolved.  Right now I am just praying a lot and hoping that with Spring comes healthier times.  Hang in there.

Raven

 


When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!!!
 
Current Diagnosis-Rheumatoid Arthritis, Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Osteoarthritis right knee, Osteoporosis. Stress!!!!!!
Current Meds-Methotrexate 20mg s/c weekly, Plaquenil 200 mg BID, Celebrex, Folic Acid daily, Cesamet, Oxycontin 20 mg BID, Lorazepam 2 mg dly Actonel weekly, Insulin-Humalog 35 units TID and Lantus 40 units BID, Calcium, Vitamin D


yalinda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1179
   Posted 3/7/2008 5:13 AM (GMT -7)   
christina, as i sit here and type i think yally what can you say to make her feel better, there is hope christina, honest there is hope. it is just getting things under control.
i remeber last summer i would sit in my room and cry not letting my family know how sad and in pain i was in. trying to function at work and home without letting others know my pain.
i would cry just to get dressed because my shoulder was so severly effected, but that is all behind me now christina.... honest in my past! oh i have bad days but i always say no matter how bad
i feel it is not like it was so i try not to complain and deal with this RA. that is why hw is so important to me. i can vent here just like you did and find such support from everyone who knows what the pain is like.... and i cn find someone who knows it will get better.

many of us have careers and work full time. our days do have some pain but more good than bad. medications control our disease and prevention is key to our futures. it is overwhelming for us to grasp our futures and dealwith the crisis of pain, but i and others are proof it will get better. but for now we will cry together and support you and others through there treatments and flairs. thats what we do here. so gentle huggs your way (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((()))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) and know and trust tomorrow will be better

can you get any prednisone??? for me that is a quick bandaid dont know how it works for you???? keep us posted and goodluck today ...... we are here yally

_Christina
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 3/7/2008 10:43 PM (GMT -7)   

Today was better.  I got up and went out to see my psychiatrist.  It makes me feel like I am actually DOING something to fight this. She has worked with people with RA before and is familiar with how the medications interact.  She says that I should avoid any steroid like prednisone because it can through me into a manic state.  If we do choose to use it, we should prepare with additional stabilizers.

She offered to increase the amount of cymbalta I take, to help treat the pain- but she says it is better suited for nerve pain than joint pain and it aggravates the stabilizer, so the less I take, the better I feel.  Before bringing in RA, she had planned on decreasing the cymbalta to nothing over the course of a year.

I got word from the rheumy that I may go onto Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) 400mg 1xdaily.  It is a anti-malaria medication which is also used for treating lupus and arthritis.  Until then she has me taking Motrin 600-800mg round the clock. Has anyone tried this, what is it supposed to DO and what side effects did you get?

When my husband went to Panama he had to take an antimalarial drug and it gave him nightmares.  i wonder if this is the same drug?

Here's another question.  Each day is so different.  Yesterday my arms and hands hurt so bad that I felt like crying most of the day. By the end of the afternoon (after midterm tests) I couldn't stand, sit or walk without difficulty in my feet, KNEES and hips too.  Today my knees are the worst, but my wrists and elbows are a close 2nd.  My knuckles arn't so bad today, but I'm not using them like I was the last several days.  (thank God for my new voice-recognition program)  Why is it so diffrent day-to-day on the combination of joints that hurt?

I got long again.  Sorry, I just have so much to say.  My husband seems to think this is all a joke.  Says I should go ahead and get manic so the house will get clean.  He'll just have to take away my access to money first.  Most of my friends were great when I first got "sick" last year at this time, but got tired of it quickly and moved on with their lives.  They don't seem to understand that I can't simply move on just because it isn't fun anymore.  It's been a hard year for them, but it's been an even harder year for me, and it's not over yet.

I just have to wait for Wednesday when I see the Rheumy again.  I can't do anything more about it till then.


Christina
 
When you cannot stand, on whom do you lean?


babyplace
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 499
   Posted 3/8/2008 10:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Christina,
It sounds like you've already had some wonderful input from some of the great people on this site...that's why I love it so much here...there is always someone who will give you some advice, answer a question, offer encouragement, or a shoulder to lean on or cry on, whatever you may need.  Always know that we are all here for you! 
I hope you are feeling better today...I think you've already discovered one thing that can be so discouraging about this condtion, (anyways it's sure true for me)...it can be so different from day to day. I really never know what to expect...except that i won't know what to expect lol!  The rheumy told me that one of the hallmarks of RA is "migrating" pain...but I didn't realize that it could migrate so fast..hour to hour, day to night.  It can move around, alot.
But, like the others said..please don't give up hope.  I was diagnosed almost a year ago, and have been on plaquenil for almost 6 months now, along with Celebrex.  I don't feel anywhere near as bad as I did before I got the diagnosis. The Moltrin you are on should help with the pain and inflammation until you see the doctor and get on a treatment plan. I used to take a generic of Moltrin, and never had any problems with it at all.  It can bother some people's stomach's, so it's better to take it with food if that happens to you. 
Yes, our lives have changed by this, but it doesn't have to be negative, it's just another adjustment we have to make.  I have been fortuate enough to be able to still do my job, I have and in-home daycare.  yes, I have some bad days, but I had bad days before I got diagnosed too, we just get through it.  Like we said, we're all here to help you.
Try to relax, and take it easy on yourself...
Jody

sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 3/8/2008 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Christina.
I took 5400 mgs of ibuprophen (motrin) a day for two years-under doctors supervision of cource and other than headaches for the first few weeks (felt like a hangover) I had no side effects.
The plaquenil has worked miracles for me I am on the same dose you are on and I do get side effects from that-I started a post whining about them and you can still find it if you want some advice on handling the nausia. However, I have so much more energy and no joint inflamation right now and the side effects have lessened with time.
If you are ever concerned about a medications possible side effects feel free to post a thread asking for other people's stories you will get lots of input.
Hope you feel even better soon (oh, by the way your doctor is right about cymbalta not being as good with joint pain).
Sj

NURSE1STIK
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 3/12/2008 6:21 PM (GMT -7)   
The time it takes for a flare to go into remission can be a living .... devil       I remember being very depressed with fleeting thoughts of jumping into a river.  The cold may have helped though at that time...  I am on Methotrexate and Plaquenil for disease supression.  They work very well but I can tell if I don't take the plaquenil after a week or so.  Longer but the same with MTX.  Nausea is a common side effect, I am careful when I take the meds.. with food.  Good Luck and keep looking toward tomorrow. 
Age 3 fell on my knee.  I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis in all my joints, Patellar-Femoral Syndrome, GERD, degenerative hip disease
Medications routine: Mobic, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Nexium.


Gracie
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/4/2008 9:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new here, but wanted to let you know that I've been dealing with depression for a few years, along with my RA. I am also going through menopause at a fairly early age (early 40's), which may also be a contributing factor. I go to a therapist and between him, my rheumy and my OB/GYN (with of course, me having the final say!) I decided to go on an anti-depressant about a month and a half ago. It has helped me tremendously and both my RA and depression have evened out.

Now, that being said, it did take a while when I was first diagnosed for us to get the right combination of drugs. I was on MTX, plaquenil and folic acid (and Alleve) for a year and a half or so then we added Enbrel and reduced the MTX. I am now only on Enbrel and doing really well. Almost symptom free after three and a half years or so. BUT--I do remember how depressing it was at first, feeling like I'd been robbed of myself and my life. I think that is the hardest thing about this condition--feeling like you are not "yourself" anymore. And you're right, it's hard for people around us to understand the day to day and the long term effects of living with this. I get frustrated by that too sometimes. But I just want you to know that there will be good days--many of them! And when there aren't, take care of yourself the very best you can.

Take care!

Raven67
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 155
   Posted 4/5/2008 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Gracie,

Thanks for that post.  I have had RA for a year now. Happy anniversary to me haha!!!!  I've also tried to fight this depression that seems to have come along with it.  I'm going to see a psychiatrist but can't get an appt until June.  With the nice weather coming I'm hoping my mood will improve as my condition hasn't.

I can say that the last 2 weeks have been better.  It's just good to hear that someone else has been in the same place and has overcome.  I have also gone thru menopause the last few years due to  a complete hysterectomy so ya, It's definitely a combination of things.

Thanks again and stay well,

Raven


When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on!!!!
 
Current Diagnosis-Rheumatoid Arthritis, Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Osteoarthritis right knee, Osteoporosis. Stress!!!!!!
Current Meds-Methotrexate 20mg s/c weekly, Plaquenil 200 mg BID, Celebrex, Folic Acid daily, Cesamet, Oxycontin 20 mg BID, Lorazepam 2 mg dly Actonel weekly, Insulin-Humalog 35 units TID and Lantus 40 units BID, Calcium, Vitamin D

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