I was reading you posting about your infusions for the Remicade. I was diagnosed with severe aggressive RA about three weeks after my double spine fusion last November 7, 2007. I did my research and I am still doing research on the internet. If you are on company leave disability you probably would be entiled to a foundation or organization non profit grant.
To do this you need to contact the Healthwell Foundation at 800-675-8416 and the Provider Services, Inc. Organization at 800-366-7741 or 877-250-2350. You can also contact the Patient Access Network Organization at 866-316-7261.
Although you probably are not on Medicare or Medicaid you can have your medical forms signed by your Rheumatologist to assist you in receiving the Remicade infusion.
I am fortunate to have one of the above foundations sponsor me until the end of December 2008 for Embrel. I was supposed to go on Remicade, Humira or Orencia but I have severe COPD and chronic infections with Bronchitis/Asthma. Right now I have been off the Embrel going on 3 weeks and I have another 3 weeks to be on a different antibiotic to help clear the lung infection. After that I am hoping that my immune system will not be so low that I catch any kind of bacteria or viral infections.
I can not be on Embrel the same time I am on antibiotics. I suffer horribly from left and right joint knee pain and my feet and toes. My hands are not to bad yet. I will be going back on Embrel in about three weeks, that's if I am good and use my albuterol nebuilzer 4 times a day for my lungs. After 3 months again of taking the Embrel if that does not work then I will be going on probably Orencia.
I certainly do feel for people who have RA and a high RF factor with all the joint and swelling of the body tissue it's just horrible. I use a very strong cream on my knees 3 times a day it's called Voltaren and I take Tramadol for pain when I am very badly hurting.
Right now I am getting ready to probably very soon be in an electronic wheel chair. I have a very hard time walking and my left knee is in horrible shape probably will need a new knee soon. But I try to stay very positive. There is not one day that I am pain free. So besides having severe RA, I also have COPD and I never smoked a day in my life. I also have a disease of the eye tissue and I take Restatis for my eyes every day and I see a neuro opthalmalogist. I would say stay with your RA doctor just be persistent with the office. Because most of the time the doctors don't even get the messages that you want to relay to them.
Stay positive and try to do the things you enjoy. Regards, Rebz