I would like to see what everyone thinks about this then. I have never in my life taken anything stronger than ultram. Ultram no longer works so I have never bothered refilling it. I have taken NSAIDS but not without the side effects of fluid retention, stomach pains, and diarrhea. Ibuprofen is something I can take without the severe side effects but it does not touch the pain well enough. I took an antidepressant a while back when docs said there wasn't anything wrong with me and it didn't work either though I know there are probably several others out there I could try. I do NOT want to go back on prednisone if I can avoid it. I am starting to flare again and they say it may take up to 2 months before the Rituxan kicks in IF it is going to work. I know it has knocked my immune system down because I have an ear infection, cold, and have a skin infection from the most minor cat scratch (it would have never been called a scratch it was so minor) so the b cells are down. But I hurt. I hurt not to the point of not being able to go on with most aspects of my life but enough to make me short tempered, grumpy, irritable, uncomfortable and do nothing but work and rest. I can't go to the park, walk, play, and hesitate to grocery shop. I am sure I am not where many of you are and the only visible signs of RA is the swelling on top of my feet which has worsened tremendously though my hands, wrists, shoulders, jaws and knees hurt as well. I want to enjoy life without the side effects of prednisone and was considering a pain management specialist. My rheumatologist doesn't rx pain meds, my GP doesn't rx pain meds so I cannot ask them and I don't even think they would agree with it. In my opinion if I actually could find a pain medication that would work I feel I might even be happier, less moody and less mean. If I didn't hurt maybe I wouldn't be so miserable and grumpy? Maybe I would actually sleep through the night? I did ask about the neurontin or lyrica but the rheumy said it won't help. So there went my sleep opportunity because I do remember getting sleep on that. What would you all do? Would you see a specialist and go on some sort of pain relief? Would you go the route of trying an antidepressant first? Would you have someone approach the lack of sleep first? Or should I have all of them addressed at the same time?
Just curious because for some reason my optimism is decreasing as my CRP and pain are increasing.
dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis. Duration: 10yrs. Dx'ed 2006. Asthma, hypertension, hypothyroid
Meds: Methotrexate 25mg wkly, Arava 20mg, Rituxan infusion, Folic Acid, Fish Oils, Advil, Advair 250/50, Diovan HCT 160mg/25mg QD, Women's One a Day, tylenol PRN.