i wish you well on your appointment tomorrow.
ah geez....RA isn't a death sentence Zeek! i swear...you won't keel over any time soon!
i understand how you're trying to think of all of this...when you say "view it as a minor ailment". for many, many people the symptoms of the disease are just minor ailments; even though having to take meds to control it they can live normally with little to no interference or change in lifestyle. that's the ideal scenario & that's what we all want (and that's what the docs want too!).
the symptoms of RA can be a "minor ailment" but the autoimmune disease itself is MAJOR. the symptoms can be minor...but the condition itself is a serious one no matter how faint the activity of the disease may be. it will be something that a person must deal with & treat for the duration (a lifetime).
i only say this because people who have RA to the point of disability (myself included in that one) would flip out if a letter came back from disability saying that RA is just a minor ailment! yikes.
whatever you do...don't brush this off. when i was first told i had RA, my physician told me to "ignore it" and that it will only bother me when i get old. i was just 16 at the time, so i did just that...i ignored it! 8 years later i'm disabled @ age 26. i wish i knew then what i know now.
if i were just starting out? i would absolutely go on an Enbrel or Humira type medication (the TNF-inhibitors) to help slow the progression of RA. absolutely! i would also take with that either methotrexate, Imuran, or 6MP. (this is what's called combination therapy) one med makes the other med work better.
for pain, swelling, infammation & stiffness i would also add to the list an NSAID (Advil, Indocin, aspirin, Arthrotec, etc...) or a COX2 drug like Mobic.
i would have on standby a presciption for prednisone (a lifesaver for flares).
and depending on the amount of pain in your joints & body...perhaps a painkiller (Tylenol, Darvocet, Percocet, Vicoden, etc...)
if i had the chance to do it over again the right way...that's how i would do it.
can RA lead to other diseases? in a nutshell...yeah it could. when a person has an autoimmune disease, the chances of developing another autoimmune disease are greater. again...it's not written in stone that it will happen...but it does occur.
a lot of people who have RA also have Lupus! or Crohns disease, or Ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis, and various other AI conditions.
you are right by all means by saying a lot of people get scared by RA...it's almost lik a reflex!
what i have noticed in many people is that they get soooo freaked out by all of the articles & write ups about med side effects & complications...that they get convinced they have something more wrong with them, or are convinced that they will fall victim of the very rare complications of RA.
that's where too much information will work against you.
don't worry Zeek, things will fall into place. it's the initial shock that's the worst.
one day at a time.
Arthritis Forum Moderator
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 300mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections when needed; Mercaptopurine 50mgQD plus 75mg weekly; Mesalamine 4GramsQD; Prednisone 10mgQD mantainance; Entocort 9mgQD; Meclizine; Augmentin; Tigan 300mg; Reglan; LidoDerm Patches; Diazepam 5mg for AS back spasms; Rozerem 8mg; Dilaudid 4mg tabs for pain.
Post Edited (erin.K) : 3/13/2007 9:13:37 AM (GMT-6)