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Arthritis blog

Where people with arthritis share their experiences, talk about their symptoms and treatments and chat with other arthritis sufferers.
  • Hi everyone,

    we've been asked to share the call out for participants on a new medical programme being made for the BBC. Details are below:

    Oxford Scientific Films is making a pilot medical programme for the BBC.  The show aims to help the British public become healthier and better manage common illnesses such as back pain.

    The programme is presented by two experts, one a medical doctor, the other a science professor, who share a private practice together in Harley St. During the programme our experts will examine and treat three patients, and explain the science behind the condition and treatment. 

    We are looking for people with chronic back pain or osteoarthritis who may be interested in appearing in the pilot. Our experts would offer them a bespoke personalized treatment programme lasting up to six weeks, and we would follow the course of their treatment in the programme. 

    If you are interested in taking part in the programme please contact Davina Bristow at dbristow@oxfordscientificfilms.tv or on 0207 317 1359.

  • It's now six weeks since my right hip replacement.  The results have been brilliant.  I'm managing without a stick since 4 weeks post-op.  No hip pain except sciatica, associated with my back pain, for which I'm scheduled for radiofrequency lesioning in early May.  I was in hospital for two nights, then had seven days in a private hospital for physiotherapy etc.

  • March 23rd 2011

    by Katykat on 26 March 2011

    .... was a very special day. It was the day our long awaited first grandchild put in his appearance! His name is Max, he weighs 6lbs 10oz and is totally delicious!

    I was besotted from the moment we met - as was his grandad. I once read a book by CS Lewis called Surprised by Joy and that is what happened to me!

    A new little life, a beautiful Spring day and suddenly the world seems to be a better place.  Congratulations to Tom on the arrival of his little grandaughter also!

     

     

    Filed under:
  • Today (Thursday, March 24th) was the third chemo session and, as these things go, the four hours I spent hooked-up to a drip passed slowly. The new chemo suite at Blackburn is excellent, and the staff are very patient-centred - which is, to be honest, a refreshing change from most Wards where the nurses are run off their feet and, try as they might, they have far too little time for "hand holding" - or, as I call it, 'Old School' nursing. 

    My haematologist - who is wonderful - says we should aim for a scan after the fourth session, in the middle of the eight cycles scheduled, to see how I'm progressing. Back pain (where the lymphoma is located in the pleura) is still present, but less appreciable than it has been. The Prednisolone is doing its job, along with the chemo cocktail of Rituximab, Vincristine and Cyclophosmamide, all hopefully "doing a number" at the micro-cellular level to eradicate the cancer. The scan will confirm this.

    On an even happier note, our seventh grandchild made her appearance last Friday and my daughter and grand-daughter are both doing well.

    The sun, having made a long awaited reappearance, is making Spring a reality and with George Osborne generously knocking a whole penny off a litre of petrol, some of us might think about actually using our cars to enjoy the sunshine. For me, that would mean visiting my grandchildren - my own personal rays of sunlight. 

    Isn't life wonderful!

    Love and sunshine to everyone who deserves it - and let's face it, we all do. Big Smile

    Tom. 

     

  • March 2011

    by Katykat on 14 March 2011

    The sun is shining and hubby is in the garden trying to construct a plastic greenhouse. He says the instructions that came with it make the ones from IKEA look easy!! He is such a perfectionist I despair of ever being able to actually use it!!Big Smile

    I am finally settled on my antidepressants (mirtazapine) and I am now a stone plus heavier than I was. I have begun to notice changes in my pain.  I was driving this morning and the pain in my hands made grasping the steering wheel quite a challenge.  Also I have been having more frequent episodes of 'stabbing in the back' pain! I wake up several times a night with either dead hands or generalised tingling... all the old symptoms are creeping slowly back into my life.

    However - my first grandchild is due any day now and I refused to let this get me down. I have cuddles and gurgles to look forward to, the garden is alive with shoots and sometime soon I will have my greenhouse!

    When Junior finally arrives I shall be back to share the good news with my Arthritis friends. Heaven knows it will be a change from the awful news in the rest of the world.

    See you soon!

     

  • Hi everyone,

    I admit to having found this site, during one of the lowest points in my life - to date... and just reading through some of the stories and comments left, has been quite inspiring. I have only recently been discharged from hospital, following yet another chest infection... and this one, was deigned to worsen into pneumonia. Why then, add this onto an arthritis blog - unfortunately, the reason I am feeling so low is that the medical staff decided I would recover better, and more quickly, without my arthritiis medication....

    At 44 years of age, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a little over a year ago, though I had been troubled with nonedescript aches and pains for a long time before. Why so long in reaching a diagnosis...? I had injured myself quite badly in an accident with a quad bike almost 3 years previous, and as well as a badly fractured left knee, I had gone on to develop RSD (rheumatic sympathetic dystrophy), due to nerve involvement. After this, whatever troubled me was "... due to the RSD". Believe me, after at least a year of increasing pain, discomfort and swelling - mainly affecting my hands/wrists, it was almost good to hear I had a new, and more apt reason for feeling as bad as I did...

    Initially, I think I was shocked, after all, I was a qualified nurse of 23 years standing, the latter five of which I had been responsible for a day unit, caring for, amongst others, Rheumatoid patients...  How then, could I not recognise my own symptoms ?  Why was it so painful and debilitating ? (I appeared to feel more than what they appeared to show...) - I now know, just how painful it actually is, and I can empathise so much better, but unfortunately, also retrospectively... my condition had worsened so much prior to the confirmation of rheumatoid, that I had had to retire on medical grounds in November 2009.

    Thereafter diagnosis, followed a month or so of tiring, and tedious, examinations and tests - I swear they knew all of me, inside and out... only to be told my symptoms were actually quite advanced - damage had already been done, (... and all my months of complaining, I had thought there was something else wrong...)

    I was started on methotrexate tablets, within 2 weeks - my reaction, within a day, gave new meaning to " vomiting like a whale"... and it didn't matter that I had had nothing to eat for days... fortunately, I managed to tolerate the injectable form, along with sickness tablets, and am now on the maximum permissable dose.

    Although easier mentally, to live with a diagnosis, I found it hard to remain positive with so much time now on my hands... this was despite having quite quickly discovered that by changing my habit of rising early - as borne from years of working shifts, I could at least relieve some of my worst morning pains, by simply remaining in bed until after having taken my early morning analgesics. I had by now been put onto oxynorm, oxycontin, ibuprofen and gabapentin... hard to believe I had quivered at the thought of taking paracetamol only a few months before...

    It would be great to be able to say I felt much better - but it would also, have been a lie. After 6 months, and having had steroids twice, the introduction/addition of salsopyrine did nothing either... all I appeared to have was worsening pain and discomfort, and much more time to think about it... Soon after this, I received the biggest shock it was possible to have... my mum -  my best friend, my saviour, my soulmate... she sadly passed away following one more infection than she was able to fight... (RIP - Brenda Irene Waugh 1937-2010)

    I was so far down... had it not been for the constant noise, the constant " just being there.." of my 2 teenage sons, ( anyone with teenage boys will understand, afterall it wasn't as though they did anything different, they did nothing extra... they were just there...) I don't think I would have made it through. The medical team noticed the change in me however... it possibly had something to do with the fact that I kept breaking down in pools of tears - I was still attending the unit weekly for my methotrexate at this point. I was offered additional steroids to help boost my system - to help me cope with what inevitably had to follow...

    The next month or so was a complete blur... but then I received a letter to attend the hospital to see the Rheumatologist... apparently in light of the fact that I had shown no improvement, despite being treated with 2 "traditional 'dmards' (disease modification arthritic drugs), the nurses in the day unit - incidently this was not in the same hospital in which I had myself worked... had asked for me to be commenced upon Biologic type treatments. Fortunately, he examined my joints, and agreed. I was given what information that was available, but after that the decision was mine - which one would suit me best, given that all had different methods/times of when/how to administer.

    I chose to try Humira, the thought of an injection only once every 2 weeks, and one that could ultimately be given at home held most appeal.

    Although I could not hold up flags and say: "improvement started here...", I quite quickly began to get into a 2 week cycle, and my body itself, and in particular, my joints seemed to know when it was due... The second week, particularly in the latter few days before it was given, seemed a lot harder to manage, and the pain a lot more intense...

    Unfortunately though, I also suffer from Asthma. Having had this since the age of 2, despite others occasionally stating I sounded somewhat like 'Darth Vader', I didn't have many problems, or hadn't.... however, being on Humira, also lowers the bodies immune system - consequently, a chest infection came along within 6 weeks of starting it. No real problems, miss my due date, take it the following week, and so it continued...

    Things did improve somewhat... the arthritis.... not a great difference, pain and discomfort continued. Joints still swelled. I was still very debilitated, but had started to self - administer, meaning that I did not have to struggle to the hospital each week.  But then I had to go and pick up a really bad infection, hence hospitalisation, intravenous antibiotics, high dependency unit.... hence all medication stopped in order to allow my flagging immune system to replenish itself...

    I have now been out of hospital 5 weeks, and allthough I have now re-started my medications, they have yet to show much sign of changing anything, even the slight changes I had been aware of before.... hence the worst time of my life - I feel as though I am as far back as 14 months ago - minus my mum.

    What the future holds, no-body knows... but only 2 years ago, despite me having a limp, we had our own sailing boats, (Toppers and a Laser - enjoyed by the boys and myself), I had a horse, (I cared for her myself, and rode at least 4/5 times/week), I was a qualified scuba diver, and sports diver, and I worked as a Registered nurse within a busy hospital... how much my life has changed... and not for the better. 

    So once again, I appreciate, reading how others have coped with, managed, or even overcome dificulties they have encountered. There is hope that my future, though obviously changed from my past, will become more positive too.

    Regards, Jan.

  • 2011 February

    by Katykat on 14 February 2011

    Well here we are in the middle of February and my garden is full of buds and shoots. The great yellow thing in the sky has been spotted once or twice and we have turned the central heating down a touch. It makes me hopeful that the worst is over and Spring really is around the corner.

    I finally managed to become stable as regards the depression though my increasing weight led me to give in to the pull of Weight Watchers online!!! I don't think my weight loss will be significant whilst I continue to take Mirtazipine but I am hopeful of maintaining it to some extent.

    Painwise - I think that is stable at the moment too so I have little to report.  However in my March edition I hope to be able to  tell you all about my new little grandson!

    I can't wait.

     

  • First Round of Chemotherapy

    by TOD1 on 13 February 2011

    As I said back in December, I firmly believe the result of taking the Humira since last February has led to Low Grade Follicular Lymphoma. The fact that the FDA in the U.S. have "black-boxed" the drug specifically for that reason speaks volumes, although current research shows an incidence of only 3%. Also, the disease has not taken a normal trajectory with absolutely no lymph node involvement. To quote my Haematologist, this is "very rare". The cancer is localised in my pleura which, under normal circumstances, would follow on from initial nodal involvement but, as I say, this has not happened. This, in itself, is an indication that the disease has been "artificially" induced, as opposed to occuring "naturally" (I know - sounds ridiculous to speak in those terms about cancer). As a consequence of pulmonary involvement, the lymphoma has been classed as Stage 4, when a singular or localised incident would normally be classed as Stage 1. 

    Am I angry? Not really, although I am not particularly pleased, of course. I made a value-judgement based on the current research and if the Humira had led to 'miraculous' relief from more than twenty years of arthritis, I would have been thrilled. You're dealt the cards, and you play your hand as best you can.

    The good news is that Low Grade Follicular Lymphoma responds very well to chemotherapy and if I have to tolerate hair loss, sickness and the attendant results of massive doses of steroids, so be it. Following my first cycle of chemo, I have - thankfully - avoided sickness which, I'm sure as the cumulative effect of up to 8 cycles builds within my system, will surface at some point between now and July, but the alternative is uconscionable.

    At the head of my agenda now is to ensure that the details of my case get fed back into the system so that ongoing research can limit, if not avoid, other Humira users facing a similar outcome. As I have already said, only about 3% of patients are liable to develop the disease - but that is still three lives out of every hundred, not to mention their extended family and friends who have to bear the angst and worry that comes with the dreaded "C" word.

    The glass is still half-full, as it always is with me. I fully expect that when my hair grows back it will be twice as luxuriant and, for a period of time at least, I'm going to save a fortune on those darned expensive Gillette razor blades! 

    Be well and be good.

    Tom.

  • Depression better, pain bad

    by AnnC1 on 10 January 2011

    When I went to the Pain Clinic I was put on Oxycontin 10mg twicew daily, and all my other painkillers except pregabalin (Lyrica) were stopped.  This is being changed slowly to gabapentin because of cost!  Unless I use my TENS and/or a hot wrap, I have a lot of breakthrough pain.  Today has been bad - I had to have a taxi to the vet, and it's not far along the road.  I'm toying with quite a long journey on Saturday to a rat show.  I feel guilty because I have taken Tramadol, which I should have stopped.

    I had my pre-operative assessment on Friday, and my second hip replacement is scheduled for 17th February, aiming for a 2-day stay, then 7 days in Burrswood, a private Christian hospital, for intesive physio and hydrotherapy.  If the result is as good as the left hip it will be brilliant.  In mid-April I should have radiofrequency lesioning to relevant nerves to reduce back pain.

    Depression-wise, I'm feeling so much better!  I'm back on one of the most effective combinations I've had before - clomipramine 50mg and trazodone 50mg, to be increased if necessary.  So far, apart from taking 20 minutes to provide a urine specimen, I've not been bothered by side-effects.  I often have urinary problems with clomipramine.  I think the Lyrica helps, too

     

  • 2011 January

    by Katykat on 07 January 2011

    I haven't really made any New Year resolutions as I hate 'New Year' with a passion! If we could go straight from Christmas to March that would be fine by me! I can find, even as a follower of the Wheel of the Year, no good reason whatsoever for January or February!!

    However, I have made a small promise to myself to do a blog entry at least once a month - hence the blog title.

    I have to say (very quietly) that since my last entry I have been relatively pain free. I don't count the pain in my hands as I live with that on a daily basis. Nor do I really count the headaches or neck pain - we have an understanding.  However I am happy to be able to report that there have been no notable 'nerve pain' events with attendant aerobatics. I count this as remarkable and long may it continue.

    So I must grudgingly concede that, as New Years go, this one has passed without too much pain - in every sense of the word.  My best wishes to all my fellow bloggers and may the Goddess bless us -everyone!

     

  • Well, the biopsy results are back (see: “More Harm Than Good?”, 19/12/2010) and, unfortunately, our worst fears have been realised. I'm not sure how much I should, or even if I will be able, to post here for a while, but rest assured that I intend to follow Kipling's advice and “meet with Triumph and Disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same”.

    May those of you whose hearts are weighed by emotions and fears, as keenly felt as the chill wind of the icy North, hard as it is, try to follow Kipling's words and not be cowed by the pressing darkness of the long night, but rather, with your faces uplifted to the pale warmth of the meagre Winter sun, revel in the fact that you are still here, despite the pain that spikes your daily lives. We all know that to live in pain is hard – but, sometimes, just managing to live may be the harder.

    Be well in mind and body.


  • Co-existent pain disorders

    by AnnC1 on 29 December 2010

    I have osteoarthritis in my hip(s) - one now replaced, second to be done soon, and spine.  I also have polymyalgia rheumatica and am currently on 10mg prednisolone daily.  However, I have suspected for a long time that I may also have fibromyalgia.

    Today the more generalised pain has been quite severe - I suspect a flare precipitated by the anxiety and travel - although I carried very little.

    Does anyone else have a similar combination?

    Pain Clinic were not very helpful, but I think I#ll be having oxycontin 10mg twice daily, rather than Oxynorm.

    I had said that I would not take pregabalin because of visual side-effects, but am trying it again.  Now I'm no longer on church IT it is less of a problem.  Duloxetine didn't do much for mood or pain.  I see that in the US desipramine is still available, but not over here.

  • I really don't feel safe going out in this snow, which is contributing to my depression.  It should have been our carol service today, but we have no transport.

    The osteoarthritis in my right hip has been a real nuisance, both walking and in bed.  About a week after decreasing my prednisolone, I started getting pain in my shoulders, upper arms and thigh muscles again.  I saw my GP and she has increased it again.  It eased quite quickly, but I had a bad night again last night,  Tramadol, co-dydramol and co-codamol have minimal effects (as had BuTrans patches and Oramorph).  I have amitriptyline at night and have used pregabalin, but find the visual side-e3ffects from that limit its use.  Even the Oxycodone isn't very effective, nor are the deiclofenac suppositories.  I'm determined not to take it more frequently than three times a day. TENS is the most effective, but I find the electrodes don't stick well.

    I need to do a big cage-clean today - not good for my back. It should please the ratties!  There is a lot I need to do before I go away on Thursday.  I have a pain clinic visit on Tuesday, then may go on the waiting list for further facet joint injections - but probably after my hip is done.

    I went to the osteopath on Monday for a mixture of massage and acupuncture, but find the effects only last for a few hours, so it's not really worth it at present, although the previous treatment eased the elbow problems I had from using my 'helping hand.'

  • More Harm than Good?

    by TOD1 on 19 December 2010

    In June, I finally made it to my GP's surgery. The pain in my right side had become almost unbearable. I say my right side, but it was more along the bottom edge of my ribs and under my arm into my chest. I had lived with the murmurings of this pain for about a month before making the appointment, but in the early hours of the morning in June, about 4am, I literally crawled out of my bed and stumbled downstairs into the kitchen to take an Oxycontin tablet. The pain was excruciating. I made it into the front room and sat in my chair, praying for the drug to 'kick in', and after ten or fifteen minutes, it dawned upon me that it wasn't going to work. It was at that moment I decided to climb the stairs once more and wake my wife. Startled she awoke instantly and I told her the pain was so bad I thought I was going to faint. In all of my 54 years I had never felt so weakened by pain – even after 27 years of moderate-to-severe arthritic pain, I had never spoken these words to my wife, so she knew there was something badly wrong. She ministered to me as best she could and asked if she should call for an ambulance. I said no, and held the hot water bottle she had made for me to my side. After about an hour, I gingerly laid back down and, realising that the worst of it was over, tried to sleep. The following day, my GP examined me, carefully listening to my chest as I told him the pain at its most severe had restricted my breathing a little. A trapped nerve was the verdict and he prescribed Amitriptyline and more Oxycontin. The pain continued in varying degrees of intensity but never as bad as that night and, as arthritis sufferers know only too well, we learn to live with it.   

    The following September I was due to see my Rheumatologist and, as part of my consultation, I recounted the '4am episode' from several months earlier. The Registrar said Oxycontin was of little use for nerve pain and thought he might prescribe a second-line treatment of Pregabalin to support the Amitriptyline, but he wanted the consultant to see me first. In due time, the consultant appeared and after a few questions concurred with the new prescription but also ordered an MRI to be sure the problem wasn't due to ankylosing of the spine. The MRI, which I did not enjoy at all, took place one evening in October and I duly waited to hear the outcome but, in the meantime, was delighted that the Pregabalin was having the desired effect – insofar as the pain was now much more tolerable, even if still there. What followed may seem overly dramatic, but is a truthful recounting of events.

    One evening in late October, at about 4 o'clock, our eldest daughter telephoned our house in great distress. She said she could not remember where she was, what she had done all day and that she had forgotten to collect her children from school. As it turned out, the latter was an error as her husband had returned early from work and told her he would collect the children and that he would be a little late bringing them home as he was helping the Primary School teachers set up a whiteboard. She just couldn't remember that, or anything else that had happened that day.

    To cut a long story short, she had had a seizure which emulated, or was, an epileptic fit. I agreed to spend the whole of the next day with her at home as she was afraid she would have a further seizure which, thank God, has not happened up to the time of writing this some six weeks later. I tell you this only so you will fully appreciate the sequence of events on that particular Thursday in October, the day following our daughter's seizure.

    I always carry my mobile phone with me, wherever I go, but in order to focus on my daughter and her little baby, I had turned my phone off. Later that evening I arrived home to find my wife in a state of consternation. She had taken a phone call from my Rheumatology nurse at lunchtime during which she had impressed upon my wife that I must stop my Humira injections immediately. I later saw that there were five 'missed calls' on my mobile and three answer-phone messages from the nurse before the lunchtime conversation with my wife. As it happened, my Humira injection had been due a few days before but as I had a chest infection, and was taking antibiotics, I had stopped the Humira as on a previous occasion my Rheumatology nurse had said it was pointless to continue the injection with antibiotics as they virtually cancelled each other out.

    The next morning, Friday, I rang the nurse and she told me that the Rheumatology consultant needed to see me on the following Monday as the MRI had shown up “some shading” on my right lung. My head was spinning as I listened to her voice, seeming to echo down the line as from a great distance or through a long, metal pipe. I hung up the phone, told my wife what she had said and we stared numbly at each other as the dreaded implications began to filter into our collectively dumbfounded brains.

    The intervening weekend was the longest of my life. Over and over again, I replayed the conversation with the nurse – supplemented by her Herculean efforts to contact me on the Thursday I had spent with my daughter and grand-daughter. Hanging in the air between my wife and I was the unspoken fear, heavy and smothering like an anticipated thunderstorm. Finally, we broached the unspeakable and began to discuss what we should tell our five children if our fears were realised. Given that our eldest child was herself dealing with a worry that she may have developed epilepsy, as were we along with her siblings, we decided that we could say nothing and just carry on as normal. After all we had, as yet, nothing of any certainty to worry about.

    As we sat in the outpatients waiting area, neither of us could speak. For my part, my throat was so dry it was almost choking me. When the nurse called me to weigh me, I tried to be my usual self, but couldn't quite pull it off. I returned to my seat and had barely been there for a minute when my name was called. We walked into the consulting room and my doctor greeted me with a handshake, as he normally did. We sat and he said he wanted to discuss two things: “First, the MRI shows there is some ankylosing of the (nth) vertebrae”; (I could barely focus on his words and completely missed which vertebrae he was referring to); “Secondly, some fluid has collected in the pleura which I think may be the cause of your pain, pressing on the nerves. This build up of fluid is called a 'Pleural Effusion'.”

    I knew a little about the pleura, and that there was a little fluid there which was lubrication allowing expansion and contraction of the lung without friction. My older brother had once had pleurisy which was painful because of the lack of fluid. I immediately asked what might cause such an effusion. He said that there were many causes but, in my case, it may have been the result of a series of chest infections (I had had four in the year to date). He also said that it might be a side effect of the Humira, hence his instructions to cease the injections. What else might cause a pleural effusion, I persisted. Again, he said that there could be many reasons. Is cancer one of them? I asked. He said Yes, cancer could be one of the causes – but, although he couldn't say definitely, he didn't think that was a likely candidate – but as he wasn't a chest doctor, he wanted me to see one within the week.

    He looked me up and down, as if appraising me. “Have you lost any weight?” No; I've actually put weight on. “Oh, yes,” he said reviewing my notes. “You've gained 6 lbs since your last visit three months ago. In fact – you've put on almost a stone since this time last year.” He looked me up and down again. “Any breathlessness?” No. He smiled. “I think we should let Dr ***** see you before we try to guess what the problem is, but I and the radiologist who performed your MRI are of the opinion that this is more than likely an inflammatory response to an infection.” He decided to order a CT scan for the chest doctor, so that he had the clearest possible images of the effusion, and sent me straight down for a chest X-ray “in case the CT scan can't be done before the consultation”.

    That evening we almost celebrated, but didn't want to tempt fate by celebrating too soon. Even so, our relief was palpable.

    I had a consultation with a chest doctor who arranged for me to attend his clinic in Burnley where some of the fluid was to be drained for testing and several biopsies of the pleural wall would also be taken for tests. This went well, apart from the initial injections to numb the area. Remember, this area had plagued me with terrific pain for six months now and the three injections, each done at differing stages of the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue so the needle and biopsy tool could be inserted, were extremely painful at the three areas of my back to be numbed. The rest of the procedure went smoothly, apart from when the Registrar invited the 'trainee' doctor to “have a go”. If I'd had my wits about me, I should have objected, but I didn't so he proceeded to 'have a go'. One moment I was sitting, leaning forward on a pillow on the bed – the next I was a foot in the air. “Are you all right?” enquired the Registrar. “I think he hit a nerve!” was my terse response. “Yes,” she said with some welcome compassion. “Judging by your reaction, I'd say you were right”.

    The good news is that the CT scan report said that there is, indeed, some ankylosing in the thoracic vertebrae, although no sign of splintering or infiltration; the heart, pancreas, liver and kidneys are clear – as are the lungs, apart from the right one which has a large effusion, which appears to be due to an inflammatory response. There are no signs of malignancies. I had no idea the report said this until recently, so when Dr ***** said he had drawn about 60ml of fluid for testing, I took the opportunity to ask how large he thought the effusion was. “About a litre – maybe a bit more.” This was a BIG surprise. The MRI we'd seen in the Rheumatologist's office seemed to show about a sixteenth of the lung's capacity as containing fluid, so a litre seemed a lot to me. Here again, surprise was shown when, in response to a further question, I said I wasn't getting breathless at all.

    More good news is that the fluid pots have all come back as 'clear', which is GREAT news (especially as one was for cytology, which would indicate cancer). Whew!

    As yet, the biopsy results aren't back, but with everything else, it looks promising. What doesn't look promising is that if all tests are negative – which would be fantastic, of course – I will have to attend hospital again for a Thoracoscopy. This would entail more injections in the back followed by the insertion of a camera to see what – if anything physical – has been causing this trouble. I suppose I shouldn't complain too much; after all, if that's the worst thing that happens to me at the end of all this, it's a small price to pay for a clean bill of health.

    So, what about the Humira? Am I going to start taking the injections again? Well, I can't say for sure that it was the culprit behind all this pain and anguish, and it may well be that we'll never know for sure, but if there's even an outside chance that it IS the culprit . . . well, what would you do?

     

  • My last update was back in April, so whilst I have a few spare minutes I thought that I'd better write another. All has been generally well throughout the summer - I'm now a married man, sorry ladies. I wasn't that agreeable with a lot of the food whilst on honeymoon in Africa - whether that was down to a reduced immune system as a result of Humira or whether it would have happened regardless I'll never know. The big day went well and life has resumed as normal.

    I'm currently recovering from the flu, which has meant that I've missed two doses/4 weeks of Humira. I'm on the mend but feel that it will be at least another week until I can start it back up. My discomfort is increasing noticably each day now so the sooner the better. I'm booked in for a flu jab in just over a weeks time, so long as my recovery remains on track.

     

     

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The arthritis blogIf you live with or care for someone who lives with arthritis and want to help others by sharing your experiences, complete the registration form, follow the instructions and we'll set you up.

The arthritis bloggers

Janjo had symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis masked by pain from a horse riding accident at 44.
tilstongal has lived with Polymyalgia Rheumatica for 7 years.
LisaN1984 was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis after five years of suffering.
Becki62002 has fibromyalgia, ankylosing spondylitis and chronic pain syndrome
Clarence71
was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a year ago and would like to share on topics like accepting help
AnnC1
is 64 and has osteoarthritis in her spine. She'll have a hip replacement this September
Kezcola
has rheumatoid arthritis, diagnosed aged 9. She's had two pairs of hips and ankles replaced and is waiting on her knees

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