Hello All! I am a new member and am very thankful to have found this treasure trove of information. I was wondering if anyone could chime in on my current situation. I was on short term disability for a different health problem earlier this year and while off work I tried to follow through on all of the second tier health problems I have had. During this process I was diagnosed with RA (sero-positive) and according to my rheumatologist, my labs show that my inflammation is off the charts-- I even have an M-spike.. I am trying to get up to speed on this new ailment... I also have Type 1 diabetes which I've always considered my primary medical problem.
Anyway, at my first appointment with my rheumatologist, we went over my pain issues, etc. A lot of the things I had experienced in the last several years I chalked up to Diabetes, and so did my doctors. I have had morning stiffness for some time and small joint pain, but when I started having to take the stairs in my house one step at a time because my hip hurt so much, I talked to my GP and my RA quest began.
My rheumatologist put me on 5mg of steroids for 5 days to see if it helped while my more RA specific labs came back. That made no impact. Shortly after, I started my first DMARD-- sulfasalazine and in a few weeks I started noticing a difference. I could amble about before the DMARD but after I started sulfasalazine I woke up with minimal stiffness and was my psysical capabilities were improving.
But...I could not stomach the sulfa. Even before I went to a full dose (I was started on a half dose to try and ramp up any stomach issues), I started throwing up in the morning when I took it and I felt sick all the time. So, my doc told me to stop taking it and it took several days for her to get back to me with a new DMARD. She put me on hydroxychloroquine as she said it was the easiest on the stomach and gave me a 3 week tapered course of prednisone and we made plans to try Humira. Again, I ramped up to a full dose and have not been on it for very long.
I have never been so incapacitated in my life. I need a cane to get up. My knees and back are useless. I ache all over. I guess this is a flare? I live with my 18 year old daughter and that is it. She can't fathom my struggle right now, but she's getting sick of me telling her "I can't". I can't do housework, take care of my pets, sit for more than 30 minutes, walk for more than a few yards...and I have no capacity to take FMLA (company too small) or Short Term disability.
I suspect that this onslaught is due to stopping the DMARD, but I'd like to hear from others. I can't sustain working at my desk job in this condition and I am hoping that it won't always be this bad.
How long should I give it until I consider going on welfare and then applying for disability?
Again, any anecdotal info or encouragement is warmly appreciated!!