Thank you and hello everyone.
I have been looking to connect to other people who have similar arthritis and or auto immune disease that I can discuss with and listen to their experiences and hopefully learn and adjust for the journey I have ahead of me. I have struggled to find any group especially any face-to-face support group even know I live in Sydney. Therefore, the only advice I have been getting is from reading online, my rheumatologist or GP but neither have actually experienced RA. After reading some of the posts here and some posts on online arthritis forums I am either lucky or just early in my journey and have a lot of pain and issues ahead of me..??
Apologies in advance for this very long post. I am sorry if the questions I ask seem trivial to some of the issues that other people in this group are going through.
I was diagnosed with RA approximately a year ago, at 38 years old, after I had my first flare in my hands, wrists and thumbs. It sounds like I was lucky to be diagnosed so soon although who knows how long I had underlying conditions. Ive always been very injury prone and from playing football as recently as 4 years ago I have managed to do a lot of joint damage to my ankles and knees to name a few. I always seemed to have niggles and some pain somewhere but this may have been before my RA, I am just not sure..
My rheumatologist started me on methotrexate around Feb 2022. After a rough start, potentially more to do with the anxiety of the diagnosis and having to take these drugs, I settled into it and was feeling relatively fine with little pain for a few months. However since August and after an extended holiday where I was probably enjoying myself too much I.e drinking and smoking etc.. pain and redness at the base of my thumbs and some pain in my wrists returned and has stayed with me pretty consistently from August until now.
I have started on fortnightly humira injections approximately 5 weeks ago. The humira has been a mixed bag. After the first and third injection the pain in my hands/thumbs reduced substantially for a week or so but came back for the second week. After the second humira injection I noticed no reduction in pain or redness in my thumbs at all. Iam not sure what to expect moving forward. I would love to hear other peoples experiences of humira or biologics in general. I understand that everyone’s situation and circumstances are different and also that not everyone wants to share.
I have been considering what activities both recreational and or house maintenance or my job / work I should continue with and which I should stop incase they do more harm than good. I was hoping I could get some advice from people here and their experiences. My general question is should I stop any activities that are generally sore on joints to try and protect my joints long term??
For example, downhill mountain biking, this is one of my hobbies and its great exercise however it is very hard on hand joints in particular as it high impact and constant bumping going down mountain trails at high speed. I have mountainbiked a few times since my diagnosis but 6 weeks ago after being on the downhill bike trails my hands joints were sore for at least a week after so I reckon I need to knock this on the head? I may need to switch the mtb bike to a road bike which is less impact..
Football is another one which I almost started again but then realised this is probably not the best sport for me now as it is likely ill only damage my ankle or knee joints or other joints further..
I do yoga which I think is something I will continue to do for as long as I can, it is low impact and great for mobility, strength and mental health. I play golf which again is a good relatively low impact exercise. It involves long walks however it has some impact in the hands and twisting of shoulders backs and hips from swinging golf clubs but I think its fairly low risk and I aim to keep golf unless someone advises me this is not a good idea long term?
In terms of house work / maintenance, I am still mowing my lawn with my lawn mower and strimming etc which is fairly hard on my hands and can leave me a bit sore afterwards sometimes. Is this something I should think about finding a solution for i.e. stop doing this??
I work at a computer using a keyboard and mouse all day every day, although I am probably lucky I don’t do a manual trade. I obviously need to keep doing this to pay the bills but am trying to find ways to make my work space more comfortable in terms or ergonomics etc
Again, apologies for this very long post and again I am sorry if the questions I ask seem trivial to some of the issues that other people in this group are going through, I am only trying gain some advice from other people who have went through similar experiences and find out if I am in for a world or hurt and or how best to navigate my path forward…