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Question on RA physcians and do they really care about us?

It's been over 6 months since I have been on an RA med. The last one was Cimzia that I was on 2 months and had abdominal pain and it did no good on the pain in my knees. My dr. told me to be patient; which I tried until my abdominal pain go worse and went to the hospital due to a tear in my colon. I looked up side effects of Cimzia before I started and did see the chance of internal bleeding. I spoke to my dr. after the hospital stay and she said it had nothing to do with the drug. She ran out of med choices for me and sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I changed doctors and met with him in October. He prescribed Humira; but the copay per shot is $1500. I told him I could not afford that. He messaged me later and said He had a couple of options to discuss with me when I see him again Feb. 20th. I'm upset because he could care less that I am not on anything to stop the progressive damage. I told him I could not wait that long - my knees are so bad I can barely walk, go up or down stairs, bend down, sitting down is painful, I can't take a bath with out help getting out (very humiliating). On the usual scale of 1-10 taking steps is always a 10 and they will not prescribe anything for pain. I've tried Tylenol, but only 6-10 will take the edge off and I'm fearful of the side effects.

I have lost over 6 months of living normally (meaning walking) and I don't want to lose any more time. I already have major depression; which I thought could not get worse; but it has and tolerant to antidepressants. My only hope is in the Lord and He is leading me and pushed to write you. Thank you for you patience

  1. Hi . Your frustration is understandable. Did your doctor mention the financial assistance program for Humira? Here is a link: There is a good chance the company will cover all or part of the costs. My brother was on Humira and is now on Enbrel. He earns a very good salary and still pays nothing for his prescriptions. The programs have pretty generous guidelines. Your doctor might also prescribe you some steroids for now if you request them. I hope this helps and that you get some relief quickly. Have you talked with your psychiatrist about your depression since it has worsened? It might help to change medications or increase your dose with all the stress you are under now. Please know we are here for you whenever you need us. Gentle hugs. - Lori (Team Member)

    1. As Lori said above, Humira and other medicines usually offer scholarship programs - many of us use them, and even if they don't there are organizations that exist to help you pay for meds. If you need assistance we can always help. As for doctors not listening to you - yes, it happens all the time. In fact, it took me two years to find a doctor who listened to me and that I liked. I've been with him for over 20 years now. I know it's a pain (literally and figuratively), but it's worth it in the end. You also might want to consider seeing a pain management specialist who can, depending on what state you are in, prescribe stronger meds for pain. Let us know if there's anything else we can do and remember - you are not alone! Keep on keepin' on, DPM

      1. I wish we knew where each other lives after reading some who didn't like their physician or how their physician didn't care. It took me 4 months to find my Rheumatologist and it was worth the wait.
        When I found her I could hardly walk or use my hands. My Rheumatologist was my life saver. Very aggressive and I can't say enough about.
        I was diagnosed in 2000, Rheumatologist was very aggressive in the treatment. Put me on prednisone to get the swelling down. My feet looked like sausages in casings.
        It was so awful the pain and depression.
        My shoulders, wrists, achilles tendons and feet were all in sync with pain. Once bloodwork and swelling went down, I was put on Arava 20mg, Methotrexate 12mg and Folic Acid 2mg. 23 years later I am on the same regimen and looking at my hands, feet etc. you would never know I have RA. Don't get me wrong, I do have flare ups on occasion but thanks to the 7day regimen of Prednisone, similar to Medrol Dose Pack I get almost immediate relief. Sometimes I don't even have to finish the prednisone regimen. I am so grateful to my Rheumatologist and wish I could share her with everyone that suffers with this disease. I feel as though she saved my life, she definitely saved my quality of life. Good luck to everyone out there that suffers. I feel your pain. ❤️

        1. Hi . I am so glad you found such a good rheumatologist and that your RA is well under control. It would be nice to share that kind of information, but with the positive comes the negative and that would open up a huge can of worms from a legal perspective. There is nothing stopping anyone from sharing information through private messages though. So feel free to do so if you find a member who lives in your area and might benefit from the information. Wishing you the best. - Lori (Team Member)

        2. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Joanna. It's so great to hear that you have found a doctor that makes you feel safe and cared for. So many members have spoken about the hardships of not being to find the right doctor that will work for them. Let alone, find a treatment plan that brings them relief. But your story gives us hope and reassurance that good healthcare providers are very much so out there. And although it may take time, finding the right one is worth enduring such a process. Thank you for encouraging and supporting other members of the community and we are wishing you the best on your journey! Warmly, Latoya (Team Member)

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