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A Cocktail Full of Hope

My Rheumatoid Arthritis journey started off in early 2011, at the age of 33, with pain in small joints of hands, fingers and wrists. Eventually, over a time span of a few months, the pain had taken over everywhere from my jaw to my larger joints (hips, shoulders). While waiting for my very first appointment with a rheumatologist, I was started on prednisone & diclofenac (initial doses via injection followed by a months worth of pills) by a Jamaican doctor while on vacation due to a hip flare that left me unable to walk. I was officially told I had RA by my first rheumatologist telling me he would keep me out of a wheelchair. (Looking back at that moment, I am still unsure how I feel about that approach, but that’s another story) It is my belief that the intense intervention by the doctor in Jamaica put me in a remission for about a year. Maybe a little longer. Over the years my cocktail of meds has changed as it does for everyone else. Things work for a time, and then gradually they decline in effectiveness. The latest drug my body seems to have built a resistance to is the biologic, Humira. I am in the process of starting on Remicade infusions while continuing my weekly injection of 20 mg of methotrexate. I am waiting for my first infusion appointment to be scheduled as I type this. This, of course, all hinges on my application being approved by the patient assistance program set up by the pharmaceutical company. The costs associated with the newer biologic medications is astounding and most insurance companies require exhausting pre-approvals and re-approvals and also have high copays for these types of medications, if they are covered at all. The only reason I was able to go on Humira was due to the patient assistance program they provided. I know going onto Remicade will most likely not be the last time my cocktail is adjusted in hopes of calming the inflammation I feel throughout my entire body. But I am hopeful that it will work for as long as possible.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • jaide winn
    4 years ago

    I understand completely. I was on Enbrel for a year, and it never really helped. Then, I went on Remicade for a year and a half, it worked, but we had to keep increasing the dosage, then went to increasing the frequency. At the end, I was on 600mg IV every 6 weeks. It just fizzled, so about 2 months ago, I started Actemra, it is, by far, the best yet. Remicade helped, but not like the Actemra has. I hope it just continues to work. Good luck to you, I hope the Remicade works well for or you.

  • Trisha Logue author
    4 years ago

    thank you Jaide. Good luck to you as well! I am glad you are having success with the Actemra.

  • Mariah Z. Leach moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi Trisha ~
    Thank you for taking the time to share your story. You are right about how our personal “cocktails” change over time! I hope that the Remicade helps for you! Remixed Does offer a assistance program called RemiStart that you may want to look into. In the meantime, please remember that we are here to support you!
    ~Mariah~

  • Trisha Logue author
    4 years ago

    Hi Mariah, thank you for your kind words. Yes, I am going through the Remistart program. Thank goodness they have something like that. My treatments were to begin today, but of course there was a bump in the road…..no referral put in. Figures! It is ALWAYS something. Rescheduled for tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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