Lady from UK

Hi, I'm a 63 year old mum of 5 and grandma of 7, from the UK.

I was diagnosed with sero-negative RA in 1987, when I was 36. My youngest child was four years old. In the beginning, my GP treated my illness with NSAIDS, but after several months of trying different ones, my ESR rose to 85, so he referred me to a rheumatologist.

For 13 years I was successfully treated with Diclofenac and Salazapyrin, with Indomethacin, iron tablets and Cimetidine to protect my stomach. In the meantime my consultant emigrated to Australia. I received a letter telling me my new consultant would be in touch shortly to make an appointment. I never heard from them. As my iron count got very low, my GP suspected I had internal bleeding and stopped my meds. He had to refer me again, and I found my new consultant had very different ideas about treatment. He first put me on a 6 month course of Prednislone. Towards the end of the 6 months he put me on Methotrexate tablets. These worked well, but after the dose rose I started to feel nauseous and have blackouts. By this time I had yet another new consultant, a lady. She arranged for me to have subcutaneous injections 25 mls. She also added in one 10mg Leflunomide (Arava) tablet daily.

I also have Sjogren's Syndrome, which the new meds worked well with. I also have Bronchiectasis with pseudomonas colonies.

In January 2013 I had to stop the methotrexate, as I had been diagnosed with cancer and was due to begin a course of chemotherapy in February. After that treatment, I was feeling very well and my RA was inactive. My consultant decided to leave me as I was for a year, with the option for me to contact her if things changed. Well, I have a new appointment in September, which I can't wait for, because my RA is active again, giving me a painful shoulder and arm on the left side, and a painful elbow on the right. In the meantime, I've also developed Nodular Prurigo and Lichen Simplex, so I hope my consultant will put me back on Methotrexate as not only will it help my RA, it should also help with the NP and Lichen Simplex.

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