Life changing RA med
I just wanted to talk about an oral RA med that has had a very positive impact on my health and life.
Dealing with RA and comorbidities
I have RA, and also COPD, CHF, and asthma. Have been on oxygen for 21 years. Also, I worked as an LPN for 28 yrs, retiring 5 yrs ago due to my asthma getting too severe to be able to continue work.
Two years ago, my health rapidly deteriorated. I lost 36 pounds while not trying, was lethargic, weak, and my nail beds started turning funky - turning color and receding.
My pulmonologist got a chest x-ray; and found pulmonary effusion fluid accumulating around my right lung. I had to get it aspirated (a long needle stuck into your back). They removed almost a liter of thick, yellowish-green fluid...basically pus.
Had to get the lung aspirated AGAIN one month later, this time a coffee cup-sized amount of clear yellow fluid. My doctor was strangely quiet - a concerned look on his face at our meeting. Said if I didn't get on a biologic, there wasn't much to be done.
Finding an affordable and effective RA medication
I'd tried to get on one before ... none of my Medicare drug plans carried one I could afford (co-pays). In desperation, I searched all the drug plans looking for biologic type meds they'd cover.
Luckily, I saw that Wellcare covers Xeljanz. Since I live in a very small town the fact it doesn't require IV infusion was a huge plus! I'd had to go on a huge daily dose of Prednisone to try and curb the pulmonary effusion and had ballooned up to 274 lb ... more than I'd ever weighed.
After starting on Xeljanz; I was able to get my medical doctor to cut my pred. down to my usual 1 mg./day. The pulmo/effusion has not come back, and I've been able to lose over 50 lb. so far!
Between that and my pulmo putting me on Montelukast; (generic Singulair I believe); I am feeling great and have so much more stamina and can walk much farther and do more before becoming SOB.
I also have taken Plaquenil and Arava for years, and take Laxox and potassium every other day. (Two heart meds, too) It's a lot, but I'm grateful for every day God gives me and try to live it to the fullest. The right meds can be a life changer!
May marks Arthritis Awareness Month! What topic are you most excited to learn more about?