Are you listening?
For Me, Autoimmune Comes in MultiplesI recently wrote about my sudden hearing loss. If you missed it, you can catch up with that HERE. In that blog post, I promised to talk about my other new diagnosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). For those keeping counts, RA is my 3rd autoimmune disease diagnosis.
Medication for these autoimmune diseases is hit or miss. And sometimes, something that seems to be working, suddenly, just isn’t. It’s just the way it is and every day is somewhat of an adjustment period. My meds have been switched up quite a few times. I no longer take oral meds for autoimmune, which isn’t to say that I won’t be taking oral meds again, someday.
Currently, I take a full syringe of Methotrexate once a week. They’d started me at half a syringe after taking me off oral Hydroxychloriquine and Leflunomide. This was supposed to address both Sjogren’s and AIED (autoimmune inner ear disease). Within a week of the switch, if was apparent that half a syringe wasn’t going to work out for me, so they increased it. They also prescribed me Humira, specifically for the new RA diagnosis, however, 2 months later, Humira has still not contacted me even though my insurance approved it. This is a medication that you do not get at a pharmacy. It is coordinated delivery as it is a specialty med and also needs to be refrigerated. This too will be taken by injection. I do not yet know if it will be an injection pen or a regular syringe like I use for the Methotrexate.
Diagnosing (DX) autoimmune diseases is difficult, even for the best doctors. There are so many cross-over symptoms, they can mimic each other. That is part of why it too 2 years after the Sjogren’s DX to add the RA DX. Sjogren’s has many similar symptoms. However, my joints have continued to worsen. My hands and feet, red and swollen where the fingers and toes connect. Painful. My hips, knees, ankles, and even my elbows and shoulders are affected. It sucks.
Pain is a daily companion. I do not take pain medication outside of Tylenol and/or Ibuprophen unless you count the Gabbapentin they give me for Fibromyalgia. Gabapentin doesn’t do shit.