Sunday, 29 June 2014

Time for a reduction

So since my last blog post, I had been starting to really struggle on the days that I took my MTX injection, even to the point that I was being sick several times throughout the day. My hair was tons thinner and every Friday I would go home from work, have tea and get into bed to sleep off the side effects.

For a while I thought that this is the price that I have to pay in order to have my normal body back and that I should really count myself lucky because it was MUCH better than being on crutches for months. But it got to the point where I was so ill and fed up of wasting my Fridays that I decided to get in touch with the rheumatologist.

This was at the start of May, when I was actually long overdue a 6 month review that should have taken place in March. So I phoned up to find out how much longer I would have to wait for an appointment, to be told that there was a huge backlog of at least 4 months. This would mean that I wouldn't get an appointment until July at the earliest and there was no way I could wait that long.

One of the most important things I have learnt since being diagnosed with arthritis is that you have to fight to get an appointment, if you sit and wait, you could be waiting for months (which has happened to me before). So I stressed how much I need to see a rheumatologist ASAP and managed to get appointment for a few days later as someone else has cancelled. Proof that you can't take no for an answer!

After seeing the rheumatologist, I have been given anti nausea medication for the day of injection and a lower dose of injection. I have also been given folic acid to take every day rather than once a week, which will hopefully help my hair grow thicker again.

I've had three weeks of this new medication and so far so good, I still feel a bit peaky on a Friday, but no where near as bad. Also, Im sure my hair is getting thicker, so I'm feeling much less self conscious.

Hopefully this is a sign that things are on the up!

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Methotrexate Progression

So in my last arthritis based post several months ago, I had just started to use Methotrexate injections and I was hoping that this would finally be the right treatment to get me back to normal. Well.. it was! (Although I will never go back to exactly how I was). 

I inject myself in my leg with 20mg of Methotrexate every Friday morning and have done for the past 7 or 8 months now. After a month or so I started to feel much better and by about 2 or 3 months I was almost completely symptom free!

Things that have improved since using methotrexate injections:
  • Like I mentioned above, I am practically symptom free! I no longer need crutches, wrist supports etc, I can walk normally again and best of all, I am no longer in pain. I have met people since starting the injections and they haven't even noticed that I have arthritis.
  • My psoriasis has completely gone, not once mark left anywhere!
  • My tiredness levels have massively improved. I can make it to the end of the day without really struggling, whereas I was previously exhausted by 2pm each day. I do still need extra sleep at the weekends and sometimes have a Saturday afternoon nap too, but through the week there is  definite improvement.
  • General every day life - I feel like I have my normal life back, which is all I really wanted!
  • I am no longer on any other form of medication, I just have one injection and one folic acid tablet per week compared to the 15 pills a day I was one at one point!
  • I have managed to lose the stone of weight that I put on while on steriods.
All of these improvements have been fantastic, and something I wasn't sure would ever happen!

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Long time no blog...

So I must start this post by apologising for the length of time since my last post... 7 months!!

There have been several reasons why I have been quiet for so long:

New Job

In July I started my new job, which is at an accountants in Kendal. I was working at my previous firm in Ulverston for 5 years and decided that it was time for a change. It was very nerve wracking, deciding to start a new job that was an hours commute from my house and not knowing anyone there, but it was the best decision I have made in years! I am extremely happy working for my new firm and the commute is definitely worth it.

I got married!

In November I tied the knot to my wonderful husband Jamie after 2 years of being engaged and 7 years in total of being together. The few months before the wedding were incredibly busy, with making my own evening invitations with, organising my hen do and the big day itself. But I had great support from my closest friends Katie and Ellie, who were also my bridesmaids.
I moved house

After a year of working on our house (scraping walls, ripping out fire places, re plastering the entire house to name a few jobs) we finally moved in the day after our wedding. This was not for religious reasons, it was purely timing of getting finished, but I would definitely recommend moving in the day after your wedding! It was like a completely new chapter in our lives and it was so exciting to start married life in a new house. We had been together for 7 years by the time we got married, so there wasn't any nasty surprises, in fact I was actually pleasantly surprised! We are closer and happier than ever.

So that is why I have been so quiet and in the next few days I will get back up to scratch with posting my developments with living with Arthritis.... there's a lot to tell!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Metoject take two!

So since my last post, I have taken a break from the metoject to get rid of the bronchitis. Thankfully it has almost gone now, with only a slight cough left behind.

I decided to try again with my injections last Friday, but this time to inject into my leg to see if this would help prevent being sick. It actually hurt a lot more than my stomach, but maybe this was because I was so nervous about it this time. I also bled a little bit, which I never did with my stomach.

Despite this discomfort, I wasn't sick! I was extremely tired over the weekend and slept for most of it, but other than that, I was okay.

This morning I injected into my leg again, this time with much less pain, however when I took the needle out, a bit of the liquid from the needle came back out of my leg. A bit strange! I have emailed my nurse to make sure that this is okay. Once again, I have not been sick, which is great.

My finger was swollen and stuck in the
position in the first picture for months,
the second picture shows that I can now
bend it nearly all the way and it's much
So is it working? I would say without a doubt the injections are having a positive effect. My psoriasis is definitely reducing and my joints feel almost pain free. I feel slight discomfort in a few of my joints at times, such as my index finger if I pick up something heavy, but definitely there is a massive improvement.

Hopefully now I am on the road to recovery and I can tollerate the metoject.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Metoject Update

I have now injected myself three times, each time with little problems. Of course it hurts a bit, but after 5 minutes it is completely forgotten about and I can get on with the rest of my day.

I was so pleased to have absolutely no side effects after I injected the first time and just hoped that this time the medication would work.

I started to notice that my psoriasis was less red and noticeable. My arm didn't look completely clear by any means, but it was definitely improving. I also managed to start running again, something I wasn't sure I would ever be able to do again. These were all positive signs and I began to gain a bit of hope.

The next Friday I woke up to have no voice at all. I had been feeling a bit off for a few days, quite tired, no appetite and I had slight sinus pain, but Friday it had seemed to hit my chest all at once. Regardless, I did my injection and went to work, which happened to be at a client's premises. 

Despite the fact that I was unable to speak, I actually felt okay for the first hour or so. But at around 10am, I suddenly started to feel very nauseous and by lunch time I had to go home to be sick. I went back to work though as I didn't feel as bad after that, but the rest of the day I felt very drained.

After a few days of having no voice and feeling pretty under the weather, I went to the doctors to find out I had bronchitis. This explained why I was feeling so ill, but as it is a virus, there is no treatment for it, I just had to ride it out. 

By the next Friday I was still feeling ill, but got up and did my injection none the less. Once again, after a few hours, I was sick, but this time it kept coming. After a few times being sick in work I had to go home, I felt horrendous and slept for the rest of the day. 

I have contacted my nurse as I am concerned that it is the injections making me sick, but since both times I have been sick I have also had bronchitis, the nurse can't be sure which is causing it, or if its a mixture of them both.

So for now I have had to stop my injections until I get rid of this bronchitis. I'm hoping that will be soon as I have had it for two weeks now. Then once it's gone, if I take my injection and I am sick again, we will know that I can't tolerate them either.

I really hope not because it is such hard work trying to get started on a new medication. Fingers crossed I can take my injection next week and all will be okay!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Metoject - My First Go

So in a previous post I mentioned that there had been another mix up with my notes and therefore a hold up with an appointment to start injecting Methotrexate. Thankfully the nurse managed to get me an appointment a few weeks later, for Friday 19th April at 9am.

Today was the day and I was understandably nervous this morning. I am not afraid of injections or needles, especially since I have to have blood tests every month, but injecting yourself is a different matter.

I had a new nurse today, who was lovely and made me feel slightly more at ease. That was until I saw the needle and syringe! I actually expected to be using one of them pens that diabetes sufferers use to inject insulin, so when I saw a needle I panicked! 

The nurse went through explaining all the do's and don'ts, how to check the medication is okay, how to store it etc.. basically everything I needed to know. Then it was time for me to hold the syringe and get used to it. It felt very strange holding it, you see it on the TV all the time and watch nurses hold them in front of you, but when you hold it yourself, it feels like its something you shouldn't be allowed to do!

Once I was comfortable, I cleaned my hands with the sanitiser foam and got started. The first challenge was to get the cover off the needle, which is actually very difficult! You cant squeeze too hard or else some of the medicine will escape, but you have to squeeze hard enough to get it off. 

Then it was time to bite the bullet and inject. I must admit, I did pause for a second in slight panic, but quite quickly told myself to stop being a baby and just go for it. It's one of those things that the longer you wait, the worse it gets. And to be completely honest, it barely hurt at all. I felt it going in, but getting my bloods taken hurt way more than this!

It was so simple! No bleeding, no cotton wool over the wound, nothing! Its been about 3 hours now since I did it and there is still no mark.

So overall, nothing to worry about! Now my main concern is how well are they going to work...

I will keep you all posted!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Want to know more about RA?

RA GuyOne of my favourite Rheumatoid Arthritis blogs is Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy and I regularly check out his blog for new updates.

One thing I came accross recently was his 60 second guide to RA, which I think sums up the main points perfectly. If you aren't too sure exactly what Rheumatoid Arthritis is and who it effects, I suggest you take a look :)