It has been a very long time since I have written on here! Here is an update on how my life and RA have been for the past year.
First off, the x-ray of my sternum showed nothing usual at all.
From there, I actually ended up moving back home after deciding to pursue a VERY different major than the one I had previously been studying; apparel design. Since then, I have been going to school full time, working full time, and on top of that I have another part time job. My arthritis has not gotten in the way!
I was on the enbrel shots for quit a while, but after one bad experience with hitting a vein and nearly fainting I began to research other alternatives. I tend to have high anxiety levels and this began to affect when it became time to do the injections. I still did them of course as they were a much better alternative than the effects of ra!
Shortly after this experience however I went to see a gastroenterlogist for chronic nausea. It was then that I found out that during my testing when I was 16, I was given a "pre crohns" diagnosis. I must thought little about this then because it shocked me to hear it. The doctor decided that by this point I must have fully developed the disease. Because of this, he recommended that I suggest remicade as an alternative during my next ra appointment to treat both conditions.
I took his suggestion and brought it up to my new rheumatologist at our very first appointment. (I finally had to switch from my juvenile rheumatologist at age 20! haha) He agreed that this may be a better option for me and set up the initial appointment. For the first appointment I was unaware that you are supposed to have someone drive you because they give you a benadryl during the infusion. I did not take the benadryl and luckily I did great during the infusion. It only took about 1 week for me to really notice a difference, but when I did it was outstanding. I have had no morning stiffness, more energy, and no side effects that I have noticed. They doctors say that chest pains can be a complication, so they did x ray my chest. All seems to be going well! I have had 3 infusions to date and have my next one in about a month. (I go every 8 weeks). And even with my hectic schedule and constantly being on my feet (I work in retail) my joints are doing great. Before the last infusion I did notice a bit of stiffness a few days before my next appointment, but I was happy that it had lasted that long to begin with. I have heard it takes a while for this medication build up in your system so we will see how it goes!
As for the ra factor in my blood, I was told that the rheumatoid factor did show up positive on my last appointment, but that another test they did showed up negative. I will ask for the details on this when I go in next.