I have been off Methotrexate now for two weeks and will be switching from Enbrel to Cimzia in about two weeks. I am not complaining at the timing because this week is American Craft Beer week and Lloyd has the week planned.
I have not heard much about the Cimzia shot for Rheumatoid Arthritis. So I will be researching a little about it in the next two weeks. Are you on Cimzia or have you ever taken Cimzia for Rheumatoid Arthritis? How well did it work for you? What type of side effects did you have while taking Cimzia?
I will be getting another Vectra DA blood test when I go back to Dr. Forouzesh’s office at the end of May. We will use the results to see if Methotrexate was helping or not. Then have it to compare after the change to Cimzia, so it should be interesting. I am ready to try something new and I hope that it gives me the relief that Enbrel and Arava gave me for a couple years. I really look forward to getting to workout daily again and be able to carry my own bags again.
There is no class for dealing with sleep and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) but it is an art of learning how to position yourself so you can sleep. I have been thinking about writing this post for a couple weeks and then my older sister called today, we were discussing our the aches and pains of Rheumatoid Arthritis (also known as Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease; see we refuse to be mislabeled). My older sister mentioned she talked to my younger sister who was having some aches and pains. It reminded me of last spring when I had talked to my younger sister and she mentioned it was hard to learn to lay on her back when she was dealing with pain in her hips and lower spine. All I could say was yes it is hard to learn to lie on your back.
So I kept thinking, what did I not say? What did I keep to myself? My first lesson of sleeping with Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD) was learning how to keep moving at night. It is easy to learn to do but frustrating to have to do it. Basically when I start waking up because of pain I rotate my body to relieve the pain and fall back to sleep. At times I could do this every ten minutes, other times once every hour. Usually when I have nights like this I can take some Benadryl and it will help me sleep through the mild pain and stiffness. But if the pain and stiffness is more constant or higher pain levels I do not just sleep during the night, sleep becomes a 10-24 hour process since I am waking up so often.
I have been walking usually twice a day for a few weeks now, which has been a nice change after being pretty much stuck in the house in too much pain. I have notice a change in my pattern of stiffness. Before I started walking, most of the pain was in my shoulders, back and elbows. Since I have been walking more now I deal with stiffness greater in my feet, hips and knees. The last few weeks still have been an improvement in my Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD formally RA aka Rheumatoid Arthritis). It seems to help not picking up heavy items or hold anything too long. We went to a Valentine Soiree held by the Lady of Magic at the Redondo Beach Castle. I took my Canon Rebel and purse with Motorola Xoom, the weight and/or actions did increase bruised feeling in my inner shoulders and spine for a few days. Not enough of a bruised feeling to make me not want to pick up the camera again, I will again.
Sometime the pain is worth the actions. The enjoyment of doing something at times is worth the amount of the pain that increase from doing it, whether it is holding a camera to take photos or walking the dogs. Right now I will continue walking because I can and the stiffness is on the lighter side. How long will it last? I hope it is something I can keep up but I know if the pain, stiffness or fatigue increase, I will have to skip out on the walks. I am grateful to be able to do them now and not be where I was last year, just hoping to have the energy and pain levels go down enough to make it to the store and back.
Do you walk when your pain and stiffness from your RAD is on the lighter side? How often and how far do you go? Right now I am doing a morning and evening walk around a mile or so each walk.
Please help support Rheumatoid Patient Foundation by making a donation today and learn more about Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (also called Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA).
Today I finished a Pain Scale, a request from RA Warrior “What would be your model pain scale? “. It is an attempt to customize a pain scale for Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had to think about different types of pain. What are the types of pain? What can cause a person physical pain? Some of my thoughts were about bee stings, sunburns, sprained bones, strained muscles, broken bones, torn muscles, headaches, migraines, cuts, surgery, childbirth, being ran over by a truck and even torture. What type of pain would a bee sting cause? I would think it would be acute pain, it can be intense but is usually short lived. Does that even matter?
Most people with RAD (Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis) live with chronic pain daily. I have read that pain receptors are sensitive to temperature (hot or cold), vibration as well inflamation. Inflammation happens when you are cut, you sprain something or when you are hit by a truck (tissue damage, broken bones, etc). When that happens if you move the damaged area the pain usually gets worse or sharper. With RAD you never see the truck coming, but it hits you. If you were to get hit by a truck and survive, you would probably have months of pain, recovery and rehabilitation. With Rheumatoid Arthritis this becomes our lifestyle.
I attempted to create a chart that describes some of the types of pain that someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis would recognize easily. But since I am just one patient, it would need more input on how they might describe the pain. I also made section for recommendations which I think individual patients would have to fill in. I put an example of something they may write to allow family members to see what help they may need during those levels of pain. They may not be able to communicate or think clearly enough ask.
Then a ‘May Compare To’ section to come up with a way to describe to others (family, friends, medical communities) and for Awareness of Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease. Again just a section that should have more input from many RAD Patients.
Please help support Rheumatoid Patient Foundation by making a donation today. Pain is just one symptom of RAD learn more about Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (also called Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA).
—Update 1/9/2012 @ 12:49 PM—–
This article was a part of Pain Scale Blog Carnival at RAWarrior.com which has 14 other Patient opinions on pain scales.