A little background on my RA journey- I was diagnosed in January of 2012, after several months of debilitating symptoms (like having to go down the stairs on my butt, not being able to straighten my arm).
My rheumatologist started me on methotrexate and after six months with no change, we added Humira.
Humira was amazing. I had so much energy, I could walk, and after almost a year, I could finally bend my arm. I am quite positive I was right on the cusp of remission.
Fast forward nine months. A seemingly harmless cough morphed into a nasty chest infection that took months to clear with various concoctions of antibiotics. I ended up with a permanent diagnosis of asthma.
Since my illness in 2013, I tried Orenica. I tried Enbrel. Nothing. I convinced my rheumatologist to please let me try Humira again. I did and instantly got a fungal infection, plus a sinus infection. I even had sinus surgery- desperate to get back what Humira once gave me. It was no use, I kept getting sick.
I moved on to Simponi Aria infusions in the fall of 2016 and gave them a solid nine months to work. Nothing.
It is now fall of 2017 and I’ve had my two loading doses of Rituxan. And guess what? Something! My fatigue got better right away, my stiffness is almost gone, and my pain is more manageable. But guess what?
As of today, I’m now sick for the second time in a month.
To say I’m discouraged would be a massive understatement. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for less than 6 years and I am already on my 5th biologic and just had my 5th surgery in June.
I feel that I have to pick between two evils: do I want to live in pain with limited mobility, while this disease attacks my organs? Or do I want to be able to bend my arm and walk down the stairs but I’ll be horribly ill and not strong enough to fight a serious infection?
In short, do I want to be stiff or sick?