I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in June of 2010. Methotrexate and Arava and Prednisone, had me throwing up all Christmas Day through New Year’s–which then I refused to take any more. Between June and December of 2010 I suffered from 2 severe ear infections, one of which almost burst my eardrum in my right ear.
I was on antibiotics 2 weeks for each of these. My Rheumatoid Arthritis doctor was mad I quit the drugs. My pharmacist called him 3 times to ask about the amount of Methotrexate and Arava I was on—-HE NEVER CALLED BACK. The time I was OFF the above drugs I felt human again and lost 12 pounds in 17 days. Okay on the 18th day I started swelling up again in my feet and returned to the doctor. ( We only have 2 in our town and one was on vacation) He then proceeded to prescribed Plaquenil with Prednisone. He refused to tell me the side effects because he thought since I researched the M and Arava that it must be in my head. Well, I did research and Plaquenil plus Prednisone and it seemed to be working UNTIL the morning of February 2nd. I awoke with explosive diarrhea and vomiting at 4:30 in the morning. By 7:00am I told my husband to call the ambulance and was rushed to the hospital–blood pressure 68/32. The list of tests were unlimited and finally this nasty bacteria was found to be the cause of it. It was explained to me that my immune system was doubly compromised and I had acquired that infection, and spent 2 days in hospital. Changed to a Doctor in another state and was put on Enbrel Injections of 25 once a week. with Prednisone , I seemed to be doing well for 2 weeks. I got a severe sore throat and another ear infection and a fungus infection on botton of left foot.–put on antibiotics again for 2 weeks and resumed the Enbrel injections when all was cleared up. After 3 weeks of the injections I had a hard time breathing one night and asked Husband to take me the Emergency Room thinking it was an upper respirtory infection. WRONG ER doctor admitted me and later found out I has mycoplasma pheumonia. I was given breathing treatment and on 3 liters of oxygen for 3 days. Went home with oxygen and had to do breathing treatments 3 times a day and use oxygen when sleeping. HELPPPPPPP! Being stupid went back to the 1st doc who was in town (I also have depression and high anxiety–so could not make the trips out of town) and told him I got a second opinion– this made him mad I could tell—BUT I needed something– the pain and swelling was so unbearable. Sulfasalazine was prescribed. Taking it once a week , ( had a flare -up with both ankles swollen to the point of not being able to walk—called doctor again and again NO answer went to ER because of a Saturday and was told they could do nothing–they talked to the doctor and he said the sulfasalazine was not a miracle pill and they gave me 60mg Prednisone and sent me home. This worked for the swelling of the ankles) starting with 1 pill and ending with 2 pills in morning and 2 pills at night. Called doctor to report diarrhea with bright red blood and HE had the audacity to tell me there was miscommunication and I was not taking it as he told me. I should of taken 1 pill first day–2 pills 2nd day 3 pills 3rd day and 4 pills 4th day AND continued that way. NO CONCERN about the diarrhea or the BRIGHT red blood and told me to continue and that we would talk about an infusion next time I saw him. NOW wiping off STUPID from my forehead I have discontinued the sulfasalazine . I am on Prednisone 10 mg and 2 tramadol 50 mg once a day from Primary care doctor. I have felt like a human again and have had flare-ups but not as bad. The pain and swelling have broken through with these meds and I will see one more Rheumatoid Doctor tomorrow. The biologics and the DMARDS are poison to me– I hope and pray HE will have something else for me. PLEASE if you know of ANYTHING ELSE let me know!