Week six of methotrexate injections for Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Last night I took my sixth dose of methotrexate, by injection.  I took the equivalent of 17.5mg.  I have suffered severe side effects from methotrexate in the past, when I was taking the tablet form.  I can barely believe it myself, but I am NOT having these problems on the injections.

I am not side effect free. I do get the churning nausea the following day. Extra fatigue and the beloved mouth ulcers are common visitors.  Oh and a headache a few hours after is also pretty common.  But those are the main things.  Those are pretty normal things.  And to me, they are not particularly bad when you consider that I am getting about a 50% improvement in my pain and fatigue from Rheumatoid Arthritis.

A 50% improvement.  Just stop and think about that for a second.  That’s incredible!

I have gone from spending almost all day, every day lying on the couch or lying in bed to spending my days doing stuff.  I need rest, sure.  I need breaks, lots of them.  But if you walk around my house now you can see that I am starting to get things done.  All those little piles of ‘stuff’ that I needed to deal with, are starting to be dealt with.  My laundry is clear.  Washing in baskets, or folded and put away even.  Carpets are vacuumed.  Floors mopped. My kitchen is tidy…ok, no its not. But its tidy-ER.  (I hate doing dishes!)

My house has never been a show piece, but for the last few years it’s been a dump.  A pig sty.  Because I have been doing the bare minimum, because I am physically capable of so little. And I can’t afford a cleaner.  And while I have two able bodied teenagers, I can’t seem to find the magic ‘On’ button to make them clean up their own rooms, let alone other parts of the house.  If anyone has some tips there, please share.  Threats of removal of electronic devices are ineffective.  And that’s pretty much all they care about these days…

But back to the point.

I am functioning.  I have three or four horrible nights a week with bad pain and no sleep.  I have three or four days with bad pain.  But I that means I’m having three or four days where the pain is NOT bad pain. Or not all day anyway.  Mornings are rough, but once I get my pain meds on board, I can get moving.  I can get things done.  I can leave the house.  I can drive a car.

I’m still a long way from ‘typical’. But compared to where I was, this is feeling like a miracle.

I’m starting to plan again. I’m starting to see possibilities that weren’t there before.  I’m starting to hope.

I’m realistic as well though.  And it’s important to note that I am still taking oxycodone daily, though in reduced doses, it is still necessary.  It is still narcotic level pain that I’m dealing with.

I’m also still taking a lot of prednisone, although I have tapered down to 13mg.  I have never gotten below 12mg without going into complete collapse.  Next week I will taper down to 12.5mg and just stay there for a few weeks, and let things stabilise.

I will try to get back to the gym.  The worst pain I am experiencing is from the torn iliolumbar ligament that I somehow managed to come out of my radiofrequency ablation with.  Right now it’s stopping me from doing any exercise at all.  It needs time to heal.

But it’s an injury.  It will take several weeks, but it WILL heal.

Frustrating as the injury is, it’s not forever. Not like the crippling level of RA pain was forever.  Or so I believed.

It does feel like a miracle to me.  I’m sure my rheumy would think it’s a miracle too. I know she had lost all hope last time I saw her.  I can’t believe that methotrexate injections affect me so differently to methotrexate tablets.

It is also true that all of this could change tomorrow.  Maybe it won’t last.  But for now, I am doing significantly better.  And I’m just enjoying the feeling of possibility.

1 COMMENT

  1. I’m so glad you’re doing better. I recently found out that a family member has reactive arthritis (contracted via an infection he picked up working in Africa, I think), and went into complete remission on methrotrexate. I don’t know whether he took pills or injections, and I know it wasn’t an easy road for him to travel, but he recently ran a marathon, which I can only call “all better”. I hope it does the same for you, even if it takes awhile.

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