Tuesday, January 21, 2014

DMARDs and Biologics

In the beginning, as most newly diagnosed RA patients do, I looked for alternative treatments.  I was afraid of the drugs and their side effects.  I tried so many natural/homeopathic treatments and diets, I can't remember all of them.  The only thing that happened was I continued to get worse.  I don't fault the newly diagnosed for thinking they are going to beat RA without going the standard DMARDS and biologics.  I applaud them for their enthusiasm and determination ... and they have my best wishes for success.  I even talked my rheumatologist into letting me try minocycline, an antibiotic that has been used with some degree of success for the treatment of RA. Unfortunately it also did not work for me.  Afterwards my rheumatologist told me that he didn't blame me for wanting to try the antibiotic but he felt like the people that it worked for were not in the moderate to severe category.  

I am through with alternative treatments now, have been for some time.  I know that if I am to have any type of life beyond sitting at a computer or watching tv on the couch, I am dependant on DMARDs and biologics.  I don't like it, I don't think about it, I just take them and go live life the best I am able to now.  Even with the drugs, I still hurt everyday.  They are not a miracle drug as the television commercials lead the general public to believe.  Even though I do not look sick outwardly, the pain I feel inside is very real.  I don't want your sympathy ... I don't want your pity.  What I do want is people to stop telling me what I need to try or what I can do to cure my RA, there is no cure.  It seems that I am becoming less tolerant of this after 10+ years.  I know people mean well, but I am doing okay.  If you want to talk about football or fishing thats fine by me ... trying to cure me is off limits.

After 5 weeks, I finally got over my sickness that has been dogging me since just after Thanksgiving.  Then the next week after feeling better, the arctic crud left our area and the past 2 weeks, I have put in 3 rides totaling 430 miles.  Nowhere cool, but it felt great after being off of my bike for so long.  I had to replace the low beam on my KLR and holy freaking cow!!  It took over 2 hours to ... let me back up first.  The headlight is buried in the upper front fairing and without a shop manual, it took over 2 hours to figure out how to pull the fairing off to get to the headlight.  I'm not dumb, I have worked on all of my bikes I used to race as well as trail ride.  This one thing thoroughly kicked my ass though.  I now know what it takes and could do the next bulb change in about 20-25 minutes.  Needless to say, I do not think like a Japanese engineer.  By the way ... I have a shop manual on it's way now.
Above Ozark lock and dam
Stairway down next to the bluffs at Arkansas River were 
not really made for size 12 Alpinestars riding boots. 
My first and most likely only selfie.  Was trying to find the zoom on my
new phone and flipped the camera to front mode ... figured why not.  
The old TB Hospital at Booneville.  In the 1930-40's it was the
largest and most advanced hospital for the treatment of TB.
Front entrance to the hospital.
Front entrance to the hospital.
Abandoned bridge on a ride yesterday.  Yep ... we rode across it.
Surprised they did not have barricades across both ends.


Anonymous said...

I feel the same way on the meds, I tried some alternative treatments early on that didn't do anything for me either. I've heard all of the remedies by now. You look tired in your picture.


Terry said...

Frank, one of the worst things about living with RA is the fatigue. I'm tired and run down all of the time. Most days when waking from 7-8 hours of sleep I'm still almost as tired as when I went to bed the night before. I may be slower than I used to be but I'm still going!

mary said...

I just noticed the slide show at the top of your blog. I'm jealous of the beautiful area you live in. No riding here. Cold, cold, cold and snow,snow,snow.

Anonymous said...

Like the old bridge shots. It seems to me that most of the new bikes aren't built to be worked on easily. I have a BMW that I need to replace a low beam bulb on and I keep putting it off. It's going to be a headache.


Terry said...

Mary, I need to update the images in the slideshow, those are all ones from 2 years ago or older. When I update them, I will let you know. We do have some nice areas close to us for riding down here. It has been unusually cold here this winter ... ready for spring. Oh, btw, I just got my Road ID tags in yesterday. Thanks for steering me to them.

Jim, I have a special place in my heart for old iron truss bridges. I try to photograph as many as I can and the guys I ride with even stop at them now if they are riding out front. lol I agree on the making bikes harder to work on nowdays. A friend I ride with has a 1200GS that also has the low beam burned out on it ... he has yet to attempt to pull it apart either. I'm thinking he is going to cave and take it to the dealer to change! haha