Methotrexate Update

Tonight I’ll take my fourth dose of mtx.  My first two DMARDs both took a couple months before I noticed any difference.  I assumed this one would take a while, too.  I’ve heard people say it can take 3-6 months to kick in, but I’m feeling better already.  Placebo effect, or does it work this fast?

I have NO all-over morning stiffness now.  None!   Instead of easing myself out of bed and hobbling down the stairs, I hop out of bed like I did twenty years ago.  I can walk down the stairs like a normal person.

The swelling in my hands has gone down.  My rings fit!  When I could no longer wear my wedding ring (size 5) and it appeared this was going to last a while, we bought a plain gold band (size 8).  Last spring when I started getting worse, even the large ring was too small.  Now, after three weeks on the mtx, I can wear my size 5 ring.  Can this be real?

My achilles tendons don’t hurt.  My wrists don’t hurt.  My knees don’t hurt.  My hips don’t hurt.

There is one weird thing though.  Although overall I feel better, my elbows hurt worse.  What’s up with that?

The horrible nausea I experienced with the first dose is no longer an issue.  Whew!  I haven’t lost any more weight, and although I wouldn’t mind losing a few more pounds, that was a hard way to do it.  The first week was awful, the second week was medium, and by the third week I had very little nausea.

The down side:  My thinking was pretty scrambled the morning after my last dose.  Most likely it was scrambled with the first two doses, too, but at the time I was too sick to notice that I wasn’t thinking straight.  I feel enough better that I’m more than willing to arrange my commitments so that I don’t have to do much thinking on Wednesday mornings.

One small snag:  My rheumy wrote the prescription for four weeks and no refills until she sees me again.  I understand the need, but my follow-up appointment wasn’t scheduled in four weeks, it was scheduled for one month. That’s not quite the same, and although the difference is subtle, it means I’m short.  Last appointment was 9/21; next appointment is 10/23.  Doses taken 9/22, 9/29, 10/6 and 10/13 mean that I don’t have a dose for 10/20.  I hate to bother the doctor between appointments, but I don’t think she intended for me to miss a week.

Overall, I’m relieved that the side-effects were short-lived.  I was pretty apprehensive about starting yet another med – this one in particular – but now I’m feeling pretty positive about the methotrexate.