New Math

Two years ago, my rheumatologist said that we’d get things under control and then try to cut down on my number of medications.  At that time, I had six prescriptions.  Great!  I was really looking forward to both reducing my number of prescriptions and feeling better.

It hasn’t seemed to be working, though.  Apparently my doctors are into new math, adding prescriptions here and there to tweak the treatment plan just a little bit.  Sometimes cutting a med out temporarily, but adding it back when it’s obvious that discontinuing that particular medication was a bad idea.  I always believe that the change will work and I’ll do better with the new treatment plan, and it’s highly disappointing when things fall through.  This afternoon I saw both my podiatrist and my rheumatologist.  Both of them wrote a new script, bring the number of my prescription medications to a grand total of twelve.

That’s the wrong direction!!!

Thus far I have tried to stay positive and make the best of things since my immune system decided that I’m the enemy instead of the one to be protected from the enemy.  Positive just isn’t working right now.  What happened to just mtx & enbrel????  That was the goal:  two for RA plus one to prevent headaches.  The goal was to get down to just three meds.  We were supposed to DIVIDE by two, not multiply.

Apparently nobody wants to just say, “This might be as good as it gets.”  I hate getting my hopes up that a treatment is going to work, only to discover that it doesn’t.

What I learned at my appointments today is that there’s a possibility that the latest TNF inhibitor isn’t working, and it’s only the prednisone that’s keeping me going right now.  I’m not stupid.  I can tell a difference between two days before my injections and a day after.  Cimzia is helping.  Just not enough.  Yet. 

I’m to taper the pred if possible, and stay on the Cimzia for six more weeks.  At that point, my rheumatologist will re-evaluate and might switch me to a B-cell inhibitor.  Every other time she has said, “maybe” or “we’ll think about this next time” there hasn’t been any maybe about it.  It’s just a heads-up so I know what to expect next.  I have to get off the prednisone.  Cimzia has six weeks to kick it into gear and work – as well as Enbrel did when I first started it.    Otherwise, I’ll have to come up with time (and money) to go in for infusions.

12 < 6