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My Immune System: A Love/Hate Story

I was diagnosed in 2005, and for most of the time since, I’ve done pretty well with MTX alone. About 18 months ago I started flaring up (lots of work stress!), and my rheum put me on Enbrel. Within a few weeks I was feeling better – and then got hit with shingles. Stopped Enbrel until the shingles went away, resumed Enbrel, and caught the norovirus. Off Enbrel, recovered, back on Enbrel, and caught another virus. Finally I told my rheum that I couldn’t handle all the illnesses that kept attacking when my immune system was suppressed, so we agreed that I needed to stop. I went back to MTX alone…and then started having the same issues over this winter: diverticulitis, sinus attacks, you name it. Of course, when I stop MTX my joints start flaring again. If only I could get a dial to adjust my immune system up or down as needed, I’d be much happier.

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