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another newbie

  • By lns0214

    Hi everyone. Just wanted to introduce myself. I was diagnosed with PsA just last week. I had been on voltaren as prescribed by my family doctor and once I saw the rheumatologist last week he has switched me to Plaquenil and Arthrotec – his philosophy is “hit it hard and fast”. I just had some follow up bloodwork done today and still need to get some xrays done ( they were closed for lunch when I dropped by today). The doc is still pretty confident of the PsA diagnosis, even though my mom has Lupus and I’ve had one positive ANA – he thinks that’s a bit misleading since I have no other symptoms. My gut is getting used to the new meds. The fatigue is still overwhelming at times but I hope that subsides soon. I have definitely noticed a positive change in my tendinitis symptoms so I am thankful for that. Looking forward to getting to know you all and learning more about treatment options and symptoms management (as long as you don’t say stop drinking wine because I have no time for that nonsense – LOL).

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  • By VickiN Moderator

    Oh my goodness, that last bit made me laugh so hard! Lol! Welcome to the community and we can’t wait to get to know you better 🙂
    -Victoria, Community Moderator

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  • By Sean

    Welcome to the group!

    I’m in something of a similar situation where my mom was diagnosed with RA and Lupus. I had sky high SSB antibodies but everything else was negative and my rheumy said that a high SSB number by itself isn’t indicative of Lupus especially since my SSA number is normal. So I also got the PsA diagnosis.

    Was on NSAIDs for fhe last four years and just recently started taking Humira.

    I hope things go well for you with your aggressive treatment and new medications!

    (P.S. I’m with you on the no alcohol nonsense. Great thing about biologics is that you can have beer and wine!)

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  • By lns0214

    Thanks VIcki and Sean! Looking forward to getting to know everyone and finding similar stories and experiences. I’ve looked at my blood work results and most of the additional tests my rheumy ordered have come back negative (a couple are still pending). Still the same ongoing issues with low RBC and high platelets. I had all the x-rays done so will wait until I see my GP next to go over those results, if there’s anything to discuss.

    I’ve heard really good things about Humira. If I have to go the route of biologics that would be my preference. Hope you’re both having a great weekend!

    Leah

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  • By Sean

    I’m glad you’ve heard good things. You have to be a bit careful about Humira when it comes to reading stuff online. The Internet being … well, the Internet … a small minority with negative opinions is going to make a lot of noise. the people having great experiences with it are less likely to post.

    I’ll admit, I was nervous about Humira. But what gave me comfort was the cold, hard science. The facts. And the those facts are best seen when you compare trials where one group took Humira and another took a placebo. And what those trials reveal is that, if you have PsA, there’s only ONE THING you have a greater chance of getting than the general population and that’s a UTI. And that’s only a 0.3% chance. Everything else was under 0.2% which is the same as the population at large. So yeah, you hear about bad things happening with Humira but those are the very rare exception and nothing that should scare you away from a treatment that could put your PsA into remission.

    I’ll let you all know in a month or two how I respond to the Humira.

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  • By Sean

    Sorry is this is a double post but my last one seems to have vanished.

    I’m glad you’ve heard good things about Humira. Those things can sometimes be hard to come by in the Internet where negative and very vocal minorities often get the lions share of the attention. People having really positive experiences with Humira are probably less likely to post online.

    What gives me comfort about Humira are the cold, hard, scientific facts. Especially the studies done with control groups who took a placebo. And what you find in those studies is that, if you have PsA, there’s only one side effect you have a slightly greater chance of getting than the general population – a UTI. And even that is just 0.3% compared to 0.2%. Everything else is the same as the population at large.

    I think sometimes we scare ourselves with online horror stories away from treatments for the thing that’s doing the REAL damage – the inflammation cause by the PsA. I want to treat what’s truly wrong with me, not mentally chase down the ghosts of side effects I’m unlikely to ever experience.

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  • By Rebecca Keymaster

    I think @sean offers some sounds advice – often the small minority who complain the loudest get the most attention….and it’s important to consider the damage PsA can/wiill do without getting proper treatment….are you considering any complementary treatments such as adjusting your diet, etc.? I’d be curious to hear how this kind of adjunct therapy works with the biologics!

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  • By Sean

    Well, yes I am, Rebecca.

    I think I may have posted this elsewhere on the forum but I look at Humira as just ONE tool in my box to fight PsA. The other two are diet and exercise.

    I’ve not QUIT drinking but I’ve cut back a lot. I’ve adjusted my diet so its much more loaded with fruits and vegetables, less meat and almost no junk. (A little but now and then but a rare treat rather than a regular thing.) And, finally, I try and exercise six days a week including interval training (go hard, go slow, repeat) which has been shown, more than any other type of exercise, to help cells rejuvenate themselves.

    Humira can’t do all the work AND, if my immune system is going to be compromised, that’s all the more reason to eat well and exercise. I posted this in my Silver Linings post but the ONE way in which PsA may be something of a blessing in disguise it that’s it has forced me to get serious about my heath and adopt good diet and exercise habits.

    THE scariest thing, to me at least, about PsA is a shortened lifespan or a reduced quality of life. Well my mom has RA and my dad has had high blood pressure since he was in his 30s. Both are active and both are 80 years old. Most people get dealt a bad hand with regards to their health at SOME point in their lives. I think it’s how you choose to deal with the hand your dealt that makes all the difference. I’m in NO hurry to become the person at Wal-Mart scooting around in an electric cart.

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