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My year of rheumatoid arthritis in 2021. Late January I started getting ill. I was too ill for the Covid 19 vaccine when first called. Two days later, the doctor surgery called back. My husband told them, my temperature had reduced and I was then taken down to get it. I think I was not well enough then. And maybe should have given it another week.
This illness carried onto into this month. It even developed into chest inflammation. Which is:
- Sharp pain in the front of your chest, near where your breastbone and ribs meet, typically on the left side.
- Pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
- Tenderness when you press on your rib joints.
No cure for this, treatment focuses on pain relief. Mine lasted for over five weeks.
I also developed problems with my eyes, tightness, itching like hayfever, watering more than normal. I went to my local Specsavers in early March for an eye health appointment. After various tests, I was told that this was due to hayfever. This surprised me, as I normally get this in April for the grass pollen season. Thankfully this was an NHS appointment, so I only had to pay for the drops that I was told to try.
Back to Addenbrookes, for a proper appointment since the pandemic closed everything. My rheumatologist and I had discussed many things. Not pleased that I am now having chest inflammation. Thinks I am on the cusp of actually being ankylosing spondylitis arthritis instead of rheumatoid arthritis. I ended up having eight vials of blood taken from both palms. Then x rays on my chest, hands and feet. And a new biological drug called Upadacitinib, sold under the brand name Rinvoq, is a Janus kinase inhibitor medication for the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Was told that this could work well on my osteoarthritis left knee.
My new meds have finally arrived.
The first day I took these, my body felt amazing. Like it did before rheumatoid arthritis. But the next day, like my skin had been peeled off. It will take three to six months for full effect. Fingers crossed this works and puts me into remission.
Getting lots of sinus inflammations which means I have picked up an infection so where. So used to this and hate it to, but what can you do ? Then the end of the month. I got even worse. My temperature dropped to 34 degrees. This was too low. Next morning even lower. I called 111 and they told me to go to A&E. I arrived at 11am, my hospital is a 30 mins drive away. I was first checked my blood pressure and electrocardiogram. Then I left A&E and was admitted to the Acute Medical Unit. Where I had more tests, after three hours I was released to wait another two hours for the medication. Told to stop my RA meds, take anti biotics for seven days. If they do not clear up this nasty chest infection, they will have to go back to hospital. Never had to go there before, and never want to return either.
Telephone appointment, asked about my chest infection. Told me that I was not having much effect with this new drug. Two more months, and it would have to be changed again. Had enough really. As soon as the chest infection died down after I finished the anti biotics. Then another sinus infection, had just about enough. Then one of my front teeth feel out. A nasty side effect from my rheumatoid arthritis medication, on top of chance of weaken bones and hair loss.