Until recently, I’d managed to persuade myself that treating rheumatoid arthritis naturally was working for me. It was, but only up to a point (i.e. it lowered the inflammatory makers in my blood). The reality is that I have bone erosion in my joints which is irreversible, along with extreme fatigue and chronic pain in my hands, hips and knees. Diet and an alternative approach aren’t enough to stop this disease in its tracks.
So, a couple of days ago I made a decision. I resolved to speak to my rheumatologist and start a new treatment that we talked about at the ultrasound clinic several weeks ago, Sulfasalazine. Serious stuff as it’s a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD). I went in yesterday (unannounced) and by chance she had a free slot as someone had cancelled.
Within a few minutes, she was examining me, arranging a steroid injection and giving me a prescription for Sulfasalazine. After a routine blood test, I found myself in the infusion clinic where I took the first pill in front of a senior nurse. (This is because I’ve had three allergic reactions to drugs in the past 10 months). Despite feeling panicky (no doubt anticipating a side effect due to past experience), all my observations were normal (heart rate, blood pressure, lung capacity). Over an hour later I finally left, feeling relieved that I’d managed to start a new treatment. Who knows what lies ahead, but at least I’m taking control of this disease and refusing to let it control me.