I have psoriatic arthritis, an autoimmune condition which causes inflammation in my joints and skin.
For the past 2.5 years the symptoms have been moderate to severe. For over 2 years I went through several different drug combinations, none of which consistently kept the swelling under control. Despite hefty doses of immunosuppressants, I still had reoccurring joint flareups. On the worst days one or both of my knees were so big that it was difficult to walk. Some days I had a hard time putting on shoes or tying my tie.
Finally this summer I switched to a drug regimen which has succeeded in keeping my joint inflammation in check (although my skin is still a mess). I can basically do all the things I used to do, every day, with little to no discomfort. It’s also helped return my blood chemistry, pressure, and pulse back to normal.
The daily regimen consists of the following:
- Prednisone: 15 mg.
- Azathioprine: 75 mg.
- Humira: 40 mg. injection (every 14 days)
- Turmeric: 500 mg.
- Fish Oil: 1200 mg.
- Fluocinonide: apply to itchy skin once or twice per day
The good news is that these drugs have given me my joints back. The bad news is that they do more than that. The first three are capable of causing many serious side effects. Infections, vision problems, diabetes, depression, cancer–to name just a few.
I would love to stop taking these drugs. For most of my life I rarely took any pharmaceuticals, including aspirin. But when your alternative to being a druggie is to be functionally disabled, it’s an easy decision. You got to do what you got to do.
Hopefully research on the disease will someday soon present me with better options. But for now I’m popping pills.