I need advise in the middle of a big flare with so much pain & stiffness. Confusion between Gp & Rheum Consult

I have been doing well on a Humira & mtx (10 mg (reduced)due to high ALT in liver.

End of Nov big flare due to bereavement , hand swollen, knees & ankles v painful . Saw Rheum aft blood tests showed raised ESR & CRP, she put me on Lyrica at night for pain & 3 wk course of steroids & said if doesn't settle will reintroduce plaquinil. Pain continues unabated & terrible fatigue & ankle pain so bad can't walk too far, both fused & other ankle painful, saw GP, increased Lyrica & introduced Tramadol for pain... Has anyone else experienced a flare like this? Did it settle? How long? I'm in hell. Any advise welcome.

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  • Mine generally improved after two days of steroids. But I generally still needed the pain killers and movement and heat regularly. Hopefully the drugs will kick in quickly for you. Remember though to rest and if it doesn't settle with the steroids to let them know. On occasions I even had to go in for steroid drips which really helped but blew me up like a puffer fish lol.

    Hope it eases very quickly. Axx

  • Sorry you're feeling so unwell. I think that any kind of stress can cause a flare up....it does in my case anyway....even though my Rheumy won't have it! but they don't know it all! I lost my Mum last year and the same thing happened to me. I flared up and my inflammation markers rocketed. I'm also on Humira but am taking 20mg Leflunomide I had some steroid injections just over 2 months ago and felt a lot better but I am now starting to feel unwell again. I don't know about you but personally I don't want to go down the ongoing 'steroid' route. Has anyone considered that perhaps Humira has stopped working for you? My rheumy thinks this is the case for me and will be changing my anti TNF once I have had some surgery taken care of. I really hope you start to feel better soon. Grief is such a tough thing to get through and I hope you begin to feel more yourself soon. Good luck and I hope things get sorted for you. Pat x

  • I'm sure the stress wont have helped with the flare. I've had my first flare for several years and its quite shocking how we forget how debilitating things can be.

    I know that rest helps, I think its good to keep pushing to get the right meds. I find anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen help a bit. But its just temporary. Do you have another rheumy appointment, or a contact with a nurse? I'm sure that pain gives rise to fatigue and the only thing to do is to live with it. I really hope your flare calms down.

  • Thanks for replies. Ended up emergency appointment tday. Both knees injected, apt made for wrist to be injected. Rheumy says this is a proper flare & all that entails. Lots of people think they are flaring with joint pain but that not so apparently. She added plaquinil again. Took me off anti inflamms as wants me to rest & not keep going. Upped mtx to 15 mg. increased Lyrica at night. Pain killers what ever works:) ordered liver scan, as suspects ALts raised not mtx caused, but anti inflamms. Says no surgery until disease stable ( ankle fusion) am getting Arizonabrace at month end so hopefully will help. I was happy enough, but find the ' rest'business hard!! Will try tho. You are right when in remission you forget how stinking , rotten, this god awful disease is & I miss my mam & her sympathy & understanding

  • I do hope you can get some stability on this. There are some good things about having to rest at home, I find radio plays are great, or a book or even a bit to drawing. I hope you can find what works for you.

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