I've been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis since 2006, after a long ordeal through doctors, drugs without any effect such as Cortisone, Chloroquine and Arava or too many side effects like Methotrexate plus strong pain that lead me to pass a long time stuck in bed, finally in 2011, I was given the green light to try the new biological treatment Enbrel (Etanercept) 25 mg two times a week. The positive effects were almost immediate. I now take the new dose, Enbrel 50 mg, once a week.
Until 3 months ago I can say I was almost back on track with my life as I was before becoming ill, but then, out of nowhere, new problems raised.
It all started by feeling a sudden strange pain to my right heel, thereafter it was followed by strong itching, like that wasn't enough, the aching part swelled, became red and a round “bulge” (lump) appeared which made the simple act of putting the foot on the floor extremely painful. Then after a couple of days the pain/itching/swelling moved to my left feet, specifically between toes. Then it moved to the upper side of the foot and after 3/4 days it moved to the sole of the right foot. And it’s been like that since today. This situation lasts for a couple of days, then it moves from one part of the left foot ( be it the heel or upper side/sole/lateral part of the foot or between toes) to the right one, or vice-versa. To put it simply, any part of the foot is fair game and can be "attacked". Sometimes, like right now, I have pain and swelling in both feet in many different areas....
I tried cortisonic therapy (Prednisone) for two months but without any positive outcome, then I moved onto Aceclofenac tablets, again, no results, and now I’m on Diclofenac (Voltaren) 50 mg. It’s the only drug that temporally ease the pain and the swelling, but obviously it’s not a definite solution. For the itching I take Claritin, an allergy medicine, which seems to have toned down my continuous scratching. I keep taking Enbrel regularly. It had happened I had a break from pain for a short period, but after two/three days it’s back to square one.
My rheumatologist made me take a series of blood tests such as blood count (hemochrome), white blood cell count (WBC count), uric acid, calcium, Parathyroid hormone (PTH), Rheumatoid factor (RF), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive Protein (CRP), IgG and IgM antibodies, antinuclear antibodies (ANA), Anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (ANCA, specifically c-Anca/PR3, p-ANCA/MPO) and a complete urine analysis. All results came back negative with the exception of CRP, which is a little bit higher than it should be, 0,65 mg/dL while it’s supposed to stay under 0,50 mg/dL.
I would like to know if anyone is experiencing or had experienced the same as me. My rheumatologist is surprised and to be honest, a tad clueless for the first time me because until 3 months ago everything was going great and these new weird symptoms came out of the blue. Frankly to speak, I’m desperate. All opinions are more than welcomed. Thank you and sorry for the long comment.