Help for my dad

Hi everyone I'm new my dad was diagnosed with RA a year ago at 76years old. He is having a hard time his joint pain is under control with mtx but he is feeling sick, down and tired just generally flu like. Any tips for this aspect of the disease. He has just found out he as a wedge fracture in his spine which needs repairing too so he is in quiet a bit if pain with that. Any tips on over coming the other symptoms of disease or drugs to control it would be good??

4 Replies

  • Hiya Georgie11. I'm sorry to hear your dad's been diagnosed. It's awful at any age & guess it is not so nice you seeing your dad in pain & generally feeling unwell.

    I have had RD since 2008 & MTX is my second DMARD, been on it 6 years this year. Like your dad probably is I was prescribed tablets, generally given first, & I experienced nausea so my folic acid was increased to twice a week, one 5mg the day before & the day after which helped a little but not acceptably so. That was when I was changed over to injections which have made a big difference along with taking folic acid every except MTX day since a change in Rheumy. They each have their own ideas of treating within the guidelines! I no longer have nausea, just less appetite the day after & a little more tired, which is acceptable as i'm controlled with the help of my other mix of meds. I've had no further erosion in 5 years so more or less happy as it is.

    The flu-like feeling symptoms probably means he's not properly controlled & it's inflammation or his meds. Does he have a Rheumy appointment any time soon or a number to contact his Rheumy nurse? If so that will probably be addressed then, an increase in dose of one of his meds or a change of protocol. You don't say if he's prescribed anything else but steroids can affect some people making them feel down as you say. His Rheumy will know exactly what he means, it is a normal feeling when not quite right.

    As a matter of interest, do you or anyone else close to him go to his appointments with him. It could prove both useful & helpful in helping to recognise such subtle changes which need addressing. I'm not suggesting your dad isn't capable & you may well attend with him, it is just that there's often so much to take in when we see our Rheumys so infrequently. My husband always comes with me to mine despite writing lists to question my Rheumy as he remembers things I don't always!

    I hope you receive more replies & mine has helped a little. It is a bit of a fiddly job as not everyone reacts the same to the drugs or has exactly the same issues & it can take some changing of doses of different meds but hopefully once his balance or meds are right for him he'll start feeling more like himself again. :)

    If you'd like to learn more is full of information for you to browse through.

  • Thanks so much interesting those combos his rhumey nurse mentioned injections. Saw dr yesterday she suggested reducing metho to 10mg from 15 as joints seem fine. He is on steriods 5mg going down to 3.5mg as been on them a year.

  • It might be an idea then to talk to his nurse about changing over to injections. It bypasses the stomach & why people who react well to MTX have often find they have fewer side effects. Sometimes a reduction in dose is made at the same time as it appears less of the MTX is lost in injecting so that would fit with what his both doctor & nurse are both suggesting. The steroids could be having an effect on his mood so it might be an idea to bring that up with his Rheumy.

  • There are so many drugs he can change to! It is good to have someone with you because it is very difficult to remember! I have has ra since I was24 and I am now 53 so my medical regime has changed hundreds of time and I have developed numerous other illnesses! Good luck with your research!

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