So...I'm going into drug induced remission....Is this the best I'll be?

Saw my rheumatologist a couple of days ago. He says I'm doing quite well. The swelling has gone down in my hands and feet and I'm starting to see my viens again.

Over the last couple of weeks, I seem to get a thrill out of taking off my socks just to look at my viens and the bones starting to show in my feet. I have to admit I do this at least 5 times a day :)...Strange what make me happy now eh?

When my doctor asked me how I felt, I answered "so much better!" Then I told him that somedays I will get "break through" pain in my hips or in my knees. Eventhough 200mg of naproxen seems to help with this new pain, my fear is that the disease is still active. I never had pain or swelling in my knees before.

My question to you all is can this disease be controlled in one area of my body by drugs, while it attacks another area covertly?

Thanks for reading and I hope you are all pain free.


9 Replies

  • I can only go on my own experience of achieving drug induced remission, and what you describe doesn't sound like fully controlled disease to me. It is a systemic disease, so is within the whole of your body even if you only feel it in one or a few joints. So if it's still active somewhere, then it's still active.

    Like you, after about a year I felt hugely better, my blood results looked good and the amount of pain killers/anti-inflammatories dropped hugely. But I was still getting regular blips here and there, with individual joints playing up. It took another 2 years for it all to really calm down to the extent that I can go a month without needing a painkiller or anti-inflammatory.

    (My joy was making the bed! My hands had been so painful I couldn't tuck sheets in and lived in a rumpled mess for years).

  • Thanks for your reply and advice Helixhelix. I guess I still have to wait a bit longer for my sulfa and hydroxy to kick in. I was told it can take up to 6 months for the sulfa to reach it's full effects. I am just so excited to get a glimps of the light at the end of this tunnel. Time will tell.

    Take care


  • I have been in drug induced remission for two years now and last year started getting severe pain in the lumbar region. The RA team don't think it's RA related as the rest of me functions so well. As you can see in my case, not every pain has RA as its source. This is really something that you need to ask the medical profession. I wish you all the very best and hope the pain soon goes away!

  • Yes that's very true! Forgot to mention I have bad back & knee pain, which docs say is OA and entirely co-incidental. Personally I feel that having RA has sped my OA along, as it was no-where near this bad before. But could just be age. And for me OA and RA pain are different, but that's not the case for everyone. So as St B says, get it checked out.

  • They always say that OA is age-related, wear and tear, degenerative - it's a normal part of getting old etc. Entirely, co-incidental???? I beg to's the same old autoimmune process.

  • Good news Suzannedale! I saw my rheumatologist yesterday who was very pleased with blood results and gave a cursory exam and going through passive range of movements proved okay. He told me this was 'spectacular' or maybe I dreamt that bit! I have been meat and dairy free since October and whilst he feels this is of little consequence, I think it has had a major role to play. But I let him be the expert, he may be right.

    I told him I still have pains in my hips and knees and shoulders - the left shoulder clunks like an old car door on movement - and he seems to feel it is arthritis already caused by the RD when it was active. I have only been diagnosed a year.

    My instinct is that when RD is dormant or controlled it is dormant everywhere and am beginning to understand that the joint pains am left with are probably damage already caused even though on full DMARDS of 25mg Mtx and 4000 SFZ daily. Have begun to reduce MTX by 10mgs and see what occurs. When hips and knees hurt I do a little gentle exercise on a static bike a friend gave me and it really helps.

    All the best


  • Wow, I've been so "wrapped up" in learning as much about this disease that I may be blaming RA for every little ocasional pain that happens. Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease.

  • As others have said, the pain could be OA rather than RA. I have both - my RA has only been diagnosed for a month, and certainly the OA has muddled the picture and is one of the reasons it has taken so long to get diagnosed. Interestingly, when I had my steroid shot 4 weeks ago and my inflammation and RA pain disappeared within a couple of days, my R knee and DIP finger joints (where I have more severe OA) started to hurt *more*. I already know from experience that one lot of pain can mask another, because when my hip needed replacing (that too was undiagnosed for ages) it hurt so much that *nothing* else hurt by comparison. So it's possible that what you think is 'breakthrough pain' from the RA is actually OA you haven't noticed before when your RA was uncontrolled. It's def worth getting the bits that still hurt x-rayed to check.

    Good luck!

  • Oh God Suzannedale, yes!!

    The bliss of making the bed and taking it for granted, fluffing the duvet with not even a thought.

    It's the little things that show you how bad things were and the difference in everyday capabilities when treatment is working.

    Good luck.

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