I haven't got a specific question, but rather I am still reeling from what has happened to me. A brief history.
64 year old male, retired, always been overweight (cuddly, not fat!), suffered from mild psoriasis all my life. Generally good health, but mildly Type II Diabetic for last 15 years.
About 10 years ago started getting painful shoulders. The GP at the time diagnosed frozen shoulder and prescribed physiotherapy. Didn't work.
Summer 2016 - started to get bad pains in my knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows etc. My new GP took blood test and diagnosed Arthritis. Prescribed Naproxen, with occasional 10 day courses of 20mg steroids during flare-ups. On waiting list for the consultant in Aberdeen.
November 2016, a week of increased pain and breathing difficulties, resulting in a 5 day stay in A&E with respiratory failure (blue light ambulance job - not nice).
Taking 1g steroids daily in hospital plus loads of other stuff. A&E Consultant said it looked likely that I had suffered a reaction to the Naproxen (never heard of that one before).
Discharged home but now the breathing difficulties were permanent. Blood oxygen frequently below 90%. *Any* form of exertion caused oxygen levels to drop and it takes 15 minutes to recover. Can only walk about 4 meters before breathless. Put on 40mg steroids plus paracetamol and codeine.
February 2017 - chest infection causing another stay in A&E for 4 days. Discharged home on 20mg steroids.
April 2017 - rheumatologist prescribed 200mg sulfasalazine daily. Currently taking paracetamol plus up to 220mg codeine a day for pain. Developed 1cm arthritic nodules on elbows, swollen fingers, painful joints. In a wheelchair most of the day, on oxygen (2 ltrs per min) 24/7. Can only sleep in 4 or 5 hour "bursts", so can't sleep right through the night. Every few days have a coughing fit that can last between 30 and 60 minutes, very distressing. Always breathless.
I weighed 102kgs in November - I now weigh 82kgs - that's a loss of 20kgs in 6 months.
What I can't get over is the fact that this time last year I was fairly normal and mobile. Looking back with the knowledge I have now I can see that this has been coming on for years, but it felt like someone just turned a switch last summer and I went from being mobile to where I am now.
So, that's me. I know I'm in for the long haul, particularly with this lung disease stuff. I'm just hoping that they not only get a grip on the RA, but in turn the correct RA medication will improve my lung condition.