Its coming up for a year since I was formally diagnosed with sero-negative RA by a consultant rheumatologist. Ive now been in remission for the last six months and its clear I have a lot to be thankful for. I was started off on 15mg daily Prednisolone followed a few weeks later by HXQ, then tapered off the Pred which was replaced by meloxicam. After a month I stopped the meloxicam and since then just take 400mg HXQ daily. So far so good. Pain has gone completely, no swelling. Stiff hands for 10 mins every morning and tingly feet from time-to-time. I'll take that.
At my last checkup I asked the rheumy was he absolutely sure that I had RA. He said definitively yes, but that I had responded very well to the HXQ and I should stay on it for at least two years before even thinking of tapering off or discontinuing. A couple of weeks back I had a full eye examination at my local NHS hospital with visual field tests and retinal photography. All clear. So, for me at least, Hydroxychloroquine has been a wonder drug even though it took a couple of months to take effect. I should add that I had to get through a week of acute itching when I was sorely tempted to give it up.
I hesitated before posting this but then thought back to my low point when I was first diagnosed. There were very few positive postings which really got me down. Now I feel guilty about being in remission but that's outweighed by my wanting to share a good news story particularly for those who are in the early stages of this disease. I'm also acutely aware that the RA is still there, I can feel its shadow every day even though it does not (currently) have the strength to hurt me. One day it may come back, chances are it will. But until then I will live every day to the full.