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UPDATE: now 16 weeks on methotrexate

About me: diagnosed 13 years ago with RA, initially on hydroxychloroquine, but recently added methotrexate as experiencing regular flares and continuous exhaustion. Initially tablets, now 3 weeks into injections. Two months ago I took the difficult decision to reduce my working hours down to 3 days per week. I teach 4 and 5 year olds, I love it, but am literally on my feet all day, a large part of that spent outdoors with the children. Whilst my pay packet is now somewhat depressing, I cannot believe the difference this has made to my Health! My colleagues say I am glowing, and I’ve found real enjoyment of my job once again. I’m not pain or exhaustion free, but I am so much better! I’m not waking with the first thought being pain! At the same time I’ve also started HRT as in early menopause after needing surgery. This too may be a big part of me feeling so much better as it’s put me back on an even keel. Just wanted to give some hope to anyone reading who may be struggling. Everyone’s journey is different, and I know I’m very fortunate to be feeling so much better, but just wanted to share. I don’t think I’ll ever feel the same as most of my friends who are the same age, but for me being gentler with myself has paid dividends, which is such a relief as I was imploding a few months ago!

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Hi good luck glad your methotrexate working was horrendous for me .I have been on a lot of courses .and little bits not chunks does help a lot .you seem to be benefiting a really lot .and a lot happier dealing with this .it is good advice to others not to over do it and being in control good luck to you

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Thank you, and I hope you also find a plan that works for you.

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I have been on a lot of courses .and the plans it is just sticking to them implementing it trying .thanks

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I just have my fingers crossed that these good results are prolonged, I know this may not be the case, but plan to make the most of it for now

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Good luck you seem positive that helps as well .not negative thoughts take care good luck

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I made this decision to reduce to 3 days a week. My colleagues say I look a lot better. One often says she would reduce her hours to 3 days a week but can’t afford. I often say I couldn’t afford it either but needed to make a lot of adjustments financially.

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Absolutely! At the time I felt that I had to reduce hours or I’d have just imploded! My team still tease me about my part time hours, but it’s all in jest, and they do seem to understand, plus they actually get more than 3 days work out of me anyway, as I often take things home to finish or prep. I now have started to enjoy my weekends again, rather than just feeling I have to get all the jobs done in a rush before Monday comes around again. I will miss the money, but full time is just no longer an option

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Hi girli.

Hope you’re having a good day.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, it’s inspirational and I really enjoyed reading it!

Could I just ask...

Over the last 13 years would you say that working full time as a teacher caused you a reasonable level of persistent stress?

Would you say that you now feel significantly less stress while working part time?

I would be super appreciative if you could let me know.

Thanks a lot!

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Hi, I’m an early years practitioner, rather than fully qualified teacher, so I don’t have the same workload as a teacher, although I was contracted for a 37 hour week and involved in planning and assessment activities alongside class teachers so more involved than most TAs. To be honest I’d say that the most stress in my life comes through a family relationship difficulty (with my very difficult mother) rather than through my job. My jobs impact was more physical than anything I think, as constantly on the go. I’m a much less stressed person that I used to be, some rather frightening health scares in the last two years have given me a completely different perspective on life, and I think I’m all the better for that despite it being a horrible, frightening time for a while. Are you a teacher? It’s relentless isn’t it?

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Starting gently with the meds may also have had an impact(?) RA is so different in different people and the tripple attack may not always be the way to go (?) More inovative use of meds together with other treatment options may be the future strategy. So happy for you. Good luck. Simba

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Great news. The meds are working! HRT certainly helps too. I’ve taken it for years and I’m sure it helps with the RA .

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My flares really kicked off after I had both my ovaries removed in the summer. I think the hrt has been a god send - mainly because I actually sleep properly now!

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Thanks so much for your positive post. It’s lovely to hear when people are doing well.

I am about to start methotrexate due to Sulfra not working and Biologics not controlling my AS. I am somewhat apprehensive but pray it’s going to help me get back on track as I have had a tough couple of months with a flare that won’t subside.

Does it help with the fatigue at all? That’s what has floored me to the extent I am currently off sick from my role as a DC in child protection. I dropped my hours slightly earlier this year but because of the generally long hours I don’t think it really helped me at all. Maybe the answer is to do say 30 hours rather than the 36 (plus OT) and only do that if it really does improve quality of life.

I am on HRT following a full hysterectomy and hadn’t really thought about that also having an impact on my general well-being. Definately something to look at.

I hope you remain doing so well

Lisa

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Thank you. I hope you also have a positive experience with methotrexate. I put off starting it for a very long time as I was fearful of side effects, but so far so good. I still feel fatigued, and suspect if I hadn’t reduced my working hours I’d be really struggling still, but my pain levels have definitely improved. I can highly advocate shorter working hours if feasible for you.

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