I was diagnosed with RA in 2004 as a result of a pleural effusion. Over the years I 've been on Humira, Enbrel, and Orencia along with 10mg Prednisone and Mtx.
My current Rheumatologist took me off everything except prednisone and substituted Mtx with Leflunomide. I would have bad flare ups in wrists or shoulder once or twice a month but learned to live with it. This past June I had come down with a cold and 2 days later was hospitalized with pneumonia and empyema (pleural infection) It required emergency thoracotomy and was hospitalized 19 days.
I was sent home with chest tubes to drain fluid and air and have had them in for 6 weeks. Surgeon states that RA and prolonged use of steroids has made my healing process extremely slow. Has anyone had experienced pulmonary complications with RA?