I was diagnosed with RA in 1989. Having had Polio as a child, with dozens of operations in my early and late teens, my pain threshold is pretty good but in 2006 my RA consultant insisted I started Methotrexate to alleviate the ever increasing debilitating flare-ups. I began on a low tablet dose but from then on I was constantly feeling nauseous.
After a month or so I stopped the tablets and was told the nausea would settle down after 3 or 4 weeks at the most.
Not true for me...it stayed for the best part of 10 months.
I continued using Sulphasalazine but I was relying on increasing amounts of Celebrex and intermittant steroid injections to help with the pain.
March 14th 2008 was the date my specialist insisted I returned to methotrexate and talked me into having it by injection.
Problem was, I was still having the flare-ups and the worst one always seemed to follow the injection.
I decided to look for a more natural solution and about three months later I believed I found one.
At that time I was seeing my specialist at the hospital every six weeks.
I discussed what I'd found with him and his response was that he had no problem with it as long as I continued with the injections.
I carried on like this for about another six months but then I decided (without telling my specialist) to see what would happen if I stopped injecting.
On January 9th 2009 I had my last injection.
At my next appointment, six weeks later, my specialist, after looking at blood results, was impressed.
"If I didn't know you, I would say that you do not have arthritis - but as we both know you do, let's keep you on the books and come back again in twelve months unless of course you need to before".
The following February (2010) my annual visit showed the same blood results and we agreed another twelve month appointment.
February 2011 showed the same blood results but this time I was starting to have some small flare-ups. He did agree it was odd as my blood was still not showing any inflammation markers but we left it like that and I made another twelve month check up appointment.
Within another couple of months I was back having some serious flare-ups again and my GP put me on Prednisolone together with another prescription of Celebrex.
I was miserable again. My natural soloution had deserted me. I started racking my brain to figure out what had changed...then it hit me.
At the end of 2010 my GP had talked me into stopping my HRT. Could this be the something that was different? She didn't think so but after a lengthy discussion about the pro and cons of risk management etc. etc. she finally capitulated and gave me a prescription for my HRT.
Well, that was it...within a few days I was back to being pain free again.
It appears the HRT and the natural solution is the "ideal marriage" in my case.
I am not saying this will work for everybody, we are all different but I do think it's worth while to be open minded about things and I am so happy that I am able to live my life without all those chemicals together with their unpleasant side effects.