This comeback from the effects of my horrible experience with Bactrim as well as with megadoses of Potassium Citrate has been a very slow process. But I can say that I am finally getting to where I can go weeks without a flare. As long as I watch which foods I eat.
I read RA Warrior's blog and get her daily updates. I hate that she is in such constant pain. I KNOW what that is like, been thru it. I am one of the lucky ones, I know that. For me, using antibiotics and ONLY antibiotics has kept me pretty much pain free, flare free, and walking that "remission" tightrope for seven years now. MOST DAYS I get by with virtually no reminder that I have RA. I do not wake up with stiff joints. I have full use of my hands and fingers. Occasionally, I will eat something that triggers a problem. I can usually quickly identify the culprit, because the ache/flare will start in the joint within about 2 hours of eating. Normally the pain lasts thru the nite but is gone by the next day.
A couple weeks ago something triggered a flare in my left knee. Had not had a problem with either knee in many years, but boy, when a knee is inflamed and hurts like heck, it is NO FUN trying to get up out of a chair! (I keep a lifter at the commode at all times...left it there after last Spring's bout with many flare-ups, even tho I do not need it 99% of the time).(I have purchased ALL SORTS of great items for people with RA - handy kitchen tools, doorknob assists, etc etc. I will have to do a separate posting on those items.) Anyhow, it was just a few days before the Super Bowl, and I was planning on having guests over for the game and a BBQ. (West Coast, we watch the show mid afternoon). Luckily, it was gone in a couple days. So then I ordered a knee brace, for the next time. (My mom does not have RA, but at age 88, she has had knee problems. She swears by the help that is offered by a good knee brace). It arrived today. I will test it out tonite just to see how it feels. And set it aside for "when the time comes" - because it inevitably does!
The RA Warrior blog includes information about the definition of "remission". I know not to get all excited about being in "remission". All that means is that the visible, tangible, obvious RA flares and sore joints are not occurring. We have to be aware that RA is attacking our hearts and lungs JUST THE WAY it attacks the joints. But that attack is impossible to guage. People with RA die at a frighteningly faster pace, younger age, then their non-RA counterparts. All we can do is make every effort to keep our hearts and lungs healthy by maintaining a low cholesterol level with the correct balance of HDL and LDL and triglicerides. We need to monitor our blood sugar to make sure we are not pre-diabetic or diabetic. We have to monitor our blood pressure. If it is out of normal range, find out what you need to do to get it back into the correct range...most likely those two often repeated things: DIET AND EXERCISE! It helps our joints if we maintain a healthy weight. We help our bones if we make sure we eat a balanced diet with calcium-rich foods. We cannot stop the RA from ravaging our hearts...but we CAN make it fight an uphill battle by making our hearts healthy!
I wish, wish, wish that everyone could enjoy the freedom from pain that I have been so fortunate to enjoy these past seven years (for the most part). And if you have been newly diagnosed with this disease, please please please try the antibiotics treatment. See information at the website - The Road Back Foundation. Read Henry Scammell's book. (it is my bible!). There are naysayers out there - but we are each different, and this works for many thousands of us! With no horrid side effects!! Just Google for the information on this. PLEASE!!! I want more of you to stop suffering with this horrid disease!