Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Xeljanz Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus & the "latest in treatments and medications"... The Horrid Flu Season, & A New Year
I want to wish everyone once again a Happy Beginning to 2018! I cannot fathom that we are already moving into February! It was like yesterday, the holidays were here.
Now, we move on to the "flu season" which has been a nightmare to say the least!
I've spent well over 6 weeks "sick" but not really with the flu. Mine I feel had began as both an RA and a Lupus flare, both severe. I had not been feeling well since before Christmas, but I put off going to my doctor's or to Urgent Care. It was the holidays, it was everyone beginning to be ill with the flu (viruses)... and at that time they were just beginning to see that the "flu" strains which are several, were not all covered by our vaccine.
I had gotten my fly vaccine back in September. I happened to be in my PCP's office for a follow up and they had gotten theirs in, so I went ahead and got mine. Being one of the hundred's of thousands with the screwed up immune system, between the autoimmune illnesses, and the medications that also contribute to our systems being weakened, I've been taking the flu and pneumonia vaccines, when I need them. I had the flu about 10 years ago and was ill for a month. In fact it was just after the Christmas Holiday, at the time I was a manager for a retail women's clothing store. I passed out almost while at work, and my daughter had to drive me to the ER across town. And I had the flu. Of course that was the worst time for me to be ill, due to that job. With all of the after holiday sales, and inventory time, I was sick for a month, and lost the job. Other things beyond my control also did not help, but it really hit me hard.
Then while in Seattle, I had gotten not only double pneumonia, but also the whooping cough at the same time. Again, in fact, it was the 1st day of a brand new job I was headed to, I got so ill in the car, I had to turn around and go back to my apartment. I called in and told them I was so ill, and went to an Urgent Care down the road. They wanted me to be admitted to the hospital. but, at the time, I was supposed to start a new job, was in the process of moving, and going into a whole new "life and career" at the time. The irony to the entire thing is when I had interviewed for the job, both "bosses" were SICK! They had been coughing, sounded terrible, and although I sat WAY on the other side of the table, I honestly think I got sick during the interview, or was exposed.
After 10 days and two trips for shots, cough meds, and antibiotics, and then a lingering cough for a month, I got "better", went to work, moved into my new apartment, and was settling in to the new life style.
So, the "flu" and "pneumonia" are two things I prefer to stay away from if at all possible. Yet, I've had pneumonia a couple of times since, even with the vaccines. So, it can happen.
My RA has been really worse over the past 8 to 10 months. We changed me over to Actemra, from Enbrel. But, after 6 months I am still showing signs of active RA especially in my fingers, wrists, and ankles, and some in my hips.
I felt when they took me off of the Methotrexate, due to infections, that is when I began to have a more severe action of the RA. I had asked if we could try the MTX again, but they just didn't want to chance it. I had mentioned "Xeljanz" before, but at the time we were just beginning the Actemra, so the wanted to wait.
I shall continue this either later today or tomorrow....