I clearly remember waking up in bed one cold morning about eleven years ago, and I was unable to pull the covers up around me. My hands simply were not able to grasp the bedspread to bring it closer to me. I panicked and woke my husband saying: “Something is wrong, my hands are not working!” I also remember thinking, how am I going to change Michael’s diapers (my brand new grandson who I was soon to be babysitting.) My husband held me and told me it would be alright.
Within the next several days, I went from doctor to doctor and none of them knew what was going on; then one doctor thought I had bursitis and tendonitis. He gave me a series of extremely painful cortisone shots directly into the palms of my hands! Once the throbbing of the injections wore off and the pain subsided, I actually was able to do normal tasks and I felt fine. After about 6 or 7 weeks, the effects of the cortisone vanished and I was back to square one; wondering what was going on with my hands and my body. By then, my feet were hurting and my body felt stiff and painful in the morning. I went to see more doctors, then finally one of them sent me to a rheumatologist. She informed me that I indeed had RA and prescribed several different drugs including placquenal and predisone. For awhile the predisone and the multitude of other medications did the trick, but I was concerned about the side effects of predisone. After careful consideration, I decided to stop the predisone, so my RA doctor weaned me off of it. I also tried acupuncture, eating healthy, and wearing expensive walking shoes. Sometime later my RA doctor encouraged me to try injections. At that time, Humira had been on the market for about a year so I decided to give it a try. Humira is an injection that you give yourself (in my case, my RA doc’s nurse) injected me every other week in the doc’s office. After two years of driving 20 miles each way, every other week, my best friend convinced me that her husband (a veterinarian) would be happy to give me the shot. He is a wonderful man and did the deed every other week like clockwork. My husband and I would joke that “Our family doctor was coming over to give me my shot”. This went on for years until I saw a television ad for Simponi, went back to my RA doc and asked to be put on it. The rest is history. Simponi is a self injector that has been a dream come true for me, because it doesn’t hurt and I can do it myself. So far, Simponi is working quite well for me and it, like Humira has slowed down the progression of my RA.