Timeline

May 2009 – First symptoms. Swelling in left and right hand MCP joints. Fatigue changes begin.

July 2009 – Primary care physician orders RA factor test. Results: 26

October 2009 – First Rheumatologist appointment. Begin Relafen (NSAID).

December 2009 – First appointment with different Rheumatologist. Begin Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine).

January 2010 – Begin methotrexate. Fatigue begins to lesson after Plaquenil but before MTX. MTX offered changes in energy level and in joint stiffness.

May 2010 – Begin Humira. By July fatigue changed markedly again, as did joint stiffness.

July 2010 – Gradually reduce daily NSAID dosage to only as needed. Dosing about 500 mg 3-4 times each week.

October 2010 – Drug combinations begin to bring significant increase in energy level and decrease in pain levels and stiffness.

September 2012 – Biggest RA-related health challenge yet. Multiple infections and longest interval without Humira since May 2010. Begins to resolve in late October 2012.

December 2012 – Major medical health insurance ends. Health insurance should NOT be tied to people’s work … just sayin’.

December 2012 – Begin gluten-free diet and although I experienced major withdrawal symptoms, I also found major improvements in my RA symptoms. All medications continued.

December 2012, January and February 2013 – More infections and more time without Humira, however this time is was a very manageable change. No major change in symptoms without Humira.

as of March 1, 2013