All Smiles

smileyfacesI’m in the middle of what is probably one of my worst flares of the past year, but I’m all smiles.

A few months ago, regular lab tests showed that my liver enzymes were highly elevated…so much so, that they were beyond the “concern” level and nearing the “critical” level. My rheumatologist immediately cut my medicine intake in half, and a couple of months later cut them in half again.

We had a three-step plan. First, we would taper down my meds – not completely, but to about 25% of their regular level. Second,  I would repeat my lab tests in early December and the results would (hopefully) be positive (i.e. normal enzyme levels). Third, we would then return my medicines to their normal level.

In the back of my mind over the past few weeks, as my rheumatoid arthritis once again started to flare, has been my personal knowledge that my medicine intake was the lowest it has been in more than a year. (Actually when we started this plan a few months ago, I sort of foresaw where I am at the moment.) I continued to remind myself that I was going through the final stage of allowing my liver to recover from its over-toxicity.

Over the past few days, as it was time to put the second stage of the plan into effect, I started to get really scared. “What if my tests continue to indicate elevated liver enzymes?” These lab tests, which I had been looking forward to for quite a while, were slowly transforming into something that I was dreading.

Yesterday morning I decided there was no sense in delaying any longer. I went in and had my blood drawn. I went about my day. I told myself not to worry, everything was going to be okay.

When I came home from work last night, I got the good news:

All of my liver enzymes were back within normal range!

So yes, I continue to be in the middle of a severe flare, and I know it will take a while for the re-introduction of my medicines to take full effect. But right now I’m all smiles…and I feel stronger than ever.

Everything is going to be okay.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

8 Comments
8 comments
  1. Sheri says:

    I am in the exact same boat as you. My liver enzymes were off the charts so the methotrexate had to be stopped completely. I was at a dosage of 8 pills per week with the enbrel injection. I was told to stop all but the injection and within 4 weeks my flare ups were very bad. Limited movement each day and very difficult to get moving. I am happy to hear that your labs were better. I am assuming you were put back up to good levels? I am only up to 4 tablets each week yet. My flare ups are horrible and I haven’t had it this bad since I was trying to be diagnosed, which took several months. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is good to not feel alone.

  2. zoolander says:

    Glad to hear that your liver is back to normal. You must love your liver as much as your aching joints. I happen to have RA + hepatitis C virus. So most of the arthritis meds are not an option for me, because of constant inflammation of the liver. Except for prednisone, which is what I get for Christmas this year. So cheers :)

  3. Missy says:

    I grimaced and an “Ah!” escaped out loud when you said they downed your meds my half…twice. I’m so glad to hear you’re feeling better. I didn’t even get to get on any meds yet. My next appointment wasn’t until February, but at my doctors request I was able to change it to Jan 11th. It’s raining here today. You can guess how I’m feeling. :( Not very good!

  4. emmaalice says:

    My husbands liver enzymes were way up with Methotrexate (plus 1 dose folic acid) and he was taken off them. We have since found out that he was prescribed way under the recommended dose of folic acid – which would have counterbalanced the rising ALT levels and may have meant he could continue with the one drug that has shown an improvement.T’is most frustrating, he, like RA Guy, is only 34 but is for all intent and purpose like an old man…

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