Biologics, Other Advancements Have Helped Those With Painful Condition
When MedPage Today contacted Dr. Joan Von Feldt to talk about the changes she’d witnessed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) care in the past 25 years, she offered one piece of advice:
“I hope, in your article, you reflect the excitement that rheumatologists have in managing this disease, because it’s so much more satisfying,” said Von Feldt, a rheumatologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1984, the outlook for newly diagnosed RA patients was grim: a regimen of often toxic drugs that might slow the onset of crippling pain, but not for very long. Younger women were advised to forget about having children because they probably would be too disabled for the rigors of motherhood. The best outcome for many patients was joint fusion or replacement surgery.
“Our orthopedic surgeon came around to our offices two or three times a week to just kind of check in,” Von Feldt recalled.
Today, although disease flares and progression can’t be prevented entirely, doctors can now tell patients to expect long periods of remission and the availability of many effective, nonsurgical treatment options when their current regimens begin to fail.
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Just for fun!
Hello RA Guy..
I am 40 year old active, single guy, director of a company and apart from the current serious struggle for my company to stay afloat druing this serious financial disaster life was looking pretty good..
After a couple of years of my right knee flaring here and there and more joints in the last twelve months, five weeks ago after a multiple joint flare up I was diagnosed with RA with a Rheumatoid Factor of 26 (weakly positive). While waiting for a consultation with a rheumatologist I was prescribed Diclofenac, and on Christmas Eve started a course of Prednisolone tapering from 20mg to 5mg over the course of the next month to relieve immediate inflammations and Salazopyrin EN increasing from 500mg to 2000mg over the same period.
I have just finished reading every post you have blogged since you started this RA diary. To be honest, although very informative, I am completely shi**ing myself at the prospects of what looks incredibily likely I am to face in the coming hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades..
Not being married or in a relationship with anyone at the moment (I am a fussy fu**er!) I live on my own and the future looks like it can and will be extremely difficult, for someone living on his own. I still have my mum and sisters in the next town who will support me through thick and thin, but the future has suddenly started to look very bleak.
I have so many questions about medicines and organic supplements and have no RA TEAM to speak of and dont really know where to turn.
Any advice from anyone here?
Out of Joint
RA Guy on May 20, 2009
“She begins, in the morning, by casing her joints: Can her ankles take the stairs? Will her fingers open a jar? Peel an orange? But it was not always this way for Mary Felstiner, who went to bed one night an active professional and healthy young mother, and woke the next morning literally out of joint. With wrists and elbows no longer working right, she’d discovered one of the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis, the most virulent form of a common disease. Out of Joint is her account of living through arthritis, a distinction she shares with seventy million Americans. While arthritis pain affects one out of three Americans, this book is the first to tell the personal story of the nation’s most common yet neglected disease. Part memoir, part medical and social history, Out of Joint folds the author’s private experience into far-reaching investigations of a socially hidden ailment and of any chronic condition—how to handle love, work, sexuality, fatigue, betrayal, pain, time, mortality, rights, myths, and memory. Moving from the 1940s to the present, this story of one life with arthritis exposes little-known medical research and provocative social issues: alarming controversies over arthritis miracle drugs, intense demands concerning disability, and the surprising and disproportionate number of women affected by chronic illness. From this prize-winning historian comes a call for healing through history, a moving meditation on the way chronic conditions can be treated by enlisting the past.”
Read the response from Mary Felstiner to Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy: Out Of Joint, Pt. 2