I was diagnosed with RA in 1994. To stop the fast progress of the arthritis, my doctor gave me Prednisone 5 mg and stopped it in 3 days. No wonder it is called a miracle drug. I went through denial, depression, and desperation and tried all kinds of alternative methods. I went through a lot of suffering. Then I came back to Prednisone. I slowly reduced my dose to 0mg with the help of Chinese medicine. Right now I am on Arava, Imuran, Plaquenil, Fosamax, Vitamin D and a lot of supplements. Life has been OK with some ups and downs and occasionally I have to get some shots at the joints. After all these years, my pain tolerance increased. But in April I had a flare up and restarted on 10mg of Prednisone. I tried to reduce the dosage but my fingers and wrists would get worse. The pain I have had these last few days were like my first RA attack in 1994. My hands, wrists, left shoulder, right knee and feet are all puffed up. I haven't felt so bad in so long. Finally, my doctor ordered a body cortisone shot. I was told that I should feel better in 2-3 days and it would work for two months.
My Rheumatologist wants me to get on Enbrel. I really don't want to take another medicine and don't like to give myself shots. (I used to give my mom insulin shots.) I am so glad to find this RA sharing site and to have the chance to get in touch with people going through the same experience. I don't know what to do. Do I have a choice? I am afraid that my doctor will keep pressing me to start Enbrel. I am very worried about the side effects, the skin hardening, etc.. I will hear from my nurse about a TB test tomorrow. I am from Asia, and when I was young, every kid got an immunization shot for TB when they were a baby that resulted in my skin test always resulting in a positive result. They don't do this anymore. I need to get an xray and may need to go through the TB treatment as well. I don't know whether I should take Enbrel or not and any information about this medicine will be greatly appreciated.