I just came back from a visit with Dr. Walker. We have made some progress in the battle with rheumatoid arthritis but it still has the upper hand. On November 1 I decreased the dose of prednisone to 5 mgs and hoped I would be able to eliminate it altogether. After twelve days of the decreased dose, neither of us is happy with the results. My feet are swollen and painful again. It's not as bad as the first time I tried to go off prednisone but it is affecting my walking and shows us the RA still has the upper hand.
Dr. Walker told me to go back on the 10 mgs of prednisone, increased the dose of another drug I'm on and added a new one. We'll try that for two months and see what happens when I try again to go off prednisone before I see her in January.
There are a couple options available. The one I prefer and we are trying first is to use other drugs. I could also go on a clinical trial program which would be entirely free but I'm a little skeptical because I hate to be messing with things that might not work. The third option is to get injections but they would cost $30,000 per year so that option is out.
I am much better than I was in June when I first saw Dr. Walker. I think eventually we will find the right dosage of the right medications and get the upper hand, but we're not there yet. In the meantime, thank God for prednisone. After a few days on the crutch of a 10mg dose, my feet should improve and I'll be able to run full speed again.