Today I have officially been on Humira for one week. In case you missed it, you can read about my switch from Enbrel to Humira to treat my rheumatoid arthritis here - and you can even see pictures of me taking my first Humira injection! Luckily, it's only and every other week shot for now, which means today is not shot day! So far, I don't have a whole lot to say about it. I have to assume that the Enbrel is still working its way out of my system and the Humira is just starting to take effect. I haven't noticed any drastic difference in the way I feel -- which I take as a good sign, because I wasn't feeling all that poorly on Enbrel. That, and it's better than feeling worse!
Most of the time, my symptoms remain predominantly in my hands. The past few months, however, I've had many more days where more joints are affected, namely elbows, knees, ankles and feet. The past couple weeks those "extra" joints have been behaving pretty well, so I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to attribute to Humira and what should simply be attributed to the normal ups and downs of RA.
I will dedicate today's blog post to my wrists, however. My wrists were among the first joints to get bad shortly after I was diagnosed and put on a regular treatment plan. I was on methotrexate at the time, and it did me a lot of good...but, after a while my wrists became very painful and weak. It got to the point where I couldn't do some of the things I used to because weight on my wrists was very painful -- imagine trying to put weight on a broken bone and you'll get the idea. One of my friends always made a point to ask me how I was doing, particularly my wrists. Although, he coined a new term for my newly painful wrists. He called them my LAWs: Little Arthritic Wrists. So, every time I saw him it was, "How are your LAWs?" Well, my LAWs remained just that for some time. It wasn't until I started on Enbrel in 2007 that I started to notice improvement.
They remained feeling good for quite some time, but eventually I began to have occasional flares in my wrists. It would come and go, as flares do. That is, until this fall. I think around September sometime I began to get my LAWs back. There were a few days that they just throbbed all day and through the night, particularly my right wrist. I have some swelling on one side of it and some cysts on the other. Although I only had a couple days that were really painful, my wrist has remained sore and weak ever since, and the inflammation has not gone down. At my last rheumatology appointment, my doctor was more concerned about my wrist than any other joints and it was part of the reason that I ended up switching the Humira. So, my LAW may end up being my test. If it begins to feel better, perhaps that will mean that Humira is working. Time will tell.