Once I received the official diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, my rheumatologist started me on Methotrexate. December 2012 to March 2013 are pretty much all a blur to me. I know that she explained to my parents and I the dangers of the medication, but I didn’t really fully comprehend what the medicine was. My parents did and helped me make the decision to start on it, but I think I was just so out of it I wanted ANYTHING that would help.
I took 7 2.5 mg pills, once a week (every Saturday) until July. Since I was so out of it I didn’t really recognize all of the side effects I was having from this medication. I laid in bed most of the time so I never realized that the days after I took it I felt like sh*t. Once I started becoming more mobile I would go out and see my friends on the weekends. I just assumed I over did it and paid for it Sunday-Tuesday. At one point I did realize that I was loosing mass quantities of hair. Like enough hair to make wigs from. Thank goodness I was blessed with a ton of it so I wasn’t so freaked out, but still! You run your fingers through your hair and huge clumps come out… that’s scary. When I told my rheumatologist this she suggested I try only 5 pills. That only lasted for a month or so and I went back up to 7 because I needed it. I got myself a high-powered hair, skin & nails supplement and added it to my pill-box. Since I did that hair loss wasn’t an issue.
In the summer I was diagnosed with having a melanoma in situ site on my stomach. I had to get the site and all the skin around it removed to prevent skin cancer from spreading. Luckily it was only in the first layer of skin and I caught it early. It was by complete luck that I even went to the appointment so I thank my lucky stars for whoever made me make the appointment. Anyways, since I was on humira and MTX, methotrexate, (which both suppress your immune system) I needed to stop them so that I could have the procedure done. I needed to stop 2 weeks prior to the procedure and then once the wound was fully healed I could start back on them. I was afraid that I would be in severe pain or have bad swelling during this time, but in fact I was pretty good! Looking back, that was probably the best I’ve felt. (hmmm maybe I should bring that up in my next appointment)
Once September hit I was ready to start back on MTX. Yippie! By that point I was in a MUCH BETTER state of mind. I understood fully what was going on and was 100% capable of making my own decisions. Saturday would come around and I would take my 7 2.5 mg pills and I started to notice how horrible I’d feel the next day. And then sometimes the following day. Horrible to the point where I couldn’t open my eyes, had a splitting headache, was so nauseous and dizzy. Think worst hang over you’ve ever had. I wouldn’t even have the energy to hobble up the steps to eat dinner… or sometimes even eat, for that matter!
Were other people having this same reaction? What was going on?? It was at that point that I realized that MTX was a chemo drug. NOW it made sense why I had been loosing my hair! NOW it made sense why I had been feeling so lousy! I started having to schedule things about my recovery days. How could a medicine that made me SO sick be helping my body? I just didn’t get it at all.
I went on taking it until mid October and finally said I had enough. I talked to my rheumatologist and explained HOW sick it was making me. I was incapacitated for days. She suggested that we stop the medication and see how I fared.
Since then I’ve had really bad problems with fatigue. It’s like I traded the scheduled sick days for the ‘I’m not sure how I’m going to wake up and feel’ or ‘I can only do one activity because it wears me out’ days. Which ones better? It’s so hard to say for sure. I know that I’d rather try to fight the fatigue through my diet and lifestyle then add back chemo to my medication regiment. I have an appointment with my rheum in a few weeks and I’m anxious to see what she says about my medication. Not sure I’d go back on MTX… I would if I HAD to, but if I had a choice I would not take it. I don’t miss those #MTXHangovers.
If you have ANY questions at all about the medication ask me! I can tell you how my experience was and what my opinions are.
Want to learn more about my Humira experiences? Click here.
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!