Been fighting RA for over 25 years and have been on steroids all 25. Live on a small (10 acre) walnut ranchette in rural Durham, northern CA. Used to have all sorts of livestock, but we are now down to 3 lady cats. I worked for many years as a medical biller and miss it very much as my dr will not let me go back to work. My main hobby is genealogy.
I have a small consulting business (me!) and have taught medical billing to companies wishing to start up DME & HME businesses. I have 5 adult children: a son aged 28, step daughter aged 27, step son (both parents deceased) aged 26, daughter aged 26, step daughter aged 24. I started in genealogy because I am an adoptee who found her birthfamily and just kept looking! I have done some consulting work in genealogy as well, but prefer to help folks for free as many have done for me.
I have tried gold shots, Humira, methotrexate, Enbrel, plaquenil and Remicade, Arava, etc. Remicade was the most effective treatment for me and I hope to convince my rheumatologist to put me back on it. I have been blessed with excellent insurance thru my husband's employer (St of CA) and have had 3 wonderful rheumatologists along the way. I have had a GP that is willing to listen and try new things as I have developed Degenerative Joint and Disc Disease esp in my top 4 or 5 vertebrae. They have deteriorated to the point that surgery to fuse them is no longer possible. Obviously, this causes a lot of pain, most of which I have simply learned to live with although I do have 150mg fentanyl patches and oxycodone for breakthrough pain. It seems my kidneys have gone south on me, probably due to all of the medications. I believe I will be acquiring a nephrologist soon. Ask me anything and I will try to answer!