I feel like crying. For 22 years I’ve taken Methotrexate, it’s a chemo drug, an immune-suppressant, it makes me feel like shite most weeks for a whole day afterwards, but it has undoubtedly helped my body as far as the RD goes, so I’ve listened to my doctors & done as I’m told & sucked up the side effects as the benefits outweigh it right? I can hardly complain when I people I love have had to go through full on chemo treatments.
I’ve just now made the connection with my weight struggles. After 22 bloody years!!! I was doing some research into another drug, Arava (Leflunamide), as I’ve been thinking about asking my rheumy to let me try it instead of the mtx, mostly because I’m just sick of it making me feel so crap but also because of how different and how well I felt on the prednislone recently, it made me realise that my ‘normal’ isn’t as good as my doctors & even myself thought I was doing. There is still a lot of inflammation running round in there all the time.
So I researched, I knew that Arava can have the side effect of weight loss so that’s why I was looking at it, but I didn’t realise that mtx can have the opposite effect, weight gain. How in the hell did I miss that?? It can’t be listed in the meds because I’m a firm believer in reading up before you shove a toxic drug into your body, any drug. 22 years, seriously??!!
When I read that I thought back, I was always slim, I mean super slim, size 8-10 slim. I wore lovely dresses and practically lived in jeans and vest tops and never had to worry about how I looked, or covering bits up. Even after I had Lorraine, my first child the weight came back off easily. Then when I fell pregnant with Grant, I was diagnosed with RD and the barrage of meds & tests and hospital visits started but I managed to hold off of starting mtx until I’d finished breastfeeding him, that was at about 9.5 months old. Then slowly over time I started to have weight issues. Up, down, diets and all that crap. Bigger clothes, smaller clothes. Then I had Nina and it took us 23 months to fall for her, again because of the mtx. I came off the stuff 6 full months before we tried as it can cause serious birth defects then there was the 23 of trying cos it knocked my fertility out. Then 9 of pregnancy and again 9.5 of feeding. I had steroid jabs in the ass while I fed them both to temper the pain and inflammation.
I lost 3 stone after Nina was born, 3 stone just fell off me and I never had any idea why. Until just now today! So I’m sat here feeling both happy, like I want to burst into tears and terrified in case my rheumy won’t agree to me coming off this stuff and trying something else. I think he will because he’s a good listener, he’s never ever dismissed my point of view and we usually make decisions together about my treatment. There’s no guarantee Arava would work for me, or even if I could tolerate it, but boy I’m willing to give it a damn go. I just hope I get that chance and then we’ll see, maybe the slim me can come back out to play.