Last updated: October 2023
As I wrote before, I am the typical late stage diagnosis. I was started down the pain med path years before my diagnosis. I am on Enbrel and Arava, which seems to have slowed my progression. My hands were in the beginning of the arthritis takeover. They do not seem to have progressed at all, thankfully. Recently I was talking with my pain management doctor about the ups and downs of oral pain meds.
I would suffer in the mornings until my "meds kicked in" then I felt as if all I could do was sit until they wore off a little. And as always in time they would wear off, so time to take more. Ups and downs all day, always living/doing around my pain med schedule. At the time of my conversation with my pain doc I had been taking hydromorphine for years. During the conversation he brought up the evil, wicked "F" word...Fentanyl.
No, no thanks. I will make do with how i'm living. His reply, "hows is that working for you?" Well crap, called me out on that one. He was very good with explaining all the details involved with using that medicine. Since I was already opiate tolerant, he said there was no reason to worry about side effects/overdose. He also said that with the Fentanyl patch the medicine is released continually. The patch is worn for 72 hours then taken off and a new one put on. So now, two months later, I have 24/7 pain medication working continuously. Late night in bed, it's there, early mornings, it's there. No more gaps in medication, no more peaks and lows. No more ups and downs, it's just there, working. But sadly, there are still flares that nothing will ease.
However, with the biologics, DMARDS and now the Fentanyl patch, I actually feel like I just may be able to make it through this disgusting, life stealing disease.
Do you notice worsening flares in colder weather?