One year ago I was having trouble walking. My right hand was curled into a ball and my fingers shifted to the side, my left hand was starting to follow the right. I could not straighten out my arms as my elbows had become involved the last few months. My knees were a wreck. I live in a two story house and I was seriously wondering how long it would be before I had to sell.
I walked like I was 80 and felt like I was 90 (I am 50). I was tired, in pain, depressed and wondered if any medicine was ever going to really work. During my eight years of treatment for RA, the only time I was 100% functional was when I was on high doses of prednisone…and we all know how good that is for you.
My medicine cabinet was starting to look like a mini-drugstore …..AND NONE OF IT WAS WORKING.
My rheumy did me a great favor, probably the best thing she ever did for me. She refused to give me Minocin and wanted me to add yet another expensive med to my ever growing list. I pointed out that the stuff I was on was not working. How about going off that to start another med and was told I needed to keep on taking all of them together. I asked myself. “what is wrong with this picture?” I am on more and more toxic meds, and they are barely working. My stomach is a mess and I have put on weight with 8 years of low dose prednisone. I felt like a person who is drowning in an ocean of pills while my rheumy stands on the dock and tosses yet another bag of pills at me. I had to get off this cycle.
In May of 2001, I went to a doctor in Chattanooga, a three hour drive from my house. I had no idea if this would work, I simply felt I had nothing to lose. I was already becoming seriously incapacitated. If something was not done I would have to take disability soon.
To make a long story short…the Minocin worked for me and in a very short time. Why some take a long time to get better and some get better in a matter of months I do not know. Within a few months almost all my pain was gone. My joints will always have damage but I can go up and down stairs with ease, ride horses, do my stained glass, and everything that had been part of my life before this disease came in.
I stay on a three day Minocin regime and it seems to keep the RA at bay. If I start getting twinges, I up my intake to four days for a few weeks.
I just cannot believe that this treatment has been ridiculed and ruled out by many doctors– my own included. I am here to say it CAN and DOES work for many people. I am very vocal about this and tell anyone I come across about it. It is the only reason I am still able to do my work, hauling large plants from the greenhouse to the shop, cleaning water-filled buckets is no job for someone with rheumatoid arthritis. I even buy extra copies of the book, The New Arthritis Breakthrough, by Henry Scammell, and give them out when I come across people who seem interested. I just made a pact that if I was successful on this treatment, I would tell everyone I met about it. I have sent six people from my city to Chattanooga to try my doctor. I hope I can double that number this year.
This treatment has given me back my life…it is my hope that it gives you back yours. My life is my own again, without harsh meds and long term side effects. This is how it should be for everyone.