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    About 2 or so years ago I noticed my right index finger was swollen. There really wasn't any pain, it was just swollen. For about a year + still no pain on it, but it was swollen (I think the entire time, I didn't pay much attention to it).

    About a year or so ago I started to develop foot pain (mainly just in my left but now it's in both feet).. Went to my family doctor and he took x-rays. They didn't show anything (fractures, etc). He gave me some muscle relaxers to try out.. They didn't help and about 6 months later of just dealing with the pain (which would be on and off and very inconsistent) I went to a podiatrist. He took x-rays again, gave me a splint, injected me with a steroid.. None ever fixed it..

    About 5 or 6 months ago my right knee started to hurt.. I dealt with the pain thinking it would go away for about a month and then went to my family doctor again. This time I had in my head I had RA (I'm a very negative person when it comes to my health and I always think the worst).. I told him everything I just typed out (about my finger, feet, and now knee). He agreed it did sound like arthritis..

    He did some blood work, called me back two days later and said my RF was positive (40 I believe) and scheduled me an appt with an RA doctor for a month later. In that time my right middle finger started to swell up and is still swollen. I went to the RA dr (08/05/2008) and he looked at my blood work I had done, did a medical history on me, sat me on the table and looked me over, then told me I have RA. That was it.. Put me on naproxen and sulfazine that day.. He also had me get my blood tested again.

    Two days after I went to the RA doctor (08/07/08) I went to a ND. He tested me on his electrodermal screening machine. He believed I had a yeast overgrowth (Candida) and put me on a yeast free / sugar free diet and I got some supplements to help with that..

    A month later (9/16/08) I went back to my RA Dr. again. My liver enzymes were elevated and he wanted me off the sulfazine for 3 weeks (but to stay on the naproxen). He also told me the anti-CCP test came back positive (I believe it was 100). He said after the 3 weeks I would get my blood tested to make sure my enzymes were back to normal and then he wanted to put me on methotrexate. My wife and I are trying to have our second baby so his options were limited.. He couldn't put me on the MTX so he prescribed something else (can't even remember what it was). By this time I had made up my mind I was not going to be taking whatever he prescribed anyways.. I was going to look for alternative treatment. The only prescribed dug I take is a 1/2 naproxen every few days for pain. I'm hoping to find something else natural that can help with that (possibly MSM?).

    I've been to my ND a few times in the past two weeks. He tested me for food allergies and treated some of them. I am now on a yeast free, sugar free, gluten free, and dairy free diet!  I don't know how I'm doing it! (My wife is great with the meals!)

    Over the past couple months I've done a ton of reading. I've read a lot from the http://www.arthritistrust.org/ website. They have a ton of information regarding RA and believe too, that it can be cured.

    Then, just this week I happened to find this site and the AP protocol by reading a testimony off the mercola site.

    Oh, and now my current physical status is:
    Pain 1-5 (1 being the lowest)
    Right Knee: For the most part 1-3 level
    Right Wrist: 1-3
    Right Index and Middle Finger: 1-3 (also swollen)
    Feet: 1-3
    Left Index Finger: 1-3 (also starting to get swollen)
    Left Wrist: 1-2
    Various Back Pain, nothing severe, yet.

    For the most part, when I'm just sitting here at work (desk job in IT) I'm fine.. When I get up to get water or something my feet and knee hurt but then gradually start to “loosen” up.. Lately my wrists have been the main area I focus on (most pain, most often).


    Tuesday – November 25th

    Well the appointment went good yesterday. Dr. T was very optimistic for me! 😀 Try finding a rheumy that treats conventionally that will / can say “You have a very good chance of this going into remission / being cured.”

    Like I mentioned.. It went good, but not didn't exactly how I had it planned in my mind.. First, she's not a MD, she's a DO (which is perfectly fine). She is in physical therapy and really only does AP because she knows it works and she knows no one else really does it. I expected her to want to test for mycoplasma but she didn't even mention it. My wife asked if there were any type of tests to make sure I had it and Dr replied the that the tests were very expensive. I don't need the tests to confirm as my ND has already said I have mycoplasma..

    I also expected for her to want to maybe get xrays or some blood tests now to compare with tests done down the road, but she didn't.. She does, however, have my original blood tests from 3 months ago so I imagine we don't need to do any now. We are going to have some done in two months to see where we are.

    She herself has RA and has had it since she was 18 years old. She did 25 years of conventional treatment before going on AP. Sadly, I forgot to go into detail asking her about her history which I'm so mad at myself for.. However, she did say something that really suprised me. She said that she had to go off AP after a while (can't remember how long) because it was affecting her liver. I didn't know that was possible and was sorta shocking to hear.. She is now on a low does of methotrexate but said she is doing good, pretty much pain free.

    I don't want this post to sound like I'm disappointed with her or with the appointment, I'm not.. Just was different than what I expected was all.. She is very optimistic, as am I.. I just have to fill the minocin script and start the journey..

    Tuesday – December 2nd

    So I took my first minocin last night around 7pm.. I was fine all night and through the morning, until now..

    I get to work and my face feels like it's burning (I figure it's from the lotion I put on for my dry skin).. My co worker comes in and asks if I was ok because it looked like I had hives. :O

    I went into the bathroom and I do look blotchy..

    I'm afraid of a couple things.. Am I allergic and won't be able to take minocin? Is this one of those things where I should go see a doc ASAP?

    Well this is strange.. The rash is gone.. So it last for about 30-60 minutes!? Is that strange or what? I'm still going to my GP at 10:15 and praying that he won't say to not take it..

    Could a moisturizing lotion coupled with the minocin do this or is that impossible? I've used said lotion before and never had any issues.. My face was the first thing I noticed.. It was burning and I figured it was just the lotion for whatever reason causing it to burn…

    I went into the bathroom and it was all red.. My neck had a few blotches and I had some blotches on my arms.. Legs, chest, back, and stomach were all clear..

    Thursday December 4th

    Ok.. Had the exact same rash / flushness / blotchiness at the exact same time this morning! I don't think it's the minocine because I only took one Monday (first mino ever, just started), then had rash Tuesday.. So I thought that was it for sure..

    Tuesday had rash, Wednesday didn't have anything, today had rash..

    I'm trying to think of the things I have done differently recently.. I recently started taking 2000mg of Vitamin C per day (1,000 in morning and 1,000 in night).. This was per Dr. T but I'm wondering if that's too high of a dose? I started that on 11/25..

    MSM, I'm up to 11 per day and I think I went to that level on 11/28 or 11/29. Like I said in my previous posts.. I've never had any reaction good or bad with MSM but maybe this amount is giving me issues?

    Here's the thing.. Yesterday, I didn't have the rash.. Also yesterday, I forgot to take my morning pills (3 MSM, 2 Vitamin C, Fish Oil, Vitamin B, and a Probiotic).. So, maybe that's why I didn't get the rash yesterady? If it's the MSM or the C I would have had a lower dose yesterday then I did on Tuesday and today..

    Friday, December 5th

    Ok. We (my wife and I) think we've figured it out.. I had the rash again this morning.. This morning I only took my B3, Fish Oil, and probiotic..

    I've been on the B3 and Fish Oil for about 3 months but we think it's the B3 because of the niacin..

    “A niacin skin rash that may or may not be itchy can be a side effect with vitamin B3. With the rash, skin flushing (skin turning red and feeling warm) especially on the face and neck areas usually is present.”

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