I had my appointment today at the PsA clinic in Toronto. I have to admit I was excited. At this clinic they study the disease including genetics and collect data as well as examine and advise on treatment.
It was very long day but nice to have someone who wanted to know every detail of my PsA symptoms. Things I had been waiting to tell someone who wanted to listen. I spent most of my time with a Resident doctor. Everyone was so nice, polite and professional.
My appointment was at 9am and I was there over an hour early to beat traffic. By the time I was finished it was 1pm. They had a ton of questions, forms and then an assessment, physical exam, blood work and a full set of x-rays.
I met Dr. Gladman who is a leader in PsA research. It was nice to have her look at me too. They really pay attention to the details at this clinic. Turns out she knows my Rheumy and said he's a very good doctor. I told her of my troubles and frequent visits to see him this past summer and she said she's sure he'll welcome a second opinion.
They confirmed that my PsA is very active ( which I knew ) but I am in good health in general. At the same time, they want to get control of the PsA and get me into remission. Sounds good to me :)
Anyway, they believe I should give the Leflunomide a couple months to see if it works ( it's only been 3 weeks ). After that if it does not help they will likely suggest biologics but I will be returning for a follow up in March to discuss options.
Next time a have an appointment like that I'm packing a lunch lol I was starving. Thankfully I had enough sense to pack a granola bar to at least help tide me over.
Glad to hear it went so well. It does take time for leflunomide to kick in. And I almost always have a Luna bar with me, just in case.
Good news!!! It sounds like you have the best of the best figuring out how you can most effectively manage your PsA - it doesn't get much better than that! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks :) The thought of what comes if the Leflunomide doesn't work scares me a little but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
Leflunomide took about 6 weeks to work for me. I take it every other day. I actually started on it September 1st. Blood work since has all been fine (liver studies, etc) so be patient. I too have good news as I have had this disease for over 30 years and the last 5 years have been hell. Fare-up after flare-up. So, my Rheumy put me on this pill to work in concert with Remicade. I think this combo has done the trick. My infusion is scheduled in 3 weeks and usually I am practically bed-ridden this close to an infusion. Since October 1st I have been able to do the fitness center 3 x weekly, 2.5 to 3 miles each visit, 2 miles walking on the track, and 1 mile on the treadmill with minimal pain the day after. My energy level has really improved as well. That said I still take pain meds daily otherwise I wouldn't be able to do much. But until the Leflunomide, the pain meds didn't touch the pain I was having.
thanks Sybil...yes my appetite has improved a lot the last month or two. Now I actually want to eat.
Erinsmum....Yes, I've already noticed some improvement and from what the doc's said, it's a good medication. That was their words. For myself also, my movement has already improved. I'm feeling as close to normal as I can imagine these days and I went through hell the last 6-7 months. It seemed like it would never get better. My energy level is a lot better too. I'm taking Plaquenil and Leflunomide so that might be that magic combination for me. I take Leflunomide once a day.
Here's to happy and pain free days ahead :)