Aleeta Hockenberry

I've read everyone's histories that you sent me and I can't tell you how much it means to me to not feel alone. I know my family understands and trys to help, but I know they want things the way they were before I got sick. I've always been a really strong person and now I find myself depressed a lot, I cry over little things, I can't seem to cope anymore. I think a some of that is my medicine, prednisone does that. I've been on it for two years now and I wish I could stop taking it. But until something else comes along I'm stuck with it because nothing else has come close to helping me. My doctor lets me decide my own dosage according to how I feel. The lowest I've been able to go is 10mg. If I go below that I start having trouble walking again. I am, or was, a nurse before this. I haven't been able to work for two years now. When I first noticed something wrong I was having pain in both of my hands. I went to my regular doctor and he gave me a ten day round of cortisone. the pain stopped for about two months then came back with a vengence. Within six months it went from just my hands to every joint. Almost the whole year of 1994 I spent in bed. I was taken to the emergency room four times, I went to a rheumatologist, tried everything, plaquinil, methotrexate, minocycline, NSAIDs. The methotrexate worked at first but then I started feeling sick. I did the pills, liquid and then gave myself the shots. i kept getting sicker, my hair started falling out, I couldn't eat. I felt like I was going to die. This doctor kept saying I had to keep taking it and kept trying to raise my dosage more. I stopped and found another doctor. I go to a general practice MD from here who works with a rhuematologist at University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock. She is the one who diagnosed me with Still's. At first she thought I might have Lupus because of the Reynauds and Vasculitis. But all the tests came back positive for RA. I like these doctors because they actually listen to me. They let me try other things and listen if I say it's time to stop.

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