Arthritis Today Magazine

 In the Spring and Summer , 1999 editions of the Arthritis Today magazine you published an article about me and  photos of   some of my work. I was proud that you selected one of my works to be on the cover of the Summer issue. I sent you an update of my progress last year and  I thought that I would give you an update of my  progress a year later. I am currently taking Enbrel injections twice a week and taking 10mg Methotrexate weekly and Acetaminophen a few times a day when needed.I no longer take Arava. My Rheumatologist decided to take me off Prednisone last Spring and I felt so bad that I was uncomfortable and in pain most of the time. We tried a facet block and it helped for a while and then the pain came back. After another facet block which didn't help for more than a week we decided not to try that again. After the events of September 11th we cancelled our trip to Italy. We had a 3 week cruise on our sailboat to various places along the Chesapeake Bay. Later in the Fall when we were going to take a trip the Dr suggested that I take 10mg of Prednisone a day while we were away. I felt so good during that trip that when we took a couple of other short trips I went back on the Prednisone for the days we were away.  After about 3 or 4 months on Enbrel I really felt much better . My sedimentation rate is now at its lowest reading that is has been in years and my Dr has  reduced my Methotrexate. We decided to talk to my Dr about the quality of life vs the long term effects of Prednisone and we feel we want to risk it since I feel so much better taking it. I am now 65 and I want to be able to do all the things I love to do like sailing, painting, taking art lessons twice a week, travelling, and enjoying my grandchildren.  I now take 10mg every other day. I still can't walk any distance, but we purchased a transport chair and my husband pushes me whenever I need to walk or stand for a long time. This hasn't slowed us down and we are now planning a riverboat cruise in France from Paris to Normandy this summer. We also are planning a 2 week cruise on our sailboat this summer to places we didn't see last year. We take the transport chair so I can keep up with the friends we sail with when we stop at a marina in some of the towns we visit.
I have sold some more paintings and I have had another magazine cover selected since last year. 

You can see my latest works at;


Life goes on in spite of Rheumatoid Arthritis!


Barbara B Schaeffer