Hi! I'm 30, and have had RA since I was 11. How do you like psych nursing? Is it easier on your body? Night shift, and PCU nursing almost killed me. Pediatric ICU was easier on my body, because the children usually weighed less than adults, but working 12-14 hour shifts was ruining my joints, and most of the parents were abusive. Oral methotrexate had worked for me until I turned 29. The Rheumatologist placed me on Enbrel for a while, and I developed every respiratory infection you can think of. lol Then I tried Cimzia. Cimzia restored my energy, and I did not even feel like I had RA. Then, I had blood in my urine, bilateral leg edema, and a total-body super fungal infection. The Cimzia had caused an acute kidney injury. Hopefully, you can find a medication regimen that works for you without too many side effects.
Tips to survive as a nurse with RA:
1) Remember to pace yourself.
2) Sleep as much as possible.
3) Sit down as much as you can during the shift.
4) Night-shift is not your friend, and will probably make your symptoms worse.
5) Your meds and your disease will make you immunosuppressed, so always get your flu vaccine, and wear a mask when possible.
6) Ask for help when lifting objects or moving/restraining patients.
Over the past 6 months, I started eating less red meat, and fatty snacks, and I started consuming ginger, vitamin C, garlic, elderberry, fish oil, vitamin D, b12 complex supplements, and the occasional mutli-vitamin. My doctor was shocked at my most recent lab values. It seems like my dietary changes have thrown my disease into remission. When I eat like crap (burgers, potato chips, McDonalds) my RA flares. What works for me may not work for you, but try slowly incorporating some of the supplements into your diet that I mentioned. Good luck!