I thought joint pain was bad. I thought flares were bad. I totally forgot how crippling sinus infections were. My head feels like exploding and I cannot tilt my head backwards a quarter of an inch without my head pounding out a tune.


Throughout junior high and high school I suffered from intense sinusitis (made worse by the sweltering humidity of the East Coast climate). I was on steroids and antibiotics regularly, as often as once a month! I developed allergies to cats and dogs (ironic, right?) and wore a mask to work. I missed days from school.

As the years passed, mainly junior and senior year of high school, my sinuses stopped draining on their own and there was constant fluid and blood build up. Steam no longer helped and I took higher doses of steroids to counter inflammation. 

I found relief from my sinus problems when I moved to Colorado, for school. Any time I got a cold it turned into a sinus infection, but they were few and far between. However, when I returned to DC, my ENT doctor said it was time for surgery.

The surgery enlarged the sinus canals and ballooned the cavities open. The recovery sucked but I felt awesome! It was summer and I could breathe! I did not live life in a foggy haze! My nose stopped running continuously. The surgery worked. 


Then I was diagnosed with RA and started Orencia.


Orencia, in particular, suppresses the part of the immune system that fights sinus infections. Whoops. It is rather unfortunate this is the only biological medicine that works for me. 


I have to stop the methotrexate injections while I am on antibiotics because my immune system has to work at it’s “best” but hopefully in a couple of days I should feel better. 


Oh, Orencia. It is amazing how wonderfully these medications work, but how awful the side-effects? are.


Hi, my name is Monica and I have RA.