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4 thoughts on “Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Onset Stories, page 28

  • June 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm
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    Two years ago I started a second job (after my office job), cleaning an office building 3 nights a week. Within two months my hands began aching as well as my feet. I chalked it up to being 43 years old, and tried to shake it off. It was somewhere around that time my ankles disappeared on me. I also figured this was another age thing — like everyone who is 43 has swollen ankles. The fatigue and the pain was horrible. I had to quit the cleaning job, as I could not take it any more. I live in the Upper Peninsula of MI and the cold was bad enough on my hands.

    I went to my NP and she ran a basic blood test as I did not have any insurance at the time. She suspected I had RA, but the test came back negative. There was a more expensive test, but I could not afford it. Last year I got married and (bonus!) insurance. She ran the more detailed test, and still negative. She sent me to a Rheumatolagist (two hours away) and he decided I have serum negative RA. Put me on prednisone and plaquenil. I don’t like being on steroids, but he said the plaquenil wouldn’t fully begin to work for 8 wks. He was right…and what a difference. I didn’t realize how swollen my ankles had become until by ankle bone reappeared! I thought I had it licked. (I know, right?? What was I thinking?) Last weekend I guess I began a flare. Extreme fatigue, couldn’t sleep and the pain was back. This time it was everywhere: my hands, feet, shoulders, hips, back. I missed two days of work this week. I didn’t know this could happen while on my medication.

    Back on steroids for three weeks. It seems to be helping with pain, but not the fatigue yet. I am a little distressed at the thought of this being such a battle…but I am a fighter and I will eat better and exercise more. I have been trying to anyway. Hard not to get a little discouraged, but it helps reading about my RA brothers and sisters. Thank you!

  • June 29, 2012 at 12:43 am
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    Hi, My name is Amber. I was just officially diagnosed with RA yesterday and I am 36 years old. I have suspected I had it for several months.

    As a teenager, I had odd knee and hip pains and saw a Dr who said it might bt juvenile RA. I never followed up on it and just dealt with the flares.

    Later, it progressed to serious jaw pain which would come and go that I used to call my “bubbles” because it felt like a bubble was being blown up inside of the joint and pushing my jaws apart. It would disappear just as quickly as it came. I had mentioned it to Drs and Dentists throughtout the years and had it dismissed.

    About 3 months ago, I started noticing some serious pain in my feet. I am on my feet all day and thought it could be attributed to that at first. Then after a few weeks, realized this was something very different. I met with my primary care Dr, who is awesome, and he tested for gout…negative. We met again and he said he highly doubted RA but that if the pain was still there after taking Ibuprofen for awhile, I should come back. It not only didn’t go away but started to spread to other joints randomly. I went back and he had me tested with a 1:16 titer result. Pretty low on the scale from what I understand. He referred me and I met the specialist yesterday.

    After a long list of questions, he prescribed me a more aggressive anti-inflamatory and that I should come back in 3 months if I was still having trouble or sooner if it progressed. As my pain is actually very manageable most of the time (although a vicadin didn’t take it all away today), I think I am OK with this but I am still scared. He says that only 5% of cases have severe RA but from what I read online that’s not true.

    Also, he is retiring in 2 weeks and I will be sent to a new specialist in Sep.

    I am the sole breadwinner in my family and am scared that my abilty to provide might be in jeapordy. I don’t want to worry my husband or family more so I hold back on the descriptions of the daily symptoms as best as I can. Also, my husband is in denial a bit and is trying to believe that it is impossible for the joints in my fingers to hurt just by pushing the buttons on the microwave.

  • March 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm
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    Susie this was very helpful to me. I was diagnosed with RA a year ago at age 65. RA comes from my Dads side of the family. My Aunt passed away @ age 47 and my Uncle @ 55. Looking back I’m sure it started for me in my late 40’s in my feet. I am currently recovering from shingles which joined the RA party going on in my shoulder and the nerve that runs down my right arm. Neuropathy decided to join in and the right arm barley works. I am loosing some days due to this but see progress of fighting my way back to my new normal.

  • February 15, 2017 at 6:18 am
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    Becca. Wow what an impressive story. I feel i am in your boat and been there a long time. I have osteo of my knees and just all around joint pain and stiffness. Hands swell like pullsbury dough boy. Wake up in am like an 80 yr old woman. But i have been thinking oh its my fault. I was a huge athelete for many years so i have abuaed my body. I gimp around middle of day. Hurts to do yoga and wrap my hands in heating pad at night. I figured it was par for the course at 45. Being a nurse and self diagniosing or diagnosing too much i just let my PA put me on medrol dose pak last 3 or 4 yrs called it good. Last 3 months been bad. Last dose pak did nothing. Went to Rhuem. Only ana is positive everything else neg. Mri neg. But swelling and pain. Still there. Not missing work stubborn as well.but cant walk with out a gimp and get up from a chair like an old lady. Luckliy i. Not going to stop something is not right im not crazy. Not wanting. Diagnosis but dear god im not that old to feel like thia much shit. Fatigue. Well lets see. I work 50 hrs a week going to school and have 4 kids. Yes i have fatigue all the time!. I am hopeful the rheum is willing to work with me i would be curious to know what normal bobes feel like again. Thanks for sharing

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