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2 thoughts on “Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Onset Stories, page 31

  • October 16, 2012 at 7:33 am
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    My RA “onset” was sudden. I am a 56 year old man. Very active and energetic. I woke up about 6 months ago frozen and in pain like I have never experienced in my shoulders. When I finally got myself to the edge of the bed I found out both hips had the same pain and stiffness. I thought I had been bitten by a coral snake. Seriously, my mind was racing.
    In indescribable pain I got myself to my doctors office. Blood work was ordered and prescription Advil was ordered. Totally worthless.

    From here I was bounced around to specialistbut never a Rheumatologist.. The thought was my right knee was swollen and they thought it was the cause of the inflammation. White blood cell count was elevated. MRI was done on my knee and confirmed torn ACL and Meniscus. The knee was drained and no bacterial infection was found. Things were getting worse. My mobility was gone. My wife had to literally roll me around the house in the office chair. I had a bed pan as I could not get to the bathroom. I ended up in the emergency room. More Doctors. More blood test. Serious pain medication did, at least, relieve the unbearable pain.
    The orthopedic surgeon was impossible to see and would never return calls. He was “busy”. I went back to my GP and she wanted to give me Prednisone. She could not unless the surgeon OK’d it as I was scheduled for knee surgery. Days turned into weeks. My life was literally over. The surgeon did not call my GP either. She paged him and called his office repeatedly to no avail. She (My General Practitioner) called me one morning and said she felt I needed to see a Rheumotologist in San Antonio. She suspected a immune system related issue. Appointment was made and after yet another week of immobility and pain I got to see the Rheumy. He looked at my blood work and had me try and move. He said I had Polymyalgia and started me on 30mg of Prednisone. Within a few hours after the first dose I had relief. I gained back some of my mobility. More blood work was ordered and I had my 2nd visit within a week.
    On the second visit he announced I had RA and not Polymyalgia. Prednisone and Methotrexate was now my in my daily diet. I struggled with the side effects of both. The relief from the Prednisone far outweighed any and all side effects. The Methotrexate did not seem to do anything frankly for weeks. I maintained this regimen for 2 months and was started on a Prednisone tapering reduction. The Methotrexate was starting to work. I gained back mobility and strength.
    I am now on 17.5mg of Methotrexate a week and 7.5mg of Prednisone tapering to 5mg of Prednisone here in a few weeks.I can pick up my Grandsons and can take on physical work.
    My story is simple. Question the doctors. Question everything. Research your symptoms.And hold Doctors accountable. My experience with Doctors through all of this has been less than stellar. Ignorance, unprofessional staff and zero respect or care for the patient. I am still amazed at the ignorance surrounding RA within the medical community.
    My Rheumy is very informed and is accessible. He works with me to educate and truly listens. I feel he saved my life.
    I have a positive outlook for my future now.
    I feel for the folks who have inadequate diagnosis with RA.
    I have spoken with other RA patients in my small town and find most of them are on Prednisone and nothing else. Just amazing.

    • October 16, 2012 at 9:08 am
      Permalink

      Kent, very few people ever see this comment page – would it be ok if we posted your story with the other stories – there is always a need for more men’s stories for the male readers so thanks even more for posting yours.

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