Wondering about a classic Rheumatoid Arthritis
Almost one year ago, I asked Is There a Typical Rheumatoid Arthritis? That was the night I sat in a hotel room reading case studies about Rheumatoid Arthritis in the DIP joint (fingertip) after a not-so-enlightening visit with a character I now call Dr. Dip.
I had no idea whether I had classic Rheumatoid Arthritis. My joints didn’t read any books. I didn’t know many other RA patients personally. My blog was only a couple of months old. My website was still a daydream.
Dr. Google was the best doctor I’d met at that point because he was totally objective. Doc Google never said, “Joints don’t do that.” Or “You can’t get RA there.” Or “You don’t look sick to me.” I just searched and found. Black and white.
Is there a classic Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It’s been a year of the same thing over and over: asking and searching, finding and reading. But some things are not the same. I’ve read tens of thousands of comments and emails and messages from RA patients all over the world. Some I’ve talked to on the phone or in person. A handful of them have become good friends of mine. Their lives have informed me.
What else is not the same? I finally got over the heartbreaking visit with Dr. Dip and found courage to try yet another rheumatology specialist. I found a good one whom I’ve learned from.
What else is new? The American College of Rheumatology changed the guidelines used to diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis. You can read how I reported on that blockbuster last October in a series about defining RA and why it matters. The ACR guideline is where most doctors look if they want to find out what classic Rheumatoid Arthritis is.
What else? My RA is another year older and another year worse.
What are classic Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms?
Just how many patients does it take before something is considered typical? Can we figure out once and for all what typical or classic Rheumatoid Arthritis is like? If anyone should know, I say it’s the patients. We know our own RA and we actually listen to and believe one another.
- What do you think are the 6 most classic symptoms of RA? I know there are dozens of different symptoms, so try your best.
- What are your own most significant symptoms? I know it’s hard, try to keep it to 6 or fewer.
- Do you think your own Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms are typical? Does your doctor?
This week, I realized that meeting Dr. Dip was enlightening after all. If that guy hadn’t acted like such a typical dip, I might not have been so aware of this problem.
- Is There a Typical Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Traveling with Chronic Illness / RA, part 1
- Part 1 of 3: American College of Rheumatology Redefines Rheumatoid Arthritis
- How is Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosed? Part 1