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Thread: Anyone suffering with RA?

  1. #1
    Super Member emt2004's Avatar
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    I have my first appt. with the RA dr. the 1st. of Oct, what can I expect? My right hand between my thumb and index finger are swollen up, also the pain in my upper arms is getting unbearable. I have been so tired, not been able to sleep due to not being able to get in a comfortable position at night. I would love to hear how other RA patients cope...........Thank you, Michele

  2. #2
    Super Member Qbee's Avatar
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    Bless your heart. I don't know much about RA but just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are in pain. I will be praying for you to find relief. Good luck at the DR.

  3. #3
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I have JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis)which I always find funny since I am 44 years old.
    It is different to RA so I am not much help except to say there are so many new treatments available that you should be able to find something that helps.
    A friend has RA and his doctor (which is also my doctor) is always happy to try something else if the medication either doesn't work or stops working, so the only advice I could give you, is find a doctor who listens and works with you to find what works for you.

  4. #4
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I don't have it but my husband was just recently diagnosed with it - He has painful swollen hands too - we thought it was the carpal tunnel surgery he went through in March - but surgery was good just has RA. Right now they treat it with medication - varys among people and Dr.s I think the best part is just knowing so you can treat it. I hope you feel better soon.

  5. #5
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    I have Ra and have had it for about 5 years. I have tried all the self injections and unfortunately they either did not work or stopped working. I am now on an IV once a month called Orencia. I tried Remicade, but that stopped working. Orencia has been a god send for me I am able to walk and quilt and do most things the first 3 weeks after the infusion. The last week is a little more difficult but I am doing just fine. I do find that doing the uglies is getting to be very painful for me, but my husband does help a lot. I will not let this get the best of me. My mother had this type of RA and she was in her 80's before she ended up in a wheelchair. I am working towards the 90's.LOL
    My mother was a great example for me.

    Make sure that your RA doctor is someone you are comfortable with and that you can talk to him. There are a lot of meds out there to help you and do not be afraid of trying them. Living in pain is not fun, and most people do not realize how painful RA is See .. you look okay..so why should you be in pain. If I can answer any of your questions I would be happy to try.

    Hang in there .. you are on the road to pain free.

    Carole

  6. #6
    Super Member emt2004's Avatar
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    Thank all of you for your kind words and help ........Michele

  7. #7
    pal
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    Hi Michele, I've had RA for 20 years. The first thing that your Rheumatologist will do is give you something that will ease the pain. If that medication doesn't work, then you will try something else, and continue trying new things until you find something that works for you. Dr. may put you on steroids for a while. If so, don't be afraid of them because they will definitely work.

    I went to the dr. because I was so swollen, and couldn't move.I honestly thought that this was the end - and was too scared to ask. You'll get through this just like you get through all of the other obstacles.

    I have been on injections for about 10 years, and if I didn't tell anyone that I have it, no one would know.

    Please feel free to send me a PM

  8. #8
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Last year I was diagonised with advanced arthritis of my left knee. No bad pain but swelling and aching at times but walking is effected. Have pain and anti inflamation meds but 2 Advil seem to work better. Had shots in my knee 6 months ago and find that I don't have all that crunching and rubbing in my knee.

    Don't know how RA differs from regular arthritis. Was planning to ask my Dr. on my next appointment but will gladly like to learn from those who have it. May in Jersey

  9. #9
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    I was diagnosed with RA 20 years ago. Had suddenly felt like I had the flu on a Memorial Day weekend - except no congestion or upset stomach, but I severe chills at night, low grade fever, swelling feet, and miserable, ache all over feeling. After a month of that, I made an appointment to see a rhumatologist.

    After 5 years of relatively benign treatment, no improvement and no joint deformity, I got a 2nd opinion. The second Rheumatologist did a bunch of tests (many were the same ones the first Rhumatolgist did) and told me I have fibromyalgia and, lucky for me, a controlled case of mixed connective tissue disorder - which is a combination of rhumatic diseases.

    The only medication the 2nd dr changed was to add Elavil, a very cheap anti-depressant. Within a week of starting the Elavil, I felt so much better - it was like a miracle occured. Over the years I have had to increase the Elavil dose and change some meds to keep the fibromyalgia and mixed connective tissue disorder under control. I've gained weight from the meds, but feel the extra weight is worth not feeling like crap all the time.

    Generally, though, I feel very lucky because I was on the verge of applying for disability when I saw the second Dr.

    Talk to your dr about sleep medication to help you get some rest. I find that rest is absolutely essential to feeling better.

    go to the arthritis foundation web site:

    www.arthritis.org

    to educate yourself on arthritis - there are over 100 kinds!

    Hope you feel better soon!

  10. #10
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    Hope you feel better soon. I have Fibromyalgia and know the pain.
    Plus MS....so I hope you get some answers soon.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BRenea's Avatar
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    My hubby recently got diagnosed with RA. His dominant (right) hand was very swollen and after being told by several different doctors that he had tendonitis or carpal tunnel he was finally sent to a RA specialist and got relief! He recently started getting steroid shots in his hip as the RA is migrating. Ironically, I don't have RA but am taking Rituxin (an RA infusion med) as an immune therapy.

  12. #12
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    Hi- I too have RA and have had it for several years. It is often frustrating and painful, but life goes on :) . As stated above, RA migrates, and so you learn to deal with pain in one area and then it's gone onto another. The physicians have lots of medications and help at their disposal for you. Everyone is different, and it takes time to find what works for you. It's an ongoing process - hang in there. Most of all, keep your sense of humor. Our big dog (160 lbs) has developed arthritis in his hip and I always tease him that he's mocking me when I walk :):)

  13. #13
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    May in Jersey, Are you talking about that injection that is like fake cartilage?? Synvisc is the name I think.
    I messed up my left knee and the cartilage is pretty much gone. My Ortho mentioned that as an option down the road.
    By the way- RA is an autoimmune disorder where the more common form of arthritis is age/wear related.
    Thanks!

  14. #14
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    May in Jersey, Are you talking about that injection that is like fake cartilage?? Synvisc is the name I think.
    I messed up my left knee and the cartilage is pretty much gone. My Ortho mentioned that as an option down the road.
    By the way- RA is an autoimmune disorder where the more common form of arthritis is age/wear related.
    Thanks!
    Yes, Susan that is the injection I received and it seems to be helping. I have arthritis in both knees and ankles but it is advanced in my left knee, rarely have pain but it does ache and swell a lot and interfers with my walking. The arthritis has been developing over the past several years as each year I seemed to be walking slower. Thought it all was due to getting older, I'm 74, but it's mostly due to the arthritis. Really hate not being able to do all the 'stuff' I used to but I'm hanging in there, doing exercises, etc. May

  15. #15
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    I have RA, was diagnosed 2-1/2 years ago, but have had it for about 4 years. My feet started hurting, and then I started feeling it in my ankles and knees. Right about when I was first diagnosed I got hit with the fatigue!! Crushing!! I was so miserable, I ended up in the Rheumatologist's office crying because I felt so horrible and I couldn't do anything. Since then the meds do help a lot, although I still do have some pain flareups. Have to remember to get extra rest, otherwise you'll be knocked off your feet! Right now I am going through a flareup, and it's really uncomfortable.

    The difference you can really tell between RA and regular arthritis is that with RA, it hurts in the same place on both sides of your body...both feet, both ankles, both hands, both shoulders, etc. It's not joint wear, it's your immune system trying to eat up your own body...literally. So, good luck...get a good rheumy (rheumatologist), and don't give up. You'll eventually get a good med that works for you.

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