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Date: 19.07.2007
From: Sarah

Subject: RA?

I have suffered carpal tunnel syndrome and back problems for nearly 5 years. I became very unwell after the birth of my 3rd child 2 years ago (I'm now 44). My GP said it as post natal depression and the pain was in my head.

With a lot of pushing and getting blood tests done privately I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (underactive thyroid)autoimmune disease. After starting treatment (a year ago) many symptoms improved but I still suffered CTS, back pain, hip/knee/foot pain.

I was referred to a Rhuematologist who carried out blood tests and x-rays. The x-rays showed some damage to the the verabrae in my lower spine (I have scoliosis and lordosis) and CRP and ESR were raised. I also have one leg shorter than the other and hypermobile joints. She feel that I have Rhuematoid Arthritis but that it hasn't shown up on the blood tests yet.

Just wondering if anyone else has been diagnosed RA with normal blood tests?

Thanks for reading. Looking forward to getting to know you all.

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Date: 09.08.2007
From: Sarah

Subject: Re: RA?

Hi again,

Well maybe someone can help with another question.

I have an appointment with an Occupational Therapis next week - can anyone tell me what to expect from this - I don't have any idea other than they might fit splints for my hands.

I'd really appreciate any input.

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Date: 20.08.2007
From: tracey

Subject: Re: RA?

sarah, i have had an appointment with an occupational therapist and he was very helpful he asked me loads of questions fitted me with new wrist splints and suggested that i keep a diary for two weeks with entries of how i felt during the day and what tasks i had problems with which when i go back to see him he will suggest ways round.
i am currently waiting for an apppointment to see a Rhuematologist as i have suspected RA
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Date: 22.08.2007
From: Sarah

Subject: Re: RA?

Thanks for the reply Tracy

I saw the OT and she was very nice, fitted me with splints and made suggestion of how to get around problem areas - a lot of things I was already doing. The appointment lasted an hour and a half - I was exhausted by the end of it. She's going to phone me in a couple of weeks to see how i'm doing.

It's a little depressing as usually you see medical professions with the prospect of them making you better - the OT is just helping you live with it. Hey Ho better get used to it I guess.

I hope you get your appointment through soon.

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Date: 23.08.2007
From: lin

Subject: Re: RA?

Hi Sarah,

In answer to your question, yes I have been diagnosed with sero negative rheumatoid arthritis and the RA clinic did blood tests and they came back normal even though CRP level at 24 when diagnosed. Xrays have shown RA in both wrists, right knee, both ankles and both my hands. (so yes it is possible even though bloods normal). I had been taking methatrexate for 1 and half years, but taken off it because my body couldnt handle it (caused hepatitis. Currently not taking anything at mo, waiting to see RA clinic again in October as they only have appointments every 3 months.

I can sympathize with all RA sufferers as this is a really excruciating pain when flare ups occur. Good luck

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