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Date: 07.06.2008
From: Maggie

Subject: Hello I am new and fed up.....

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Febuary after having joint pain off and on for about 8 years, finally having a bad flare up in October last year. I visited Doctor and she took a blood test for RA as my mother and sister both had the condition. (was told by Specialist that it was not genetic!) This result came back negative, also was sent for XRay which came back normal, luckily she sent me to see Rheumatologist who confirmed I had RA. I was put on 7.5mg Methotrexate, Folic Acid and an anti inflammatory. I was fine taking tablets for about 3 months but now starting to feel awful, I have flare ups and now have tendonitis in my shoulder, that is getting me down. I should have had my follow appointment now but did not get an appointment until end of August, then It was cancelled to mid September, so I am not holding my breath. I live in North Yorkshire does anyone else have to wait for follow up appointments?

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Date: 10.06.2008
From: Issy

Subject: Re: Hello I am new and fed up.....

Hi Maggie,

It's a shame to hear you had to suffer so long before they could diagnose you. Keep faith. Here where I live (Namibia) there isn't even a Rheunatologist. ;-) If I wanted to see one I'd have to go all the way to South Africa just to see one. So my diagnosis was made by a normal GP and I was sent to a "Specialist" who apparantly specialises in the field of arthritis. So I'm on Methotraxate now for my second month with lots of flare ups, but none that painkillers don't help to calm.
I've had an absolute terrible flare up in January this year, only got to see the "specialist" in May this year. X-rays also show nothing and blood tests all are negative, and trust me, they've tested for EVERTYTHING by now. ;)

I truly hope that your Rheumy will be able to help you. They should be able to help you with either more medications, or totally different ones... Or so I've read. ;-)

Just keep positive and think positive thoughts, negativity helps the pain on. ;p

Good luck.
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Date: 10.06.2008
From: cynth

Subject: Re: Hello I am new and fed up.....

Dear Maggie,

I too have had the same problems with NHS appointment cancellations and when you're feeling doggo rough etc., it's no fun. What worked for me was to go back to my GP and explain the problems I'm experiencing and stress the effect it's having on my daily life and ask if he can chivvy them up a bit. Hopefully, he'll write to the rheumatologist. The other alternative and one which my rheumatologist instructed me to follow last time I saw him in May (probably because they were feeling guilty at having taken so long to diagnose my AVN) was to contact them direct at the clinic to ask for an earlier appointment if I was suffering. Either way, I don't see why you should suffer in silence - it's not your fault you have developed arthritis, and in this day and age no-one should have to suffer pain and the misery it causes on one's everyday life.
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