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Date: 14.02.2012
From: Jeanette

Subject: RA

Hi

Have just been diagnosed with RA today at hospital. It started about 10 weeks ago with 3 tender red knuckles on one hand. One knuckle was large but not swollen, at time I had a really bad virus plus it was xmas and new year and just thought it was a rash but after new year noticed tenderness and redness on 3 other knuckles on hand so couple of weeks ago went to Dr and she tested for Gout and RA. Test for RA factor came back as postive and in between that time a knuckle really swelled up since then it has attacked myshoulder and neck and wrist. I can't believe how quick it has moved on, but also can't believe that the pain I had in my shoulder would go so quick, shame I can't say the same for my wrist this is third day and very painful in the morning. I have been looking at this site since I first started looking at this site since being tested and it seems full of useful advice.
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Date: 14.02.2012
From: Paula

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Jeanette,
Really feel for you. It is a hard thing to come to terms with. The Rhumy dr will want to start you on some meds, and they may want to do more x rays etc. I found the NRAS was really helpful, and there is a good helpline for you to talk to, plus all of us on here who are going through similar expereinces. I have been on methoxtrexate for the past two weeks, and take pain killers too. It feels like your head is in a whirl, and i was diagnosed 5 weeks before you. Hang in there, and there are people who are understanding of it. Take care and my thoughts are with you x
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Date: 14.02.2012
From: Colin

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Jeanette

its not nice starting out with RA , will take time to get it sorted & get under control

try to get and see a rheumatologist as soon as you can , your GP will be able to give you some anti inflammatory drugs , some work a lot better than others

there is a lot of us on here with RA , some had it a lot time , it is a lot better controled now compared to the mid 90s when I had it so hope they get it under control & you can enjoy a lot less problems
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Date: 14.02.2012
From: jeanette

Subject: Re: RA

Thanks Paula for the welcome.

My GP has been quite good. She organised x-rays of my hands and an anti ccp blood test, which was abnorml, so it would be available for the rheumy to look at at todays appt. I had a chest x-ray today as they are going to put me on methotrexate, am going to have a word though about the radiologist as when she lined me up for the x-ray she said "right need your hands behind your back" and with that she grabbed my bad wrist and with that I let out a squeal!!!! also having a steroid injection as wrist and hand is so bad that even rheumy said he would not touch it that morning to examine.
It is a lot to take in and and so many different things happening the wrist swelled up because I had done some knitting, booties and mitts for grandchild expected in April, so this morning being up so early for apt trying to wash face with one hand and then trying to figure out how to put toothpaste onto toothbrush because normal way was not working. I can see you have to be inventive with this. lol The good side is that a lot of the pain and stiffness seems to ease off by lunchtime.
How are you getting on with the medication Paula as I must admit feeling nervous about the side effects especially the sickness, but the other side is I have hayfever and as the medication is an immune depresser I asked if that would help get rid of the hayfever and he said possibly.
Jeanette x
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Date: 14.02.2012
From: jeanette

Subject: Re: RA

Thanks Colin

Yes saw Rheumy today which was very good as only had to wait 2 weeks. Have a further appt with nurse and consultant in about a week to 2 weeks time to start medication and have injection. Have been taking ibrofen when it is really bad. I think it is the mornings which are really bad when something is going on. Although the night the shoulder started I slept very badly but funnily it was ok after 2 days very strange. The rhemy said it is very good that I have been diagnosed very early.
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: bsk

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Jeanette, welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you have to join us but glad to see you here. I've also got RA - diagnosed about 2 years ago - my goodness, it seems like a very long time ago and I never thought I would cope with it, but I am and you will too. It's a bit of a roller coaster ride but the support on this forum is invaluable. Yes it is good you are diagnosed early. I hope you get on well with your treatment.
xx
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: Paula

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Jeanette,
Your GP seems really on the ball from what I have read on the post and that is brilliant, it really helps, sounds like a good person. Mtx is different for everybody, but they keep a close eye on you, and you have to go for regular blood tests, every two weeks for a while. I have just completed the first two weeks of mtx and had the first blood test. I too, got through quick to rhumatology a 2 week wait. It is good that you have been diagnosed early, but unforuntate that you have it. They are really agressive with treatment now. Hope they start you at a lower dose of mtx than they did me my starting dose is 15mg, and she said it can be increased. All i can say is go in with an open mind, the mtx may work for you, and there are others if it doesn't. Just take care and here among others to help, also as mentioned in earlier post the NRAS was really helpful, and there may be a local support group close to where you live who can be a good source of support as well. Hang in there, stay warm and take care of yourself. Ps Hope both Colin and Bsk are staying warm in this cold weather, and hope you are not in too much pain or anything at the mo.x
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: bsk

Subject: Re: RA

Thanks Paula. My cold has returned with a vengeance but am ok apart from that.About to get delivery of new drug this week so fingers crossed it works.Hope you doing ok?
xx
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: Jeanette

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Bsk

Thanks for your welcome. Trying to stay positive. The attacks when they have come have been severe but seem to settle down after 2 or 3 days to something bearable. Don't think it has sunk in yet, which in a way is good as not thinking about it too much. Guess it is about learning to pace yourself and finding things to help like heat and cold pads and a hoover for upstairs is on the list, also a non alcoholic cocktail as I love my cocktails but they must have about 8 units just for one.

Paula I think this forum is going to be invaluable to me can't be a better source for info than from folks who are suffering from it themselves.

Keep well all
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: Kim

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Jeanette
Sorry to hear you have developed ra, I have had it for several years now. I have found a pair of nutcrackers invaluable for opening bottles, also when trying to open jars pop a knife under the rim to release the seal which makes opening them alot easier. It's amazing the ways you can find to do things, most of my clothes dont have buttons on now. If you are struggling with cooking as I do phone up your local occupational health department via social services, they have given me various equipment to use in kitchen and extra handrails etc for the home.
Good luck and hopefully things will settle down for you
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: jeanette

Subject: Re: RA

Thanks Kim

Thanks for the tip on the nutcrackers. Going to get one of those automatic jar openers as at best of times before RA I struggled with them.

Does anyone have exercise programmes for their hands to keep them at best strength bit worried about losing muscle strength.
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Date: 15.02.2012
From: Jeanette

Subject: Re: RA

Kim

My mum had arthritis and she used to attach cotten to the zip of her dresses, think I may follow in her footsteps
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Date: 17.02.2012
From: sarah

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Jeanette,

hope you are ok today. Re: your hands, my occy therapist suggested play-doh in a plastic bag to squeeze for hand grip strength, though only a couple of reps once or twice a day- don't overdo it or you will make things worse- if you are worried about it, ask your rheumy for a referral to occy therapy.

Hope that helps

take care
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Date: 21.02.2012
From: Paula

Subject: Re: RA

Hi guys, hope you are all ok, Bsk Lots of luck with the meds. Will be thinking of you, let us know how you get on. Hope you are hanging in there Jeanette, Kim and Sarah. Thinking of you all anyway. xx
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Date: 21.02.2012
From: Jeanette

Subject: Re: RA

Hi Paula

Yes am ok RA seems to be going a little mad, has gone into 4 further joints in a week, gone into my toe and it is a "Pain in the foot" lol. Looking forward to my steriod injection!!! How can anyone say that about an injection I don't know!!
Read something interesting this week as was looking at Fatigue and RA, as have had fatigue for a while was tested for B12 as Pernicous anemia runs in our family it was ok asked Doc what was causing my tiredness and she said "It's my age". But found an article which included both RA and hayfever and apparently cytokines are involved which causes the fatigue as cytokines are released when you have a heavy cold or flu, inflammation. I remember going to the DR last year and begging him for help as my normal anti histammins were not working because of the rape seed and saying "how would you like to have flu sympton for months". It looks like the biological drugs for RA are the best thing that treats this side of the disease but maybe when I get to know my rheumy a bit better I might mention it. Apart from that just trying to get tings that may help fish oil, wrist bands and gel things for my feet. Keep well everyone and thank you for your replies am finding this forum a great support. xx
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