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Date: 17.03.2014
From: Emma

Subject: Please help - is this RA?

Hi there,

Please can I have some advice.

I am a 29 year old female. About 2 years ago I woke up and my middle finger was swollen and stiff. This only lasted about one day, then a week later the same finger in the other hand got stiff and swollen literally overnight.

I went to the doctors for a blood test for RH factor and my doctor said the blood tests were fine and nothing showed up. So I left it as my fingers were fine.

About 1 year later I became pregnant and about half way through my pregnancy I woke up with swollen knees - both of them.Again this only lasted 24 hours then quickly disappeared.

Now, 4 months after giving birth my knees are again swollen and feel achey for the past 5 days. Also my feet, hands, elbows and ankles feel a bit 'odd'. Apart from the occasional muscle ache I feel absolutely fine. I have gone back to the doctors and they are doing some blood work. I am waiting for the results and am so petrified of having RA that I can't sleep.

Is it possible my blood work could come back positive and do my symptoms mimic RA?

Thank you for any advice.
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Date: 17.03.2014
From: Toni

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Hi Emma. How do they feel odd ?
i waited about 5 months to see my doc with similar symptoms and she said at the time it sounded rheumatic or even fybromyalgia.
I was very very tired a lot of the time and had very achey hands wrists elbows and back.
Feet were not a big issue then but are now the things that seem to ache more constantly.
Sometimes feels like im walking on unpadded feet if that makes sense and my heels ache always.
I had positive ra factor and was referred to rheumatologist.
That was about 9 months or so ago.
I had a steroid injection and had about 4 days relief which was when i realised how tired and odd k had actually been feeling.
They wanted me to start meds but i am so worried about them im getting a second opinion in two weeks.
My symptoms do vary. Never been swollen but tender and very achey definitely.
Over the past few months new things are starting to ache and somethings are constant.
I left seeing my gp a while too as my second child was only a few months and initially put it down to tiredness.
My advice. Even if you come back negative push for a referral as you can be negative and have ra.
An old co worker of mine suffered for years until she pushed a referral and xrays showed changes.
Could have been maybe prevented had she been seen.
I find this forum very supportive and informative having only just joined myself.
I too am only young at 32 so its nice to know we are not the only younger ones confused and anxious about what is happening to us.
Best of luck xx
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Date: 21.03.2014
From: Emma

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

HI Toni
Thanks for your help.
Unfortunately my RA test came back positive - 20.5.

Is this high?
I feel like my world has ended
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Date: 21.03.2014
From: Rachel

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Hi Emma, I'm sorry to hear it came back positive. I've had RA now for four years and to be honest the first couple were the hardest. It's natural to feel overwhelmed but try and stay positive. Check out the NRAS website and Arthritis Research - they have loads of helpful information. It will take a while to sink in but take it a day at a time. This disease isn't a walk in the park but you're life isn't over. Learn to pace yourself and don't overdo things. I'm sure others will be on here shortly to give you some tips. Good luck! xx
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Date: 21.03.2014
From: bsk

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Hi Emma, sorry to hear you've had positive results. It will take time for you to get used to it and my advice is to get as well informed as you can so you can make the right decisions for yourself. I assume you have referral to a rheumatologist? If not, ask for one.
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Date: 21.03.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Hi Emma, its not easy to accept but once you are sorted with drugs, you will become more confident with what you are having to deal with, life will begin to have meaning again. I, like you, felt my world had ended but a year on after lots of advice from rheumy, trying different drugs and support from people on here I feel I can cope. Its not an easy road but you will manage. Lots of hugs to you.
xx
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Date: 21.03.2014
From: Toni

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Hi Emma.
Sorry about the result but at least you have an answer now and can move forward with some kind of plan.
Mine came back positive at 41 and i was told that was low but i don't know how the number corresponds with the way you feel.
From what i have seen some people can have a really high factor and symptoms can be fairly mild.
I know its scary.
I was in tears when my doc called with my results but one thing i have learnt from this forum is that you just have to get on with life as best you can.
There are meds that can help and im terrified but will be starting mine in a few weeks.
I agree hun. It SUCKS xx
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Date: 21.03.2014
From: kerry

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Emma , there are other options and other forums. Do as much research as you can x
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Date: 22.03.2014
From: Emma

Subject: Re: Please help - is this RA?

Thanks for your advice.

I'm being referred to a rheumatologist but not sure how long this will take.

My other blood tests - C-reactive protein and full blood count were normal.

Is there any chance this could not be RA? Or am I just wishful thinking...
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