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Date: 26.03.2009
From: yesmeducky

Subject: New to forum

Hello to everyone,
Just to introduce myself really, i'm Heidi from Leicester. I'm 42 and have just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 2 weeks ago. The disease has been 'getting hold' for about two years plus . It started with the odd joint being stiff and painful and i always attributed it to having over used it or whatever. Then as you know the pain and stiffness moves to another joint and then goes for a few days until it gets more frequent and then other joints become involved. I couldn't understand what was happening. Researching the symptoms for RA really only told me about an established disease and not the insidious nature of the symptoms months or years before diagnosis. Knowing what i have has come as a relief. At last a name for the 'joint pains' on my sick notes. I don't feel that people will think i'm 'swinging the lead' anymore. Now i can at least look towards making my life the best it can be. Anyway i'm taking the Sulfasalazine tablets which will increase tomorrow to 3x500mg. I'm also taking steroids which i'll start to decrease shortly once the sulfa starts to dampen down the symptoms. I've read many of the posts here and found them to be very informative and truly inspirational. Look forward to posting in the future with you. Heidi
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Date: 27.03.2009
From: Jill

Subject: Re: New to forum

Welcome Heidi

I have found this forum a great relief, Im addicted to it now lol....u will see my name everywhere....I like to be supportive and it gives me comfort knowing we are Not alone,,, I hope you meds help you, many of us are on the same and more, so if u find your meds dont work, u can always ask for Info here and it gives us ideas to ask our Rhumatologists when we next see them, so its very helpful, alot of us are on the Enbrel injections, which usually follow at some point after being on the meds u are now on....I couldnt be without mine

so take care and let us know how u get on

Love Jill
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Date: 27.03.2009
From: yesmeducky

Subject: Re: New to forum

Thank you Jill, i'll be updating.

Best wishes

Heidi
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Date: 30.03.2009
From: Dakota

Subject: Re: New to forum

Hya, my son is 11 and has enthesitis arthritis and AS (ankylosing spondylitis). He was diagnosed in Feb this year and is still trying to get his arthritis under contol, he is still unable to walk independantly and without pain yet, and he started on Enbrel injections on Wednesday and by Saturday has become unwell with an infection.

He is quite unwell today and is in bed now, he is on antibiotics so hopefully they will help.

Hope you get some good advice on here and have the chance to chat to some lovely friendly people.
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Date: 31.03.2009
From: Barbara

Subject: Re: New to forum

Hi Heidi: welcome to the forum. I'm pretty new to RA too and started to get all the joint stiffness before christmas. I decided to try the complementary medicine avenue first which has personally helped me but is not for everyone I know and you need to take advice from your doctor. I am under the hospital too and have had the xrays, blood tests taken last week so will be interesting to get the results (in June!!) to see if there's any improvement. Most people on the forum are pretty experienced with the various drugs on offer so can probably help you much better than me but look forwardto hearing how you're getting on anyway.
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Date: 31.03.2009
From: yesmeducky

Subject: Re: New to forum

Hi, it must be very hard for you to see your son struggling with these illnesses. I hope he recovers from the infection very soon. Here's praying his arthritis starts to behave and gives the little lad a break from his pain. Best, Heidi
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Date: 31.03.2009
From: yesmeducky

Subject: Re: New to forum

Hello Barbara,
Thanks for your post. You must be just behind me then- i get my results in May when i return to the hospital. You mention complementary medicine, what have you tried? Are you taking any conventional medicine at all? How is your stiffness now and what about pain control? Which joints are involved ? Sorry to bombard you with all these questions. I think it would be interesting and helpful to compare notes as early RA patients. Best, Heidi :)
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Date: 01.04.2009
From: barbara

Subject: Re: New to forum

Hi Heidi:

No, at the moment i'm not taking any conventional medicine, just glucosamine with chondroitin pills from the chemist which are natural i.e. no side effects, and seem to help quite a lot of people that don't have severe arthritis. Also, apparently, cod liver oil pills are good too (which I don't take but think I might as often I feel that my joints need 'oiling'). My pain has been hugely controlled by taking Chinese herbal medicine in the form of a tea made from herbs. I don't want to bore everyone on the forum by going on about it but if you're interested to read about it a bit more then I started a blog www.ab59.wordpress.com. Writing things down has helped me, and it's good to keep a record too of how you felt, and how you feel as it's so easy to forget everything. To start with all my joints were involved, now I would say the weaknesses are my right shoulder joint, and my left wrist joint. I'm not too complacent though as I know this disease can have its remissions and 'good days/weeks' but I can only hope I'm doing the right thing. As I've mentioned before though I'm still going through all my doctor/hospital appts. too. Let me know how you're getting on.
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Date: 11.04.2009
From: yesmeducky

Subject: Re: New to forum

Hi Barbara,
Just to update you. I've been on the sulfa for 5 weeks and i think it's starting to work because the last 4 or 5 mornings my stiffness has improved. This morning there's no stiffness to speak of at all. My joints do hurt a tiny bit if i stretch them but i can live with that. I've no idea how aggressive my disease is, i suspect that it isn't too aggressive at the mo but if it's just short lived before i need other drugs i intend to enjoy the benefits and as you say not be too complacent. How are you getting on Barbara?
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