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Date: 16.01.2009
From: Carol

Subject: Trouble getting diagnosed

Hi everyone! I am 22 years old and have recently begun experiencing severe Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. I went to the doctors about it as it was affecting my job (as a primary teacher so very physical). The problem is I recently had some kind of infection in my upper arm which no doctors were able to explain. Whatever it is seems to have now gone but the doctors are very hesitant to even consider looking at my mobility problems until they have a diagnosis for what it was on my arm.
This is very frustrating for me as I am in considerable pain every day, as in I cannot get out of bed in the morning (well it takes about an hour) and I cannot drive home after work as my wrists and fingers are so bad that I cannot grip the wheel.
The doctors don't seem to be listening to anything I am telling them and are sidetracked by this infection that actually seems to have gone now. I originally had a biopsy and it showed nothing so they sent me to the rheumatologists who just told me that I would have to go back to dermatology and get a diagnosis before they would diagnose anything, although they hinted towards a strong possibility of RA.
I am now just extremely tired and anxious and beginning to feel depressed as it seems no one is listening to my worries. I am finding it really hard to continue working but I cannot survive without a job and without a diagnosis there is no way of me getting any benefits as far as I can see.
I really need some advice from anyone who has maybe had a similar problem getting a diagnosis or can help me to see a light at the end of the tunnel!
Thankyou! x
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Date: 17.01.2009
From: Emma

Subject: Re: Trouble getting diagnosed

There is a type of arthritis that can be triggered by infection. It is called reactive arthritis.Here is a web page for further info: http://www.arc.org.uk/arthinfo/patpubs/6034/6034.asp
I have still not had a definitive diagnosis after 3 years and take 5 different drugs for the symptoms. Rhuematological disorders seem to be particularly difficult to diagnose and alot of patience is needed. Good luck
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Date: 19.01.2009
From: Judy

Subject: Re: Trouble getting diagnosed

Hi Carol
Hope you are feeling ok today??? I have also just posted onto this forum (Judy aged 40) - but haven't had a reply yet. I saw yours this morning and if it's ok, I'd like to reply. I have also started with RA symptons (around 5 months ago) It has severly affected my every day life (getting out of bed, stiffness, stairs, hands, wrists and knees - and also really knocked my confidence. I have been feeling tired, depressed and very tearful). It almost happened over night to me. My blood tests (RF and ESR) etc, all came back negative - however, I saw a rheumatologist for the first time last week and he has taken tests for a viral arthritis. (He doesn't seem to think it's RA) I don't get the results for another 3 weeks. In the meantime he has told me to take a mixture of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol (102 tablets a week!!!) This has helped me with the pain, but I really don't want to be taking that many tablets for any length of time. I wondered if yours may also be a type of viral arthritis? I can't find out much about it on the web. I don't know about you, but I just want someone to say 'You have got......' and then I can get on and do something about it. It is so frustrating isn't it? Please let me know how you are feeling today? Lots of love and take care xx.
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