question for my mom (R.A.)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 466
   Posted 1/2/2008 10:58 PM (GMT -6)   
she just got diagnosed with it...and is very upset. History: doctors originally thought she had it over the summer after not being able to metabolize prednisone (an allergist prescribed prednisone cause she had some weird itching on her neck and face)..the allergist just kept giving her more and more prednisone, even going as high as 60mg. As a result of not being able to metabolize the prednisone, her knees, wrists and fingers gave her so much trouble she could barely get around without assistance. Finally the allergist recommended she see a Rheumatologist. He gave her the RF test and ruled out R.A.

now she is having the same problems (left wrist and left knee very swollen and painful. So today the doctor looked at her white blood cells and he was able to tell from that alone, that she has R.A.

a few things, i thought R.A. was on both sides (left and right knee) (left and right wrist) etc...

also her biggest fear is ending up immobile and her bones all contorted.

Thanks :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 1/3/2008 11:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi billo,
I will "bump" up some very insightful threads about RA for you. Look for them, they'll be at the top of the forum. And our members will add loads of info & experience.
True..RA is typically "Bilateral" in theory...but, overuse or stressed joints can be worse on one side, thus the RA will manifest as worse on 1 side and not the other. A right handed person may have severe RA of the R hand, but not so much in the left hand.
Methotrexate, DMARDS, and meds like Humira, Enbrel & Orencia or Remicade can & will help the RA progression without the use of steroids.
Best wishes.
Keep writing!

Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation. MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Kidney Stones (oh joy). 
Meds: Remicade 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP; Mesalamine; Prednisone; Entocort; Meclizine; Azithromycin; Tigan; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam; Diclofenac; Dilaudid; OxyContin. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 1/3/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Although RA is usually bilateral it isn't always immediately bilatteral.  My right knee was my first swollen joint and it was several months befor the left joined in.  When I have flares that is how it usually works one knee then six weeks later the other knee.  I had inflimation in my right sholder on and off for a year and then a year later in my left off and on for a year.


Go figure! the disease is just weird.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1331
   Posted 1/3/2008 4:41 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Billo,

As for what the others said, RA can show on one side of the body more than the other with over use, this is very true! However, when in a flare, prednisone is often the med of choice by doctors to reduce the inflammation quickly and it should have made your moms flare less not worse. Although it sounds like it was such a high dose she was retaining a lot of fluids from the prednisone?

I hope she gets some relief soon! Good luck to her!

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/3/2008 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I totally understand your Mom's upset, been there and done that, but the good news is that they have a diagnosis now and can begin treatment and hopefully get the RA under control. I was diagnosed at age 26 and after a year of on and off battles with it, it went into remission for ten glorious years. I was young and made the mistake of not continuing my medicine when it was in remission and it eventually came out and showed me who was boss. I'm now on Humira and doing well although I've had to deal with distorted hands and feet but with modern medicine and surgeries there is much to be done to correct those things but of course early diagnosis thus prevention of deformities is the key.  Good Luck to your Mom! Like myself, she is very fortunate to have such a caring son (assuming billo is a male :) Hang in there and keep writing. We're all here to help if we can.

Post Edited (Sunpuppy) : 1/3/2008 6:59:48 PM (GMT-7)

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