Rheumatoid Arthritis

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tina%52
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 7/30/2009 8:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone been diagnosed with RA after an injury?  I tripped and fell on knees and hands.  Already had back pain which increased and included the feeling of legs collapsing under me.  Symtoms got worse, had injections etc., then was diagnosed with RA.  I have see a message board somewhere that stated an injury can 'trigger' a RA flare.  Just wondering if anyone here has experienced that.  My doctor said that could have been the cause of onset but is best to just move forward and not dwell on that.
 
I've now had major back surgery and recovery time has been months now and I'm still in therapy.  Just wondering if RA also slows the healing time.  I've had five infections in the last 5 months and have to go off methotrexate for 2 weeks each time.  Okay, I've complained enough.... :-)
 

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 7/30/2009 11:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if RA slows the recovery time but certainly the meds do. You don't specify what you're taking for it? I know if I fall it can set off a flare sometimes. Sorry I can't help you more, goodluck, golitho

ladywriter
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 7/31/2009 6:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Tina,
Welcome to the forum. I have been posting here for just a couple months, and have found much compassion and understanding. This is the only place where people can really understand what I'm going through, and many have been through what I'm going through and can offer support. It's a great site!!!

My RA joint pain began 6 months ago after what can only be described as a trauma to my system. I've had chronic pain for the past 12 years after an auto accident, and my neurologist put me on methadone for 3 months when my old meds lost their effectiveness. I was on a relatively low dose, but it caused bad side effects so I told my doc I needed to take something else. She said "fine" and told me I could just quit taking them without tapering off. Huge Mistake.

I went through cold turkey withdrawal, and a week after that I began having severe symmetrical joint pain in both my hands and wrists, and I began waking up with my fingers stuck in odd positions. The cold turkey was the only thing that changed in my life, and I believe it was enough of a trauma to my system to trigger my first the RA flare.

I had no joint pain until after the cold turkey withdrawals. So my experience was that a trauma to my body triggered the flare, and if that could trigger it, then it seems to me that a physical trauma certainly could set off a flare. Good Luck.
ladywriter
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Chronic Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Recovered Alcoholic w/15 years Continuous Sobriety


tina%52
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 8/1/2009 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Ladywriter and Golitho,
Thank you!  I have found some very good infromation here and yes I see the compassion & understanding.  It is hard for people who don't have RA to understand. 
 
I am taking Methotrexate, Folic Acid and Plaquenil for the RA.  Its probably the Methotrexate that causes the slow recovery time.    However, this was a huge back surgery, so my surgeons PA has told me to give it time.  Plus there were some complications so it will take longer to recover.
 
Ladywriter, I too have depression and am taking Wellbutrin. I smoke and had asked my PCP about this to quit smoking.  He does not think now is the time to try and quit but he would prescribe this as he felt I needed it for depression and felt it would help the pain.  Prior to the surgery I could not do anything due to the pain & weakness in my legs.  I did work (used a cane) but was so exhausted after work I didn't have the energy to do anything else. 
 
After I fell, I could not sleep in my bed so I moved to the recliner and that is where I slept for 3 years.  I can now (after surgery) sleep in my bed but only on the left side.  I've had over 10 injections in my knees; there is a small tear in one and will most likely require a 'probe surgery' at some point.  I am now using one crutch which replaced the walker I used for 4 months.  This was a fall that changed my life.  If I could go back in time that would be the one thing I would change, unfortunately we don't get do-overs :)
 
I just wondered if others had a sudden onset of RA after a 'trauma'.  Your cold turkey withdrawals would definitely be a trauma to your body.  I cannot believe a good doctor would allow you to go that route.  Tapering off would have prevented that horrible experience.  Are you taking any meds for your RA?
 
I'm looking at the different meds others are taking.  I don't believe what I am being given is doing any good, at least pain wise.  I have to see a Retina Specialist every 6 months and now a Cornea Specialist because of the Plaquenil.  Feet hurt so bad I can barely walk in the mornings.  Hands are stiff and painful so I try and limit my computer time plus it hurts my back to sit at the computer very long. 
 
How do you cope with this?  Are you getting out and doing things?  I now go places but have found I have to limit outings so I have a day to rest in between or during the day.  This week has been busy so today I'm resting, pain was horrible yesterday and last night.  Do you do that as well? 
 
By the way, congrats on the 15 years Sobriety - I know others who have fought that disease for years and have great respect for all of you and your willpower!

ladywriter
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 8/1/2009 11:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Tina,

I'm taking Methotrexate (MTX), Prednisone, Boniva, and Folic Acid, as well as prescription strength Vitamin D and Iron (I was deficient according to my bloodwork), and I'm going to start Remicade next week. The prednisone is for the pain-it's the only thing that works-but my rheumatologist is slowly tapering me down. It's so bad for you that he doesn't want me on it any longer than I have to be, but he also doesn't want me to be in agony, which is where I would be without it.

I've been on the MTX 6 weeks now, and I think it's starting to work. I'm in much less pain, although I have good and bad days, and when I wake up my fingers aren't all bent up and twisted, but as recently as last week they were. I've been on temporary disability from work for 3 months now, and expect to go back in October. That's when my rheumy thinks I'll be ready, after a few treatments with the Remicade, and coincidentally that's when my disability benefits run out.

I have a huge problem with fatigue. I don't get out and do much, just the minimum I can get away with. I have about 3-4 hours of energy most days to go out and about, but anything after that is really pushing it. I sleep a minimum of 12 hours/day, and nap another 2-4 hours/day. I have found that when I have a good day, I need to pace myself because if I do too much on a good day, I pay for it the next day with increased pain and fatigue.

Thanks for your kind words about beating alcohol. I still go to meetings a couple times a week, partly because it's good for my to get out of my apartment and socialize. I would be a complete loony if I stayed in all the time. I hope this has answered some of your questions. Let us know if you have more questions. Good luck.
ladywriter
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