Hi, I'm a newbie . See Rheumatologist for first time on Thursday

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Vine15
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/6/2010 7:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi    :-)   stumbled across this forum as I searched the net for some info.
 
I have had painful joints in my fingers off and on for years.   I had a positve Rheumatoid factor (but only very slightly raised) six years ago and doctor said to come back if my joints got painful again.  They did often but I didn't go back until recently because the pain has become so bad and has stayed now for a couple of months. I also now have swelling so that I can't bend fingers very well.  My rheumatoid factor was still positive this time but this time has gone higher. Is this signficant?  Does the actual blood test level mean anything?  All my other blood tests were normal.
 
I am currently taking fish oil and meloxicam with not much effect.
 
Any info or advice much appreciated.  While I don't want to have RA I also don't want to come away from the doctor without an idea of whats goining on or what to do about the pain.
 
Thanks   :-)   
Forgot to add I'm only 41 but my hands feel very old at the moment!
and I'm an Aussie :-)

Post Edited (Vine15) : 9/6/2010 8:07:02 PM (GMT-6)


SydneyJo
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 9/6/2010 8:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vine and welcome to HW and the RA forum smilewinkgrin
I dont pay much heed to my blood tests as they can come back fine while I am in the flare from hell eyes
As a general rule for me I go by pain levels and how often and where they are occuring.
Maybe the pain issue could be dealt with by taking stronger RA meds - I would discuss this with your Rheumy, as there are a lot of meds out there for RA.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Jo (also an Aussie :-) )
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vine15
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/7/2010 3:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jo.
 
Thanks for you welcome. I really would like to chat with people who understand what I'm going through but seems like no one else is going to say Hi sad

Nana Monster
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 9/7/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vine,
If you want a little herbal advice I can recommend Bromelain for inflammation, it's pineapple enzymes and
really helps with the swelling. MSM works for some, where Glucamosine/Chondrotion work for others. But the
one that shocked me the most is very inexpensive and easy. Try Golden Raisins and Gin. Take the golden raisins
and soak them in generic gin for a week and take 9 a day (it was on Paul Harvey talk show). I don't drink and refuse
to chew them so I rinse them off and swallow them whole with a glass of water. I found taking them at night works
better and also if you keep them in the fridge. I was on dr meds for over 30 years and have gone as natural as I
can taking only a few prescription drugs now only when really needed.
Nana Monster

golitho
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Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 9/8/2010 5:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vine, sorry I've been awol lately had my parents staying last week and its left me flaring a bit this week. Oh the joys sometimes.
I agree with Jo, the blood tests don't seem to hold much sway on their own. Your rheumy should xray all your hand/feet and hip joints and give you a thorough physical to diagnose you. They seem to be able to tell much more by how you're swelling and your symptoms , where in the joint it hurts etc.
The average age fr RA is 25-55 so at 41 you're in the right age bracket for it.
When do you see the rheumy? Hopefully they will be able to sort you out. Where in Oz do you live?
I'm in Sydney, best wishes, don't despair you're no alone, golitho

Vine15
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/8/2010 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Golitho.
I see the rheumy this afternoon. Very apprehensive because while I don't want to have RA I also don't wnat to come away from the appointment with no answers/help etc. I hope he is a thorough doctor who listens and won't just fob me off. I've had episodes of aching finger joints for years. This episode has been the worst and the longest by far though. I have nodules on my finger joints which I have always thought were just me but now I'm thinking they are to do with RA?
Anyway, by the end of today hopefully I will either have some answers or be in the process of finding some answers.

I'm in Adelaide :-)

Nana Monster
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 9/8/2010 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Vine,
The nodes you have on your fingers are they on the outside or inside of the joint? I had a BIG one on my thumb
joint which you could feel on both the inside of the joint and was raised up on the outside so when I bent it it
hurt like heck. I was doing Super Cissus RX, Bio-Sil and Malic Acid and found the thing shrunk. The herbs were to
deal with my tore up leg and popping and crunching in the joints and when I used the malic with them the nodule
dissolved. For heel spurs I've used massive Vit C internal to melt them and backed it up with 50/50 DSMO (people
version of horse linament) and comfrey tincture. After being in acute pain from them for over a year I heard about
it and they haven't come back and it's been nearly 3 years. Also if you want to try it, the magnetic bracelets work.
The right is for the upper torso and the left is for the lower torso....if you want to make your own use hemitite beads
which you can find at a craft store and they are magnetic.
NM

SydneyJo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 9/8/2010 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Good luck at you Rheumy appt. today.Let us know how you went when you can.
Jo
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

wearyRAsufferer
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 2323
   Posted 9/8/2010 7:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome! How did you make out? I am sero negative for RF and my blood work since the MTX kicked in has always been normal or just slightly elevated for inflammation markers. It doesn't seem to have rhyme or reason to how I'm feeling either.

MELttdown
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 49
   Posted 9/8/2010 11:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm very new to all of this myself, so can't offer much in the way of advice, but I'm keen to hear how your appointment went today...

Mel
32, Female, Australia
Dx: July 2010: Psoriatic Spondyloarthritis (suffering since 2004)
20mg Methotrexate, folic acid, Prednisolone, ibuprofen, panadeine forte

Vine15
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/9/2010 1:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Just got back from the Rheumatologist. He was great. I am starting on a course of prednisolone and having some more blood tests and some xrays and then back to see him in 2 months. While my bloods didn't have some of the markers he would expect to see he felt I had "mild" RA and that it sounded like my body had been "trying" to have RA for many years.
Good news is he expects that there will be no joint damage yet. He said that my response to the prednisolone will tell him a lot (he expects me to be feeling like a new woman this time next week) and when I see him at the next appointment things will be more black and white and he will be better able to tell me about where we go from there.

So I'm very happy. Not happy to be in pain or the likelihood of being diagnosed with RA but happy that I seem to have a doctor that will be very thorough and help me.

SydneyJo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 9/9/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
It does help to have a Rheumy that you have confidence in and he has you headed on the right track there.
The pred should do the trick for you too, a lot of people hate pred but it worked wonders for me.
Glad that things are getting sorted out for you.
Take care and keep us posted.
Jo
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

Vine15
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/9/2010 4:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Jo, what is it about prednisolone that people don't like?
I've read up on the side effects but wondering what it does to a lot of people?

SydneyJo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 9/9/2010 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I guess its both the long term and some of the short term side effects.
Short term side effects vary in different people - moon face. weight gain. sleeplessness, mood swings (Im sure there is more but cant think right now eyes )
Long term effects it is hard on your organs, risk of diabetes, cataracts (and I know there is more than that too).
I was on it for 7 years straight varying doses from 120mg down to maintenance doses of between 5-20mgs. I have only been off it since April and am really starting to feel bad.
I wish I could use it as my maintenance med but until the Humira kicked in I thought I was running out of mgs when a maintence of 20 wasnt cutting it.
When you look at it all the meds we take have side effects, so we are really darned if we do darned if we dont.
To me pred was a lifesaver - I hope it does the same for you.
Jo
 
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
 
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 9/9/2010 5:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vine, I loved it in the beginning, it really took away so much everyday joint pain but after you've been on it awhile, I couldn't sleep, I put on so much weight, even trying to diet and gentle exercise did nothing to stop the weight gain. Its seemingly fluid retention. The moon face is pretty awful too. Then I've had trouble with calcium build up in my tendons, my teeth have started to fall apart ( I had had no fillings for 20 years beforehand and in the last few months, had a tooth break off down to the bone and two other teeth with holes) I was getting so exhausted from not sleeping, i was weaned off the prednisone and a month later had the most massive flare. So now I'm sadly back on the horrid stuff again. It takes forever to wean off it too if you've been on it a long time plus your whole body hurts without it.

Hope that doesn't put you off too much, hopefully you won't need to be on it for long and your rheumy can find another med to work for you and control your symptoms.
What dose are you on?
Best wishes, golitho

Nana Monster
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 952
   Posted 9/9/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone tried using Yucca Root instead of prescription steroids? It's a natural cortisone and I've used it for
both RA and poison ivy. It doesn't seem to have the side effects and many people use the Yucca plant for food
sources as well as medicinal.
NM

Vine15
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 9/9/2010 11:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I only need the prednisolone for 6 weeks, with the dose reducing every two weeks until two weeks before I see him so by the time I see him I guess any effect will have worn off? I think its to see what my body does in response to it? I am hoping six weeks worth won't make me put too much weight on as I have already put alot on which I have started to slowly take off! Today has been an interesting day. I work from home so I don't go out a lot, today I was busy all morning running errands etc and then stopped for coffee with a freind..by the time I got home at 1pm my whole body was in so much pain I had to go straight to bed. I feel like a ton of bricks in on me and every joint hurts. I guess the mobic was actually taking more of the pain away than I realised...I didn't think it really had done anything.

golitho
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 9/13/2010 8:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Hopefully 6 weeks will not give you many side effects, I always find it hard to sleep on 15mg, walk the halls at night type of thing. Hopefully you'll be ok. Plus lets hope it works for your pain!
Best wishes, golitho
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