first symptoms of RA -- swollen, stiff fingers in morning?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/23/2012 10:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Did anyone's RA first show up when suddenly waking up one morning with painful, swollen, stiff fingers (worst at top joints) with burning sensation? 
 
This happened all of a sudden one day in May, 2009, and it has happened every single morning since then, and whenever my fingers stay in the same position for a period of time. It feels like pulleys with heavy weights are attached to my fingers and I have to work work work to make them bend.  It diminishes later in the morning but comes back on and off during the day.
 
I posted on the fibromyalgia and thyroid pages and gave more detail.  I dont' want to bother anyone, but if it sounds like any of you, I'd be interested and can explain more.   I see a rheumatologist every so often, but he's stumped. All bloodwork shows up normal, and any slight variances are easily explained by something other than RA (ie. once a higher crp of 7, but I was later diagnosed with chronic cystitis); slightly hypothyroid with antibodies, but I'm on medication that presumably solves the problem;  after years of endometriosis I had a successful hysterectomy last December. I'm 47.
 
thanks!
 

Vannie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 9/24/2012 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Katie,

I have seronegative RA. My bloodwork was normal for almost ten years. I still am not positive for RF, but my CRP and Sed rate go up if I am not on a biologic. A 7 CRP is nothing to dismiss, btw. I didn't get treatment for many years because I am seronegative. Now I have permanent damage in many joints. If I were you, I would seek a second opinion from a different rheumatologist. My RA first started in my big joints...knees and elbows, then moved to my hands, and eventually almost everywhere. I stopped complaining to the docs because they never did anything. When I saw my current RD, she shook her head at the lack of treatment I had received. She spent an hour with me and Dx seronegative RA. Does your RD check all your joints when you go in? You may have joints that are inflammed that you don't even know about. I hope you can see another doc and get the help you need. BTW, are you fatigued? That is part of RA.

Best Wishes,
Vannie
Fibromyalgia, Seronegative RA, Asthma, High BP, DDD, Bulging Discs in Cervical & Lumbar Spine, GERD, Prediabetic
Prednisone, Lexapro, Cardizem, Lisinopril, Advair, Lipitor, Vit D, Joint Supplements, Soma, Tramadol, Fish Oil Supplements
I take one day at a time, and try to save my energy for the joy in life.

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/24/2012 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks for the info, Vannie! I'm sorry you had to go so long while your body got worse. That's awful. How long did it take before the new dr. helped you? I feel like an over-reacting fool whenever I see the rheum and have thought about never going back. It's not normal to wake up one day and have dysfunctional fingers in the morning for no reason at all. I didn't injure them, and I'm not imagining this. I haven't worn rings in 3 years now.

The rheum. I'm seeing is the 2nd one, but not ideal. He has something like 50 years of experience, though, and calls my symptoms bizarre. He does check all the joints, but he attributes joint trouble to other causes because the bloodwork is normal. The crp was normal last time. He said who knows why it goes up and down, but not to worry.

After seeing my first rheumatologist who patted me on the head in 2009 and basically told me not to worry about it, little girl, I was then referred to a neurologist (because of the burning sensations, especially after washing hands in cold water) who did all sorts of neurological tests but didn't find anything wrong other than some sort of elevated alpha something or another. He then referred me to the older rheum. He checked everything, and referred me to a hematologist after my finger tips started bleeding under the skin whenever I did yard work in the heat; but nothing showed up in the bloodwork. (I think it's simply from gripping the rake or clippers with swollen top joints) Nobody's done an xray of the hands since 2009, and after a while I feel like I'm just wasting my time and money. I'm a classical pianist, and my hands are especially important to me! I have an appt. to see him in late Nov., but I feel like it will be another waste of time and a lot of money.

The fall-over fatigue I've had has improved, but I don't know why. My hair is coming out again (I'm female), and that was one of the symptoms that lead the dr. in 2007 to find a slight hypothyroid problem, but the thyroid numbers are fine with medication. about every 6 months or so I go through a cycle of having my hair come out in my hands in the shower, but it stops by itself for no reason whatsoever. I've had the dry eye syndrome singe the finger problem started, and have had tear duct plugs and restasis, but that doesn't really solve it. (I keep drops by the bed) Chronic cystitis was diagnosed last year, and that dr. said this chronic inflammation can cause fatigue. Severe endometriosis over many years with inflammation and pain can cause fatigue, according to that doctor, but I finally had the hysterectomy (hormone replacement now) and feel better.

Typing on this computer, playing the piano make my fingers stiff and swollen, as well as when they're in the same position for a period of time (driving a car, holding a magazine, scrubbing the bathtub with a sponge, etc.) But it's a burning, aching, swelling of the whole fingers. It's not the type of crackling, achy feeling from tired, stiff joints from years of exercise. It's completely different. It's, of course, worse in heat when fingers natually swell, and better in cold temperatures (but that causes burning sensations) -- but since 2009 I have never had a single day when the fingers didn't do this in the morning for at least 1/2 hour and on and off during the day. No doctor has any clue. If it doesn't show up in bloodwork, they don't know what to think. I don't have large joint problems that can't be attributed to age and problems everybody has (back, neck, shoulder -- chiropractic treatment).

If this sounds like anything familiar to anyone, let me know when you have the chance. thanks.

Vannie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 9/25/2012 7:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Okay, this is simply not right! I saw two bad RD's before I found the one I see now, and she Dx me on the very first visit! A good RD treats symptoms, not blood tests. There are six criteria they look at to make a Dx, and positive blood tests are just one of the criteria. You can find that by goggling it or going to the Academy Of Rheumatology's website. One of them is stiffness that lasts more than 30 minutes, swollen joints for more than six months, at least one swollen joint in the hands/feet or something like that. I meet all of those criteria except the blood test. Truth is, seronegative RA patients get the run around from a lot of docs. That is why we end up w/such severe damage before anyone helps us. BTW, when my RD Dx me, she ordered xrays and when they came back she stated I have "typical RA erosions" in my hands. That does not come on overnight. I had RA for ten years before it was treated. Please, please, please find an RD who knows how to diagnose seronegative RA. Seronegative is difficult to monitor because they cannot go by blood tests, they have to go by clinical symptoms. You are not crazy. Don't let them make you think you are. I did that, and I am now paying for it. Advocate for yourself, sweetie!
Fibromyalgia, Seronegative RA, Asthma, High BP, DDD, Bulging Discs in Cervical & Lumbar Spine, GERD, Prediabetic
Prednisone, Lexapro, Cardizem, Lisinopril, Advair, Lipitor, Vit D, Joint Supplements, Soma, Tramadol, Fish Oil Supplements
I take one day at a time, and try to save my energy for the joy in life.

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/25/2012 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, thank you! I was about to give up and just wait out the years until somebody came up with a diagnosis. It's easy to feel absolutely helpless and stupid with this sort of thing. Only 3 days ago my sister was quickly diagnosed with MS after one major symptom and an immediate MRI. It's good that she was able to get that diagnosis right away; but it showed up on the test. If it doesn't show up on a test my dr. just stops. Thanks. I will see if I can get xrays. I don't know how on earth to find a dr. better than the one I have (he's got the best reputation in the area. . . ) but I'll see. thanks.

Diane3636
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 9/25/2012 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I have sero negative r.a. My blood work was negative but the p.a. and my physician immediately stated this could still be sero negative r.a. They see it in women many times after they have an estrogen drop, i.e. menopause. Did you happen to start with the symptoms after your hysterectomy? Might be worth looking into.

My physician started me on prednisone and methotrexate. The prednisone helped with the swelling and pain and the mtx is supposed to stop the progression of the disease. I think it was caught early in the process which is good news. I will be starting the hormone replacement in a few weeks. (I had to have some gyn stuff done and have to wait)

I've just recently noticed a difference when I wake up with my hands. They are not stiff. My feet still give me probs. Very stiff when I first get out of bed. Even my fatigue is starting to feel a bit less. (I'm afraid to say it's all gone and jinx myself)

Keep on trying to find a physician who will treat the symptoms. Even if just a trial to see if it makes a difference. If it does, you'll know you are on the right path.

Good luck !

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/25/2012 12:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Really, Diane? that's something to think about. I'm glad you're improving!!! Did the dr. decide based on those RA markers outside of bloodwork? Thanks for the info.

Hmmmm. estrogen drop. My estrogen had been controlled with continuuous b/c for many years before the surgery (now on hormone replacement). I'm 47 and didn't really have menopausal symptoms before the hysterectomy.

But maybe since nobody can figure this out, it does have something to do with hormones and whatnot.

How does a person find a good doctor other than just looking it up through insurance network (if I wanted to switch doctors)?

wlcash
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/4/2012 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I have sero negative RA. Drs still scratch their heads though. My symptoms are all present when I'm idle for 20 minutes or more. Once I'm moving I'm either pain free, or just feel that way because the pain is so diminished. I just started menopause last spring, and I've heard that this is also a triggering factor. I have other autoimmune diseases, more risk factors for RA; thyroid disease (both Graves and Hasimoto) and vitalago. I recently changed rheumy's because my first dr could not be bothered to give me information. But he said that the fact that prednisone takes away ALL my pain is a significant reinforcing factor for RA. I can't stay on it, or don't want to anyway. Now my new doctor thinks I may have polymayalsia even though most of the symptoms do not fit. Just went through a barrage of tests and have an appointment later this month to review. I was on Methotrexate and had no relief, then on Enbrel with no relief there either after 4 months. Newest dr. took me off Enbrel but said don't throw it away yet.
I mostly notice my hands are semi closed when I wake up and it hurts to open them at first, then most of the day they are off and on stiff, but I can do normal tasks like typing with no problem;

Here's my biggest concern. I can live with pain, for now, since it's mostly when I first stand and walk or when idle then move, but I don't want to just ignore this and then one day wake up with deformities and useless joints. I just started a garden nursery and am very active outside of work. I am 58 and want to enjoy my retirement not be disabled.

If this dr says "you have polymyalsia and there is no concern of permanent damage", and wants to put me on prednisone, long term for pain, I'm inclined to say no. As long as the pain does not keep me from doing what I love to do, I can deal with that.

I agree that we have to be our own advocate for our health, but how do you know to trust diagnosis when you have no tests that match? I don't want to change doctors until I find one that sounds right, how do I know? Oh, and I do have other sypmtoms besides my hands.... hips mostly, have had foot problems for years then depending on the day, knees, back, shoulders.

Post Edited (wlcash) : 10/4/2012 3:27:48 PM (GMT-6)


katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 10/8/2012 9:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Wlcash--
 
I'm sorry about your situation.  How frustrating.  I hate it when I feel like I have to be my own doctor to figure out what to do next. 
 
 Do steroids actually help your fingers move in the mornings, or does the prednisone just help the pain?  I've been on many types, but they do not touch the stiffness and swelling when I wake up.  Absolutely nothing has helped -- steroids, NSAIDS, gabapentin. (Celebrex did help the pain but I couldn't afford it) If you wake up with your hands flat, do you find that they cannot bend?  If you wake up with them bent, do you find it hard to straighten them out?  I'm very interested in your answers.  If you hold onto a magazine or a steering wheel, do your fingers want to stay in that position?  When my fingers stay in the same position, they swell and stiffen (not crackly, but as though they just will not bend -- there's too much swelling, and the bending just stops at a certain point).  Sometimes I feel as if I have stiff invisible gloves on, having to fight the gloves to bend the fingers.  Is this what anyone feels?
 
Does anyone know how much x rays of the fingers will show?  I had them 3 years ago, right after my symptoms suddenly appeared, but not since then.  Two fingers have middle joints that when compared to the other hand, look larger, and they're stiffer in the mornings than the other fingers.  I don't know if it's coincidence. For 24 years I could wear my wedding rings.  Then I could only wear them during the day because of night-time swelling.  Then I didn't wear them because I was afraid of unpredictable daytime swelling.  Now I can't even get them past the joints if I wanted to.  Maybe I'll bring my rings to the dr. in Nov. to show him what's happened. 
 
Wlcash, let me know how it goes.  Good luck.

kentyork
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/12/2013 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Katie,

I found your thread after goggling for solutions for my own similar condition.

Mine came on after a break of four months off my antibiotics for Lyme Disease. The disease basically relapsed and went into my hands and other sites but hands are worst. When you said:

"I see a rheumatologist every so often, but he's stumped. All bloodwork shows up normal"

This is very common for Lyme Disease (LD).

LD is usually the transfer of mouse blood (which is infected with a 'soup of parasites' from the vermin - the ticks first blood meal) via a tick insect (blood sucking insect) to human blood via a bite. Do you recall a tick bite or a traumer close to the time of the problem outbreak? The latter can allow the contained disease to breakout - contained from possibly some years earlier.

Read Jo BURRASCANO JR MD Lyme Guidelines 16th edition (free download) from the ILADS.org website. LD is a multi symptom disease and can imitates RA.

Get a test from the best LD test lab in the USA iGeneX should you think you may have this after reading the guidelines.

Let me know how you go.
Take care

Kent

zenagc
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/2/2013 9:51 AM (GMT -6)   
i am also seronegative RA. I started last september with a horrific pain in my knee, then sausage fingers, wrists etc etc. my GP was amazing, i burst out crying in his surgery because of the pain and he was determined to get me seeing a Specialist. my tests came back negative but it was obvious from my symptoms what it was. i was put on steroids first like, one and a half each day for 10 days, then 1 for 10 days then 1/2 for 10 days, then went back, he then put me on mtrx 4 once per week, with stroi and doloquine (anti malaria drug), last week he said he would increase my mtrx to 5 and take me off stroi but if i couldnt cope i could go back on again and stagger them. so far one nearly two weeks and only slight pain, still super tired but better than pain, lets see what happens next. Just cry, demand, dont give up till you are taken seriously, my friend is getting the run around when she should be on medication like me xx

daffydoodles
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2013
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 3/24/2013 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
I had those symptoms you mentioned except the burning sensation. Unless you mean, "hot to the touch"??
I feel your pain.

RArunner
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/4/2013 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
My fingers actually hurt closer to the wrist and swell over the night. They are stiff for hours in the morning (difficult to close them). I cook (for my job), so they usually feel OK in the middle of a shift (after hours of use), but are a mess by the time we close the restaurant. Methotrexate helps, but I'm actually in a dose battle right now. An injection of .8cc was helpful...made me sick and tired (wasn't able to train as often as I'd like-I run long distance). I quit the med for 3 weeks and my body went nuts (inflammation all over and grumpy), so I'm back on it again (only .4cc). I hope this dose will control the RA and keep me active. I think it is frustrating until a working routine is established...it seems that way so far.

De La Rosa
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 4/6/2013 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I am also sero-negative, and have also got a diagnosis of "inflamatory" arthritis. My first symptoms were a catch in my hip joint. I also had a lot of leg pain, all of which I ignored, for years. My first problem that I could not ignore was indeed pain and stiffness in my fingers. Now they hurt so bad that sometimes I feel that I have paws instead of hands. The pain was often worse in my thumb joint, nearest to my hand. Its hard to do anything when your thumbs aren't working correctly!

Boatswife
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/25/2013 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
I am sero-negative and I have the same exact thing you are talking about. When I am driving an holding the steering wheel my hands seem to be stuck in that position. When I wake up its the same as you discribe. Anytime I hold anything for a period of time, doesn't even have to be to terrible long, my fingers are stuck in that position. I have to work them out all all all the time. Mine started out only this way now it is almost everywhere the same way. Still have the same issue with my fingers its just getting worse. I just started medicine for the sero-negative so I am hoping soon I will feel better. I would not give up it took me around 8 years to get my diagnosis. I seen my new Rheumy two times and she knew what I had...I had all my medical records with me...she spent a little over a hour with me checked me from head to toe and took 5 tubes of blood...she told me what she suspected in was and gave me information on it and when I seen her the next visit I had my diagnosis. Dr's can help slow the disease but whats done is done so never give up!!! Hope you find answers soon.
"Half the battle of achieving is believing"~~Shannon


SeronNegative RA~~Chronic Pain Syndrome~~Fibromyalgia~~Disc Degenerative Disease~~Carpal Tunnel Syndrome~~Restless Leg Syndrome~~Vitamin D Deficiency~~Anxiety Disorder

Medullary Sponge Kidney~~Renal Tubular Acidosis

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 6/2/2013 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, everyone. How does a person get a serotonin negative diagnosis??.

Boatswife, thanks for telling me you have that frozen stuck feeling when the fingers are in the same position for very long. I'm so used to this problem now with no diagnosis, going on 4 years this month. (It started all of a sudden one morning and has never ever stopped). I quit going to the rheum who said I could take hydroxychloroquine, but that it may/ may not do anything good, may cause stomach cramping, Hair loss, blindness, etc. so I didn't do it. ( already have on/ off hair loss and don't want to risk it, already have chronic cystitis, don't want more risk of abdominal pain) I didn't feel like he had a clue and was just prescribing just to satisfy my frustration. I want somebody to know what this is.

Daffy doodles, the burning is the sensation but not hot to the touch. It's like I'm burning from the inside out and it goes from the fingertips into the palm down to the wrist-- all on the inside of the hands. and I notice it in the morning after I wash my hands with cold water or after I hold a cold glass.

Kentyork,, thanks for the info about Lyme disease. I'll check out your link. Yes I did have a tick bite about 8 months prior to this finger issue. The itch and small bite mark would come and go suddenly for a couple years afterwards. No doctors seemed to care because they did a test of some sort and concluded it was irrelevant. I also had a small knot at the back of my neck and the craziest shoulder pain ( pain like a pulled muscle, super sensitive with creepy crawly feeling, horrible feeling to have shoulder in seat belt strap)- resolvd after dr prescribed antibiotics for hit or miss treatment-- this was a month befor the fingers suddenly went bad.

Since my last post, I've been running and feeling a million times better than before. RArunner, running is hard because I feel like stopping the first mile, but the next two miles are much easier! I 've dropped extra pounds and feel 10 years younger.

Anyone with shoulder pain (both sides-- worse after getting 2 puppies and trying to train them on leashes)to match the finger swelling? It's probable rotator cuff deterioration or something, going on for years but never made the connection. It's gotten to where I ca't easily try to rehabilitate it with weights because of the crackly pain. I just work on range of motion with no weights.

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 6/2/2013 11:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Wlcash-- good question -- how do you trust a diagnosis when there are no tests to match? I don't want meds that are just wild guesses. I want to know what this is too.

ELN
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/12/2013 9:30 AM (GMT -6)   
It's nice to know that I'm not alone with the negative blood work and the "oh, it might be nothing" when I truly know that it is *something*....however I wish that there weren't so many of us in limbo with this.

I've been to countless appointments since December and I've seen a variety of doctors and have had tons of different tests. The only thing that comes back high is my ANA, but they keep telling me that it's notorious for being high even in people who don't exhibit autoimmune disease symptoms.

When I first went in, I had a super long list of symptoms and felt awful. My Dad has MS so that's initially what I thought I was dealing with. As the symptoms began to stack up even higher, I started thinking it was SLE or RA.

Most of my symptoms have diminished [so thankful for that] but I am left with pain around my heart from time to time [pleurisy? it was much, much worse before- so bad that i went to Urgent Care because I was so freaked out by it] but the one thing that stands out the most, day to day, is the pain and stiffness in both ring fingers, which I've had since January.

The knuckles on both ring fingers have bumps and look rather deformed, and even the my Rheumatologist says that they're "small", they feel huge to me. I can't get my wedding ring on and off [you guys know how that goes...fun, yeah?] and when I accidentally bend my finger more than what's comfortable [like if I catch it wrong during gardening or something] it is truly the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. It's brought me to tears on a couple occasions, and the best I can describe it is that it feels like a small tree branch splitting in half.

My other symptom that doesn't go away is that when I lift heavy objects, it hurts in my bones when I set it down as the pressure of the weight is released. It's kind of a radiating pain, all up and down my lower arms. That's not normal. I'm a volunteer firefighter and I enjoy being active...and while I have gotten more used to it, it's still rather scary.

Yesterday was my last appt with my Rheumatologist. He is baffled by my symptoms but thrilled that my tests are all good. I had a glimmer of excitement knowing it was the last appt since I've been through so many, but when it comes down to it, I'm still pretty nervous. This doesn't just *happen* for no reason to someone who's 27. He told me to continue to monitor it, but that for now maybe it will go away on its own.

I feel like I'm whining by going to more doctors, and honestly I'm a little burnt out on all the visits.

Do those of you with stiff fingers get splitting pains in your knuckles if they bend too far? How often do you go in to get the next round of tests/opinion/see a different specialist?

Wlcash & katie, that's how I feel too- if there's no test that backs this up, I'm a bit apprehensive about taking meds when I do finally get dx'd, but at the same time- I don't want to just do nothing for years and years.

katie bell
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 6/12/2013 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
ELN --
 
I don't have a splitting sensation like a broken tree.  It feels more like I smashed my fingers in the door a few days ago. 
 
Pain is a driving force, isn't it?  And we can feel a little panicky when we have pain for no good reason.  If I didn't slam my fingers in the door, then why do they feel that way?  Something caused this.  
 
 I burned myself out too, trying to get answers since 2009 ($$$$$ too), and now I feel a little more tired and resigned.  I don't feel panicky anymore when I wake up because now it's so predictable.  I wake up with miserable fingers, they slowly improve during the day, and then I start all over again the next morning.  I can live with this  if it doesn't get worse.  I'll not go back to the rheum unless I have a good reason to, but instead I'll go sometime when I'm in the mood to my family dr. early some morning (rings to show him) so he can see what I'm talking about.  I'm to the point where I want to show the dr. what's happening, rather than say for the umpteenth time, "Well, it hurts and it feels like this and it's hard to bend them and it's worse in the morning . . . etc.)
 
Good luck.
 
 
 
 

OldHouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/14/2013 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Pain does get my attention, however after 2 years of diagnosis I have gotten used to it, sort of.  My grip has gone to heck, I have enough finger movement in my right hand to still type and my left hand is a little better.  I haven't worn my wedding ring in 6 months, previous to this I had no noticable swelling.  Now my hands, knees, ankles and feet have swelling that won't go away.  My knees, hands and feet have been warm to hot for the past 2 months.  The worst hot joints I experienced was while taking prednisone and over doing it because I felt good for taking the prednisone.  It poofs me up horribly but I also love what it does for me.  I am too young to be this useless.  In reality I think I have had RA since I was in elementry school with serious foot and knee pain along with morning stiffness in my hands that I didn't know what it was at the time and ignored it.  I also had bouts of exhaustion that my parents took for possible mono and had me tested for, always came back negative.  I have been going to a rhuematologist for 2 years but suspect I have been dealing with this for closer to 26 years to a lesser degree.

Alli D
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/21/2013 10:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Just diagnosed with early stage RA after testing negative for a few years via bloodwork. Both my mom and Uncle have the disease.my blood work still shows up negative but when I went to my Rheumatologist a few weeks ago with a list of symptoms primarily involving my hands, wrists, elbows and ankles (and yes I do know what you mean by that "splitting" feeling - I have it in my right hand between my pointer and middle finger and that area is swollen to sight also). More bloodwork, again negative. He immediately ordered a MRI with and without contrast and finally was diagnosed as my right hand showed inflammation consistent with early RA. Starting prednisone and plaquenil as I said I wanted to hold off on Methotrexate. That MRI was key to my DX.

fallingapart@48
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/23/2013 7:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I thought I was going crazy or just had a very low pain threshold.  I was tired of going to doctors who just give up or think I was just complaining. 
I went to a new primary md when my left arm was hurting, going cold, turning purple.  Pain in my right hand, base of all my digits hurt, base of my toes hurt and both knees felt like they were swelling.  This md told me at the first visit, I see what you are seeing, but I think you need to accept that we probably will never know what the problem is and you will have to find a way to live with it.
After putting up with him for about 2 months, I went back to my old primary NP ( I had moved, but not far).  She referred me to a rheumatologist, who put me on prednisone for a week to see what would happen.  Of course I had no visible swelling so he was unsure what to make of all my complaints.  Had a lot of blood work done - come back in 8 weeks.  I felt great after the prednisone.  No pain!  (with the first dose of prednisone my knees sure hurt and felt week, but went away after the first day).  Went back to see him.  All lab work normal.  His question to me, "why do you think the prednisone worked?"  "Maybe it was a change in weather".  He said since I'm feeling better, come back if I start to hurt again. Ok, off I went..... little frustrated that he chalked it up to a change in weather, but whatever.
Pain started again approx. 1 month after seeing him.  I didn't go back.  Thought, He doesn't know or believe me, so I am tired of paying all of this money to go to md after md and thinking I'm crazy. 
about 3 weeks ago, pain so bad, especially at night in my elbow - burning pain, in my shoulders - horrible deep piercing pain, that when I touched it, I was immediately nauseas.  Couldn't hug my children without crying out, couldn't pull up my blankets in bed without stabbing pain, couldn't take off my shirts due to the pain.
I decided to go back to the rheumy.  He again put me on a week of prednisone.  Same pain in knees for the first day, then noticed pain was gone.  He said if the pain was gone at the end of the week, fill the rx of Piroxicam - made my reflux worse and gave me mouth sores.  Tried Daypro, currently on that, hurting coming back - with burning in my elbows, sharp pains in both shoulder, knees feeling swollen again and hands swelling slightly for approx. 2 hours.  Going to give the Daypro a little more time, if pain still there, going to next rx of Diclofenec.  Rheumy said if they don't work he will put me on Plaqenil or Methotrexate.  No diagnosis, but at least he is trying stuff. 
I should add, that I saw a md in 2010 due to pain in both hands and feet - took x-rays that said I have some joint erosions in my right hand and unable to rule out early RA.  The rheumy doesn't address that and hasn't ordered any newer x-rays.  He is the specialist right?  Wait and see.......

Dara78
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/26/2013 6:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,
My name is Dara. I recently (within the last 8 months) was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. While I am sure I have it, the past 5 months I have dealt with higher sed rates, CRPs, and hand/finger pain, swelling, and stiffness that wakes me up in the middle of the night almost every night. It takes awhile to get my hands moving in the am and they continue to get stiff all day long. I've been to one rheumatologist that basically said that if I lose weight all my problems would disappear. So I have been trying to work out more regularly and watch the foods I eat, however, this process is slow and in the mean time, my hands seem to be getting worse. My last blood test showed CRP was 25 and sed rate normal. Every time I google my symptoms, I seem to end up on a RA forum.
Now I am again wakened by pain in my hands and a new symptom of burning along the back of my elbows. I literally thought they were on fire. I got up from what was a good sleep and took two Percocet which has given very little relief.
Side note...a cold storm just came through our area yesterday and I am post hysterectomy since 2008. Can anyone shed some light on what I might be dealing with? And if you think it might be RA, does anyone know a rheumatologist in Utah? I'm so tired of the pain and to the point of tears what seems like all the time. I'm a wife and mom of 3 and don't have time to be feeling this miserable! Please help...I'm so frustrated! smhair smhair
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Monday, September 01, 2014 1:38 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,206,447 posts in 245,602 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 155438 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, M_reyad.
390 Guest(s), 16 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Proxy, Pirouette, robertC, Girlie, Merrida, Heartnsoul98, lovif, run26.2, Ashbee09, Gency, Old Mike, quincy, Maine76, Longhornsfan42, Bezil29, quincy17


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest  Follow HealingWell.com on YouTube
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2014 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer