Post Edited (babybloo) : 4/2/2006 11:05:48 AM (GMT-6)
Hi Babybloo. Welcome to healing well. Glad to hear that you're with a more tactful doctor, and that you're actually starting to feel better! My response to a doctor telling me I needed a shrink might be "hey, you'd feel pretty crazy too if you had to deal with these joint pains every day, all day." One question for you--how do they tell the difference between RA and JRA? Other than age? It's very possible to have sero-negative RA as well? Likewise, it's possible to have a positive RF, and not have RA? I was 35 when I was diagnosed with RA. JRA never entered the picture, and I assumed that was because of my age.
oh my Lord! what an absolutely incredible diagnosis! by all means i am not happy that you have to suffer with this...but i LOVE how they dated this RA back to when you were younger. STILL's DISEASE! wowhee!! Ducky yeah, you were right. no I'm not a sicko babybloo... i just get excited about interesting and hard to crack cases.
i was a bit similar as well. started when i was about 14/15 years old: fevers, back, wrist and knee pain, rashes, headaches, jaw pain. "growing pains" blah blah blah...at 19 years old started developing seizures, couldn't walk, extreme joint pain bilaterally, etc...(you know how it goes)
turns out i had Lymes Disease (DX by extensive tissue & DNA bacteria testings) from age 14 .(long time with no treatment) and at age 16 i had also started testing positive for RA..but docs decided to ignore it (they said i was probably going to get it when i got old! hah!)
but the Lymes had triggered an autoimmune disease since it had been left untreated for over a decade. it was 2003 when i FINALLY got that answer.
but wow...what an interesting case. i am sure you baffled many docs! (they do not like a challenge) and yes...i was put on SSRI's by docs as well ; but...do not get insulted. doctors have a responsibilty to treat and diagnose depression and they do not want to overlook it &they HAVE TO rule it out. but yeah, it does make ya feel crazy. but that's when you have to go into the office with your " I AM NOT DEPRESSED OR LOONEY DIPLOMA" and then they'll drop it. LOL.
whether it be JRA or adult RA...docs are treating them the same now. i believe that Enbrel and Remicade are currently used for JRA and adults as well.
i can say though, the longer RA has gone untreated...it might be harder to achieve remission. but you have shown a marked improvement with the Indocin already which is a very good sign. but it still is worth talking about DMARDs and TNF injectables if you want to get more aggressive or if you feel you make a halt in progress.
i had been on Enbrel for 2 years, now i take Humira (started that in August) every week with Imuran daily and prednisone when needed...but i haven't had any remission in the past 4 years. so i'll be looking at adding methotrexate to the combo soon (friday).
keep a close eye on your joints and range of motion and fatigue. personally, the Enbrel and Humira helped tremendously with the RA related fatigue.
also, perhaps if at all possible...seek a rheummy that has dealt with both JRA and adult RA. at your state's University Hospitals some of the nations best rheummy's practice. you might find that consulting with 2 or 3 rheummy's to be beneficial, you jsut may come across an innovative thinker. feeling comfortable and good communication with the rheummy is probably the best choice in choosing a doc. the most popular docs are good for nothing if you can't attain a good Dr./patient relationship. so maybe what it will come down to is: who do you feel most comfortable with & who actually "listens" to you and cares about your case.
rheumatics is a tricky art...probably one of the most intricate areas of medicine. (that's why i like it) ((although i wish i didn't have it!))
good to have you, write back & let us know how you're doing.