I agree, you should be seen sooner. I don't understand the thought behind making you wait and not getting you on something that will 'kick in' before the prednisone wears off. That is awesome, by the way, that the shot has given you so much relief.
You know, it can't hurt to call again and question the wait time on the appointment. It is possible, they just don't have an opening unless it's considered an emergency.
From what I understand, Plaquenil is a very common medication given to Lupus patients. I've been on it for a year and am pleased with the results. Not perfect, but very pleased! I have a lot of lupus symptoms, but have not been diagnosed w/it. Though my ANA has been positive most of the last 3 years, when they finally did further testing, all my labs (inlcuing ANA) were in normal range (first time in a very long time) - go figure! I hope you continue to get relief and help from your physicians! ***
Hi winwin! love the name. Welcome to HW. It does sound like you have some inflammatory arthritis going on, especially since you responded to the steroid injections. And with your positive ANA and RF, you did the right thing by consulting a rheumatologist.
I'm also a bit surprised that you are not to go back until September, and you weren't given a prescription for anything. I think at my first rheumy appt. I was offered NSAIDS at a minimum. OF course, I've never had (or needed) a steroid injection--perhaps that lasts a while. Like Yalinda, I normally go at least once a month (2 months this last time), but that's because of the drugs I'm taking. When I was just taking NSAIDS, it was not uncommon to have 3-5 months in between appointments. I'm currently taking plaquenil and enbrel which requires closer monitoring. In any case, I just started taking plaquenil (4 months), but I've heard great things about it. It just takes a long time to kick in. It also has the safest profile of any of the DMARDS--I'd rather take plaquenil than any of the other drugs, including the biologics like enbrel.
you have the right idea with the shot being a "steroid test" so to speak. at times, doctors will Rx antiinflammatories and even the Enbrel and Humira drugs to "see" if there is a response. many of times that is how a definitive diagnoses is made.
if you respond to steroids, then most likely there is an inflammatory process going on.
the autoimmune diseases like RA and Lupus have pretty much the same treatment plans and medications....many of which are by trial and error unfortunately. but FORTUNATELY there are many MANY medications to run through.
like yourself, i typically do not swell either. only on rare occassion will my joints get very swollen to where a rheummy can "see" the swelling. i asked about that a few weeks ago and my rheummy said, "some people just do not accumulate a lot of fluid in their joints." it's more in your body's makeup the fluid factor.
i wish you the best.