Diagnosed with O.A. & R.A. Fatigue

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Tnsunflower
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/14/2006 11:07 PM (GMT -7)   
confused   Hello All, I have been searching for a site that someone can give me some insight to actually living on a daily basis with this Arthritis.  September of 2004, I got sick with bronchitis,pneumonia, just could not shake it, of course I was a smoker at the time and this is something I had a few times a year, every year. My Dr. was convinced I should see a Heart Dr. And within a week, I had a Stent in my heart to cover 2 blockages. I had this procedure done on Sept. 23rd 2004, and after smoking for approx. 34 years,  I quit that day. So I am looking foward to my 2 yr. ex-smoker date. I then decieded to start walking, so hopefully I would not gain alot of weight as I was already overweight.That is when the hips started hurting, the legs started aching,and knee pain, of course I thought it would get better with time,just being out of shape. I continued to try and keep walking, and after a few months,I just had to see my Dr. about this. He sent me to an orthopedic surgeon, and was Diagnosed with O.A. I have had fluid taken off the knee,and three injections in the knee. He says looking, eventually to knee replacement, I got to where I would be so stiff and sore in the morning,sometimes from head to toe, it was very hard some mornings to even get out of bed, I was very scared when all these syptoms started, I also in the mean time was put on meds for high blood pressure,which until the  stent,was put in I never had been diagnosed with H/B. Then it has just progressed,it is both knees, ankles, feet, neck,shoulders,and my back, so because of this, my Dr. sent me to a Rheumotologist 2 weeks ago.So now I have been diagnosed with R.A. And have just began the Methotrexate, and have been put on Predisone for 1 week.Then go back to Rheum. Dr. in 2 weeks.My Dr. is thinking possibly, Fibromyalgia, I guess because of all the muscle soreness?And symptoms? I am just sooooo confused, at this point,somedays I just feel hopeless, and I just bust out crying alot! I have always worked, I am 53 now and this is the first time in my life that I actually think that I can't do it.I have now been off work for about 3 weeks, taking my meds and hoping it will all get better,when I had went back to work ,it was about 2 hrs. and it was just about all I could take, by the end of my 8hr. 0r somedays 10hr. day I was totally exhausted!!!! I had to take a leave ,I just can't do it at this time. I have lost 29 pounds since the end of July. Everyone tells me that I should apply for Disability, because of the long process,  I just don't know what to do. I just know if I continue to try to work that eventually I am afraid of losing my job because of missing work to much, then I would be without insurance. Has any one out there,been thru this process with Diability? For these diagnosis.  I am sorry for such a long post. I have just needed to talk. And it is hard for someone to know your pain,and truly know how you feel that doesn't have arthritis. I know I'm new to it all and have alot to learn, so any help and advice would be appreciated!!!  

yalinda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1179
   Posted 9/15/2006 3:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome tnsunflower tongue  
i know things are feeling desperate with all the changes but you are on the right path seeing a rhuemy and getting treatment.  i too am on mtx and last spring i didnt know how i was going to get through some days.  it is an overwhelming feeling pain and fear but i am here to tell you for me the mtx is a miracle drug..... i am almost off my prednisone and typing this post with not one drop of pain!  oh dont get me wrong i still have stiffness in the moring but not like i use to... so the purpose of this post is that even though today may seem like " how am i going to make it" tomorrow is full of hope. yeah   hopefully your job will support you through the transition of diagnosis and treatment and hopefully you will respond positivly to the meds.  i am certain the prednisone will give some immediate relief and fyi it takes months for the mtx to kick in but if and when it does you forget how bad the bad days were .... kinda like having a baby tongue you forget that labor pain. 
 what do you do for a living? is it manual labor or desk work?  are you on temp disability or fmla?
 
heres to new friends to support you and feeling well soon! ~* yalinda

Tnsunflower
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/15/2006 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
:-)  Hi yalinda, Thank You so much for the reply, I do manual labor in a furniture factory making recliner's. And I can honestly say, they are sympathetic to no-one when it comes to being absent from work. . I have been with the company for 17 yrs. and I have seen it all..  As of now I am on short term,which I can stay on for 26 week's. But they explained to me that goes along with the FMLA, when my day's on that expire I would then go to long term, of which I could be on as long as 5 years.The only bad thing is,when I go to Long term, I would have to do Cobra for my Insurance,which is quite expensive monthly.  I am a single person now, so I don't have anyone with a second income. I have the short term and long term,disability that I have paid for on a weekly basis all these years from my paycheck, and I will get 60%  of my check. My hand's get stiff,but My worst has been in the leg's, back and neck. So do you get the monthly test to check the liver,kidney's etc.? Because of the mtx ? I have been trying to read up on all this and I seem to read that alot. I just get from what I read it can be  a nasty drug.        I know that all this shall pass, and I will get straitened out and adjusted to the meds and all. But my hardest thing is when people see you out,they look at you and can't see the pain, they are always, well you look good, when are you coming back to work?  That's why I was looking for a place, that I could talk to people who actually know what it feels like.  I am not looking for sympathy, just understanding, info, and tips from some who knows. Thank's again,  Tnsunflower                                           

yalinda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 1179
   Posted 9/15/2006 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
tnsunflower,
boy do i get what you said about when people look at you they think you are ok!...  redface  I often thought of my RA as a silent pain only thoses close to me could read on my face or see in my step.... no one else really knows how we go along day to day silently in pain, but with that said there is mtx! and prednisone devil a great cocktail  Y  to get things in control at least for me it was!

yes it is a nasty drug, devil BUT it has been my miracle and some others reading this post too!
i did get monthly blood from like april til now every month checking liver WBC RBC etc etc etc ususally 3 tubes for what ever....but for the first time i dont have a rhuemy follow up for 3 months!  told you i was doing great!
 
i also had alot of concerns as many peps on this site do about mtx but my rhuemy answered many of my fears.... he convinced me to give it time and i did and he was correct yeah i dont drink at all on mtx per my MD and i guess i wasn't the social alchy i thought i was cuz i havent missed it at all...
 
as for work hopefully you will be better before you use all the fmla time up for the year.  i think that is by calendar years and entitilment each year?  not certain but i did take a HR course several years ago where it was a major topic.  and yes you are correct short term dis and fmla are concurrent but not all employers know that.  i say that because there were HR peps in my course class that their companies didnt know to do it that way.....
 
well heres to mtx! do u take it friday nights? if so heres looking at you!  ~* yalinda tongue

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 9/15/2006 2:03 PM (GMT -7)   

dear TnSunflower,

welcome to our party boat! (yeah right) i know...what a thing to happen!  but 1st, i'm very proud of you stopping smoking & walking & shedding some poundage, that is FANTASTIC for your heart & everything else as well.

do keep as mobile as possible.  if walking is too painful on the joints, if attainable...a glider is better (like a Gazelle or some machine that has no impact or even swimming & tredding/walking in water).

i would suggest, YES, cover your tush & do apply for SSDI.  because you never know.  with RA it is a chronic progressive disease & can be very unpredictable...so to be safe, if i were you...i would at least start the application.  it does not mean that YOU MUST BECOME DISABLED, but worse case scenario? you will be prepared. i say this only b/c i wish someone would have said that to me. :-) it takes a long time. for me...it's going on 3 years.  i could not walk at one time & couldn't do anything except bedrest & i was still denied due to my age & education. so typically it takes a few times of appealing for approval. 

your medical insurance is important....crucial, so Medicaid would be a lifesaver for your arthritis meds should you need to leave work.

the good thing is that you are getting some sort of treatment now.  the sooner the better!

we're all in this together and here you'll find tons of folks who share almost the exact situations.  rheumatology is a difficult art! nothing is clear cut & it is soooo frustrating for both pt & Dr.

welcome to HealingWell.  write whenever you like! there's always an ear (or an eye) to listen (well...read).

sincerely,

erin


Active/Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. Crohns. AS. Chiari Malformation & Right Brain venous anomoly. Partial complex seizures. Emphysema. Rheumatic Lung & Heart. MVP and Tricuspid prolapse. Had Lymes disease for 10 years.
Meds: Humira 40mg Q 4 days; Prednisone 20mg; Pentasa 4G daily; Imuran 50mg; Dilaudid 4mg; Diazepam 5mg; Avinza 60mg; Reglan; Antivert 25mg tid; LidoDerm; MiraLax & too many others.


Tnsunflower
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/15/2006 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Erin, Thank you for the encouragement, actually I have a tread mill,that I try to do daily for at least a small amount of time, and a Cardio glide, that I also try to do on a daily basis. I just can't, at this time get out and walk with my friends around the walking park.Hopefully later. I am planning on checking into the Aquatic Class at the YMCA~ I'm willing to try anything that will help.  I am going to Dr. next Friday,and probably will be talking to him about signing for SSDI.  I went to physical therapy  for about 5 weeks, 3x per week, @ $25 per visit. That got to expensive for me.  Hope all is good with you. Thank's for listening. Maybe someday I will be more on the support side of things, talking and encouraging some new member.  Thank's TNsunflower

Tnsunflower
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 9/15/2006 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi yalinda, I take 6 mtx on Monday evening,  I am taking prednisone,1 morning, 1 evening.for just 1 week, And all my other meds I try to take @ about 6:00 am. And then a sleep aid @ bedtime. The rheumy had told me to give it @ least 6 - 8 weeks to see a big difference. It's good to hear that you are doing good now.  THX *Tnsunflower
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