Newly diagnosed RA :( Please help

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iMarzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 5/31/2007 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone I have just been diagnosed with RA.  Before the consult was on Mobic, Lyrica, zanaflex and ultram as needed.  Rheumy is weaning lyrica off and has started me on Prednisone, 30, 25, 20, 15, then 10 mg daily until my next visit in 2 weeks.  Also got a shot of steroids in the foot.
 
What can I expect at my next visit?  Very nervous!

The Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 5/31/2007 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
May I suggest a course of milk and cookes three times daily followed by nuts and berries? Faling that lsten to all the good folk here on the threads, specially the moderators. Take absolutely no notice of me whatsoever- I'm a refugee from the pd forum swinging it here by virtueof osteo arthritis so I have no experience of your meds but I wish you well with your treatment and support from the thereads - sorry ducky and erin too much fermented berry juice I too have to see my neuro tomorrow - sorry also if I seem flippant marzz it's just my way of dealing with crap [they always edit me when I say ****]
The Bear

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 5/31/2007 12:20 PM (GMT -7)   
:-)  hi Marzz & welcome to healing well.  you'll find a lot of support & info from our little crew here!  and of course a daily dose of insight from our Bear. tongue
ok...so your doc has you "on a trial" of prednisone.  this is good.  it tells the doc 2 things: 1) if you respond positively to the steroids, it most likely means that there is SOMETHING inflammatory going on.  and 2)  it will tell YOU & the doc if your joints IMPROVE with the use of the steroids.
 
you may feel a little worse after your complete taper off of the prednisone.  for most autoimmune diseases steroids help tremendously, and when we are off of them sometimes we experience a "rebound" pain. 
it's extremely important to taper off of them exactly how the doc RX's.
 
it might be a good idea to keep a daily journal or a few notes on how you're doing on the steroids.  joint pain, etc...
the doc at your follow up will ask if things got better during the course of steroids.
the doc will again asses your joints & range of motion and asses your pain level.
if you had any blood work done you'll get those results as well.
 
a few things might happen:
you might start a course of mantainance steroids (like 10mg of prednisone daily for a month) and then taper from their.
 
you might be RX an NSAID, a COX2 med, or some arthritis meds like Arthrotec.
this might be the time where the doc also starts you on immunosuppresant therapy like Imuran or 6MP which are pills, or methotrexate (that can come in a shot form as well as pill form).
the 2 of you may talk about Bcell or TNF drug therapy....which are either at home shots you give yourself (a peice of cake so don't be scared!) smurf or given IV in the hospital or an infusion clinic.
 
the great thing is that there are loads more options NOW than there was 5 & even 10 years ago. :-)
write back soon, take good care & let us know how you're doing!
 
peace/love
erin
Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Kidney Stones (oh joy). Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP 50mgQD plus 75mg weekly; Mesalamine 4GramsQD; Prednisone 20mgQD; Entocort 9mgQD; Meclizine; Augmentin; Tigan 300mg; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam 5mg; Rozerem 8mg; Diclofenac; Celebrex; Percogesic; Dilaudid 4mg. 


iMarzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 5/31/2007 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your speedy responses.

It's ok bear. Thanks for the fun and the milk and cookies sound tempting as soon as I'm not nauseas from the prednisone.

Erin, How soon can I expect a response to the steroids, and what if I don't respond. I'm seronegative could the diagnosis be wrong?

The Bear
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 364
   Posted 6/1/2007 1:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Maaaaaaaaaan what a head! Sorry erin, over did the berry juice last night. What I fnd absolutely amazng is the amount of information people have about their conditions here on the thread, do you look it up or get told it by your doc people? Over here doctors still have the attitude that to much information s dangerous and they, in general, don't like being asked too many questions or patients being too well informed ablout their condition - it's not your job to know!!!!!!!!
I'm very fortunate in havng a wonderful GP who gives time to her patients and nothing is too much trouble. Likewise my neuro who I am shortly off to see. But everybody seems to kmow all the medical terminology - dead impressed, I still operate on the knee bone's  connected to the hip bone or wherever.Hope you feel better in time imarzz, drop by in the moanin thread for a general chat anytime.
From a cave in downtown Apsley in the beautiful hertfordshire countryside
The Bear 

iMarzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 6/1/2007 1:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Bear,

It's day three and I am actually less swollen and feeling a little better. Personally I thought I had RA since early October and was very sure by November, without a doubt by Feb/March once the wrists went. Then by the time my hands started hurting in April and thought it must all be in MY head. PMD actually thought I should go for carpal tunnel release, when I refused he asked if I would consider seeing a Rheumatologist (HELLO). I would have considered it in December!

Just having a diagnosis and knowing I will now get the help I need also makes me feel better.

Mary

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 6/1/2007 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
ciao Bear!
aaah-hah!...i am glad to see my education has not gone to waste! LOL...my field is nursing bear! tongue and before i had to "quit" grad-school in october, i was specializing in the area of rheumatics & bone and joint diseases!
so not only do i have Rheumatoid arthritis...after i went to nursing school i wanted to actual have an expertise in rheumatics! 
i guess is i never got sick...i would have never gone to nursing school?!?!? hmmmm?  well actually, waaaay before i got sick (at 16) i wanted to be an orthopeadic surgeon! {so i guess it was always in my blood}
i also am trained in arthritis & chronic illness self help & rehab therapy & also crisis counseling.
 
pretty snazzy yeah
 
  sad too bad i can't work, i was dam* good at it all.
 
Mary....prednisone should act pretty darn quick.  usually the same day later on after your pill or shot.  it's pretty immediate.
Ok so you're RF sero-negative {look back in the healing well archives...about 2 to 3 pages back to see a thread called Rheumatoid factor...lots of info there.  i'll try to find it and bump it to the top of this page}
seronegative can swing both ways....if you have objective joint swelling, joint damage, joint deformity & XRAY changes...you can have RA without the RF.  sedrate, crp and other rheumatic panels will play a bigger part.  there are many with seronegative blood levels.
it only plays a small part in DX.
 
well my paws hurt so i must stop for now....write back soon! :-)
Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Kidney Stones (oh joy). Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP 50mgQD plus 75mg weekly; Mesalamine 4GramsQD; Prednisone 20mgQD; Entocort 9mgQD; Meclizine; Augmentin; Tigan 300mg; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam 5mg; Rozerem 8mg; Diclofenac; Celebrex; Percogesic; Dilaudid 4mg. 


iMarzz
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 6/3/2007 2:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Erin thanks for the info. I'll check out the thread you referenced. I hate to tell tell you but I am also and RN. CCU mostly, not much to do with RA patients. Anyway doing lots of reading to get up to speed. Also wondering how long I'll be able to do this, hoping for 5 years so I can put my two oldest through college. Once again thanks for your help.

The steroids are working very well. Morning stiffness down from 4 hours to 1.5. Swelling is greatly reduced both systemically and at my local injection site on my left foot.

Mary

erin.K
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 6/3/2007 8:56 AM (GMT -7)   
heya' Mary

wondering how long you'll be able to do????? work?!?! if i interpret correctly i'm guessing you're implying how long will you be able to carry out your nursing carreer. hopefully ALWAYS!
there's no written rule...and don't buy into the hype of "Oh no...with RA you've less than 10 years until you can't work anymore"....BOLOGNY!
it's all in how you go about it.
if you catch it quick, early treatment, aggressive treatment if/when needed is truly key.
i know folks who have had no problems at all with working. but left to get to a severe point, RA can & will most likely cause diasbility if just left untreated.
i think i'm a good example. at 16 i was "positive for a DX" but my docs AND myself blew it off...and wouldn't ya know, by age 26....DISABLED. i left work in May of 2005 and that was only 2 or 3 times a week i worked. then again...no one pushed me to get help for it until 2003/2004. and a bit too late.

ooooh cool beans! CCU!!!!!!!! i dunno how ya do it. trachs, chest tubes, titrations??????? they scared me like the plague!!!!! i excelled and really dug the wicked wounds, MRSA, TB, the bigger and more gory the wound the better! lol. anything infectious disease or rheumatics i was all over it.
i also liked when i was given the hospice patients....i connected with them for some reason.
ciao ciao
Arthritis Forum Moderator & Co-Pilot
Active Severe Rheumatory Arthritis. AS. Crohns Disease. A.Chiari Malformation & right brain venous anomoly. Partial Complex Seizures (under control!). MVP & Tricuspid Valve Prolapse. Rheumatic heart & lung. Kidney Stones (oh joy). Previous Lymes Disease for 10 years.
Meds: Remicade infusions 600mg Q3weeks; Intra-articular knee injections; 6MP 50mgQD plus 75mg weekly; Mesalamine 4GramsQD; Prednisone 20mgQD; Entocort 9mgQD; Meclizine; Augmentin; Tigan 300mg; Reglan; LidoDerm; Diazepam 5mg; Rozerem 8mg; Diclofenac; Celebrex; Percogesic; Dilaudid 4mg. 

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