What to expect?

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VaOutCast
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/10/2007 5:38 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,
 
I've been reading this forum under many different topics. Due to many health issues. After 3 years of struggling with pain my doctors have finally got their heads together and believe the pain in my hands, lower back and ankles is due to RA. My Hemocologist confirmed this last week and I'm scheduled to see the Rheumatologist on the 19th.
 
From what I understand there is only medication to slow down the progression and what damage is done is permanent. X-rays indicate that atleast half of the cartlidge in my hands and right ankle is destroyed. My left ankle is not as severe but still has damage and causes excruciating pain.
 
Does anyone know if the medication will help with the pain? It has gotten to the point that I cannot walk more than 50 feet without having to sit down because of the pain in my ankles and I can't even brush my daughter's hair without the wrist pain bringing me to tears.
 
I really don't like the idea of having to take pain medication the rest of my life but not sure if there is any alternative until I see the doctor. I am a 38 yr old female and already on disability for bi-polar, severe anxiety, asthma, severe sleep apnea (sleeping with a CPAP machine) and motor function issues. Needless to say, I already take a handful of medications.
 
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm scared that I'm going to permanently lose my ability to do the things with my kids that I used to be able to do. sad

Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 9/10/2007 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there OutCast.. Yes, the meds that you will go on, will help with the pain.. at least in my case it did.. Also, your rheumy may give you some additional meds to help with the pain.. until you get everythig under control.. Usually steriods or if the pain is severe enough certain narcotics.. What meds are you on now? Good luck to you, if you click on the Arthritis resources link on at the beginning of the Arthritis Forum, there are some FAQs that might help you too once you get in to see you rheumy.. Hang in there and let us know how you are doing.. Oh, and Welcome to the Forum! So good to have you!
Moderator of Arthritis Forum
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots
Additional Supplements - Multi-Vitamin/Bromelian/Acidophilus/Green Tea
 


VaOutCast
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/10/2007 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Ducky,

Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm currently not on anything for the RA. I take Advil or tylenol but it does no good. Other medications I am taking are: Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Klonipin, Rozeram, Triameterene, Advair and Albuterol inhaler. I'm sure once I see the doctor this will add yet another series of medications to my list.

I have been unsuccessful finding anything to ease the pain until I get to my appointment. So any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks,

VaOutCast


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 9/10/2007 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
If you can tolerate Motrin or Advil, try taking that.. they are in the NSAID family and help with the inflammation and may therefore help with the pain til you get to see a doc.. Also, try ice and heating pads.. Ice to help with the inflammation (if your joints are read and inflammed) as well as a heating pad to ease the ache (after the ice)..

I had an immense amount of pain til I went to the Rheumy, I was put on Enbrel, and now only get pain when I'm in a flare.. which is a lot better than all the time.. Hang in there!
Moderator of Arthritis Forum
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots
Additional Supplements - Multi-Vitamin/Bromelian/Acidophilus/Green Tea
 


Ducky
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 9/10/2007 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Here is so info that will help you to understand some of the stuff your rheumy may say/do..
 
RF #'s vary greatly from patient to patient.  it's not a real deciding factor for disease and shouldn't be used to diagnose all by itself.
also...a RF won't "tell you" how bad say for example a person's RA is.
 
a positive RF can be present in a SLEW of illnesses....even "normal" people can have an RF level (the ellderly usually do).
a pt. can also have an RF level after a broken bone as well.
 
your RF number is just an antibody that floats around in the blood of many people who do in fact have Rheumatory Arthritis.
*RF is not exclusive to just Rheumatoid Arthritis...a Rheumatoid Factor (RF) can show up in folks with: SLE, lupus; TB; scleroderma; endocarditis; Sjogrens syndrome; sarcoidsis; cancer; Syphylis & viral infections like Epstein-Barr.
 
in all, docs use the RF test in bloodwork because the values of RF is often quite higher in people who do have RA.
 
it's just useful in trying to get a diagnoses.  RF supports a tentative diagnoses of RA...but used alone, is not enough to make a diagnoses of RA.
 
*normal values are usually 0-20 U/mL give or take a few depending on the lab (all labs have a tendency to vary a point or 2)
 
*an absent RF does not exclude Rheumatory Arthritis.
 
so they'll use this test, plus your statements of symptoms, pain levels in joints, swelling, symmetrical joint pain & swelling & stiffness, RA nodules if present, and XRAY changes of the joint or decalcifications/deformities, & family history.

Moderator of Arthritis Forum
Confirmed Diagnosis of - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis/Graves Disease/GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes/Chronic UTIs
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid/Nitrofurantoin
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots
Additional Supplements - Multi-Vitamin/Bromelian/Acidophilus/Green Tea
 


VaOutCast
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 9/11/2007 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you so much for the information Ducky. You've told me more than my primary physician was able to explain to me. Guess I just needed it spelled out in terms I could understand.

I'm just hoping the Rheumatory doctor can ease the pain and get this under control.

Thanks again,

VaOutCast

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