Husband Recently Diagnosed with RA - Introduction and Question

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/30/2008 1:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone,
Firstly, I was happy to find this forum, because now I've got somewhere to go with all my questions and from browsing over previous posts, everyone seems to be really nice. smilewinkgrin
As for some info on The Man. He's 22 years old, and was diagnosed a few months ago. We didn't realize that he had a problem because he had gotten a case of whiplash, and had been taking Naproxen for it. After that went away, he still took it for what we thought were everyday aches and pains. (He worked in the warehouse of a local car dealership lifting heavy things, so for him to come home and say his legs were hurting didn't concern me.) We started to realize there was a problem when he changed jobs and wasn't lifting heavy things anymore, but was still in pain and his knees and ankles started swelling. When we finally got a blood workup done, we found out that his Rheumatoid Factor was over 100!
Drug wise, the rheumatologist we got him in to started him on naproxen, hydrocodeone when the naproxen didn't cut it, prednisone, folic acid, and methotrexate. He recently changed from hyrdocodone and naproxen to ultracet, and he had his first Remicaid infusion last week. We've also gotten him a cane for his bad days, but most of the time he's able to walk fairly well without it.
Now that the backstory is out of the way, here are the questions:
1. I read the post about Histoplasmosis. Does anyone know if this can be encountered in the Dallas-Fort. Worth (Texas, United States) metroplex?
2. My husband's knees tend to swell and lock up when he sits down for long periods of time and in the cold. Does anyone know of anything that can be done to help alleviate this?
3. Does anyone have experience with the efficacy of remicaid? What kind of improvements can be expected with it?

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 9/30/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello and Welcome! Sorry to hear your DH has this, sounds like they caught this early which is the best possible thing. He's lucky to have such a supportive wife!

I have heard good things about the Remicade.

If the warehouse work is no longer an option, your state may have something called vocational rehab - they can help him retrain for new work if need be.

Good luck Sweetie!

the Coffeefiend

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 10/7/2008 7:49 PM (GMT -7)   
I suggest that he try swimming daily or the aquatic exercise classes that are offered by the Arthritis Foundation.

This will help relive the pain and swelling in his body.

Just do a search on the Arthritis Foundation on the net and their web site will lead you to classes.

Since he is so young, a daily workout in the pool will help him immensely.

Lucky man to have such a wonderful wife.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 10/7/2008 8:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Knees tend to lock up and swell when he sits...
This is actually so common with RA that there is a name for it "the gell phenomonon" I compare my knee at those times with a fire door-you know the ones that if you try to push them open too fast get really heavy and stiff and you have to let them close a few inches and let the preasure equalize before you can open them..

What to do about it. Never leave your knee in the same position for long-bend and straigten it as much as you can throughout the time you are sitting-never bend and hold your knee at greater then 90 degrees-don't sit with your feet tucked under your chair. Salonpass patches help-they are a topical and you will need to check them for interactions with your meds.
The mtx should help but may take as much as 6 months to be fully effective-that is 6 months after the dose is fully adjusted.
As for Remicade I have heard good things and the TNFs all work better with mtx then without so that sounds like a good combo.
The pred should be providing some immediate relief.
Please feel free to ask any additional questions and please keep us posted as to how he is doing.
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