I have RA and I would like to know what the Rheumy is feeling for when she presses into my finger joints at my visit? What exactly is she feeling for? Is she looking for a pain reaction? Is it a "squishyness" in the joint? Is is a thickening of the hard surface within the joint area? I'm they type that needs to know what she is looking for- and she is not the type to answer those type of questions fully.
When I ask she says "you feel good" in a non-committal tone of voice. What is that?? Good compared to my last visit? Good compared to other RA patients? Good compared to what she was expecting to see after the medications changes? I want a more complete answer, and it seems that I need to know what it is she is looking for to be able to ask a specific question to receive the type of answers I want to get. She will not volunteer information I do not request directly.
I had the RH factor come up really high a year ago February, and continue to have varying amounts of pain, stiffness and (I think) slight swelling. Every time the Rheumy sees me she seems to think that the swelling is "good" or "fine" despite the discomfort. The WBC count every month (for MTX) is a bit high, but the other test for inflammation is always on the high side of normal. Could the RH factor have been a fluke? Could it have been high and now be normal, or lower? Is it just the meds causing me pain? I wish I could get these answers, but my Rheumy is so hurried she doesn't have time for these questions. She stated that she is convinced that I have RA, but she didn't give any follow-up reasons that brought her to this conclusion.
Dose anyone have any insight or know the answers to some of these? I obviously would appreciate any info I can get.
Bipolar treatment-Lamictal, 200mg, Mood stabelizer, daily(main side effect: brain fog) Bipolar treatment-Cymbalta, 40mg, Antidepressant, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting, insominia) Anemia, Fatigue treatment- Iron supplement, 65mg, daily(main side effect: constipation) Insominia treatment- Ambien, 10mg, daily(main side effect: amnesia eppisodes between taking pill and falling asleep) Mania treatment- Alprazolam, .25mg, Very rarely(main side effect: fatigue, slowing of thoughts, depression of CNS, can't take ambien or vicodin when on it) RA treatment- Plaquenil, 400mg, daily(main side effect: GI upset, decreased clotting) RA treatment- Methotrexate, 25mg, 1X weekly(main side effects: hair loss, stomach upset, mouth sores, sore muscles, fatigue, brain fog, compromised immune system, decreased Folic Acid absorption) GI upset treatment- Leucovorin Calcium, 10mg 1x weekly(main side effects: ?) Folic Acid defintioncy- Folic Acid, 1mg, daily(main side effects: ?) RA treatment- Prednisone, 8mg(and decreasing...)daily(main side effects: increased manic eppisodes, constipation, brain fog, bone density degeneration, compromised immune system) Multi-mineral Supplement (main side effects: constipation, GI upset) Constipation treatment- Docusate Sodium, 200mg, daily(main side effects:?) pain control- Motrin, 800mg, PRN Q6hours daily(main side effects: GI upset, decreased clotting) Pain Control- Vicodin, 5-500mg, PRN Q12hours regularly (main side effects: brain fog, fatigue)