I have RA and I too had a terrible reaction to the Methotrexate (MTX) the first time I took it-basically felt like I had a very bad flu without the fever. Terrible joint and muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, the works. I increased the Folic Acid I was prescribed from 1 mg to 3 mg (advice I got here) and it made all the difference in the world. I've been on MTX 8 weeks now, and it's just started to work. I went 4 days this week without significant pain in my joints, and I actually had energy for 4 and 5 hours at a time. I felt like I was in heaven!!! I took my weekly MTX Saturday night, and have the usual side effects, but they're getting to be much less as time goes by. Yesterday, I was just achy and tired, and for some reason the 2nd day after MTX is when I feel the worst, so I don't expect too much out of myself today. I'm just going to rest and catch up on daytime TV.
As far as flu symptoms before you were diagnosed, I had some symptoms before I was diagnosed with RA and put on meds, but I think I partly know why. I always felt worse on Monday mornings, and I think it was the shock of getting up so much earlier than I did over the weekend. My RA symptoms (pain and difficulty moving around) are much worse in the morning, especially if I haven't had enough sleep, and at that time I was sleeping 9 or 10 hrs a night and obviously that wasn't enough. I'm currently off work on short term disability and now sleep a minimum of 12 hrs a night, sometimes more. Before I got treatment, I was also in a lot of pain and had no appetite and nausea, but I think that the nausea was a direct result of the pain. It was bad enough that I lost 30 lbs in the 6-9 months before I started getting treatment. So those were my symptoms.
I have my weak moments too. I'm moving into a smaller, much cheaper apartment so I can save some money for a rainy day, because of the RA diagnosis. It's on the ground floor, because even though I haven't had trouble walking for several weeks, I figure I should be prepared in case I flare again. Also, I have some friends who live in the complex, so I can get help if I reach the point where I need it. Right now though, I'm slowly improving and will probably be well enough (according to my rheumy) by October to go back to work. It sometimes feel like 2 steps forward and 1 step back though. It can be really frustrating, and scary as h**l if I think about the future too much. So I just try to take it a day at a time.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Pain, Chronic Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Recovered Alcoholic w/15 years Continuous Sobriety