Hello everyone! I'm new here and a bit confused because my rheumy told me that I may have an RA that doesn't show up on bloodtests, but then how do they diagnose it properly?
Anyway, here's my history: I have struggles with depression/anxiety all my life and am taking meds for them. I was dx'ed with hypothyroidism over 10 years ago and am taking medication for that-interestingly I am allergic to one of the fillers in Synthroid and cannot take that med! I also have high blood pressure and was dx'ed with fibromyalgia about 3 years ago. I take Lyrica and it is helpful. I tried Cymbalta, but after a couple months it started to make me really agitated. It seems like all the SNRI meds make me feel agitated and like I just hit a blood sugar low!
In July of last year, my finger joints started to really bother me. It got so bad that it hurt to do things like click on the computer mouse and such. I was gearing up to go back to my rheumy, and in August I fell down the stairs and broke my left wrist. I had to have a permanent plate put in one bone and a pin in the other, and I was on Percocet and Oxycontin while I was healing from that. I was not having any problems with fibro pain while I was taking those meds!
In about Nov. or Dec. I started to have pain all over, fingers, toes, elbows, knees, hips, escpecially thumbs, it was terrible. The pain in my fingers was especially bad, whenever I did anything, like peel vegetables for dinner, later I would be in terrible pain. I had trouble making Christmas cookies with my kids and trying to ice my daughter's birthday cake because I could not squeeze the tube of icing. I also have had loss of strength in both hands but I don't know if that is related to my broken wrist. I have had some swelling in a couple joints but only once or twice. The pain was affecting my daily living and I was feeling awful all the time.
I went back to my rheum. a couple of weeks ago and she said that it sounded like RA. She thinks that I could have RA "Simmering in the background" but now she said it could be a type that doesn't show up on bloodtests. I have been tested for RA, Lyme, Lupus, and Sjoegrens and they are all negative. Then she mentioned seronegative, and I looked that up on the internet and it seems like there are some tests for that. She put me on a course of Prednisone, for 10 mg for a week and then 5 mg the next week. I am stopping it today. It was amazing- I had next to no pain while I was taking the 10 mg and I had energy! She said that how I reacted to the pred would signify what we needed to do next and that if it was seronegative RA that I should try Plaquenil.
My question is, if it is how do they diagnose RA if it doesn't show up on a bloodtest? I'm nervous about trying something like Plaquenil but I know Prednisone isn't good to stay on. Does anyone else have seronegative RA? Sorry this post is so long and rambling, I am just very confused! Thanks!