Hi Deb (and Lucy),
I'm not a doctor, so all of this is just from my experiences or my imperfect understanding of my rheumy's explanations. I too have both RA and fibro; it seems that fibro causes pain in soft tissues around joints and elsewhere in the body while RA causes more pain in the joints. RA can cause damage to joints while fibro does not. RA is also starting to cause nodules on my fingers, even though I'm on prednisone and Imuran. I take Lyrica and Cymbalta for the fibro.
Generally the "weirder" symptoms: tingling, cramping, numbness in toes, feet, fingers, visual disturbances, sensitivity to light and sound, headaches, etc., etc. are likely due to fibro. Exhaustion too is a hallmark of fibro; although people with RA tire more easily than the average healthy person, it's not usually that same "crash and burn" sort of exhaustion that fibro sufferers experience.
All of that being understood, I would like to suggest that you both be tested for Lyme disease. Particularly because you've been diagnosed with both fibro AND RA. If anyone is diagnosed with fibro plus one or more autoimmune diseases they should test to see if they have Lyme disease. Lyme disease is already a huge problem in this country, and is still increasing. Many Lyme disease tests end up as false negatives, so you might actually want to see a Lyme-Literate doctor (LLMD for short). The Lyme forum here on Healing Well can help you find one close to you if you are interested. Lyme can both mimic and trigger fibro and autoimmune disease....and very few doctors know much about it. Most of them think that 21-30 days of doxycycline cures Lyme disease. Boy, I WISH that was the case!
A year ago I was told by an online friend to test for Lyme disease since I had developed 3 new autoimmune diseases plus fibro in less than 2 years. I thought it was ridiculous (I'm not the outdoorsy type!) but I finally went ahead and did it (just to shut her up) and SURPRISE! I DO have Lyme disease! Plus 3 of the co-infections! :(
Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now, and wish both of you the best of luck! And I hope that neither of you has Lyme disease!!
Lyme Disease, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Bartonella, AIH, Hashimoto's, lupus, fibro, RA, celiac, asthma, psoriasis, adrenal fatigue, pre-diabetic, Raynaud's, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, RLS, GERD, DDD, severe lower back pain, cubital tunnel, tarsal tunnel, Suprax, Mepron, Alinia, Zithromax, Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Levothyroxine, Liothyronine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec