I'm new here. I have had Fibromyalgia for over 10 yrs. But, with recurrent nodular epicleritis for years, eye dr. says I "will" have RA, Lupus, etc. I have had onset RA symptoms for about 3 yrs in wrists, hands, feet and elbows, red, swollen, stiif and painful, can't find anything in work up. Latest problem started end of June. Had a small rash on my leg, thought it was a bug bite at first, (not a target rash)dr. said nothing to worry about, cellulitis, gave antibiotics. 1 week later, right wrist started hurting, within an hour it was horrific pain, and then my left wrist. By next morning, both wrists, both hands, feet, ankles, knees, and elbows. Couldn't get into PCP for a week, even after my husband told them I can't walk, or use my hands. "family" members insisted I go to ER. When the nurse saw my hands 1st question was "have you been tested for RA?" Told her yes several times. She said "well u need to be tested again". As soon as ER dr. heard Fibro. and RA said this is not an emergency, chronic condition, go to your pcp. Told him we couldn't get in for week. He said he wouldn't do any testing, gave me darvocett and sent me home. (my husband was little more than mad) Had to wait out the week, couldn't work, couldn't walk, pain was horrific. The pain even went into my jaw, and eating was impossible except for jello for a couple days, my husband had to dress and undress me, it was humiliating. Finally got to pcp, (this is my first visit, after my lifelong pcp retired.) Not sure I'm gonna keep this one. Told him I couldn't straighten my left arm at all. his response "Are you left handed?" I said "no". He said "then don't worry about it". He ran tests for Lupus, RA and sed. rate, etc. He said if blood work come back o.k., it's still Fibro. I assured him this is not the same as the Fibro pain, it's different, more severe, my joints are red and swollen, I can't use my hands at all by the end of the day. He told me I have to... calm down, and try to relax!(??) I left there thinking I was overreacting, and second guessing myself, and maybe I was being a big baby. So I tried to push myself, well I couldn't push very far, you can't push when you can't walk and can't use your hands. (i'm really trying to give the short version) Well sed rate is not normal, need a rheumie, have to wait a month and a half to get in to her! In this time, things have gotten a little better. Stiff in morning, but as day moves on can do a little work around the house, but have to alter how I do things. By late afternoon/early evening it hits like a ton of bricks. Joints so stiff, and painful. Hands, wrists, feet, elbows the worst, many nights spent with tears rolling down my cheeks from frustation! I have not been back to work, have an angel for a obss, who is holding my job until i get to rheumie! I no longer take showers at night, b/c I can't use a brush to do my hair. I have learned to adjust things in my life living with Fibro., but "this" has been the toughest thing I have ever dealt with. It's totally drained me emotionally, as well as physically. I believe it's RA, don't have symptoms of anything else. Have read everything I can on auto-immune diseases, people say i'm "too informed". What would be your best advice for my rheumie visit? What should I expect as far as testing, and would should I expect as far as treatment, if this is what I have. I have read some posts and I am scared to death from things I've heard about the meds, and side effects. If this is RA, where would I expect to begin with the meds? What seems to work the best for RA onset. How much should I stress I don't believe this is Fibro, it's a different pain? When I did that with my pcp, he acted like I was a raving lunatic. Here I go second guessing myself again, but I don't know how aggressive I should be if I don't feel they are "listening". Any advice would be appreciated.....I have never dealt with anything like this before. My daughter is leaving in 3 weeks for her first year in college, i'm so excited for her, but so afraid I won't be able to make the trip b/c of all this. So it's a very emotional time for me, on top of all this.
Thanks for letting me vent, words of wisdom eagerly accepted!