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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/14/2016 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
This is my first time to join a forum, so be patient with me please. I began experiencing pain in my back and hands several years ago. Two years ago, the pain and stiffness increased greatly and began in my feet. I was a referred to a rheumatologist at that time. He did blood work and said it was all normal and that I have hypermobile joint disorder. Also said it could possibly be early RA. My mother had been diagnosed a few years prior. I began taking an anti-inflammatory which provided a small amount of relief. Fast forward through 2 years of pointless appointments to now. My GP referred me to a new rheumatologist due to increasing pain and joint involvement. Did a complete workup and x-rays. While in office, the doctor gave me information on Plaquenil because he wanted me to research it due to thinking it would be the prescription needed based on the physical exam, etc. before having lab and x-ray results. I received information in the mail yesterday from his office for methotrexate. Nothing else in the envelope. I'm guessing he didn't see what he thought he would with the labs. I'm afraid that I'm going to hear the dreaded RA diagnosis when I return for my follow-up appointment. It would be nice to have an answer as to what is causing the pain, stiffness, and swelling but I've gotten really good at denial, also. :-)
I guess I want to know if I'm jumping to conclusions. I know methotrexate can be used for other things but RA seems to fit my symptoms pretty well.

Now that I'm not trying to work I can finish my thoughts. I have joint pain and swelling (both hands,wrists, ankles, feet, hips, and back), fatigue, rash when I have been in the sun, hair loss, & feet turn purple. Does this seem like RA or something else I haven't considered?

Hoping for answers next week at my follow up but since this journey has been several years long, I still have doubts.

Thanks to everyone for all of the great information on this site!

Post Edited (dmb124) : 9/14/2016 7:52:02 PM (GMT-6)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1046
   Posted 9/15/2016 11:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi and Welcome Sorry to hear you may have RA
have you contacted your GP to see if the Rheumatologist has sent him any info
also you didn't say how long away your next Rheumy Appointment was, as you can always ring him if you are concerned
generally along with Methotrexate they put you on Folic Acid Also depends on the Dosage of MTX
so I guess he wants you to start taking the MTX before you go back to him
it dose sound like RA as it sounds simular to mine I also get rash if in sun They tested me for Lupus (due to the sun rash) but that was negative - did he do an ANA test on you? also an RF test to see Rheumatoid Factor this usually returns Positive ( But some people can have RA and have a neg RF )
if it were me I would contact my GP and ask him about taking the Methotrexate and if he wants you to have folic acid as well
if you do start it, it is usually a once a week dose SO Be Sure to Take it on The Same Day Same Time And Always Have Food with it, I take mine in evening with Dinner
Don't be surprised if you Feel Very Nauseous or even vomit the next day so you may need something like Maxolon to settle your tummy
Methotrexate is a Good medication But it can take some playing with to get the right dose that suits you
I was Afraid to take it for a long time and when I did had bad time with vomiting & dihareah so my Rheuny tried a few different things splitting the dose into 2 adding more folic acid which worked then I was able to tolerate a higher dose and once a week and take Leucovorin instead of folic acid after it but it did take quite a while to get that right , So I guess what I'm saying is Don't be scared and don't be put off if the first time doesn't go well Talk to Both your Rheumy and GP Ring them Pester them they are there For You and wont know there is an issue if you don't tell them
FORUM MODERATOR Rheumatoid Arthritis for 30Yrs. Asthma,Fibromyalgia,Osteoperosis,Cervical Spondalosos,Degenerative Disc Disese,Disc Bulges, Diabetes,Heart SVT & AF, Sleep apnoea,Nocturnal Respiratory Failure,Panic Attacks,Anxiety
on; Methotrexate , Arava , Endone, Targin 20mg (oxycontin) , Prednisone, Metforman(Diabex) , Tambocor. Oxygen & Cpap, Prolia Injection ,Lyrica

Post Edited (BadDay) : 9/16/2016 12:11:35 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/16/2016 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the words of wisdom! I definitely tend towards just dealing with the problem instead of "bothering" anyone else. I am trying to do better. It's hard because I feel like I shouldn't complain because it could be worse. I'm 37 and have 2 kids. It's hard to disappoint them because mom feels like crap.
I have an appointment with my GP today and I see the rheumatologist next week. The rheumatologist did send out for an ANA but I don't know any results yet. When I received the methotrexate information in the mail, I made a guess that the in house labs came back showing RA. I could always be wrong! Thanks for taking the time to reassure a newbie to this world!

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 9/16/2016 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
MTX is used to treat both RA and Lupus.
I've been on plaquinel for 4 years now and it really helps. It does take time for it to build up in your system though. Around 3 months....
Lupus, RA, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Asthma, Hypothyriodism, Sleep Apnea, Depression, Allergies, diabetes, and benign familia tremors

When life throws you lemons....
Pick them up and throw them right back at them! :))

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/16/2016 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you! I had no idea it could be used to treat Lupus, also. The rheumatologist had given me information on plaquinel when I was in his office but then mailed the info on methotrexate. I am going to stop guessing until I go back for my follow up on Thursday. I just want to be able to make informed decisions when I go back. It seems to be a lot of trial and error for each person. I do appreciate any and all information I can get.
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