Rheumatologists not taking me seriously...

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/13/2006 6:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,  Does anyone know if it is normal for doctors not to take arthritic pain seriously.  I am having great difficulty with any of the three rheumatologists i have been to, they keep sending me back to my GP.
For the past eight years i have been having joint trouble, it started with knee pain and then both ankles.  I had been taking pain killers for a long time for headaches and decided to stop them for various reasons, about three and half years ago and immediately my hands and lower back, pelvis started.  My lower back is very stiff and painfull in the mornings and gradually gets easier, until i sit down in one position for a very short time, then it all starts becoming rigid again.
My right hand is a little swollen but i am having unimaginable pain down my thumb and every so often i have what i call a spasm where my thumb is so bad i can't move it.  This used to go away after a few minutes, but now its lasting up to an hour or two.  My wrists are a little swollen and painfull and also weak. 
I have pain in both feet, both sides of my pelvis and my lower back feel as if it is gradually becoming rigid.  Over the past year and half my neck has joined in and it has become so bad that i can't move my left arm for many days. this has only happened a couple of times.
Fortunately i only have problems with two or three joints at the same time, otherwise i wouldn't be able to get out of bed at all.
Xrays of hands, wrists, knees, pelvis and neck are all showing osteo degenerative changes, but nothing too serious.  Blood test are sometimes slightly up such as esr 26 (according to my GP) but from what i've read, this isn't high at all. confused   It appears from how i see things that doctors won't take you seriously if there are no significant results in the blood.
Very sorry for the extended post but i am comletely sick of this whole situation and needed to explore other peoples situations, in an attempt to get some advice. 
KittyB  :-) sad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3199
   Posted 4/14/2006 5:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey KittyB - first off, welcome to Healing Well... second, sorry you are having such a hard time with your docs. As bad as it sounds, you need a good rheumy (like you wanted to go to another doc right?) In my opinion, they shouldn't be sending you back to you GP until they find the source of the pain. It could be arthritis or fibro or who know what else. What meds are you taking? May I ask how old you are? A lot of times, docs seem to brush off patients if they are younger... They see it as they are too young to have a disease like this. Good luck to you, keep posting and let us know how you are doing - Duck
Diagnosed January 2005 - Psoriatic Arthritis/Spondylitis
-Currently taking 50mg shot weekly of Enbrel
Diagnosed May 1998 - Graves Disease
-Complete Thyroidectomy September 1998 - While 11 weeks pregnant
Other Complications - GERD/Scoliosis/Hiatal Hernia/Graves Disease of the Eyes
Current Meds -  Enbrel/Prevacid/Synthroid
Past Meds - Inderal/PTU/Prednisone/Voltaren/Feldene/Mobic/Cortisone and Steroid Shots

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/14/2006 6:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Ducky, Thank you very much for your quick reply, its very much appreciated. I am age 51.

Dihydrocdeine30mg three times a day, but often more each day. Also an antidepressant Dosulepin Caps 25mg Two at night. Also Lodine Sr 600mg (antiinflamitory) I was on tramadol and amytriptiline for a while, but Gp changed what i was on, because they wern't that helpful.

KittyB, Thanks again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 4/16/2006 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, I thought osteoarthritis doesn't show up in a blood sample? It will show up in Xrays, though. I'm 42 and was just diagnosed with osteo as my blood came back negative but the Xrays showed the wearing of the joints. My rheumy has been pretty good so far and said if she did the job I do then she'd probably have osteo at a younger age, too. I'm new to this so I could be wrong.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/17/2006 1:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dubjean, Well i'm not sure about the whole situation, i have been told a littlle inflammation has shown in my blood. I think ESR measures inflamation, and when i called for my blood results i was told my ESR was up (26) and to talk to Doc. As far as i can see for my age (51 and female) it isn't up much at all. I've had quite a lot of differnt parts xrayed and it always comes back as osreoarthritis. Thanks KiityB
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