Yes, I read RA 101. I've been reading a lot about RA recently. At present, my mom has no redness or swelling in her joints, but there is a lot of pain. She's currently taking some pain meds and prednisone at 5mg, tapering this week to 2.5mg. She was really badly off, but starting to take prednisone at 5mg has really helped her. She says she's about 80% better. I know that prednisone is not a long term solution - it may help her right now, but it would probably be the wrong drug of choice long term. I'd prefer her doctor to try something like methotrexate at a low dose or Imuran or something like that.
In 2005, she had a high positive antiCCP test, but her doctor keeps saying she doesn't have RA. Over the years, she has had lots of affected joints, and it's really worrisome. The painkillers don't really even take the edge off of the pain she has. She's been asked all the questions to diagnose RA, and she has a mix of symptoms. It seems hers is a boderline case which is difficult to diagnose. Her blood tests do show inflammation, but of course only the RF and antiCCP are specific to RA, and those are usually negative. Her new doctor says that she did have some inflammatory arthritis, but that the condition has now burnt out.
I think she's at the point where she just has to try some DMARDs, and see if that helps her, instead of just trying to keep the pain at bay. Can you tell me anything more about whether "burnt out" means it isn't likely to recur again?
Thanks for any pointers you can give me. Arthritis sure is a complicated set of diseases that mimic each other, making it really hard to get the right treatment at the right time.