I’m a 31 year old female and have recently been diagnosed with seronegative arthritis affecting both knee joints. I first started to experience problems around 6–7 years ago and since then I’ve been fobbed off by doctors who never seemed to take my symptoms seriously. Stupidly, this convinced me to think the same thing and in the end I stopped trying to find an answer and hoped the whole thing might just go away. Needless to say it didn’t. My diagnosis has finally come since I’ve moved to a new area and have consequently been dealing with a new (much improved) medical team.
Anyway, I’ve now been referred to a rheumatologist and am waiting to receive details of my first appointment. In the meantime, I have so many questions so many feeling that I was hoping someone may be able to help me with. I’m angry that I’m only now beginning to receive the appropriate care/treatment and worry how this delay might affect me in the future.
I’m currently experiencing a flare-up which is much worse than normal and won’t seem to subside. (I‘d wondered if this could partly be due to the very cold weather we’ve been having lately? I’d always thought this was a bit of an old wives tale but I seem to notice a lot of people mentioning it on here.) Both knees are more swollen and painful than usual – so much so that it’s making the whole of my legs ache. Is this normal? I notice this more at night time and find my legs get very restless in bed, disturbing my sleep. Does anyone have any tips that could help ease this? I’m currently only taking ibuprofen – it helps only a little and I worry about taking too many because of the effects it can have on the stomach. Would it be worth me going back to my GP while I’m waiting to see the rheumatologist? Is it likely she’d be able to give me something that might be more effective?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the condition and have found so many different sites, stating so many different things that I’m starting to feel a little apprehensive. I’m nervous about what’s going to happen next, anxious about the possibility that I may have to take medication for the rest of my life and scared of what the future might hold e.g. will this start to affect other joints?, could there be any other related health issues in store?
Overall, I just feel really down and generally not myself – I’m quite weepy at moment. I recently turned 31 but sometimes feel more like 81 when I struggle to get up from my seat, get out of my car or walk up and down the stairs. I feel more tired than I usually do (not likely to be helped by the sleepless nights when I just can’t keep my legs still in bed) and generally am feeling very sorry for myself. Then I start to feel guilty for feeling this way as I know there are many people in the world with far worse problems than me.
Reading this back, I realise I haven’t really asked any specific questions that readers may be able to answer. I guess I’d just be grateful for people who might be experiencing similar, or have experienced similar in the past, to get in touch.
Thanks for reading