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Hello- new to the forum

emskywalkeremskywalker Posts: 3
edited 23. Oct 2013, 13:08 in Say Hello Archive
Hi guys,
just wanted to introduce myself. I've been loitering on the forum for the past couple of weeks, looking for hints and tips and ways of coping.
I have had pain in my hands and wrists since the end of July. It initially appeared to be muscular only and I was worried it was carpal tunnel. By the end of August my knuckles were swollen / discoloured, and I had elbow, wrist, feet and ankle pain and swelling, and I'm unable to grip things properly, and my (very good) GP sent me for blood tests and X-rays.
I was told by my GP two weeks ago that I very probably have Rheumatoid Arthritis (raised CCP or CRP levels- can't remember which now!). He kindly signed me off work for 3 weeks as I wasn't sleeping due to the pain and was struggling to complete a day's work. I have the rest of this week off then need to try to figure out how to manage...I think my manager and Occy Health should be helpful but very nervous. Not sure how work is going to go and how people will be with my limitations- the swelling and pain aren't going away at the minute (pain being managed with naproxen, codeine and paracetamol) and I have limited energy most of the time.
I have got my hospital appointment through to see the specialist- 16th December. Does anyone have any experience of the rheumatology department in Edinburgh?
Sorry for the ramble...
Just looking for any encouragement or help that people can give from their experience. Glad to have a diagnosis but scared and nervous. Not sure what affect this will have on the rest of my life, or if I should be worried about this yet

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's lovely to meet you and I hope we can help with information and support. I don't have RA but it is good that yours has been picked up so quickly. I am a firm believer that the sooner one starts the meds the better the outcome could be so come your first appointment I reckon there will be more tests and maybe a prescription, but rheumatologists vary in their approaches.

    As you have been reading you are probably aware that we advise people to keep a record of their symptoms etc so that the docs get a better all-round picture of you and how you are being affected. Keep brief notes about pain levels, tiredness levels, what aggravates and eases matters and your feelings too. RA isn't the end of things, it's the beginning of different things, the essential you is still there but you may well feel lost for a while.

    I'm having a rough time at the moment so won't be around too much but I will keep an eye open for your name here and there. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,902 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome to the forum
    You do seem to have had the right treatment so far,when you get to your rheumy appointment they will repeat all that test and do xrays..I know its all so scary but please post on Living with arthritis and you will get others coming along to advice and support you.
    I do wish you well with the future x
    Love
    Barbara
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello there emskywalker. (Have I met you brother Luke :lol: ?) I'm glad you decided to join us rather than just loitering :)

    Your GP is on the ball and I imagine Edinburgh has a good rheumatology department. (Scotland has a reputation for good medical practice, I believe.)

    To a very well seasoned RA person, these symptoms do sound very familiar. I think the fatigue bit is the part that really takes people by surprise and makes the other symptoms so much harder to deal with.

    I don't think anyone can tell you what effect it will have on the rest of your life because we're all so different. Plus, you have to bear in mind that, by and large, the posts you read on here are mostly written by those of us who are not coping as well as all our fellow arthritics who are out in the real, non-cyber world living pretty normal lives. The speed with which you have been diagnosed and referred will all help on that score.

    For what it's worth, I've had RA for over 50 years and, for the early years, I had no 'proper' treatment. However, I've had what I consider to be a good, happy life despite the odd arthritic glitch. Stay positive. Be sensible. Maybe download Arthritis Care's booklet on 'Healthy Lifestyle' http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Listedbysubject and listen to their two new videos on coping with pain http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/NewsRoo ... ories/bOyV I hope they help. (Also remember we are always here too though you'll get more replies on the Living With Arthritis forum.)
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • emskywalkeremskywalker Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks guys! You're kind replies and help have made my day
    will work through the things you've send and have a wee notebook now to keep at all times for symptoms :)
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