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Getting worse

Dear Sir/Madam

I am 32 and have not yet been diagnosed although at my first rheumatology appointment the rheumatologist said he thinks I have rheumatoid artritis. I have had x-rays on my hands and feet and last week I had an ultrasound.

When I saw him at the beginning of October I was suffering from a swollen middle finger and a sore little finger on my right hand (this had been going on for over a year). It seems to be getting worse now though - all my fingers on my right hand get sore and swollen and now my thumbs are beginning to ache. I noticed tonight that the knuckle on my hand that connects to my swollen middle finger is now inflammed and quite swollen.

The problem I have is I don't see the rheumatologist until the end of January and I'm a bit worried that damage is being done in the mean time. Do you think I should ring his secretary and see what she thinks or just wait until January? I don't want them to think I am neurotic.

Thank you very much

Kind Regards



  • dibdabdibdab Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I wonder whether you have a phone number for the rheumy nurse attached to your rheumatologist? Often they can give excellent advise, and sometimes arrange to have an emergency appointment if appropriate. Or maybe a conversation with your GP to see what they think? They may be able to request a quicker appointment if appropriate.

    Deb x
  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,011
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Claire

    Thank you for your forum posting. I’m sorry to hear that all your fingers on your right hand get sore and swollen and now your thumbs are beginning to ache.

    I can hear your concerns around waiting until the end of January for your rheumatologist appointment. It seems as if your fingers have got worse since your last appointment in the beginning of October.

    I see no harm in calling the consultants secretary and letting him/her know what’s been going on for you. You could let her know that you would like a cancellation appointment if one comes up, that’s if you are unable to make an appointment to see the consultant before the end of January.

    I am also wondering if it would be helpful for you to ring one of the rheumatology nurses, as they would be part of the team together with your rheumatologist. Once again that may be of help.

    I don’t think it’s about you wondering whether they will think you are ‘neurotic’. You have a valid reason to phone and enquire and have your concerns alleviated.

    If you would like to talk anything through please give us a ring on the Helplines 0808 800 4050 (Monday-Friday 10am-4pm) here we can talk to you informally and in confidence.

    Best wishes
  • edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both for your advice.

    I did ring today and my rheumatologist's secretary said she was going to speak to him. Also she said that he wouldn't have my ultrasound results yet so as soon as he gets them he will look at them and if he thinks he needs to see me he will - the 3 month was just a follow up appoinment. Phew!

    Feeling relieved, thanks for the help. x

  • edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Feeling really confused now! My rheumatologist's secretary phoned me this afternoon and told me that she has spoken to the doctor and he has looked at all my results.

    The x-ray and ultra-sound were clear (although the rheumatologist that did the scan said there was damage to my middle finger and my little finger) and all my blood tests were negative.

    My initial blood tests showed elavated CRP and ESR and apparantly I'm anemic and I have large red blood cells - but now they are all negative.

    I asked if he thinks it's RA and she said no. I should be jumping up and down with glee but I'm not - I feel like crying! I'm so confused and I'm feeling more confused than ever.

    Claire x
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