first appointment in a few weeks

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Kazzab123
Kazzab123 Member Posts: 26
edited 7. Mar 2014, 14:34 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi

I've got my first rheumy appointment coming up and I'm not sure what will happen. I currently have OA in my hip but lots of other joint problems ie wrists, back, knees, shoulder etc so I'm wondering if I will leave my appointment with some sort of a diagnosis or will I be referred for tests/xrays/scan before I'm told what is wrong with me?

I've been waiting for 2 years for this appointment, my gp wouldn't refer me at first. I've been told several times that I'm to young (at 41) to have arthritis!. Now that my symptoms are getting worse I am desperate for a diagnosis and a proper treatment plan. Until I get this I just feel as thought I'm being a hypochondriac especially when the tiredness hits as it's so hard to explain to others how bad the fatigue is at times.

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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I hope it goes well and you feel more at ease with things. My own first appt. was far too long ago for me to remember but Toots kindly wrote out loads of stuff from hers if you care to look it up.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 2,289
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    What form are your current joint problems taking ie do you have inflammation, swelling redness etc along with the pain & is an inflammatory form of arthritis suspected. If so there will certainly be tests involved, bloods at the very least & probably x-rays. You may not get an instant diagnosis but it depends if your symptoms are glaringly obvious or more borderline, I was sort of diagnosed with RA more or less on the spot and offered DMARDs for very obvious inflammation and quite rapid joint involvement in the hands etc although I am sero-negative for RA ie I don't test positively for rheumatoid factor. Most tests are not 100% confirmation but are at least pointers, for example with me they x-rayed to look for erosion in the bones of the feet etc as signs of RA. I was under your age when diagnosed and do not be tempted to think of yourself as a hypochondriac during this uncertain stage; even I still wonder if I can really be quite as tired as I am with this when others seem to still function much better but there is no getting around it, the fatigue is the killer symptom for me and there are certainly links between inflammation & tiredness. Good luck at your appointment, they will probably be looking at past medical history, family history, and as I say bloods and x-rays, after that it depends on your personal symptoms, your test results & so forth. A shame that you have had to wait so long & persist to get a referral. :(
  • Kazzab123
    Kazzab123 Member Posts: 26
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    Thanks for your help and kind words. I have OA in my right hip diagnosed by an xray 2 years ago and now my left hip is beginning to cause me trouble. My GP said that it is highly likely that I have arthritis in my fingers but was very vague, I have some swelling at the base of my thumb. My shoulder xray came back clear 9 months ago but the pain has increasingly gotten worse. My lower back gets very stiff after resting and sleeping on it causes me discomfort. Both of my knees are hurting and I get shooting pains when I walk upstairs. I have also noticed some swelling around one ankle and sometimes they are slightly stiff but not enough to cause concern at the moment. My ESR blood test was high but the other blood test that I can’t remember what it was didn’t show signs of inflammation which is why it’s taken so long to get a referral. My GP said at that time that even though the ESR blood test was high when he compared it to certain criteria which took into account my age etc it wasn’t really high so he sent me off with vitamin d tablets as I’m severely deficient hoping that this would solve the joint pains. It was only when I went back a few months ago and saw a locum that he said my ESR was very high and when taking this into account with the swelling next to my thumb I finally got referred to a rheumatologist.
    Karen
  • nicole
    nicole Member Posts: 16
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sometimes it defies all belief, at 46 I am a few years older than you but my GP said that at my age I shouldn't have this much OA damage, I am too young so wanted to refer me there and then and my blood test results were classed as normal, yet you are told that at 41 you are too young to have it and have to fight for a referral! Hopefully you will now start to be listened to. I had my first appointment on Wednesday, lots of questions, more blood tests, checked the mobility of numerous joints and looked for swelling, I only have swelling in my fingers. Write a list before you go so that you don't forget anything. I almost forgot to tell him about heel pain. I left the appointment with a definite OA and seronegative inflammatory arthritis diagnosis, but an MRI will narrow down the inflammatory arthritis that I have. Chances are there will be more scans/x-rays and another wait till the results from those come back. Good luck Karen, I hope it all goes well for you x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    GPs know a very little about a lot so it's time for you inform him / her that auto-immune arthritis can begin at any age, OA can also occur in teenagers and those in their early twenties. When my troubles first began I was 37 and my then GP was completely dismissive about the swelling in my left knee. Her ignorance (and my being all too willing to trust her because she was a doc) led to an almighty delay in my being seen by a rheumatologist - even then, however, I was told I didn't have inflammatory arthritis. I spent the next year or so proving him wrong. :lol:

    I cannot remember my first 'proper' appointment because it was so long ago but I wouldn't be surprised if you are sent for more blood tests and maybe an Xray. Don't expect a diagnosis however - there are around 200 kinds of auto-immune arthritis and it can take time to accurately diagnose what may be happening. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • bridesmum
    bridesmum Member Posts: 181
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Karen, so sorry to hear you've had such a runaround getting a diagnosis. Do you get pain in your buttocks and back of your thighs? I do and my gp says it comes from OA in my hip. Take care, Debx
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Kazzab123
    I hope the appointment goes well for you, don't forget a list of any questions and a list of any pains, rashes, swelling,and anything else you can think of..good luck and let us know how it goes ,
    Love
    Barbara