Hello, I've got bone erosions...

BreakingDawn
BreakingDawn Member Posts: 7
edited 23. Feb 2015, 02:50 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all, my name is Sandie and I'm 47. I'm awaiting a rheumatology appointment in March after erosions were found on a shoulder xray. My ESR CRP and lymphocytes are raised and some of my fingers are weak and stiff. My GP thinks I have inflammatory arthritis, does she mean rheumatoid arthritis? Or are there other causes for these moth-eaten bone xrays? Thank you for any advice and sorry if I've posted in the wrong place, I'm not used to using forums!

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,081
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums Sandie from the moderation team

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Moderator AC
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,630
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sandie and welcome to the forum :) Yes, you're in exactly the right place so no apology needed.

    It's not good that it seems you might have arthritis but it is good that you have a GP who is on the ball with such things. RA is probably the best-known of the auto-immune types of arthritis but there are many more. 'Inflammatory arthritis' is a sort of umbrella term when they're not sure which. Some people on here have had a diagnosis of 'inflammatory arthritis' for years. Sometimes something happens which enables the docs to put a more specific label to their disease but sometimes not. Insofar as the medication is mostly the same it doesn't matter much.

    If you want to read up on the different types look here http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Arthritisbasics/Typesofarthritis

    I hope we'll be able to help with any questions you might have.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry that you have had to find us. Arthritis is an umbrella term for its two kinds, the clumsily-described 'wear and tear' (which is osteo) and the auto-immune kinds (which are many and kinda varied). I have a creaky foot in both camps and it ain't fun. :wink:

    Yup, you posted in the right place (I only use one forum and this is it) so well done you: I can't remember where my first post occurred but I suspect you have done far better than I managed. :) Like Sticky, I too am pleased that your GP appears to be far more aware than mine was when my troubles began (back in 1997). Please keep in touch and let us know how you get on, yes? I wish you well. DD
  • BreakingDawn
    BreakingDawn Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for your kind words and welcome. I must confess that I'm feeling lost in all of this. For the last 14 months my life has changed dramatically. I didn't realise at first but now I compare me with a year ago I can see how my strength has diminished. The aches and pains have got worse till it felt like pain running down my bones in my limbs. My heels and balls of my feet are tender so that even a duvet on them at night is uncomfortable. My fingers are stiff and my wrists hurt so that I can't knit anymore, it's too achey to hold the needles. But the biggest change for me is the fatigue. This isn't just feeling tired, this is running on empty with friends and colleagues gently asking me if I'm okay? Unless you have felt this fatigue it is difficult to explain and so you try and carry on and pretend that all is fine whilst discreetly taking co-codomal to get through the day.

    My ESR is around 80 now and I repeated the test again only to have the doctor on the phone to repeat it again. She said if I feel dramatically worse to contact her and she has written to the consultant to try and bring my appointment forward.

    It's scary not knowing what's wrong? My GP thinks inflammatory arthritis but it might not be. And as good as the Internet is for finding wonderful sites like this, it also holds a lot of confusing information. Because I have Lymphocytosis I thought I had the start of leukaemia or something. Does the finding of bone erosions in a painful shoulder only indicate RA because I'm worried I could be misdiagnosed.

    I'm probably asking impossible questions but I've told 3 friends about all this and 1 said it was scary, the other 2 said that getting old sucks because of all the wear and tear! And yes, I have that too, degenerative changes in my cervical and lumbar and pinching the nerves down through my shoulders and outer thighs.

    Sorry if I sound like a moaning Minnie but I've come down with yet another cold and am feeling a bit sorry for myself.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is all sounding very familiar, especially the fatigue. It's not the 'I've had a good day and I'm nicely tired' kind of feeling, it's much more draining than that. Fatigue is part-and-parcel of any kind of arthritis, we have to work so much harder to get things done than those who are still OK - our bodies are working against us rather than for us. I suggest you read The Spoon Theory and There's a Gorilla in my House - both articles are on the web and they provide concise explanations for us and those around us about what it is we are facing.

    There is something inflammatory going on with you, without a doubt, but it can take time to accurately diagnose. I found the label change made no difference to me, for years I was regarded as having an unspecified inflammatory arthritis, when it was eventually 'recognised' as psoriatic arthritis it made no difference to the treatments etc. I think you do need to see a rheumatologist, they know much more than GPs about this malarkey. Rest as much as you can and stop when you think you can do more. The co-codamol (co-cos) will dull the outer edges of the pain but it won't take it all away (some on here use the term dullers for that reason). I am eighteen years in now and cannot remember being pain-free which, to me, is a bonus: it stops me harking back to what used to be. I have to live with what is but that doesn't mean I like it. :wink: DD
  • BreakingDawn
    BreakingDawn Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you DD for the reading recommendations. I need to try and make peace with my gorilla so we can live together. I'll let you all know how my appointment goes at the end of March and in the meantime I'll keep reading on the forum as I find a lot of what I read inspirational. Thanks again x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,552
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Keep reading and keep posting, OK? We will try to help as much as we can. It may be worth keeping a brief daily diary of pain and tiredness levels to see if there's any correlation between busier and not-so-busy days, and try to eat as healthily as you can: there is no specific evidence that diet affects us (people try all kinds of things to little avail) but for over-all body health a good, balanced diet makes sense. DD

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