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lpugh79lpugh79 Posts: 4
edited 6. Aug 2016, 05:15 in Say Hello Archive
Hi Everyone

I've just been diagnosed with RA, which came as a massive shock because it started with a gym injury couple of months and I didn't know that's how it can start. Stupid immune system!

As I'm sure you all appreciate I am going through a bit of a bad time trying to come to terms with the diagnosis and how it will affect my life but trying to remain positive and not see it as the end of the world, although I do admit to frequent tears.

I'm lucky because at the moment my symptoms are not too unbearable and I am due to see my rheumatologist next week to decide which drugs to start with.

I've just spoken with a very helpful lady on the helpline who helped allay some of my fears that I have, mainly from googling about RA (not always a good idea), and she suggested I might like to join the forum, so here I am.

Hopefully joining the forum and being able to get first hand experiences and tips will help me through.

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I am so sorry you have had to find us, I too have an auto-immune arthritis but, unlike you, was born with auto-immune trouble so for me it's more of the same.

    I know that osteoarthritis can result from an injury to a joint but I'm not so sure that would account for triggering RA, I think this may just be a conincidence. Auto-immune troubles can begin at any age of life and they do. There are around 300 kinds of auto-immune inflammatory troubles so sometimes a precise diagnosis can be lengthy in process; it sounds as though you are one who has presented the right symptoms in the right places and has a positive RA factor in their blood. The sooner one begins the meds the better the long-term outcome in temrs of slowing the progression of the disease and reducing damage to the joints. Which joints are causing you the most trouble and how?

    I began back in 1997 when I was 37 so i'm a good few years ahead of you. I've tried more meds than I care to remember but the thinking about medication has moved on in the past twenty years; I can see that progress has been made in the treatment of our various conditions (the labels vary but the meds are the same). Who diagnosed you? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome from me, too.

    Of course you will be finding things very tough right now on both the physical and emotional fronts. The diagnosis must have come as a shock and it will take some time just to get your head round it. Our helpline people are very kind and thoughtful and I do hope you'll find that the forum is a good place just to share the thoughts, feelings, frustrations and difficulties not forgetting the laughs of life with arthritis.

    RA often – but not always – has a genetic factor and then a trigger. We don't yet know what the trigger or triggers are but I've never heard of an injury being the cause. I wonder if, in investigating the injury, the RA was simply discovered earlier than it might otherwise have been. Certainly you are lucky (though you won't feel it right now) to have been diagnosed so quickly. Getting on the disease modifying medication quickly gives the best outcome.

    Please let us know how you get on next week. I hope it goes well.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • lpugh79lpugh79 Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi DD

    Thank you for your response :)

    I have been diagnosed with seronegative RA as I have a normal result for my rheumatoid factor but have elevated ESR rate and I have been diagnosed on my symptoms.

    I didn't have any symptoms before my injury which was the partial dislocation of my sesamoid bone in my left toe. It then lead to me pulling the ligaments in my right knee and from there my feet and ankles began to swell, then my wrists and fingers. It has all happened since the end of April with most of my RA symptoms starting abut the end of May.

    I have hyper mobility in all the joints that have been affected which has not helped at all. The steroids that I am on temporarily have helped to reduce the swelling and I am hoping that I haven't done any permanent damage to my joints.

    I was diagnosed by Dr A Rai in Worcester. I was lucky and have health cover through work so I could see him quicker that through the NHS but will have to go back onto the NHS soon once my credit runs out on my cover.

    It's all early days and I'm trying to get my head around the diagnosis, which I am sure will take a long time!
  • lpugh79lpugh79 Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi stickywicket :)

    It's all a little strange because I don't think I had any symptoms before my injury and there is no history of it in my family, but maybe I did have symptoms and thought it was just from exercising too much!!

    Hopefully luck is on my side and it was caught early enough to have the best outcome possible, fingers crossed :)

    I'll let you know how I get on next week, it's a bit scary deciding which drug to start with and all the side effects!
  • bubblesbubbles Posts: 6,508
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome to the forum, I really hope you find it helpful. Everyone is so kind and supportive.
    Receiving a diagnosis is not pleasant at all. But, as you say, let's hope things are caught early and treatment is swift and as effective as possible.
    DD is right, there are so many differing factors with RA, it can take a fair while to get to the finer details of someones problems.

    Google is an amazing mine of information, but sometimes there is too much information - we all do it, reading this and that and making 2 and 2 equal 6.

    Keep us posted on your treatments and how it is helping. Take care XX Aidan
    XX Aidan (still known as Bubbles).
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hypermobility is quite common and can even be an advantage to sports people but, in some people, it can arise due to autoimmune problems.

    I agree that being given a choice of meds which can all seem quite scary is not a pleasant task. I was always simply prescribed what my rheumatologist thought best. I take methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine and they work well for me but different ones suit different people. Good luck :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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