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Hello, new with RA

Hello, I'm Linda and I live in the Azores

My RA started on 26th February this year, out of the blue and with no warning. I was in South Africa at the time, saw a doctor there briefly who did a blood test and confirmed that his initial diagnosis was correct.

However, by the time I got home the lockdown had started as as we were moving both house and island I did not get to see a doctor again until last week. More blood tests and X-rays. The doctor in South Africa prescribed Celebrex which I am able to get here too, but I am scheduled to see a rheumatologist next week.

I'm finding it difficult because my main hobbies were sailing, walking, embroidery and quilting which have all come to an abrupt halt. I'm trying to keep cheerful and positive, but I can see my way of life being diminished while at the same time being thankful that I was 69 before I got RA. C'est la vie!

Comments

  • BrynmorBrynmor Posts: 448 admin
    edited 16. Jun 2020, 09:09

    Hi @Linandy, welcome to the Online Community. Great to have you here.

    Sudden onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis sounds very alarming: did you have a minor accident or infection just before it started?

    Here is a link to our some of our pages on Rheumatoid Arthritis which gives some general information on diagnosis, managing the disease and also living with arthritis.

    Do join in across the Community, ask questions, give support or just call in to have a chat and let us know how you are getting on.

    All best wishes

    Brynmor


  • Hello Brynmor

    Only two weeks before, I'd been sailing, had done a 10 mile hike with no problems, was feeling fit and well, just a little overweight - 65 kg at 5ft 7.5 in - and in excellent all-round health. It hit me out of the blue, no warnings, no niggling aches and pains, just wham! One morning I woke up and my fingers were swollen, then the pain started. My husband has now got me on a diet - no citrus fruits, no tea, no coffee, no dairy products, no gluten, no chocolate and no alcohol: giving me loads of turmeric and black pepper, pineapples. It's manageable but miserable! We have just moved to another island so I have no network of friends to whom I can have a good moan! So I'm feeling lonely as much as anything, and the hobbies and activities that I used to enjoy - sailing, walking, embroidery, patchwork and quilting - are all but impossible. Boo! Hiss! Thanks for listening.

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,562 ✭✭✭

    Hello, I am so sorry to read your post, what a shock this must be. I have had another form of auto-immune inflammatory arthritis since 1997 and its arival was no surprise because I was born with eczema and developed asthma when I was seven, both auto-immune inflammatory condition. I am now 61.

    The fact that your immune system, the thing that is meant to help and support you fight illness is actually doing the reverse, is a concept with which many struggle. Please let us know what the rheumatologist suggests but my best guess is that he will recommend meds that suppress the immune system to reduce disease activity. Diet and supplements have little effect on auto-immune arthritis but can affect osteoarthritis slightly for the better when observed/taken for months. You have my deepest sympathy, I cannot imagine the shock until I try to comprehend waking up one day completely cured. Please let me know how you get on. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • MiaDKMiaDK Posts: 2
    Hi Linda, how are you getting on?
    I have had a very similar experience to you.
    I'm 34 and was diagnosed out of the blue about 5 weeks ago. I had been exhausted for a while and had had some pain but put it down to exercise and generally overdoing it. Work was crazy with the pandemic. Then I had this weird hand and foot pain (I actually thought my foot was broken 🤦🏼‍♀️). My bro (a doc) told me to get a test saying there would be no way it would come back positive. I'm young and healthy, fit etc. Alas, here I am! I'll be honest, it's completely ****!
    I was seen immediately, prescribed hydroxychloroquine and naproxen. After a week my symptoms came back and was put on 3 weeks of steroids.... Which are incredible!! I felt better than ever for a couple of days. Now, I feel like I've taken a million steps backwards. Coming off steroids was awful. Was in bed for 2 days. And I now have growing pain again. There's talk of methotrexate which from what I have read is horrible.... Mostly because I am 34 and despite not being in a relationship I would like a baby at some point and it makes this sound risky.
    The versus arthritis website has been incredible. And I never thought I would be someone to engage in these forums. But the disease is so strange and so unknown this feels like a safe space to get info and share.
    Needless to say, you're not alone and everyone seems to say that things will get better. I can't yet see the light at the end of the tunnel unfortunately. I, like you have had all my interested an hobbies taken from me. My body doesn't feel like mine at the mo.
    I've gone off on a rant, I hope you're feeling better! And any other sufferers reading this.
    X
  • AlanMAlanM Posts: 32 mod

    Hi @MiaDK

    and welcome to the forum.

    You've described your symptoms, diagnosis and the rollercoaster of therapy and treatment over the past 5 weeks. There's a possibility you may be prescribed methotrexate and you have concerns about any future impact on having children.

    You've clearly been making good use of the Versus Arthritis website and that's as good a place as any to gather information that will help you deal with the condition. However, you might also want to make use of our Helpline to talk to someone about diagnosis, treatment and options. They're available Mon-Fri, 9am-8pm on 0800 5200 520.

    And, of course, talk to people here who will have similar experiences and worries.

    Good luck and look forward to seeing you on the forum.

    best wishes

    Alan

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,562 ✭✭✭

    Hello, steroids are good aren't they? I loved them when I was on them, it was an amazing feeling to be apparently so much better in myself. The problem is they merely mask the symptoms of the disease so I stopped taking them.

    I was born with auto-immune junk (eczema) and developed more aged seven (asthma) so children was never on my agenda. Both ran in my mother's family, psoriasis in my father's. People associate arthritis with the elderly (wrong) and know it comes in two kinds, namely rheumatoid (they don't know it is to do with the immune system misfiring) and osteo: wrong again. There are many kinds of auto-immune inflammatory arthritis and sadly that is something one learns only when affected by one of them.

    I have been taking meth for many years and have had very little trouble with it. Those who are doing well on a med naturally assume anyone else is too so who needs a forum? I have never read up on any med I have taken (or taken any notice of others experiences) because other people do not have my medical history, do not have my attitudes or coping strategies. I had the joys of severe eczema and asthma before the invention of steroid creams and steroid-based inhalers: that taught me everything I need and use now. For you tho? A whole different ball game.

    The arthritis meds are about controlling disease activity, I have seen for myself that the quicker the diagnosis and the faster one begins the 'proper' meds, the better the outcome can be. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
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