Recent Diagnosis of PMR and RA

Rourky Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:07 in Living with arthritis

I was a healthy 63 year old male. It all started with a swollen right knee in February 2021 and an aching right shoulder after helping the carpenter build our new garage roof. The swelling on my knee became progressively worse. On 6th March 2021, I had my first COVID vaccination. By early May my knee was really swollen and I awoke one morning in May unable to move my shoulders as if I had been shot in both shoulders with an arrow. I went into my local walk in hospital on 8th May 2021and was advised to see my GP as bloods needed to be taken. During this time, I could hardly move. Sitting down was a real problem, I had to plan how to manoeuvre myself and almost throw myself into a sitting position. My shoulders, arms and hips were so painful. I eventually saw my GP and on Thursday 13th May 2021 I was told I had Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Where did that come from? I was put on Steroids immediately, 15Mg of Prednisolone. By Wednesday the following week I was 50% better and getting my movement back with reduced pain. I managed, with the great help and belief from my wife, to keep sane and we both revisited our life styles. We developed diets to suit us both and greatly reduced our alcohol intake and booked gym sessions weekly with a personal trainer, a friend of the family, who has been outstanding in his knowledge of my condition and which muscles to work on.

I saw my first Rheumatologist on 19th July 2021 who ruled out RA on examination and my bloods did not show RA. To date I have reduced my Prednisolone dose to 3mg with no flare ups.

My second diagnosis was an even worse shock. My records show that during the late summer months my knuckles had slight swelling and my and finger joints hurt. This pain was sometimes bad and other days not so. I eventually went back to my GP in September 2021 and was told it was not PMR but I needed to see a Rheumatologist. I had this appointment on 28th October 2021 where, after a clinical examination, I was diagnosed with moderate RA but seronegative. The ultrasound of my knuckles showed little red dots appearing and disappearing. My immune system was attacking the joints. Methotrexate was prescribed at 15mg per week. To date my hands are 90% better with some aches in the morning and no apparent swelling. My last telephone appointment with a practitioner was 28th January 2022 who advised to continue with meds despite the improvement and I may have to stay on that dose for a year?

Just to add to this I have Dupuytren's contracture in both hands.

It's been a difficult time for me and I feel a little lost and apprehensive sometimes as I just wonder what is going on and where did it all come from?

Luckily my wife is brilliant and keeps me going.

I know some of you out there are going through worse than I but being together, reading your stories and with group understanding we can all feel better.


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 1,011

    Hello @Rourky and welcome to the online community,

    After a year of tests, with a final diagnosis of seronegative arthritis, it’s understandable that you’re feeling lost and apprehensive. It’s a lot to deal with, but it sounds like, with the support of your wife, you are learning to face the challenges that your new condition brings. Along with the correct medical treatment, Diet and exercise are two of the most important factors in helping you with your condition, so have already made good choices in developing diets that suit you, reducing your alcohol intake and taking up exercise.

    You might find the following link useful - it’s from the Versus Arthritis website and it’s specifically for people who are newly diagnosed. As well as details of treatment and medication, it’s also got the stories of other people and how they reacted to their diagnosis:

    You also made a good move by joining the online community- everyone here has experience of living with arthritis and is very friendly and supportive, so please post any other questions or concerns you have and I’m sure other members will be happy to respond.

    Best wishes,

    Anna ( Mod)

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