Newly diagnosed - Seronegative inflammatory artritis

Asnina Member Posts: 5

Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed 5 weeks ago, and even though I'd researched all my symptoms and knew it would be some sort of inflammatory arthritis - it still hit me very hard. I have started on hydroxychloroquine today (the delay was while my Rheumatologist got a second opinion on which form of arthritis). I also have a history of reacting badly to nearly all medications prescribed to me in the last 12/18 months, so we decided it might be better not to start with methotrexate, and see if this might elevate my symptoms. I managed to get a gastric ulcer from minimal use of Ibruprofen to deal with an ankle injury that happened about 18 months ago and was being ignored when I would raise a self-referral with the Physio. It turns out it might be linked to arthritis (as it's in both my ankles, my fingers and my shoulders). Taking the ibuprofen may have also masked the arthritis symptoms, which were horrendous this winter (I stopped taking Ibruprophen in July, and I've had two flares (one very serious) in the last 6 months. Now the only pain meds I take is paracetamol, but only when it gets bad (I'm allowed topical ibuprofen if needed, but need to take a stomach protector prior to using it)

It's frustrating, as I used to be active and used to be able to do 6 + mile walks at the weekend. Since my ankle injury 18 months ago, I can about do a mile on a good day, much less on most other days. I can deal with the pain when I'm not in a flare (mostly my fingers ache, and sometimes my knees and other joints if it's very cold), but the ankle pain has been excruciating (I had a steroid shot 6 weeks ago to the ankle, which caused a steroid flare and I'm about 95% certain the generalised flare - as I'd been okish previously, my last serious flare was in October). Since hurting my ankle, I've gained two dress sizes. Between the weight gain and the complete and utter exhaustion, it's been a tough time. I think the worst thing is the exhaustion, which I have been complaining about to the GP for the last 3 years and all they did was take blood tests once every two months.

I've noticed that lack of sleep, stress, and overexerting myself on my occasional good days make it worse (unfortunately, I've been unable to get a good night's sleep for the last few months). I think I've had maybe 3/4 good days in about 6 weeks or more, and am currently taking each day as it comes. I'm desperate to get back to some sort of normality, and I'm hoping that the hydroxychloroquine will get me there, without any major adverse effects (I know it can take months to take effect).

The versus arthritis website & this community has been great, I've been lurking in the background, reading up on bits. I'm hoping that I take well to the hydroxychloroquine and don't experience any serious reactions to it.

Sorry for the long post.