Just diagnosed.

averyniceman
averyniceman Member Posts: 75
edited 30. Dec 2008, 16:43 in Living with Arthritis archive
I'm scared.

My GP has just seen the results of my blood test and he thinks I've got RA. He's referred me to a Rheumatologist.

I'm not in much pain -- just a bit in one hand. But I just don't know what to expect.

Will my symptoms get worse -- and how quickly? What will happen at work? Will I be able to cope at home (I live alone)? I've got all these questions running round my mind.

Can someone tell me what to expect?

Comments

  • magenta
    magenta Member Posts: 1,604
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello,
    Welcome to the forum but I'm sorry you have RA. Your Dr is doing the right thing by getting you a referral to a rhuematologist. I would wait and see what that brings. As to what to expect, everyone is different as you'll probably read from the posts. I can't say what will happen to you-sorry. You could be very lucky in that things don't progress or if they do, very slowly. Try not to worry about 'what ifs', I did and it made me ill. 'If' things get worse for you, you will have the support of your Dr/Rhuemy to help you. I'm still working ( although things may change if I can't take my car to work-on another post!) and my arthritis has caused me some problems but I've dealt with them when they happened. Have to go now and wash manky children :) Please ask away if there's anything else on your mind,
    Take care,
    Magenta x
  • mash65
    mash65 Bots Posts: 834
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi & welcome to this great site.i have o/a not r/a so cant help there but some1 will post u that has r/a im sure. its a good idea to write down all ur questions & take it with u to rheumatology appointment. may also help if u read through some of the old posts on the site. i know its a scary time try not to worry to much.(easier said than done)the peeps on here r great for any help & support u need,or just for a good old moan.ur not alone,good luck with ur appointment debs
  • katekelly
    katekelly Member Posts: 975
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hiya and welcome. As the other replies has said before you have come to the right place- you will find a great deal of support here. I was diagnosed with RA over 13 years ago. All I can say is there is life after diagnosis- it may not be what you thought it would be but you quickly learn to adapt. As already said everyone's "arthur" is different and progresses at different speeds etc. Some people have regular flare-ups others go years between attacks. What I would suggest is that any questions you have write down and when you see your Rhuematologist ask them. There is so much information to take in that questions can easily be forgotten. Also have you got someone that you trust enough/ are close enough to that you don't mind talking to a rheumatologist in front of? If so take them with you as sometimes you "miss" what is being said or get them to write down the answers.
    I hope you find the answers you are after and if all else fails you know where we are!!

    Best wishe KateX
  • plmb48
    plmb48 Member Posts: 125
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    what can we say to make you feel better not a lot but i have had RA for 28 years i am still going strong :P i dont work but i drive enjoy a drink belive it or not you can laugh too somtimes my elbows click and jump i get my tea down my front but just change my top and get another cup of tea :lol:you see RA wont adjust to you you must adjust to it you must think to yourself **** it it wont beat me .but please dont get into a state that will stress you out and stress is not good just come on to te forum and you will get all the advice you need we are not governed by time so we can talk good luck :D:D:D
  • renard99
    renard99 Member Posts: 19
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and welcome

    You're in a very similar position to me. I was diagnosed just before Christmas and I have my first Rheumatologist appointment in about 3 weeks.

    I can completely empathise with your questions because I've been asking them myself constantly. It's as though the future has dissappeared, suddenly you stop thinking about 10 years time and start thinking about climbing the stairs in 5 minutes time or being able to use a computer mouse tomorrow. Something that I, as an active 25 year old, have found hard to adjust to.

    Although i've only lived with my diagnosis for a couple of weeks I can say that, whilst the questions won't be answered at this early stage, things will get a little better in the coming couple of weeks. My RA seriously affects my knees and i've already noticed that i'm instinctively tackling stairs in a different way. I've also told my boss about my problems and already I have a new chair and a Tracker Ball mouse for the computer, both helping to ease the pain in my legs and wrist respectively.

    Support is definately out there and you've certainly come to the right place by coming on here. I know it's certainly helped me come to terms with things.

    Good luck with your referal, and remember, we're all here if you need us.
  • averyniceman
    averyniceman Member Posts: 75
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks to everyone for all these supportive messages.

    Today has been interesting. I slept badly -- not due to pain thank goodness, but due to anxiety I guess.

    Took some Ibuprofen -- normally I react badly but they've given me a proton pump which so far has done the job.

    And although I've only a little pain in my left hand, I keep watching my body to see if its developing. I don't know what I'm feeling!

    The thing that I'm finding hardest to come to come to terms with is that I may not be able to work. I love my work -- I'm a teacher, and I shall so miss the kids if I can't go on.

    While typing this my GP just rang to see how I am -- good eh! He basically said keep fit (I like to go to a gym and he said continue), and take each day as it comes. Take Ibuprofen and Paracetamol if I need to -- and he'd be disappointed if it came to more than that.

    Same as you guys really -- all good advice. But it's such a change it feels hard.
  • averyniceman
    averyniceman Member Posts: 75
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    rehab44

    Thanks for posting that. I read your profile: I hope you and your girlfriend are well.

    I will take your advice!

    Howard
  • jangil
    jangil Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi i hope you get to see the rheumatoligist soon. everyone varies with symptoms and pain and also different medications work for some and not for others it really is a strange disease.i only got diagnosed in june myself when i could hardly walk or move ive been in pain and on lots of different medications and still trying to get a balance i also am concerned about work as i have been on the sick now since june but last week i got some hope from the o/t and the rheumatology nurse they were really nice and said there is people out there who will help you find the right kind of work to suit you as to what you are capable of doing so there is help out there so it seems as before talking with them i felt very alone but feel happier within myself now.i can understand how you feel as it just turns your life upside down but try think positive as there is medications to try slow the progress down and if you have a good relationship with your doctor then im sure he will keep monitoring your progress try not think to far into things and if you are able to manage and cope with things just now then keep doing them and some people respond well to some medications so try stay positive until proven otherwise.i hope this is a wee bit of help for you.take care janice..
    I'm scared.

    My GP has just seen the results of my blood test and he thinks I've got RA. He's referred me to a Rheumatologist.

    I'm not in much pain -- just a bit in one hand. But I just don't know what to expect.

    Will my symptoms get worse -- and how quickly? What will happen at work? Will I be able to cope at home (I live alone)? I've got all these questions running round my mind.

    Can someone tell me what to expect?
  • averyniceman
    averyniceman Member Posts: 75
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    rehab44 wrote:
    rehab44

    Thanks for posting that. I read your profile: I hope you and your girlfriend are well.

    I will take your advice!

    Howard
    Howard, you must have read some on elses profile. If Dementia my dear wife and sparring partner was to read that I would be in deep doo doo :D
    Well -- I hope I haven't caused a divorce!
  • katekelly
    katekelly Member Posts: 975
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Howard,
    I think you will find that there are some other teachers/educators on this site. Before the birth of my youngest 6 years ago (and yes 7 years after diagnosis!) I was a Learning Support Assistant in a secondary school. That is a role that is both physically and emotionally demanding but I coped well with it and actually found that the kids were great about it. I very rarely had to carry my bag and they always made sure I had chairs etc. placed in the correct position next to their desks/facing boards etc. I found that if I talked openly and frankly about my illness and the need for splints etc. they were more than happy to help. In fact I was sometimes the subject of a PSHE lesson!! I personally think that it gave the kids an insight to disabilities that they otherwise may not have had access to. So as a teacher you may be able to "educate" your pupils and help develop their sense of community and helping others.
    Perhaps you may be able to turn this negative into a positive and use it as a teaching aid.
    Good Luck.
    Kate xx

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