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Can you be in remission for 20 years +?

I was 36 when I was first told that I tested positive for RA. One day I woke up and couldn’t move my neck then a week later my shoulders neck and hands hurt so bad I couldn’t even go to the bathroom by myself I had to sleep setting up in a recliner. At First I was told muscle strain, then I was told Lupus and one doctor told me RA I would be in a wheel chair for the rest of my life. I didn’t take well to that information and neither did my family and we went to Columbus Ohio to their Arthritis Clinic at the University. The doctors there put me on prednisone and two days later I was up cleaning house and feeling so much better. I found a local doctor that I liked and stayed with her for a couple years. She found a few medications that helped with the stiffness and pain I had and I was doing well but after a few years when I started having stomach problem I just took my self-off meds and only used NSAIDs when I needed them. Over the last 20 years I only had flair ups with changes in the weather and if I was really stressed. I felt lucky that I had what I called a remission Now at age 57 I am starting to have some of the same problems I was having when I was first diagnosed all those years ago mostly my upper body and hands.
For the last few month or so my fingers cause me so much pain and at times even my knuckles on the inside the area below my fingers hurt so bad I get a sick feeling and I just want to cry. My fingers lock up and it hurts so much to open them back up. I have loss strength in my right hand/finger's it hurts to do the smallest of things anymore. My job is data entry and some days it is a struggle to get my job done mostly when I have to write thank goodness I can type most of what I need to do. I am not on any medication other than over the counter Ibuprofen and I have to take it more and more often these last few months. I am sure there is better treatment then there was 20 years ago so I and wondering what others have found that helps them the most and what ones to stay away from. I am going to make a doctor’s appointment and I would like so insight before I go. I am a diabetic and I have re flux and I am guessing that it will be hard to find medications that will not cause me problems. Oh and wish me luck finding a good doctor around here…. I am sure not going back to the one that said I would be in a wheel chair for life.

  1. Hi kmbrunty, Thank you for reaching out, I'm so glad you've found our site and community and hope that we can be a support to you. Many in our community have experienced remission and the length can vary quite a bit. I hope that you get responses from others here who can share their personal experiences with you. Treatment for RA has come a long way in recent years! I have linked some articles here that I hope will be helpful to you as you seek a new doctor and explore your treatment options. We also have a sister-site that may be helpful to you.

    Finding Excellent Doctors:
    RA Treatment Overview (with clickable links in the margin):
    Switching RA Medications, Don't Wait Too Long Or Try Too Many:

    We're wishing you the very best and we're here to answer any questions and support you. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. You may also like to check out our Facebook page for additional dialogue and support.
    Kelly, Team Member

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