Hello! I'm new on here and was recently told that on top of osteoarthritis I most likely have RA and possibly another auto immune disease. We recently lost health insurance so had to cancel my Rheumatologist appt to have it officially diagnosed or not.
I'm 56 and have a back injury (herniated disks) from 30+ years ago pain is/has been daily for a long time. Approximately 6-7 years ago I was experiencing what I would call intense pain episodes with fatigue and depression. Normally my depression is just seasonal winter blues but this depression has not left me since then. My pain is daily and I am watching the joints in my fingers in both hands literally grow almost overnight and going into all fingers instead of what was only my pinkies. One pinky is frozen. My left thumb pain has become so painful that I can hardly grip a jar or door handle without horrible pain. My feet always hurt, and they have been this way for years. I have hip pain that is worse on the left side... In fact most of my intense pain is mostly on my left side though I do have pain in the same joints on the right side.
I did see a rheumy about 15 years ago about my pain (maybe that was another flare up?) but she said it was osteoarthritis and not fibro or RA. She did take X-rays of my hands and run blood tests but never explained to me what she was looking for.
Finally in January this year I had to do something,I just couldn't live with this daily pain any longer so I made another doctor appt. She ran a number of tests and they showed elevated RF result though its not significantly higher than the high normal range... Only above normal by a few. Everything else was normal with the exception of high cholesterol and slightly high blood sugar ( 1pt above normal). The rheumatologist appt was to confirm and probably run further tests.
My doctor started me out on 50mg diclofenac twice a day along with prilosec. I don't take it most days. It helped for the first two weeks but then it just didn't feel like it was helping as much so now I only take it as needed.
I guess what I'm wondering is could this really be RA with such a low elevated RF? Does such a low number mean mine is just in the early stages?
I would like to know how others were feeling in the early stages and how quickly did it progress? What does the fatigue feel like? I'm just questioning if I'm tired enough to feel that this is RA lol. For instance I have days that I can get stuff done (I am caretakibg my 80 y/o mother) and yes I may feel tired but not like I need to sleep it off but then I have days like these past couple of days where I literally feel like someone drugged me with a sleeping pill and I absolutely need to go back to bed because I can barely function. What are my pain management options with no insurance? I prefer homeopathic type treatments if possible but after reading comments on here I'm really getting scared that my future is looking bleak.