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Is anyone else waiting on a diagnosis?

I went to a PA in February this year because of constant intense pain, fatigue, and depression. She suggested RA along with my previously diagnosed osteoarthritis as well as another unknown autoimmune disease. so she ran the RA test which came back slightly only a point or two above normal so one question is can it be RA even if only slightly elevated? What other factors so they look at?

She also referred me to a Rheumatologist but after waiting 5 month to get in I no longer qualified for discounted Obama care health insurance and didn't afford to pay $800/mo for it so had to cancel everything. The PA did put me on diclophenac but it doesn't even touch this pain so i don't bother taking it because it's hard on my stomach. Now that the cold Midwestern weather is moving in the pain is constant and becoming unbearable, the fatigue is frustrating, and I'm just not sure what to do at this point. The Rheumatologist appt will be $500 out of pocket plus any tests they want to run. If i go ahead and pay out of pocket and get an official diagnosis will it then be considered a preexisting condition? Ugh... anyone else in this boat?

  1. Hey, don't worry, we can figure out what to do. Diclophenac is basically a high-powered NSAID, which is in the same realm as ibuprofen and aspirin. These may treat the symptoms, but they are doing nothing to address the cause, which is important to do to prevent damage and pain. If by a PA you mean a physician's assistant then I think you have to see a Rheumatologist. Even if you have to go to the ER and tell them you are in excruciating pain and then request to see their Rheumatologist, and you might have to, it is necessary I think. Don't worry about the prices of the drugs, almost all of them have programs for people without insurance, but you need to get them prescribed in the first place. Also, as far as I understand, the pre-existing protections of the ACA still apply, they have not been repealed to date (unless it happened in the 15 mins in which I'm writing this, and you know how fast congress moves!). I think you need to just spring for the Rheumatologist, and then if you need help applying for drug programs etc, me or other community members can easily help you do that. Let us know what your next step is, and don't worry! 😀 Keep on keepin' on, DPM

    1. Thank you for responding, that does help me to make a decision. My husband has wanted me to just pay for it out of pocket but I've been too concerned about the preexisting condition clause.
      This is all so new to me and scary to think about if I don't get treatment.

      1. How did the appointment go?

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