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Does anyone else feel that their doctor isn't listening?

My doctors make me feel like I'm crazy.

I've had bilateral hand, wrist, knee, and foot pain for over 3 months. My hands are so stiff in the morning that I cannot make a fist. It lasts for over an hour then the stiffness goes away but I still have aches in my joints and gnarly fatigue. Most recently both knees get this strange pressure that causes pain until I extend and they pop but the pressure comes back quickly. Over the weekend they swelled up and still are. My Ant-CCP, CRP, Sed rate and RF, ANA are all normal. 1 Rheumy said Fibro and diabetes!? But fasted labs beg to differ... I was rx a steroid pack and on day 3 I woke up with the ability to close both hands! 2nd opinion Rheumy visit on Monday had me finish the steroid and call him when the pain is back...I took my last one yesterday morning and the stiffness is already back! How can I prove I have RA? X-rays of hands, knees, ankles and feet are all normal too :/

  1. I am sorry you feel as though your physicians aren't listening to you, Tracipanther! Whatever you are dealing with, it's important that you get the right diagnosis and treatment. It's okay to keep advocating for your health, so keep being persistent. If you feel your physicians aren't taking you seriously, you can always seek a second opinion. Here's a list of the diagnostic tools a physician will use to make a diagnosis of RA -- You can check through it and see if your physician has gone through all of the testing criteria. I hope you get some clear answers soon and can find a treatment plan that works best for you. Thanks for reaching out! Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. Hi Tracipanther. Sorry you are having these diagnostic issues. On top of the excellent information from Erin thought you might be interested in this article from one of our contributors on her experience and difficulty getting a diagnosis with negative and low blood work: In addition, this article from another contributor looks at how blood work doesn't always tell the story: Hope you get some answers soon. Best, Richard ( Team)

      1. , you might well have seronegative RA as I do. Fortunately I was lucky to have a rheumatologist 20 years ago who after listening to my symptoms sent me for xrays even though my blood work was negative that showed definite signs of RA and started me on meds immediately. I believe he's the reason that I haven't had more damage than I do even though I have a lot of other symptoms that make it hard to get through some days such as fatigue, brain fog and pain. If you aren't happy with the doctor you're currently seeing, keep looking for one until you find one you like as a good rapport with your doctor is half of winning the battle against RA. Good luck in getting help.

        1. Hi - On top of the great insight from - you might also be interested in more about seronegative RA: I hope this is informative! Warmly, - Reggie, team member

      2. I feel the same about my doctor. The first time I saw him, he told me he would follow up & send me notes. Never got the notes. Two months later saw his PA. Six months later I see the PA again. I wouldn’t know the doctor if I met him on the street.

        1. Wow that's pretty bad. I hope that the PA is treating you well at least. It's still frustrating either way. - Warmly, - Reggie, team member

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