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New here and in process of diagnosis

hi All
I figured I would say hello!
I'm 15 years into what I thought was osteoarthritis and suddenly developed polyarthritis in a ton of new joints and had to take time off work due to back pain that didn't allow me to sit in a chair for any period of time. I saw a Rheumatologist who was impressed with all the hand, foot, ankle involvement (and chronic lung disease) and sent me off for xrays and labs, and started Cymbalta.
I have IgG deficiency so not suprisingly, my antibodies came back negative but the xrays showed inflammatory arthritis. We did 3 weeks of prednisone and I had pain relief for the first time in forever. I'm on 5 mg now, waiting for a sacroiliac MRI to figure out if this is a spondylarthropathy or rheumatoid arthritis, but I think everyone is leaning towards RA.
I've been feeling exhausted and generally unwell, and in pain for so long, I work 2 super demanding jobs, I'm worried about the future.
Anyone have any thoughts, suggestions for this waiting period?
thanks a million, not usually a complainer but would love some input.

  1. I forgot to say, I'm 44 years old, a health care provider, and I have a young son.

    1. Hi scd2287! While I am sorry for your diagnosis, I am glad you are finally getting answers. I know that can be a relief in some ways. The feelings you are having are not uncommon for those in the RA community. I am including a link to an article about waiting. The comments underneath the article might be helpful to read as well -- As you'll be able to see; you're not alone! Here is an article from one of our contributors, Nan. She talks about those fears about the future. I think you will find her words honest, reassuring, and empowering -- I hope this helps as a starting place for you. Please feel free to check out this site and read the different articles we have. You can type a search word in the bluish/gray box near the top of this page on the right. It will then pull up any articles with the word you searched for. Also, you can visit our Facebook page -- We have a pretty large, supportive community that is happy to offer support and tips. Please don't hesitate to make yourself at home here. Thanks for sharing and for being here. Wishing you a good afternoon, Erin, Team Member.

      1. Hi scd2287~

        I'm also glad that you are getting some answers and more specific diagnoses - that should enable you and your doctor to find the most effective treatment plan for you! The waiting period can be a particularly difficult time - especially as a mom! I have two little boys myself so I completely understand! Though I know this can be easier said than done - especially when you aren't feeling well - I encourage you to keep pressing your doctors for answers. And, if you are really struggling while you wait, you might also want to ask your doctor if there are any interim medications you could try to reduce pain and fatigue while you figure out the exact diagnosis.

        Best of luck to you and please remember that we are here to support you!

        ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

        1. I am going through the process of RA diagnosis, appointment with rheumatology in two weeks. The first symptom was right knee pain that became pain in both knees. I now cannot straighten my knees even with regular PT and walking multiple times per day. If I do not have ibuprofen in my system I cannot move. Mornings are awful and painful. I feel like I am 80, not 38. Arthritis is rampant in my extended family and had my great great grandmother in a wheelchair at 35 y.o. I have told doctors it is RA and no one will agree. I had a neurology appointment and was told all my pain is from depression, which I have been on meds for since college. Waiting on results from brain, cervical, and thoracic MRI that were ordered by neurology. Saw ortho and was told the knees have no injury. The symptoms I have are fatigue, morning stiffness, bilateral knee joint stiffness and pain, decreased range of motion in my knees, numbness in both hands, numbness in feet at times, swollen feet, dry and itchy eyes, and occasional fever.

          1. Hi Shari,

            Thanks so much for your post in our forums, we are sorry to hear you haven’t been able to get a diagnosis.
            While we cannot provide you with a medical advice via the internet for your safety we do encourage you to keep looking until you find a doctor you find suitable. With that being said I have included a website below that may be helpful in finding a Rheumatologist, (

            I also thought this article on "Choosing the right doctor" would be helpful too.

            You may also find this article on "Managing RA Stiffness in the Morning" beneficial.
            I know a lot of our community members understand you when it comes to morning stiffness.

            You're certainly not a lone when it comes to a challenging diagnosis process.
            Here are some diagnosis articles that might be helpful,

            Please come back and let us know how you make out.
            Thank you again for coming to our community.

            Wishing you all the best,
            Lauren (Community Manager

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