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RA

Although I haven't officially been diagnosed with RA my dr believes there is enough evidence to suggest this is the case.. so I was referred to the specialist (1st sept)
My flare up started around 3 months ago and although the medication I was given stemmed the pain it never fully eased it. Now my symptoms have receded and I am now worried the specialist will miss diagnose me...I am still in pain but not to the point where as I couldn't get down the stairs in the morning... has anyone else experienced this situation and am I worrying over nothing

  1. I totally understand why you'd be concerned @deanbyrom A diagnosis of RA is tricky and many of us have been treated as though our symptoms are "all in our heads." So it is a very real fear that without "evidence" then your new doctor might have second thoughts about a diagnosis.
    But, there are a few things that might help you understand the diagnosis process and things that you can do to make sure you get a timely, and accurate diagnosis.
    First, be prepared. If you are able to document any or all of your symptoms between now and your appointment, then do so- it will really help. This doesn't have to be over the top, just dot down what you are feeling, when you feel it, and how long it lasts because your doctor will likely need to know that information.
    Also, have the records that your doctor took that helped him/her decide that RA might be the cause sent over to your new rheumatologist. That way, your new doc with see what medicine you were prescribed (possibly steroids/predinsone?) and how it impacted your symptoms. Along with any finding they made when they examined you.
    Lastly, know that it takes a very good doctor to correctly diagnosis RA, especially seronegative RA (more info on that here- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/seronegative-diagnosis )
    So if for whatever reason, you don't get what you believe are the correct answers, don't be afraid to get a second or even third opinion.
    Here is some great information on diagnosis and how to best be prepared for your appointment.
    https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/diagnosis
    I'm sure others will chime in with personal experiences and support soon. I wish you the best and hope that your pain over the next few weeks leading up to your appointment is minimal. You will be in my thoughts that you get a compassionate and understanding doctor who listens and takes your symptoms seriously. We have a great deal of additional information and experiences here on the site that can help you prepare as well. I wish you the best and hope that you are able to find the answers that you need and get the relief and understanding you deserve. -Leanne, (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member)

    1. , I can attest to what Leanne has said. I would trust that the Rheumatologist you have been referred to will make the correct diagnosis. It is not necessary to have every symptom to be diagnosed.

      1. Early on I made sure that when the question "How are you feeling now" was asked, that I responded with, "A month ago I couldn't get out of bed. The drug I was given has helped me a little." In short, I always drove home the point of what it was like at its worst.
        There were times early on when I fibbed and said I felt worse that I was feeling that day.
        A good rheumatologist knows the disease can wax and wane.

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