I am new to the forum. I am not hundred percent sure that I have RA, but my doctors think that it is a strong possibility. We are waiting on blood test results, but we know that, since June of last year, my knee, hip, and one ankle have deteriorated down to bone on bone. I never had a problem with them prior to June. The ortho told me that I need a new knee and I will need a new hip eventually. He is the one who suggested RA because multiple joints are involved and I am a bit young to have this much joint damage. Until these latest scans, I had thought that my problems since last June were due to lupus, which I have probably had since my early 20s. I was diagnosed with lupus, and then I had doctors who doubted the diagnosis until I got with my current doctor whose wife has lupus. He immediately recognized that I had widespread inflammation, and he put me on plaquenil and methotrexate. I also get Kenalog shots every few weeks because my body just can't throw off the inflammation.
Now my hands are involved. I have resorted to using voice to text software because they are very painful and I am starting to get red knuckles. This is very depressing for me, because I have been a musician since I was very young, and I have been a wildlife and exotics rehabber for 20 years, which requires fine motor control. I'm very scared about losing my hands. My doctor tried to assure me on Friday that I will not lose much more ground because there are very good treatments these days, but I am still worried just because of the damage that has already occurred in my lower extremities.
At this point, I almost hope that the blood test is positive so that we know exactly how to proceed. I am here because, although my friends know that I have been sick, it is hard for me to talk about it with them. I don't want to burden them.