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I can’t even think of a title!!!!

Hello….At 56 yrs of age, I just found out yesterday that I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’ve always had a low grade fever and elevated arthritic markers….I’m an Army Vet…and life just moved on…I ended up w/ a R hip replacement in 11/13 and on 9/14, had orthoscopic R knee surgery…a lateral release…For some reason, I had major problems with both, would not heal properly and ended up having fluid taken off my knee…a few times…before and after surgery. Eventually, my Orthopedic doctor suggested that it was time to see a Rheumatologist. His firmness might have had also something to do with my swollen/stiff L hand/wrist…painful figure joints and a trigger finger on both hands…My Rheumatologist ran a million blood test around the early part of March…all came out good except for the arthritic markers…which were elevated…He also ended up…once again…taking fluid from my R knee. I went back for my results yesterday and learned that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis… I was, immed, placed on Prednisone 10 MG, shown a pamphlet of possible, long term medications and was told to educate myself on this disease…HENCE, my joining this blog. I’m disappointed but always knew in the back of my mind that something like this would raise its ugly head…coming from a direct line of LUPUS folks…Last night, I had a hard time sleeping and missed work today because of my possibly needing frequent bathroom breaks…I hope that this BLOG can help me walk through my crisis/flare-up (which is what I am having right now!)…I’m not a very good patient…being an Army Vet and a woman…WE JUST PUSH ON! Now, I think I need some help in the pushing department…Thank you for listening to me spill…

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Comments

  • Darlene Farmer author
    4 years ago

    Hello to all! I’ve been off for awhile, still trying to live, go to work and/or frankly, hold a book for a period of time. Since I have last talked with you, I have visited the Rheumatologist twice…which is what I would like to discuss with you. I’m trying to figure out what is the NEW NORMAL for me. My 2nd visit, the Rheumatologist, bluntly, told me that he wanted to put me on the highest dosage of Methotrexate. I refused! See, during my 1st visit, he game me two pamphlets, telling me to get familiar with my condition/treatment. I took him for his word and did exactly that! During the 2nd visit, I told him that the side affects of the Methotrexate scared me more than the pain! He gave me to months to think about my actions or the lack thereof. On my 3rd visit, I still refused the treatment as I have continued to educate myself and talk with my other care providers, one being my Ophthalmologist. She informed me that the Methotrexate would cause problems with my vision…something neither one of us really want to deal with as I only have vision in one eye! I don’t want to risk having vision problems…not at this stage in my life. My Ophthalmologist called to speak with my Rheumatologist about looking into something else that would not compromise my vision. During my 3rd visit with my Rheumatologist, I found out that he did not return her call nor did he fully get/understand the issue with my vision. All he wanted me to do was TO START TAKING THE METHOTREXATE…which I refused to do. This time, he gave me 6 months to think about this whole thing. All of my education about my condition has come from my doing research and talking to this community….The only thing that I have done so far was change my diet to organic. I still work (very hard getting up in the morning and moving around throughout the day) and I still do yoga…to the best of my ability. I want some SAY over my medical care! I want all of my doctors to communicate and come up with the best care for me…that I can live with! Am I asking for too much???? Right now, I am looking for another doctor who would work with me and not dictate to me…see, I have to live with my decisions…..Do you guys have any thoughts here? THANKS

  • kytroutman
    4 years ago

    I’m 48, while they suggested Rheumatoid last year, it wasn’t until just this week that they finally said, inflammatory/rheumatoid arthritis.. I’ve a low grade fever many many days.. not sick, just a low grade fever, that DR’s say is not low grade, it’s not a fever really.. I’m taking plaquinil, folic acid and methotrexate now for it.. Besides the joint pain, I’m so tired, constantly.. will I be able to continue working on my feet.. I’m so tired.. Military Dr just said probably not when I asked about working.. probably not eventually.. sigh..

  • Deb Martinez
    4 years ago

    I just got my RA diagnosis yesterday too. I am 45 years old, and have been in pain for at least 5 years. I have been told by many doctors in different state (previous military spouse) that it’s all in my head. Nothing is wrong. Probably hormonal changes of perimenopause (the catch all for anything wrong with women around my age). I have always taken good care of myself… I eat well, don’t smoke, drink or do drugs, maintain a healthy weight, and now this.

    Although it is good to know that there is really something to the pain I feel so often, it is a scary diagnosis. I feel as though my twilight years have just been ripped out from under me. I hate taking meds, and I am terrified. There is so much information on the web, but I don’t even know where to start. I see a rheumatologist next week. Any advice would be appreciated. I wish I had a way to know how fast this will ruin the me I know now.

  • Wren moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi, Darlene!

    I’m so glad you decided to visit us here! RheumatoidArthritis.net is a great place to find credible information and get truly amazing support and encouragement from a really active RA community. Welcome!

  • Darlene Farmer author
    4 years ago

    Morning…Today, I am working from home…so, I get the chance to review the comments and read other postings…I like the fact that I am talking to people who have an understanding abt people like us…so, when I complain, the understanding is clear, supported, sound advice given, and encouragement. I will tell you, though,that I have decided not to go the route of heavy, long term medications…esp those that will tax my immune system. That is a scary thought to me. Aft my diagnosis, I have hired a Nutritionist/Wellness Coach…My goal is to control my situation as much as possible through movement, diet, biofeedback, etc. My Physical Therapist continues to be a part of my wellness cycle…I also plan to keep a journal…This was not a hard decision for me as I hate taking meds…of any kind…This might not be the best thing for everyone…but, right now, I have to give this a try…I’ve made it to 56 yrs without having any major internal problems…I need to see if I can move further in this direction….Even though I can retire, I would like to continue working to the very best of my abilities…Yesterday, I informed my director of my condition…Thank goodness, he is supportive…

  • Carla Kienast
    4 years ago

    Hi Darlene: It can be really overwhelming getting your diagnosis and absorbing all kinds of information about the disease and possible treatment options. You’ve absolutely come to the right place because nearly all of us are RA patients (or their caregivers). We’ve been faced and learned from the hard decisions you’re dealing with. My best advice to you is to find a rheumatologist that you trust and can talk to then work with him/her to come up with a treatment plan. Please do keep us posted with your progress. We’re all here willing to help if we can.

  • Darlene Farmer author
    4 years ago

    Thank you so much for your advice…

  • Kelly Mack moderator
    4 years ago

    Hi Darlene, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis but I hope you can find information and support here. Definitely read up on your symptoms, here’s a tool that may help: http://rheumatoidarthritis.net/symptoms/. Getting diagnosed and starting treatment is a good step. And while prednisone will help you feel better, it won’t stop the progress of the disease so you will want to talk to your doctor about other medications. The general guidance with RA is that its usual practice to go aggressive early with treatment to stop or slow the progress of the disease and limit the joint damage. Let us know what questions you have and we’ll do our best to help. Hope you are feeling better soon. -Kelly (Site Moderator)

  • Darlene Farmer author
    4 years ago

    Thanks so much….

  • Jenn Lebowitz
    4 years ago

    Hi Darlene –

    Thank you so much for sharing your story – it sounds like you’ve been through a lot, and we are sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. You certainly have found the right community here. We applaud you for reaching out for support – it takes a lot of strength and bravery to do so!

    Please feel free to share any questions, thoughts, or anything else you’d like to express, any time. You can do so here in the Stories section and/or in our Forums, which can be accessed here: http://rheumatoidarthritis.net/forums/.

    We also thought you might find this page useful, as you mentioned that you are looking to find out more about RA per your doctor’s suggestion: http://rheumatoidarthritis.net/what-is-ra/.

    Again, we welcome you to this community warmly. Please do feel free to keep in touch.

    Best Regards,

    Jenn (Community Manager, RheumatoidArthritis.net)

  • Darlene Farmer author
    4 years ago

    Thanks, Jenn!

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