Getting a diganosis

July 28, 2017... Day 1 (that I can pinpoint) My left hand started hurting. Two days later, three fingers on my right hand were sore, swollen, and stiff. A week later my left thumb and then my right wrist. The pain, swelling, stiffness, and weakness continues and is migratory from joint to joint; toes, wrists, hands, shoulders and elbows. Just when I think the pain has resolved a day or two later it is back. While ibuprofen helps me at this point, I needed to find out what was going on, so I started to research my symptoms. The third week in August, I diagnosed myself with RA. I made a few immediate changes that I thought would help me on MY path to managing MY symptoms:

  1. I started on a few supplements ; fish oil, glucosamine-chondroitin, folic acid, & tumeric-curcumin
  2. I increased my water intake.
  3. I started stretching and massaging my joints, and
  4. I have changed my diet (my families too)... decreased processed foods, increased fish, nuts, honey, soy, friuts, veggies... and much more.

As of today, the changes have seemed to help... I take less ibuprofen and my joints seem to feel good more than they they feel bad. In my opinion, this is a positive outcome for me in just a few weeks of trying.
It was a start but I knew there will be more to come and I needed to coordinate my care with my health care provider.
I had my first appointment with my provider earlier this month. She concurs that my thoughts are probably spot on, but wants to evaluate further. First step, she asked me to stop my supplements for a week and and get blood work. Bottom line, if the Rheumatoid Factor comes back positive... she is going to refer me to a Rheumatologist. I had my labs drawn today. Now I wait. Silver lining... I can start back on my supplements today.
Until my next update...
One final thought...
I am sharing my story because it has been the stories, articles, blogs, tweets, e.g. shared by others that have helped me. I am not implying what I have done or am doing will work for anyone, I am only sharing my experiences. What I do suggest is you take the time to research RA, talk to your health care provider about RA, and together you can decide on an approach to managing your RA, that is best for you.
If you are reading this, you know we are all on this journey together. We may have similar stories or not, but together by sharing our stories can help one another.

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