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Do I have RA or don’t I?

I’ll try to make this short. This is my fourth Rheumatologist I visited this week. The first 3 absolutely confirmed a definitive diagnosis for RA. The first doctor was a few years back, the second a year ago determined with blood tests where my CPP was 250. The third doctor did the x rays of my hands. ALL THREE confirmed this plus all my symptoms coincide with RA. Because I refuse any medications, I wanted to try one more doctor. Lo and behold my CPP comes back a 9 and he says I don’t have RA.

Is it RA or not?

Excuse me? My fingers and hands are like knives going in them… my wrists neck shoulders hips walking sitting standing and everything else is very painful. I’ve had numerous injections, surgical nodules removed from finger joints and this is what I end up with? I just don’t know what to do! Thank God I never started any DMARDS just in case but I sure as hell have all symptoms as the first three said so. What throws him off is I have no swelling and my RF is negative. Huh? Need advice before I lose my mind. I do hear you may have to get through 20 doctors before one can find out. Depressed from pain of an unknown source…

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  • Cynthia Ventura moderator
    6 months ago

    I know it can be frustrating getting a clean dx of RA. It took me three years to get dx’d. Unfortunately, it was during those three years that I suffered the most damage to my joints that causes so much of my pain now.

    I agree with Franki’s recommendation to return to one or two of the first rheumys who gave you the dx of RA. One more point, you can be RF negative and still suffer from RA Once you find a skilled, compassionate rheumatologist, stick. It took me three tries but I finally found one. He’s wonderful. We work as a team, a lifelong team so keep that in mind. Try not to despair and best wishes.

  • Franki King moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi Bella,

    I am sorry to hear you are having a hard time figuring out where your pain is coming from! That is definitely very frustrating.

    Have you considered going back to any of the first few doctors to see if they still confirm that you have RA? It could help to see if they have a different answer now. Also, have you taken any alternative measures to combat your pain besides medication?

    Franki ( Team)

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