Just Need Some Reassurance/Support

Last updated: May 2022

I'm 48, female. I saw a rheumatologist for the first time today.

In brief, history of ulcerative proctitis for 15 yrs. Remission now.

Are these new symptoms a result of RA?

7 weeks ago, my left wrist began hurting when I had a sunburn on my left arm. The joint pain is sharp, burning, and moved quickly to my thumb joints in both hands, then pointer fingers, then pinky fingers within a few days.

My elbows, knees, and ankles and both big toes and the pads of my big toes hurt.

I'm a dental hygienist for 28 yrs and for years I've had a random sharp pain that would show up in a hand joint.

Severe pain but would disappear within 24 hours. No sign of it again.

8 weeks ago I had no problems and could do anything and for 7 weeks now it hurts to hold and manipulate my instruments at work and doing things like scrubbing dishes or cleaning a bathroom makes me cringe.

2020 I had right shoulder pain that also was sharp and painful but MRI and orthopaedist couldn't find anything wrong. I don't sleep well.

Blood work & RA

My RH factor was 21, I was Ana negative and the CCP was <8.0U/ml = normal.

The only thing elevated in my extensive blood work up to today was my eosinophil, which is new but can be because of autoimmune diseases like my Ulcerative proctitis may be or seasonal allergies.

Conflicting information from doctor

I don't have visible swelling or redness, but the pain that fires off in multiple joints is frustrating and depressing to a level I have not known. The doctor is leaning away from RA but everything else he says doesn't seem to fit either.

He prescribed prednisone today and I've only taken the first dose. Within an hour everything felt better but 10 hrs later all the pain in my hand joints returned and a little in my other joints. Maybe I'm just nuts. Maybe it is all in my head. Is that even possible?

I don't want this long road of talking to multiple doctors and trying to convince them the pain is real. I'm already exhausted and some of you have dealt with all of this and much worse for years.

I don't know how I can keep doing my job when I'm almost in tears most days. Oh and the other thing leading away from RA is that the DIP joints hurt also. These symptoms don't fit anything I've read about or the Dr talked about today.

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