Recently diagnosed

I’m 23 years old and was recently diagnosed with RA. It all started one morning when I woke up and my pinky was inflamed and hard to bend,I thought it was strange but didn’t pay too much attention to it, thinking it would just go away. Couple days went by and my pinky was still the same, I asked my brother in law what this might be since he’s a nurse, he told me it might be broken just wear a splint on it there’s nothing that can really be done. I wore the splint on and off for a couple weeks when I started to notice my middle finger joint on the same hand start to do the same thing. I now knew something was going on, so I did my research and diagnosed myself to have RA (turns out I was right) I saw my nurse practitioner told him about my issues and he told me to splint my fingers that were bothering me, he pretty much said he didn’t think I had RA. 2 weeks went by, the pain was getting worse and now my other finger joints started bothering me. On top of all this I have plantars fasciitis which I know some of my feet pain is caused from the arthritis. Long story short I took all the blood tests that needed to be done, everything was normal besides the RA factor test came back positive, I was told that it didn’t mean I actually had RA, I also had an X-ray done of my right hand, of course everything came back normal. I was so exhausted from going to the doctor so many times and not getting any answers. Mornings are terrible for me I can’t walk, and if I do it’s very slowly and I have to hold on to anything I can, my fingers are so inflamed/red/stiff it hurts to do anything. I take an ibuprofen to help with that. I finally was able to see a rheumatologist and had more tests/X-rays done. Once again everything looked normal. The doctor told me that it is a clinical diagnosis and I have all the symptoms of early signs of RA. I sat there and cried, I felt so embarrassed. I never thought I would get arthritis at the age of 23. She prescribed me hydroxychloroquine. One side effect of the drug is problems with your eyes so they recommend getting your eyes checked before starting it and then check up every 6 months to a year after. I haven’t been able to schedule an eye appointment so I haven’t taken them yet. Instead, I heard of an herbal supplement called Curamin and I’ve been taking that for a couple of weeks now. I don’t see any difference in my pain. I don’t know what’s going to happen next but this RA is really starting to take over my life. Help anyone? 🙁

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Comments

View Comments (6)
  • scnag6120
    3 years ago

    Hi, I was diagnosed in Nov. with RA and Erovise OA, this is all new to me. The Drs thought I had Sjorgrens but decided I didn’t. Started on meds, can’t remember the name but it is helping and using a numbing med. for nueropathy which helps some. I am 65 yrs young and love to walk, which haven’t been able to since Dec. hope to get back to it soon. Does anyone else have sleeping problems? I also Fibromyalgia which I know causes sleep problems, or should say can. So much to learn about RA, overwhelming.

  • Lauren Tucker moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi Scnag6120,

    Thanks so much for your comment. We are so glad you found us, especially at this challenging time. In addition to getting community feedback on RA and sleep I thought these articles might be helpful.

    “How to get a good night’s rest”
    https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/sleep-ra-get-good-nights-rest/

    “6 Tips for Managing Sleep”
    https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/6-tips-managing-sleep/

    You certainly are not alone, please feel free to come by anytime for information and support.

    Best Wishes,
    Lauren (Community Manager Rheumatoidarthritis.net)

  • Alex
    3 years ago

    Hi, I am really sorry to hear about your diagnoses, it can be a really scary thing but you aren’t alone!! I was recently diagnosed as well and I am 21 years old. Has your doctor mentioned prednisone and treatment plans? I am currently taking prednisone and methotrexate, I am continuing to get better everyday with this treatment. I have read many times that early intervention is key to staying healthy and fighting RA.

  • silukmonika author
    3 years ago

    Hey Alex, thanks for reaching out! It is good to know there are others that feel the same way and know the pain. I’m currently not taking anything but herbal supplements, I was prescribed hydroxychloroquine but the side effect scare me. I know every drug has side effects though, what are the side effects of your medication? How long did you take yours before you noticed a different in the way you feel?

  • Jillian S moderator
    3 years ago

    Alex,
    Thank you so much for your feedback.
    As both you and silukmonika know, RA does not discriminate- age included.
    I thought you guys would enjoy reading an article by Leslie, one of our site moderators, who was also diagnosed with RA (as well as other chronic illnesses) in her young twenties. Even though we understand how tough it is to live with debilitating chronic illness, it truly does help to know that you are not alone.
    We are here for you!
    Best,
    Jillian (Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team)

  • Lauren Tucker moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi silukmonika,

    Thanks so much for having the courage to share your story with us. You are definitely not alone in your diagnosis. Our community is filled with people of many ages and everyones unique story helps us come up with different ways to mange our pain and live the best life we can live.

    We are really happy you got the correct diagnosis so you can best treat your symptoms. Being on the correct medication is really important for you, however we understand how frustrating it can be with all the ebbs and flows of RA.

    A lot of our community members have struggled in the morning too, I thought this article might help you with your morning pain. https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/stiffness-in-the-mornings/

    Please come back anytime and do not hesitate to reach out.
    Thank you for being part of our community.
    Best Wishes,
    Lauren (Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team Member)

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