Two Years to a Diagnosis

Hello, I am new to this site and RA. Two years ago, I was an active assistant professor of nursing. As a requirement of my employment, I received an annual influenza vaccine. I experienced a life-threatening reaction to the vaccine, with an acute arthritic response. I was hospitalized and tested for every condition possible: MS (Lumbar Puncture), Lupus, Guillian Barre, RA, Myasthenia Gravis, etc…

All of the tests came back normal but I continued to suffer.

I was sent home with a recommendation to keep moving and seek counseling (When no diagnosis is made, you can be deemed crazy). I could not believe that I was expected to live with the debilitating symptoms. I could barely walk, had facial rashes, joint swelling and pain and intense fatigue. I settled with a neurologist who felt I had neuropathy but no medication helped. My symptoms were episodic but after each episode I was left feeling worse than ever. This went on for the entire two year period. I had to give up my career, my hobbies and learned to adapt with canes, assistive devices and rest.

One month ago, I began seeing changes in my wrists and ankles. I was developing intense pain as well as hard knots. I asked my neurologist if she would refer me to Rheumatology and was told, “We checked you for this in the past”. I persisted and told the physician that I had to get help. I had heard of individuals who were seronegative. I walked into the Rheumatologist’s office in bad shape. I was placed on Prednisone and followed up with him in two weeks. On the second visit, I was given the news that I had RA. That was October 2nd of 2018.

Today, I continue on the Prednisone until I have completed 5 weeks of therapy. I will then begin Methotrexate.

I am nervous and concerned about my future.

Having worked as a nurse for over twenty years, I recall caring for individuals who were scared about their diagnoses and treatment. I understand more than ever how frightening it can be.

My prayer is that I can connect with people who are in the same boat. Those who have been where I am and offer support and hope.

Blessings,

Rachael

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (4)

Poll