Where does one begin….

I began to have what I now know to be a flare in Aug. of 2007. It began with what I thought was a pinched nerve in my neck. I was seeing a chiropractor at the time but his treatments weren’t working and the pain kept getting worse. I went to my primary and she sent me to a neurologist (didn’t take any x-rays or labs!!). The neurologist ordered an MRI and later a EEG. He told me that I had severe carpal tunnel so “see a hand specialist, you’ll need surgery!” He was abrupt and rude so I didn’t go back to him. The hand surgeon told me it wasn’t carpal tunnel so go to P.T. This was like “medival torture”…it was horrible. So I attributed my pain to growing older and compressed discs in my neck (which is what that neurologist told me the MRI said). I had this flare, I would say for nearly a year and a half. We moved to a new state—there I found through a process a adrenal massage therapist. Her treatment really helped the pain to subside. Gradually things simmered down for about 2 more years, but then I began to have a pain across my back between my shoulder blades. I had a D.O. for a primary who did manipulation AND he also had a massage therapist on site so I saw her. Her massages didn’t help so she recommended me back to the D.O. It was him that found the diagnosis of the R.A. That was 4 years ago. I might add I was 67 at the time. I’ve been to 4 different rheumatologists (it’s an ins. thing) over that time. I’m not impressed with the care I’ve been given so far. I’m on methotrexate…began with 4 pills a day and shortly it went to 5 pills a day. This past August (2015) I began to have pain which “traveled” from my shoulders to my hands–primarily the left side. It got so bad I went on a prednisone burst pack which did help some. Finally about 3 or 4 weeks ago my rheumatologist ordered labs that showed my RA to be “active” (no,duh) so increased my meds to 7 per week. THEN I began to have the sores in my mouth so she told me to not take the pills this week, to increase my folic acid from 1 to 2 pills per day then see what happens. Next week I’ll go back to my methotrexate for 2 more weeks to find out if the folic acid is doing it’s thing. I could go up to 3 of those but not before calling the doctor. I’m now wearing a thumb/hand brace on my left hand as the thumb is beginning to “tork” towards my palm. I’m also going to O.T. which has been lovely as they’re addressing the pain. I think that is subsiding but have to say this Fall has been not so fun. My energy levels have fallen to the point I don’t feel like decorating for the holidays. Oh…and I was told that my RA is an aggressive form, but has (had) been controlled. I don’t know what the future will bring, so I just live one day at a time. My hips, ankles and feet at times have also had pain of some degree or other as well.

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