Hi everybody. I’m a 58 yr old male whose been dealing with symptoms for about 7months. It started in my feet and toes and my family doc did some tests right before I went on an extended vacation out west for a month. I got the call from him that I had a positive RA factor and I needed to get to a rhuematologist as soon as I got back. On the trip I started taking Advil and my feet got a little better but then it hit both my shoulders. When I got back it took another 2-3 weeks to get into a rheumatologist. In the meantime my left knee had swelled up like a football and I could hardly walk(had meniscus scoped on that knee 20 yrs ago). The rheumatologist wasn’t convinced of RA because 15 yrs ago I was diagnosed with hep C but was treated and cured. He said that always messes with a correct RA diagnosis. So he gave me some Celebrex, and said come back in 3 months. Meanwhile I just kept getting worse. I iced the knee for a week and finally got the swelling down . The Celebrex just gave me reflux and Advil worked better. Being at the point I could hardly walk or lift my arms over my head. I got back in to the rheumatologist early and he just changed from Celebrex to Tramadol and said come and see me in March. The Tramadol helped a little, but I still kept going downhill. I asked for tests for Lyme and Lupus which came back negative. Meanwhile I’m getting totally disabled in terrible pain and can’t even ride in the car. Thankfully my family doc gave me some Hydrocodone to get me by for a few weeks and I found a new rheumatologist. I took her all my blood work last week and she pulled another doz vials and gave me a prednisone shot, which has helped some. I went back to her today and she is confident that I have RA. She wants to put me on Xeljanz. Since I’ve had hep c she thinks it will be the safest thing to try. But first I had to get a viral count blood test today to make sure the hep c hasn’t reactivated. Im pretty confident it hasn’t but it’s been 5-6 years since I’ve had that test. Hopefully I can start treatment next week. In the meantime I’m just barely getting by on the predinasone shot, Tramadol, and an occasional Norco.
It’s been a frightening and downright frustrating 6-7 months but hopefully now I’m on a positive track. I’m glad I found y’all and hope to contribute my experiences at least as I learn to live with this.