Forums


Symptoms

Is it a flare or is the disease progressing?

  • By kingkatekong

    I was diagnosed about a year ago. At the time, the pain and swelling was limited to my hands. I was on Enbrel for three months to no avail. The pain progressed to my back and I was put on mtx and inflectra, which i have been on for about 7 months with fairly good results. the most debilitating part of RA had been the several episodes of debilitating fatigue that completely derailed my life and would last anywhere from 2-3 weeks. about two weeks ago my feet began to hurt. i saw my rheumatologist and had cortisone injections which really didn’t help. the pain has been incredible and inescapable. i have to had to use crutches a number of times just to make it from my couch to the kitchen. i have been eating pain medIcation like candy (though managed to get through today without any!) i cannot walk my dogs, exercise, etc. while my hands were also incredibly painful, i didn’t have to use to them to get places!!! i guess what i am trying to determine is if this is what a traditional flare feels like, or is this a sign that the disease is progressing and the medication Is not working. i know from my MRIs that the RA is particularly corrosive and from i have been told can be tricky to treat. i am zero percent ready to use canes and/or crutches permanently. can anyone shed any light on what i might expect, or has anyone had similar experiences? i am picking up my handicap placard tomorrow–let’s hope i don’t have to renew it after 6 months!!! THANK YOU!

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Monica Y. Sengupta Moderator

    Kingkatekong, thank you so much for reaching out!! I am so sorry you are experiencing flares and general pain. This article has some great tips on helping manage pain: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/managing-ra-joints-related-pain/2/

    I hear you on fatigue. It’s a weird symptom that is extremely difficult to control, even more so on days with more pain. Many of the community respond with their tricks for managing it here: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/q-and-a/how-can-i-manage-fatigue/ and this one is just a good place to start in understanding fatigue as a symptom: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/symptoms/fatigue-and-weakness/

    The most important thing (to me, at least) is maintaining an open dialogue with your doctor. I am constantly talking to mine and our relationship is critical to maintaining my own symptoms. If you are not comfortable or want any tips on speaking to him/her this article on the COPD website has some useful tips: https://copd.net/living/tips-for-improving-communication-with-physician/

    I really hope you find some relief soon and keep staying positive! Hopefully, you don’t need to use assisted devices just yet. Please keep us updated!

    ~Monica (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply