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Diagnosis

Just diagnosed

  • By karenr

    Hi. I am a 63 year old female. 2 months ago I started experiencing pain and swelling in my hand. It has since moved to both hands ,shoulders, behind my knees and hips. I saw a rheumatologist who said he thought it was RA. Blood work showed a RA factor of 6 out and a high 3.86 CRP. He started me on hydroxchloroquine but after one month i felt nauseous and switched to meth.
    I am also on predizone which is causing anxiety. He told me to discontinue to see what happens.
    I am new to this and really scared. Does anyone have success stories. All I have been reading are horror stories. Can I feel better?will I have deformed hands eventually? Did I catch this in time? I’m so new to this I don’t know what questions to ask.
    Thank you. Karen

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  • By Kelly Dabel Moderator

    Hi Karenr, sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. Many in our community can relate to feeling scared and unsure. It can take time to find the right treatment plan for you and some medications can take several months to reach their full effectiveness. The good news is there are many treatment options and different medications out there and many that can slow the progression of RA. Many in our community find that taking Folic Acid can help lessen the side effects of Methotrexate. Also, Prednisone is one that you typically want to wean off of. Typically doctors will give a tapering schedule to follow to taper down your does. Perhaps you were already on a very low dose??

    In addition to speaking with your doctor, these articles may be helpful to you:
    What is RA? (with several additional links that are often helpful for those who are newly diagnosed): https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/what-is-ra/
    Switching RA Meds: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/switching-ra-medicines-dont-wait-long-try-many/
    Methotrexate: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/treatment/methotrexate/

    I’d also encourage you to check out our Facebook page where our community members engage in dialogue, share stories and experiences and offer tips that have helped them. You are not alone here! Wishing you some relief soon. Let us know your questions, we’re here to support you. Kelly, Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team Member

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  • By karenr

    Thank you Kelly for responding so quickly.
    My doctor had prescribed predizone 5Mg once a day. I had been on it for one month. I didn’t take it this morning and have noticed an increase in hand pain and a new knee pain. I’m hoping I can stay off of it as the anxiety is very uncomfortable.
    Do people go long periods of remission? I know it’s early for answers but I was a very active person and now I hurt all of the time tired and worried. There are success stories, right?
    My life just changed!
    Thank you
    Karen

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