I have had RA since I was 13 – am now 59. Gradually it has gotten worse and worse and over the past year I have had to adjust my medications continually due to developing bad side effects (depressed bone marrow functioning on biologics). I feel like I am sliding backwards. Over the past 6 months I have developed numbness, tingling, and pain in my right hand, fingers, and arm. I have some severe shoulder involvement and possible cervical issues. I had some inconclusive nerve conduction tests run and the recommendation was to get a neck MRI to see what is going on. I had an apt with my rheumatologist 4 weeks ago and she said she would order this. Since I have not gotten any calls about an appt, I have been following up weekly to see the status of this. Two weeks ago, the nurse said she would make sure the prior auth was processed and the appt made. She said my doctor had been ill. I certainly can understand this, and feel badly for her, but I am in constant pain. As of today, I have heard nothing – so I contacted them again, now I cannot even get a response. My contacts to the office have not been too much – I conveyed that I did not mean to bug them, etc. the nurse has been very nice. I asked if the delays were going to continue what should I do about the pain. I asked if I could try acupuncture – no response to any of this in the past week.
It is hard to work, to dress myself, to take care of personal hygiene, and to sleep. Pain meds do nothing. Heat and massage wands help briefly. I have tried using a cervical traction device with minimal weight but it makes me feel nauseous so I do not think it is good to continue that.
I am not sure if the pain and numbness is caused by my shoulder, my neck, or Thoracic outlet syndrome. I am at my wits end and do not know what to do. My doctor is in a solo practice and she has always treated me so well. This is hard to understand and deal with.
I just thought I would write and see if anyone has any ideas.