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Diagnosis

What Does It All Mean?

  • By Diane

    I am newly diagnosed with RA. I woke up one morning in excruciating pain. My Rheumatologist said I am a “Marker 1” for RA according to blood tests and that was the “good news” (took 6 weeks before I could see her). Prior to seeing her, I was practically crippled in my knees, hips, shoulders, fingers and then started taking black cherry concentrate and flaxseed, with some amazing results; but not perfect of course. Now seeing a physical therapist since I have terrible pain when climbing stairs. It’s helping, but I’m not there yet.

    If anyone knows exactly what a “Marker 1” means, I would greatly appreciate it. My doctor was not clear on that and basically said she was done as far as what she could do for me; since she did not want to put me on RA meds.

    I am thankful that I received “good news”, but at times the pain is still unmanageable and have lost range of motion in my legs and arms.

    Thank you and I wish you all well.

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    Hi Diane ~

    I am so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. Being newly diagnosed can be a very confusing time.

    To me there are a couple of strange things about your story. First of all, I have never personally heard the term “Marker 1.” That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a possible test result – I just personally have never heard of it. But seeing as your doctor appears to have based her treatment approach on this result, it seems strange and frustrating that she did not provide you with a sufficient explanation.

    It also seems very strange to me that a rheumatologist would diagnose you with RA and then not want to prescribe any RA meds – particularly as you say you are having “crippling” and “unmanageable” pain right now. A doctor should always explain what your options are – and if your RA diagnosis is accurate there are likely to be quite a few treatment options to make you feel better and improve your quality of life. Not to mention reduced suffering. It is also really important to make sure RA is properly treated to prevent long term damage.

    It sounds to me like you ought to either go back to your rheumatologist with these questions and concerns – and insist on sufficient explanations – or perhaps consider seeing a second rheumatologist for a second opinion. Because it doesn’t sound like you were happy with the care you have received thus far.

    Best of luck to you! I hope you find someone who can help you find the treatment you need soon. In the meantime, hang in there and remember that we are here to support you!

    ~Mariah~

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    • By Diane

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to me.

      My whole story is really a bit strange. It all started (in my opinion) when I was placed on Hydrochlorothiazide for moderate BP readings by my primary doctor. I’m off that now med for sure. I’m in a small town in Florida and on Medicare Advantage, so my physician choices are not wonderful. I feel your advice about a second opinion is definitely in order and I will just have to start researching an alternative of some sort.

      Thanks for your support, I am so glad I found this website!

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