DX with RA and OA on October 6, 2010

Heather Community Member October 28, 2010
  • I feel so alone in this venture, not knowing what to expect. My family does not have, or possibly never realized that they too had RA. Many in my family have OA but that is not what scares me. Everything I have read about RA, the disease itself the medicines to treat it, how much my life has changed in just a short 2 years. I have joined a gym a couple of months back. Even before I was dx I knew I had something, and suspected it was RA. I had done a lot of research on my symptoms, and had a RHuematologist who didn't listen. I felt like I had to gain my own information. Now I go to my new Rhuematologist, the one who actually did the right test and came back with the positive Rhuematoid factor along with bone scans that showed inflammation in all of my joints. I don't know what to expect. He wants to discuss a strategy to start treatment. I don't know what is best, even after all that I have read. My husband and 5 kids are very supportive, along with the rest of my family. When I bring up my fears though I know I go on and on because at this point I have no answers. I know this can wear on them. I want to feel better. Not go in to work exausted from the night of painfull sleep. Come home and play with my kids like I once did. Will it ever get better? Are there any meds that are safer than others. I don't know. I am still in limbo.

6 Comments
  • V
    V
    Health Guide
    Oct. 28, 2010

    Welcome to our community, Heather. There are a lot of caring people here w/a lot of knowledge they can share with you. I am a newbie, but I can tell you there are many medicines for you and your doctor to look at.  He will work with you to find the ones that work best for you, because all of us are different. If you are in a lot of pain, the doctor may...

    RHMLucky777

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    Welcome to our community, Heather. There are a lot of caring people here w/a lot of knowledge they can share with you. I am a newbie, but I can tell you there are many medicines for you and your doctor to look at.  He will work with you to find the ones that work best for you, because all of us are different. If you are in a lot of pain, the doctor may give you a burst of prednisone to help w/the flare until the RA is under control.  They use DMARDs, or disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, to keep the RA from doing futher damage to your joints.  Sometimes, they will need to prescribe one of the biologic medicines like Embrel or Simponi, etc. It is a balance act with medicine. You balance the risk of the meds against how much the RA is affecting your life. I only take Plaquenil, Pennsaid (topical nsaid), Lexapro, blood pressure and asthma meds, and Lipitor...and occasionally prednisone.  The Plaquenil is a DMARD and has been around for 50 years or so. It is, according to my doctor, the safest DMARD. If that doesn't work, they often prescribe Methotrexate.  This is a drug used to fight cancer but is used in much lower doses for people with RA. I don't have RA. I have Inflammatory Arthritis and Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia, and I am pretty new to all this, but I wanted to share what I do know.  There are many people on this site who can help you a lot. I'm sure some of them will chime in, when they get the chance.  I know you feel alone and scared.  I think that is normal.  When you need to vent or need information, you can come here and we will listen and offer what knowledge we do have to share.  Go to the home page on this site and read some of the information for the newly diagnosed. That should help a lot. I am sorry you have RA, but your chocies in medications are much better than they were even a decade ago.  It will take patience, but hopefully they will find the right combination of meds that work for you.  Peace, V

    • Heather
      Oct. 28, 2010

      V,

      Thank you so much for your advice and kind words. There is that part of my brain that knows that I have to take the meds because the alternative is even worse. You are right though, it is still scary. I don't like not knowing. Hearing from you the process and not just reading it from some medical page off the internet makes me feel a lot better about the...

      RHMLucky777

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      V,

      Thank you so much for your advice and kind words. There is that part of my brain that knows that I have to take the meds because the alternative is even worse. You are right though, it is still scary. I don't like not knowing. Hearing from you the process and not just reading it from some medical page off the internet makes me feel a lot better about the whole process. Thank you for the warm welcome too. I look forward to continueing to post and even possibly helping someone else whenever I can get to that point. I look forward to talking to you again. Hugs, Heather

  • Nan
    Nan
    Oct. 29, 2010

    It is a scary process and you'll find yourself going through alot of mental and emotional states which are normal. The meds can also be scary, I know I have been terrified of taking my meds and everytime I get a new one I fret over it for weeks. I just started enbrel and I was really afraid of it because of the risks envolved but it has helped and that gives...

    RHMLucky777

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    It is a scary process and you'll find yourself going through alot of mental and emotional states which are normal. The meds can also be scary, I know I have been terrified of taking my meds and everytime I get a new one I fret over it for weeks. I just started enbrel and I was really afraid of it because of the risks envolved but it has helped and that gives you some comfort. I take plaquenil, methotrexate, enbrel and folic acid and the occasional prednisone. Three years ago I took no medicine at all, worked out most everyday, had a full time job too. I also have 5 children, all grown but one 15yr old girl. You make adjustment when necessary and fight RA with every ounce of energy you have. We'll all be here when you need us with advice or just to listen. There is alot of great advice given here and ways to cope and fun stuff too. I don't always comment but I do visit several times a week to read about everyone, its like checking on your friends.

    • Heather
      Oct. 29, 2010

      Nan,

      Thank you so much for your support. Yes, I am terrified. I think once I finally have my app. on Monday it will all hit me even more. There is still that part of me, although i knew in my heart, who wants to believe it's not true and they got it wrong. How long does it take them to get the pain under control ? That's what is the most difficult right...

      RHMLucky777

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      Nan,

      Thank you so much for your support. Yes, I am terrified. I think once I finally have my app. on Monday it will all hit me even more. There is still that part of me, although i knew in my heart, who wants to believe it's not true and they got it wrong. How long does it take them to get the pain under control ? That's what is the most difficult right now. Trying to function. I haven't made it to the gym this week, played with the kids, cleaned my house, and although i hate and very seldom miss work(I've accumulated 565 hours of sick time in 8 1/2 years), I have on more than one occasion had to talk myself out of going home sick. I just want to feel better. Of course today was even worse. I look forward to coming back here and getting such great support, and giving some as well. Thank you again and take care, Heather

    • Nan
      Nan
      Nov. 01, 2010

      Pain control is the big issue for sure. It may take some time depending on how aggressive they want to treat you and how well you respond to meds. Most of the meds take a while for you to receive their maximum benefit. The biologics work faster as for my experience and of course the prednisone or prednisolone work wonders quickly but have some undesirable side...

      RHMLucky777

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      Pain control is the big issue for sure. It may take some time depending on how aggressive they want to treat you and how well you respond to meds. Most of the meds take a while for you to receive their maximum benefit. The biologics work faster as for my experience and of course the prednisone or prednisolone work wonders quickly but have some undesirable side effects. The main thing is that your going to have to learn to pace yourself, learn your new limits, get plenty of rest and pay attention to your body talking to you. You will have good days, marvelous days and bad days. For instance, we have rain and cold coming tonight and it will last til Friday. Today I mopped, bathed my dog, made sure the laundry is done because I know when the rain comes I will be slow and achy. I also go ahead and prepare a few meals so its easier on me.

    • RA_Factor5
      Nov. 01, 2010

      Heather, I found that the lack of sleep due to the pain was the one thing that drove me to find out what was going on. My first Rhumatologist was burnt out and didn't do anything about the pain or lack of sleep. The woman who replaced him did, she put me on Imovane for sleep and Zaldiar for pain. What a change! Just getting a good nights sleep made a huge difference....

      RHMLucky777

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      Heather, I found that the lack of sleep due to the pain was the one thing that drove me to find out what was going on. My first Rhumatologist was burnt out and didn't do anything about the pain or lack of sleep. The woman who replaced him did, she put me on Imovane for sleep and Zaldiar for pain. What a change! Just getting a good nights sleep made a huge difference. Then we got busy with the DMARDs and now, about 5 years into it, I think I've found a nice balance, I just came back from a 30 minute walk! It takes time to work it out but it can be done.

      Welcome on board,

      RA 5

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