September 19, 2008
    September 19, 2008

    Hi I am 35 and 4 days ago after a routine blood test I have been told I have R.A. I am in shock & just dont know what to expect? I feel scared & my GP said she would book me a hospital appointment for a scan & xrays. Is anyone out there in a similar position & a similar age? How do you feel about supporting each other. I could really do with knowing I am not the only person going through this.



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  • Angie September 20, 2008
    September 20, 2008

    Hi Rachel, my name is Angela and I was diagnosed two years ago at age 34.  Yes I was shocked just like you, not in my family and I had questions too, like why me??   Please don't be scared, I too was scared, I know the whole process before they actually diagnose is scary but that is part of the routine, they want to make sure you really have it that's why they do all scans and x-rays to rule out anything else as well, that it could be.   Please wait until you see a rheumatologist, they are the ones that can really diagnosed you with RA.  I at times cry to myself and feel sorry for myself, but I think that's part of having RA, you get sad sometimes because really most people don't know what you are going through unless they have the disease themselves.  Because we look soo normal, some people think we are normal.  


    I think finding a good rheumatologist and the good combination of medication will help you live a normal life.  I went through two rheumatologists until I found a nice one who listens and asks me questions and takes time with me.   You will probably have try different medication before they find the combination that works for your body.  I right now am taking Plaquenil and Sulfasalazine and have been on sulfa. for about 3 months and I feel really good, I can do most of the things I used to before this terrible disease.  I am actually doing a 10K walking marathon tomorrow!!!  can you believe this, two years ago I couldn't get out of bed without crying in soo much pain.  I just feel blessed that this disease isn't life threatening and we can lead a normal life just like any other person, so long as we control the disease and manage the pain. 


    I think the sooner you get on medication the better you will feel and have a more positive outlook, when you are in soo much pain everything looks grim!   I have bad days at times, but everyone with RA has good and bad days, it's just weird how that happens, but I'm hoping that one day soon they will find a cure for this nasty disease, they keep coming out with new drugs everyday, which is a good thing I think, at least they are still trying to help us??  !!!   And just think, you can also go into remission !! the sooner you get on medication the better, because I can tell you without the medication I wouldn't be able to do anything, I thank god each day how lucky we are that we have these medications to make as mobile, and my mum always reminds me that there are people worse off than us!!   I also believe a good diet, exercise and getting help around the house will help you feel better!!  Do you have children? I don't yet, I would like to have one one day? !!!!  I'm now 36 !!


    I hope you get some relief soon and let us know what drugs they put you on and how you are doing !!


    Take care and all the best



  • Feels like the TinMan September 19, 2008
    Feels like the TinMan
    September 19, 2008

    Hi Rachel,


    First, welcome to the RA family.  I'm curious if you had symptoms before, since you indicate it was  'routine' blood work. I don't think an RA factor test is normal, but you must have been noticed something. Anyway, you've come to the right place. We're all RA folks too.  Some of us are newly diagnosed (like me, 3 months) and some are veterans.   We've got different stories but we're all linked together by this disease.  This website is my new favorite place to visit.  I've learned alot about what to expect.  I'm still learning how things are affecting my pain:  stress, food, etc.  I do know that RA hurts (ALOT).  I like to compare it to being hit by a semi truck and getting wrapped up in the wheels.  That's how it would feel to me if I had to describe it. 

         This week has been a terrible week for me, and I'm just starting to think happy thoughts again, because I must be coming out of a 'flare' (i'm still learning the terminology).   I'm on plaquenil and relefen, and the side effects of these meds (and all the other RA meds) are just as scary as the disease itself.   But you can come here for comfort, support AND laughs (like when Amy posts something).  Once you become more familiar with it, and get over the initial shock of the diagnosis, you'll learn to deal with it.   It's not fun, but don't let it consume you. That only makes things worse.  But, welcome to our little (or big) family. You'll find the support, encouragement and most of all empathy (wait til you hear the "oh, my knees hurt too" because everyone thinks RA is the same as their granny's arthritis) (you'll think of this post when you do hear it) Laughing   ~desiree  

  • Lolita June 16, 2009
    June 16, 2009
    Hi Rachel,   I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis about 1.5 years ago after I had my second child. I am now 35 and still ahve a lot of questions about this desease myself. I am strictly on Paquenil and am doing ok, actually, I can't complain too too much except for the fact that I am only 35 and have to live the rest of my life in pain. I too thank God for the drugs but worry about so many other things. Like, will I be in a wheelchair when I'm 60? Will I be able to dance at my kids wedding? My doctor seems to think I am doing fairly well and does not think that he needs to see me again until February. I find that strange considering your doctor is supposed to be monitoring you very closley. Do I just figure he knows what he's doing? Or is this the sign of a doctor who is not that great? I am following all the advice I get and most of it is to learn as much about the desease that I can. My doctor isn't telling me a whole lot and wonder if it's because Doctors don't kniow that much, or because this desease effects everyone differently.   I just found this site and am really happy that there is support to be found. I'm a very private person and don't know if I would be one to actually go to meetings and things like that but a internet blog for support seems to be making me feel better already.   Please continue to post how you feel on this site, as it is good to know that we are not alone in this and that we that support is there when needed.     READ MORE
  • Ruth September 20, 2008
    September 20, 2008

    Hello there,  hearing a diagnosis can be a scary thing.  I found the most important thing is to find a rheumatologist that you can trust and talk with.  Medications are changing so fast that it is hard for a GP to stay on top of all the options and recommendations.  I asked my GP for a recommendation and got in as soon as I could.  I always write down questions when I think of them and bring out that paper with questions when I meet with the doc.  I have not had a lot of pain, but like I said I got on medications quickly.  I also found it helpful to tell my boss and work out a flexible schedule so I work more when I feel good, and less when I feel crappy.

  • Kathy September 20, 2008
    September 20, 2008

    Hi Rachel,

    I'm a bit older than you, but we have a similiar situation. I went to a podiatrist in August for what I thought was an extremely large bunion and she immediately diagnosed it as a rheumatoid nodule. I was totally not prepared for that! She ordered blood tests and my RH factor came back positive. To make it worse, the ANA test came back extremely high. She suggested an additional possibility of systemic lupus. My GP was kind of "on the fence". He agreed it was positive and referred me to a rheumatologist, but dismissed the idea of lupus, which was good, but I kept wondering if he was just embarrased cause he didn't find it first?


    I started thinking about other symptoms I've had like waking up at night with pain in my shoulder, hip, neck, wrists and passed them off as cramps and sleeping in a bad position!


    I am not prepared for any of this and like you am extremely scared. I'm definitely in denial, but tell myself daily to call a rheumotologist, which I haven't done yet, but will have to soon.


    That's really the only thing we can do. Find out for sure, get the meds and hope the doc we're putting our health in, knows what the heck they're doing. Shop for a doc, find out the most you can about them and make the right choice for you. I've worked in healthcare for 23 years, so I am extremely careful when going to a new doc for the first time. I try to find out everything I can about them before I go.


    Good luck to you and I hope to find out how you're doing!



  • Living in Jesus September 20, 2008
    Living in Jesus
    September 20, 2008

    Hey there...  I just found out I most likely have it too.  I have 2 rheumatoid nodules one on my left hand and the other on my right knee.  I had the one on my hand removed and it came back so the surgeon told me that if they started causing me pain then that would be the time to remove them.  They don't hurt, but the one on my hand is noticable.  It bothers me.  I went to a ND to start with as I know there are so many side effects to the drugs people take.  The Natureopath Dr. has me taking fish oil (which is no big deal)  Read about Omega 3's.  Very important!  She said we need to build up my immune system, since RA is a autoimmune disease.  It is the inflamation that causes the problems, so to only eat meat twice a week and 2 eggs a week as the Omega in meat causes inflamation.  She said to try to eat as nutritiously as possible.  Smoothies with protein powder in the mornings.  Stay active, I am taking about 1500 mg of calcium w/ vitamin d, and adrenyln supplement, and Glucosomine.  I am very surprised that I have this, and cried about it, but I feel that I just need to learn as much as I can, and keep moving forward.  That's my story...  I really want to work on the natural approach first....

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