Just Diagnosed Yesterday And I Am Really Scared.

Question

Asked by Kathy

Just Diagnosed Yesterday And I Am Really Scared.

Hi - I am 38 years old and mother to two small children, ages 3 and 6. Last summer I had suddenly started have many symptoms associated with RA, mostly painful joints. After lots of bloodwork, my factor score came back at 20, but everything else looked fine. I was sent home and told I likely had parvo virus. The symptoms ultimately went away within a month and I forgot about it. Three weeks ago they started again, but this time much stronger. Lots of migratory pain and joint swelling. Even have a nodule on the back of my ankle and small one on my elbow (isn't this a sign of more serious RA and how can this be already!?). So when I finally got in with a rhuematologist yesterday I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. My results were RA Factor - 58 and CCP - 250, and positive for ANA and RNP. My sed rate was actually normal. But the doctor said the CCP was as high as it can go. So he dx'ed me with RA. He has me taking a prescription for basically a high dose of Alleve, Folic Acid and Methotrexate (three, 2.5mg tablets one time a week). I have so many worries now and concerns and I'm hoping someone can help. Everything I read on the internet is so scary sometimes. Because I have little kids I am worried I won't live to see them grow to adulthood. I actually read a study that average life expectancy is 57!!! Can that really be true? I am worried I will end up in a wheelchair in a few short years or perhaps I'll just live in chronic pain for the rest of my life. Sorry to sound so negative - this news is simply devastating and I just don't know what to expect for the future. I have tried to be strong around my family, but when I am alone I am just in tears over this. When my children are with me I just want to hug them and pretend like none of this is happening. I had this idea of what my life would be like from here going forward and now that has just disappeared - I don't really know what to expect now. Any words of hope, advice, or good information would be so appreciated now.

Kathy

Answer

Hello, Kathy. Happy you are posting here. Sorry for the reason, though. I was just diagnosed today with seronegative RA. My doctor is starting me on MTX. I am 57 years old and I have been battling this illness for over ten years. I just didn't know what it was until today. During that period of time I saw two different rheumys w/diffrent ideas. One said RA and the other said Erosive Inflammatory Osteoarthritis. Big word for "I'm not sure what you have," in my estimation. I also have Fibro, so it is an intersting mix. Most days are a roller coaster for me right now, but I am looking forward to the day when things might settle down a bit. I know it is scary. I'm scared, too, but I am so tired of the pain and fatigue, that I am ready to do whatever I need to do to get better. I know a diagnosis of a chronic illness is overwhelming at first. Give your self some time to accept it. The treatments availalbe for RA have much improved over the last ten years. There are more options than ever for patients, so if one treatment doesn't work, there is generally another treatment that will work. I hope you have a good rheumatologist. The good ones are hard to find where I live, but it is worth the search.

Blessings,

V