Diagnosis: RA

It’s hard to recall when exactly the pain started. It could have been as much as 7 years ago. I can remember picking up my youngest son & feeling a weird pain that made me sort-of bounce until I was standing upright. I saw a chiropractor here & there, but as a busy mom to 2 and then 3 and then 4, I always put my aches & pains on the bottom of the list.

Then in September 2008, I finally decided it was time to see a doctor. I went to an after hours clinic at a not-exactly-nearby orthopaedic center. They did x-rays, didn’t find anything, wrote me some scripts for strong meds, gave me a referral to the podiatric ortho in the group & made me a follow-up appt. It was the beginning of a big waste of time.

The podiatrist treated me with shoe wedges for a leg-length discrepancy, but that whole thing grew tired & old very quickly. The shoe wedges didn’t help enough with my back pain for me to ruin every pair of shoes I had with the adhesive & drive 20 miles out of my way to get new wedges when the other ones fell apart.

Next came the follow-up appt with the back surgeon, which led to an MRI on my neck. The MRI showed nothing…or at least nothing the dr could find.

It would be another 9 months before I finally went back to the back surgeon for another follow-up. I had ignored a prescription for rehab for too long, so I had to go back to get another one. I did several weeks of rehab for my lower back in the Fall of 2009.

After rehab, I followed up with the back surgeon, but it was a waste of time. He got paid a lot of money to ask me how the rehab went. It was like an awkward date conversation…where no one has anything to say.

It was during rehab that I noticed my lack of grip in my right hand…my dominate hand. One morning in February (of this year, 2010), I woke up to a completely sore & weak right arm. I had pain in my spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand…and it ached beyond belief. It would be this way for about 2 months.

During that time someone told me about a GP in the area. When I say “told”, I really mean “raved”. That just doesn’t happen here. When I finally called, I was told it would take 3 months to get an appt. Annoying as it was, I figured I had nothing to loose since all of my other attempt to find answers for my pain had royally failed.

Immediately upon meeting this GP, I knew things would be different. She sent me for blood work & had me schedule a follow-up to discuss the results.

The follow-up was this afternoon.The diagnosis is Rheumatoid Arthritis. Amazingly, all of my other blood work was good or perfect.

Most importantly, I finally have a diagnosis…a reason for my pain. — The next step is meeting with a rheumatologist, having more blood work done, & going from there.

So, I will blog more when I know more…



4 thoughts on “Diagnosis: RA

  1. I am so sorry. I have lived with RA since I was about 12-13 (before that really but that was when we finally decided something was wrong.) I go the all natural route (supplements, diet, keeping weight down, exercise but only certain types that don’t trigger) and do fairly well– for me diet is the biggest key– sugar is a huge trigger for both myself and my 12 yr old, who inherited it from me.

    Anyway, praying that you find what works for you and that it really helps. It is amazing when you finally KNOW and can move on from there.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Heather.

      I would love to know more about natural methods of managing RA. I’m not about to do prednisone or the chemo drugs I read up on yesterday. Are there any websites or RA groups that use natural methods?

      • I am so happy you found a great doctor- you will have to give me her name! I like that it’s a HER.
        Please don’t think I’m comparing you to an animal, but my brother in law had a very old German Shepard who had terrible arthritis. He got to a point where he couldn’t even walk outside to go potty, he was BIG. My brother in law started researching what humans take for RA. He gave him glucosamine, and a bunch of different oil supplements. That dog went from barely being able to walk to enjoying walks in Central Park and even running after some ducks.
        Definitely try everything natural. I heard a chiropractor saying lots of water was like oil for the joints.
        I’m not read up on RA…but I am just glad you found a diagnosis so you can move on from here. Yay for perfect blood work!
        Praying for wisdom on how to go about treating your pain…and praying that your pain would actually just disappear. 🙂

      • Ruff! pant pant pant Ruff! – LOL

        Diane, you are such a blessing to have as a friend. 😀

        Yes, I will definitely give you her name. She was really worth the 3 months I had to wait for my 1st appt. It’s a well managed office and she is so down-to-earth.

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