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Old 11-10-2003, 02:11 PM   #1
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dancing_al HB User
Unhappy Ballet dancer recently diagnosed with RA...help!!

Hi!
I'm a newie to this website but just came across it and was heartened to see other people are going through similar problems to me.... maybe someone can give me some advice or answer any questions?
I was diagnosed with RA three months ago - NOT ideal for my lifestyle (or any lifestyle for that matter hey). I am 19 and have just begun my career as a ballet dancer with a well known professional company. I am completely determined to get through this and will try everything I can to get things under control so I can continue to dance.
My rhumatologist put me on methotrexate soon after the diagnosis - 7.5mg the first week then 15mg from then on. Have had seven doses now and although it's helped, I am still unable to dance full out due to a persistantly swollen ankle and a painful knee. Anyone who's taken meth - how long did it take to work? Did it completely settle things down or just kinda? As of yesterday I started taking plaquinil as well to hopefully speed things up. Been really lucky on the side-effect front - no really bad stomach probs or anything, just bit of a loss of appetite. Is this common with meth? Cos people immedietly assume when you're a dancer and you lose weight you're starving yourself. NOT so!
Is anyone else very physically active while dealing with RA? I know it depends on your case, but hearing about others being able to LIVE their lives with this condition is an amazing help and keeps the hope there!
Also, has anyone tried any alternative/herbal meds that have helped? Or specific foods? There are sooooo many products on the market that promise to fix everything and you can't help being a bit sceptical...... want proof from the source I say!
Ok, well this is probably way too long. I congratulate you if you've gotten to the end! Any advice n stuff would be greatly appreciated....... Thanks!

 
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Old 11-17-2003, 05:04 AM   #2
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AussieChick HB User
Bad news huh but you're young and caught it early so the drugs should help stop its progression. I'm 35 which sounds old in your terms but have always been very fit and active. I've had RA for 6 months and although over the worst of the initial flare up, i'm not pain free...but its not that bad. I've also started on mtx 7 weeks ago and think it may help although it did make me pretty sick for the first few doses. Anyway a positive attitude is the best remedy. I walk vigorously every day and do some modified weights at gym although my arm strength is pathetic since the onset...but i'm determined to get back there. One of my pilates insructors is in her 20's and had to retire as a professional ballerina due to PA. MTX helped her tremendously but she was concerned about its possible effects on future fertility so check that out. I often wonder am i getting better or just learning to live with this?? Either is a positive step i guess, its beginning to have less impact on my lifestyle now anyway. [I]All the best!!
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:10 PM   #3
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dancing_al HB User
hey aussichick!
thanks for your reply, your condition sounds somewhat similar to mine. totally agree that a positive attitude is the best remedy, establishing it is like the first step to getting out of bed in the morning! methotrexate has also improved my condition significantly but not quite enough to allow me to get completely back to my body-abusing career of choice..... although i'm more than hopeful i'll find the find combo of meds to do the trick.
just another thing - if you don't want to post this kind of info totally understand. great excitement at your name..... i'm an aussi too! lived there my whole life, but just moved to canada to take up a contract with a ballet company here. what city are you from? probably know/have heard of your pilates instructor. again, if too personal don't feel you have to answer.
thanks again for your reply, hope all is going ok....

 
Old 11-20-2003, 05:00 AM   #4
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Location: Australia
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AussieChick HB User
Re: Ballet dancer recently diagnosed with RA...help!!

Well g'day again!!
No prob in asking...I'm from Melbourne. My pilates instructor's name was Ainsley (25 ish) and i know she was dancing with a company o/s (poss UK) but not sure which one and she has recently left my gym so it's unlikely i'll get to find out. Unfortunately it ended her proff ballet career but she's a fit and healthy uni student studying now to become an osteopath due to her increasing personal interest in non medication remedies and treatments. Her knees still played up at times but her associated skin condition that comes with Psoriatic arthritis was her biggest drama. I will see if i can chase a contact and she could tell you her story.

I'm going okay, most people think i've recovered cause initially my docs told me it was a virus...so i guess even though the permanency was hard to take and i was on a bit of an emotional roller coaster there for a while, i'm obviously not in that much pain anymore if people around me don't here me whinge...can even open the jar of vegemite again. And yes, "use it or lose it" is the motto i'm living by...and of course waiting for that inevitable remission. It seems weird to be struck down with something almost overnight so it still seems believable that one day it will go. I hope so for you too. My naturopath told me sometimes the hormones in pregnancy cause it to go (mind you the opp can be true too). You're too young to be slowed down; while we can't escape change, i'm sure you won't let it take over. You got tough Aussie fighting spirit in ya blood afterall!!
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