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Old 09-19-2005, 09:37 PM   #1
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Michelle W HB User
Unhappy Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

I was running a fever for awhile, so my doctor took some blood. I was diagnosed with mild RA about 18 months ago from a positive RA Factor. My sed rate was a tiny bit high, not much. My RA factor was really, really high. They even repeated it. My ANA was negative. I was sent to a RA doctor. He put me on Naprosyn. I have no swelling. He took no x-rays. He just took my blood pressure and looked at my hands and knees. I go back every three months. He takes my blood pressure and ask me how I am feeling. I have not had any additional bloodwork done since that time or x-rays ever. Recently I complained about being super tired. I can't hardly get out of bed some days. I am just wore out. I switched to one Celebrex daily. It doesn't seem to help. My muscles hurt all over, my hands, wrists, elbows, some times my knees. My toes hurt if I move them. My hands are stiff. My wrist and elbows hurt when I put them down on a surface. They are tender. I am exhausted. Last winter I found out I also have Raynaud's Disease. I hear this is common with arthristis, so I go on blood pressure meds in the winter. I guess they dilate my blood vessels and increase circulation/blood flow. I am suppose to have mild arthritis, so why do I feel so bad?

I also have really bad arthritis in my TMJ. I need a joint replacement. They are not positive it is due to rheumatoid arthritis. It might be. I am hypothyroid, but they say it is fine. I am on meds for it daily. I just recently had it checked.

I plan to see a different RA doctor in October, but I will have to pay for 40 percent of the visit due to him not being on my insurance.

Any advice greatly appreciated as I have been researching my TMJ problem for three years. I guess I need to also research RA now.

 
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:34 AM   #2
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creinha HB User
Re: Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

Michelle,

I was reading your post and it sounded a lot like me. I'd been struggling with fatigue for a long time.

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and thought that was the reason for my fatigue, but it wasn't. Later I was diagnosed as midly anemic, but that wasn't it either. Shortly after, I started having joint pain. I had a really high positive RF (330) and Anti-CCP (376). My ANA was slightly elevated along with the ESR and CRP. Since RA had fatigue as a symptom I was hoping that was the cause. It wasn't.

Recently, I had some saliva hormone testing done. I found that my DHEA, Cortisol, Testosterone, and Progesterone were all low. The pharmacist compounded a natural hormone for me and I'm finally starting to get my energy level back.

Don't give up trying to find the cause of your fatigue. You deserve to fell normal!

Cheri.

 
Old 09-20-2005, 10:50 AM   #3
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Michelle W HB User
Re: Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

Thanks Cheri!

I am hoping others will give me some input. I just don't understand if my RA is mild why I feel like heck.

 
Old 09-20-2005, 10:56 AM   #4
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creinha HB User
Re: Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

Michelle,

I've been on Plaquenil and Relafen for my RA for a year now. My joints in my hands and wrists still ache all the time, but at least I don't have that severe pain any more. I'm a computer programmer so I'm really afraid that having the constant dull ache in my fingers means that damage is happening. The doc couldn't answer that for me. I've never had any swelling, except minor swelling once in my wrist.

 
Old 09-20-2005, 09:33 PM   #5
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Michelle W HB User
Re: Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

Did it help with your fatigue at all?

Thanks,
Michelle

 
Old 09-21-2005, 08:09 AM   #6
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creinha HB User
Re: Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

The hormone cream the pharmacist compounded for me has really done wonders for my fatigue. Before I started using the cream, I had a terrible time trying to get up in the morning. I would always get really tired around 3:00 p.m., and fell asleep before 9:00 p.m. every night. I just felt like I was sick all the time. It was terrible.

 
Old 10-17-2005, 02:49 PM   #7
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Re: Mild RA/no swelling?Why do I hurt so bad then?

Michelle,

My RA also diagnosed me with "mild" RA a little over a year ago and I've been on generic Plaquenil since. Each time I went back to the RA, he would tell me he didn't understand why I had so much pain since I didn't have any "real visible" signs of the disease. I got very frustrated with this attitude about my condition because I know how much pain I have every single day (whether or not I have any visible signs). I looked up numerous information on the disease and found out that pain is always a symptom of RA and the "visible" signs such as swelling, crippled fingers, etc. are not always present with the condition. I had also been experiencing severe back pain which my RA didn't seem concerned about at all. After learning the real story on the symptoms of RA and the fact that my pain was getting worse (especially my back), I finally decided to try another RA. On my very first visit with the new RA, he explained to me that although my RA seemed under control, he didn't question the pain I said I was having because "not everyone has visible signs" of the disease, just a lot of pain. And guess what, he was very concerned with my back. I didn't tell him anything when he began examining me and asked if I got terrible headaches, which I do. Well, low and behold, he had more tests ran and an MRI ordered and found out that I have RA, OA, 2 herniated discs, and several bulging discs. I am so glad I made the move to go to another RA for a 2nd opinion. I think sometimes these "specialists" get so caught up in really bad crippling cases that they get "tunnel vision" and the mild to moderate cases aren't a priority to them anymore. Do yourself a favor and go to another RA and get 2nd opinion. You may have to go to a few before you find one that will treat you as an individual and not compare you to others who may "look" worse.

 
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