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Old 10-10-2008, 06:52 PM   #1
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Question I have DDD, do I have RA, too?

About a week or so ago, I started with what I thought was a fibro flare. I've been out of work, due to pain, migraines, IBS, etc. My feet burn, my joints hurt, I ache all over, I'm definitely experiencing a "fog" of some sort, and I'm completely exhausted.

I saw my PM this week, and she ordered some blood tests; today I found out that my CRP was 17 and my sed rate is 38.

I'm 46, and neck surgery in Jan07, and was dx'd with fibro in April08. Had a sleep study done in June08 and while I was dx'd with sleep apnea, I was told I do have a sleep disorder.

With this current flare, I am suffering from insomnia as well.

I'm being referrred back to rheumatology.

I know these tests results indicate inflammation.

So, do I have RA, too?

Old 10-11-2008, 04:03 PM   #2
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Re: I have DDD, do I have RA, too?

as a patient I can say that a complete medical†history should be taken, as well as, additional blood work. I have fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, and mild sleep apnea. For years I have always had a high sedimentation†rate.

However, over a year ago I had a rheumatic panel done and was positive for the rheumatoid factor, Anti-Ro and Anti-La, had a high ANA and sed rate. I had terrible joint†pain and was going through a real bad bout of IBS. Had my gallbladder removed because my doctors could not see that it was IBS.

Three rheumatologists later I am being closely monitored and do not have a diagnosis. The first thought it was lupus. THe second thought it was Sjorgrens. Now it is starting to point to RA because of the locations of the joint pain.

I know it is very difficult to receive one diagnosis after the other and to feel aweful. However, you just have to believe that you can take whatever they give you - Good news or bad. I'm 35 and some days I feel like I'm 80. Just getting to work and taking night classes is enough and I try to pace myself. If you can exercise when you feel good, even a simple walk can make you feel better. I hope you get some answers soon. Please keep us posted!

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Old 10-12-2008, 06:39 PM   #3
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Unhappy Re: I have DDD, do I have RA, too?

Thanks Angie, for your response.

Today was a bad day. I ended up in the ER, with what I can only describe as tremors. Mostly upper body, but my right leg, which usually is the most sore, started as well. It felt like uncontrollable shivers. ER doc was told about my fibro, ran some blood tests and a urine test, and said everything looked normal, and I should see my primary doc this week. Great, that was really helpful.

Anyway, I'm back home this evening, and still feel shaky inside. The shivering has subsided somewhat, but I continue to break out in a cold sweat.

Like I said, I had seen my primary doc last week. She had suggested I increase the effexor to try to deal with the current flare I'm in. I'm wondering if what I'm experiencing aren't just side effects? I also have a terrible headache, in addition to the "normal' aches and pains I've been feeling lately. Random muscle twitches as well.

I need to call my boss and tell him I just can't imagine coming in to work like this. He's been great to this point; I'm essential to the office, and I'm supposed to train a new person this week. I am so struggling with the work or not work question right now.

I just pray I get some sleep tonight.

Old 10-13-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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Re: I have DDD, do I have RA, too?

I'm so sorry to hear you are having such a rough time. At one point I suffered from tremors and went through millions of tests. I did reading on the internet and wondered if my seratonin was not messed up. I was on Prozac 60 mg and Elavil 50 mg. Well, I asked the doctors if I could taper down on both. Within a week or two the tremors went away.

With regard to the ER - When you are not at death's door, they patch you up and send you on. The problems you are I may experience, if not life threatening, may not be deeply evaluated. The doctors see so many patients that emergency is their specialty and unless they think we are critical, send us home. It can be very scary for us, but if not considered life-threatening, not something they fuss over. It can be very discouraging and scary to deal with. Believe me, I've been there.

Also, Effexor did not work for me. I'm on Celexa for the fibro and it has helped significantly. I"m also on Elavil for IBS and migraine preventative. I hope you get some answers soon. Also - if you are not seeing a rheumatologist for your fibro, I would consider seeing one. He or she may be able to determine if you have more going on than just the fibro. I started off with fibro and now, in addition to that, I have something rheumatic going on. My rheumie monitors me and helps me to get through the Rheumatic flares that cause great pain - on top of the fibro flares. Ugh!

Keep us posted. Hope you get some answers soon!

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