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Old 05-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #1
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Unhappy Am I crazy?

I'm just not sure if this is arthritis. Here is my deal.
About 3 years ago, I got a nasty URI. It started the day after Thanksgiving, I kept getting sick on and off, finally the firrst week of Feb I felt better. I had a slew of strep tests and throat cultures, all negative. Mono spot was negative too. After this illness to the present day I get a low grade fever and feel like I have a horrible flu. It lasts about 24 hours. Sometimes it's once a month, sometimes every other. This past year my knees really started hurting. I thought nothing of it due to obesity. Now the past couple of months my hands will hurt and swell, occasionally turning red. It started just a day or two now the pain is almost constant and now it is in my wrists and elbows. I had a negative RA factor and ANA, slightly elevated sed rate and CRP. My PCP is sending me to an Infectious Disesae Dr. She said if the ID Dr doesn't find anything, then I go to a Rheumatologist. I think I should have just skipped the ID Dr. It sounds like RA to me but I have the normal labs. Can those of you with experience give me some insight. Does it sound like something else or like RA? Thanks!

 
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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Re: Am I crazy?

RA is one of those disorders that can be "sero-negative" meaning it can have no positive blood work and yet you still have RA. Happens to about 30% of those with RA. And other inflammatory arthritic disorders are not much different. In fact, there is a whole class of them called "sero-negative spondyloarthropathies". The lack of positive blood tests is part of the diagnostic criteria.

And a couple of those sero-negative arthritic disorders can develop from an STD.....one that might masquerade as a urinary tract infection so being checked by the ID doc is not a bad idea...it will help rule out a couple of things.

But you are probably right in that it will turn out to be something like RA and it will just take time to figure out what. I've had bad sero-negative RA for the past 5 years and thank goodness my doc saw it(he had been treating me for osteoarthritis for 10 years). It hit my brain much worse than my joints and without his getting me on heavy duty meds, I might not be able to see right now. It affected both my eyes and optic nerves. But I've been stable since starting on one of the more potent RA drugs. My blood may have been negative but the fact that I responded to the drug was also diagnostic .

These disorders are tough and take time so I hope you get some answers from the ID doc and then find a good rheumy.

good luck................Jenny

 
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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Re: Am I crazy?

Thanks for the insight. I guess I just feel like I need to see someone that will help me take care of the pain right now. I know I need to be patient, but I just want to get a diagnosis and get treatment. And with the hand, wrist and knee pain, I keep thinking I need to see a Rheumatologist not ID. Oh well, we'll see!

 
Old 05-04-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: Am I crazy?

You could skip the ID doc but will that make your PCP mad? Chances are you will end up at the rheumy but then he/she will have to check the other stuff anyhow and since you see to think it started after a urinary tract infection, it is very possible for bacteria to get into the system and blow up some joints.

An ID doc can give you something for pain just a easily as anyone else and since the RA drugs take weeks and/or months to kick in, you'll need a different way to control the pain anyhow. Nothing moves very quickly in the world of arthritis.

take care................Jenny

 
Old 05-05-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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Re: Am I crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennybyc View Post
And a couple of those sero-negative arthritic disorders can develop from an STD.....one that might masquerade as a urinary tract infection so being checked by the ID doc is not a bad idea...it will help rule out a couple of things.
Do you have any knowledge of sero-negative arthritic disorders developing from genital herpes? This nasty condition hadn't bothered me whatsoever for 20 years. Last summer, I started getting frequent outbreaks. Shortly thereafter in the fall, I experienced my first acute RA arthritis attack which involved virtually every joint in my body. Might there have been a connection?

 
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