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Old 05-11-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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What do I do while waiting for Rheumatolgy appt?

I was sick for almost 2 weeks a month ago and again for another week last week. Symmetric pain in my arms, legs, wrists, ankles, hands, tingling and numbness, moderate fever, fatigue, etc. At first I thought it was influenza but no one else in my family was sick.

During the second illness, I went to my dr who drew blood.

Results:

Rheumatoid Factor: Positive (abnormal), 80 IU/ml (abnormal)

Anti_Nuclear Antibody: Positve (abnormal), 1:160, Speckled (high titers suggestive of SLE, Scleroderma, or Sjogen's Syndrome/SICCA complex)

C-Reactive Protein: 2.7 (high)

Sed Rate Westergren: 34 (high)

WBC: 3.7 (low)
RBC i: 4.17 (low)
HGB: 11.5 (low)
HCT: 33.9 (low)
RDW: 16.7 (high)
Lymph: .8 (low)

Of course, I don't know what any of this means and cannot get an appt with the recommended Rheumatolist for 8 weeks.

Meanwhile, I still have the pain in my wrists, thumbs, arms, and ankles. I'm tired but I'm always tired.

What should I do while I wait for an appt? Take a boatload of Motrin and wait it out? Or should I make another appt, possibly with another dr?

Any insight of the lab results?

I think the test results and family dr comments have freaked me out a bit! Plus, my mom was diagnosed with Lupus a few years ago.

 
Old 05-11-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: What do I do while waiting for Rheumatolgy appt?

8 weeks is actually a pretty fast wait time. If you have a recommended Rheumatologist that you feel comfortable seeing, I would wait. If you have any acute issues, you can always go to your Primary Dr. or to an urgent care centre. For what it's worth, and I'm just a patient, ANA titres tend to be higher in people with a relative who has an autoimmune disease, and many Rheumatologists do not consider 1:160 high, or even positive. The speckled pattern is the most common pattern and is found in all those AI diseases you mentioned but also found most often in people who do not have an AI disease. It is good that you are being seen, but I wouldn't get too freaked out. You really could have just had a virus. On the other hand, It's best to catch AI stuff early and get treated early. I would keep a journal of my symptoms until my appointment, because these diseases are not diagnosed on labs alone. I would also make a list of questions and narrow it down to the 3 or 4 most important to you questions and have them ready for the Dr. Hope you feel better soon.

Last edited by luca689; 05-11-2012 at 10:13 AM. Reason: spelling

 
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: What do I do while waiting for Rheumatolgy appt?

Thank you for the reply.

So, it is possible that I still have rheumatoid arthritis? I don't really think this is a virus because I've also have had bouts of joint pain in the past few years. I've always blown it off as getting older and being out of shape for the winter (I'm not even 40 yet and not overweight). But, now that I'm putting the pieces together....

I have had stiff ankles and legs in the morning for years. It lasts for several hours and helps when I take a hot shower before going down stairs. Stairs in the morning are awful. My ankles just won't bend!

My hands/wrists/thumb joints have been hurting for years and I always thought is was the way I hold the steering wheel on my commute to work. I have pain holding a coffee cup and cannot open or squeeze jars, bottles, etc without a grippy pad or a lot of pain.

The pain is always on both sides of my body. If one wrist hurts, the other does as well.

Do you know if one pain reliever is better than another for joint pain? Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc?

Thank you!

 
Old 05-11-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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Re: What do I do while waiting for Rheumatolgy appt?

yes, it is possible you have RA or some sort of arthritis going on - I think there's like over 100 different kinds. As to joint pain relief, I use OTC ibuprofen or naproxen myself, but my arthritis is non-erosive. In fact, now that I think about it, I mostly use the ibuprofen for joint pain, and the naproxen for inflammation. Hope you have a great weekend and keep on making a list of your symptoms.

 
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