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Posted by Sue on March 23, 2000 at 19:55:00:

In Reply to: scared and frustrated posted by Kasey on March 22, 2000 at 17:58:59:

: Hello,

: A few months ago my knuckles symmetrically began to turn red and swell. My doctor did blood work
: (no lupus) and referred me to a rheumatologist. The rheumatologist took more blood (I am negative on
: rheumatoid factor), put me on anti-inflammatorys, and gave me braces to wear at night.
: Since then the swelling has decreased, but my hands and wrists ache. Some days are worse than others.
: My grip on items gets shakey, and sometimes the pain is very pronounced. And often by the end of the
: day, all my knuckles look bruised, like I wacked them against a wall.
: I recently had an EMG which showed no CTS. My rheumatologist says it could be early
: RA (sorry for all the anacronyms :) But she seems to be taking a 'wait and see' attitude towards diagnosis.
: Dont get me wrong, I dont particularly want to be diagnosed with RA (no offense to anyone).....
: but this 'wait and see' thing is making me terribly upset. I try to convince myself that its "all in my head",
: but then I will have a bad day with my hands, and I get angry with my Dr.'s for not telling me anything other
: than - take these pills and come back in 30 days. I just really want to know what the heck is going on with
: my body.
: Is this par for course? Ive read that RA is sometimes difficult to diagnose, or to rule out. Should I go to
: another Rheumatologist? If this is RA, is there anything I can do now? Are these symptoms consistant with
: anyone out theres symtoms? Does this sound like anything else to anyone?
: Im so freaked out and frustrated, Im not sure what to do. I would appreciate any advice, or comments.

Kasey I was just diagnosed with RA after a year of different diagnoses. My rheumatoid factor was also negative but my doctor and others have said that 25% of the people with RA have a negative test(called sero-ngative RA).I do have carpal tunnel as well as plantar fasciatis,these seem to be affected by the RA. My internist is treating me like i have RA and after taking a month off from all the testing will send me to a Rheumatologist. I am taking NSAIDS as well as muscle relaxers and Plequanil. So we will see. If you question your Dr go for a second opinion it sure wont hurt. Sue

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