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Posted by Kasey on March 23, 2000 at 21:08:50:

In Reply to: Re: scared and frustrated posted by Sue on March 23, 2000 at 19:55:00:

: : 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

Sue, thank you for responding, today my rhuematologist prescribed Plequanil... which I still dont know if Im comfortable with since there has been no diagnosis... but anyway, how has your experience been? Has it helped? Are you having any side effects?

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