Thread: Old Pro with RA
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Old 02-13-2004, 10:38 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 2
KenK HB User
Re: Old Pro with RA

Originally Posted by Ladywolfe
Hi there - glad there are a couple of boardies here that are so knowledgeable on RA.

This is gonna be I'm apologizing in advance.

I was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago with RA. At the time, I was in the process of moving from one city to another one 2 1/2 hours away. My GP at the time told me to take Ibuprofen for inflammation, and to send for my records when I got settled in.

Six months after the move, I told my new (then ) GP about the DX of RA. She said, "well, you seem to be in remission - if it flares back up, we'll address it then." Oooookay...I was as dumb as a stick at the time - I thought, what with her being a 'dr' and all, she knew what she was talking about.
I ended up leaving her a year later and going to another GP. I thought this guy had his stuff together. My RA did stay in remission for almost 2 years. However, during the past 4 months, I have been in total agony. I can harldy walk, every joint (except my shoulders) in my body is hurting, I am tired all of the time - I just feel like I'm 100 years old.

I told my new Dr this. He did reflex and movement tests on my joints, made the comment that the left side of my body seems more 'out of whack' than my right (it IS giving me more pain than the right side right now) and ordered blood tests.
What he ordered was an ESRand a CRP screen. The ESR test came back normal, but the CRP came back positive. Like I need a peice of paper to tell me I have inflammation in my body? sheesh.

I got these tests done on Monday. I called his office on Tuesday - he was out -they assured me he would call Wed -he didn't. Wed -they said he would call today - he didn't. I had left the message with his nurse, that I wanted to talk to him about further testing and treatment options - she said she would let him know.
tonite -around 6:00 - I get a call from his nurse (not him) telling me "dr has called you in a prescription for Methotrexate - and he wants to see you again in 2 months.


I said to her "I do NOT want to just be put on meds without talking to the doctor - I want to know the extent of damage done to my knees (they pop, crack, ache - as do my ankles) -and I want to discuss going on a newer med than the metho...I've lost enough hair without going on something that could cause it to fall out more."
She replied "I'll have dr call you Monday -he's off tomorrow"

:::banging head against wall::: ouchie

I then called the only rheumatologist here in town - luckily they had hours till 8:00 tonite. I spoke with a receptionist, who transferred me to a nurse. She asked me if my GP had repeated my RA factor tests,ANA tests , or ordered any xrays of my joints. I wanted to cry - finally someone listneing to me. I told her no he had not. She suggested I not go on the metho until I had saw the rheumatologist.

The earliest they could get me in was on the 25th of this month, but I"ve been in pain for so long - I can wait another couple of weeks.

Is it common for a GP to try to treat something as serious as RA, especially not ordering any other tests than the SED rate and CRP screen?

I have been doing so much reading in the past 4 months on this disease - and it makes me mad to realize that I should have been getting treatment long ago and have not.

My GP will probably get upset that I went to the Rheumatologist instead of letting him treat me - but this is my health we are talking about.

Thanks for letting me sound off. Everyone have a safe and warm weekend.

Ladywolfe, As I stated in my post above, I was only twenty years old when I got RA and I was working as a fitness instructor at a local health club. Fit as a fiddle with aspirations of becoming a body builder, you know, like Arnold (a'll be backkk) Swartzza... however you spell it.
Well anyway, I went to my family GP and he looked at my muscular build and considered my profession and simply said, "You're over training. Slow down and rest and take some aspirin for the pain. (aspirin couldn't touch this pain) but I did as he suggested, also thinking that surely a trained Dr would know best. Well 2 years later and 40 pounds of muscle mass lighter, my RA was eating me alive. The trouble was, I DIDN'T LOOK SICK, so every Dr I saw just blew me off. I didn't even get a sed rate blood test for nearly 10 years and finally saw a Rhumatologist who got me on some proper meds (methotrexate, NSAID and some pain killers that actually worked.) Now here is the moral to the story. See the correct type of DR for the type of disease you have and do as much research as you can to speek intelligently with your Dr. If you can communicate at his/her level and use the same lingo as they do, your ability to accurately treat your disease go up 100%. Do your best to distinguise between muscle pain and joint pain. Muscle pain can be very similar but caused by something completely different. There are several new drugs out there for RA that I haven't tried as mine has gone into remission. And one last thing. If your RA DR perscribes narcotic pain meds for you, use them only as perscribed NO MATTER WHAT. If you are not getting reasonable relief from the pain then tell the Dr and let them decide whats what. Best of luck to you and take charge of your own health destiny!