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  • 23 with arthritis?

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    Old 11-11-2008, 04:12 PM   #1
    megan123
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    23 with arthritis?

    I'm 23 and was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My first appointment with a rheumatologist was for July, 2009. I told my doctor I can't wait that long so now I have an appointment for the end of January. I might be able to go out of town to see someone in December but will have to drive about 4 hours. I have no relief until then and lots of pain. My family doctor gave me celebrex but it doesn't seem to help much. I had to take a sick leave from work. Some days I can hardly walk and it's hard to live normally.
    I feel like I'm driving my husband crazy talking about my pain all the time and being so depressed. My mom has RA too but I feel bad talking to her about it because she feels guilty. My friends don't understand. Someone even asked if it was all in my head! I guess my blood tests say I have it, but I don't know much about it. Is it normal to get RA at such a young age? Can anyone give me suggestions on how to cope? I feel like I'm mourning my old life and losing so much. I could really use some advice.

     
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    Old 11-12-2008, 06:12 AM   #2
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    Hi,
    My daughter will be 22 in a couple of weeks and i'm thinking she might have arthritis also. She's always complaining that her hips hurt, legs, arms, back etc. She had blood tests done about 6 months ago, she's seeing her doctor end of nov for results. I'm hoping it's not arthritis or something more serious, after waiting 6 months to get results it better not be bad. She takes tylenol arthritis but not sure they help her. Some days, she's fine.
    good luck to you,
    p.s. We also live very close to Ottawa. Small world. take care

     
    Old 11-13-2008, 04:01 PM   #3
    AuntieLeela
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    Yup, you can have RA at 23. If you get it between 16 to 21 they call it Still's Disease. I have juvenile chronic polyarthritis, I was diagnosed as a baby.

    You need to get on a DMARD (disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug). DMARDs slow or even stop the progression of the disease, pain relievers only mask the symptoms. There's Methotrexate, Plaquenil, Arava, Minocin or Sulfasalazine. More powerful meds called Biologics are kept in reserve for more severe cases; Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Orencia and Rituxan.

    Anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Celebrex (called NSAIDs) can help with day to day symptoms - if you find the right one for you. If Celebrex isn't working, there are many, many other NSAIDs. Don't hesitate to ask for something different.

    Check with your local hospital, there may be a RA support group nearby. It'll be worth it to find some people who understand and who know all the local ins and outs - who the best rheumatologists are, etc.

    I've had arthritis for so long I've been on everything. Right now I'm waiting for a new drug to get approved by the FDA, called Actemra. I'm on Orencia till then, my NSAID is Clinoril.

    Last edited by AuntieLeela; 11-13-2008 at 04:03 PM.

     
    Old 11-14-2008, 08:42 AM   #4
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    My mom took Enbrel and is now taking Humira. I think she is very advanced so nothing seems to help her much.
    I don't think Celebrex helps me, but I'd hate to see how I feel if I stop taking it. My family doctor won't give me anything but- even though I have to wait so long to see a rheumatologist, and Celebrex is not covered under my health insurance for some reason. She says she is not a specialist.
    When I was first diagnosed, I thought I would be able to get things under control with medication then stop. I thought if I lost weight and took better care of myself that I would be ok, but now I don't believe that anymore. It seems that almost everyone needs medication. I don't like taking medication because I have a weak stomach, I don't want to lose my hair like my mom has, and I want to have children in a few years.. oh and I like to have a glass of wine sometimes which seems to be a big no with a lot of meds. But it sounds like I won't get much relief without.
    I did get an appointment in Toronto in December. It's a bit of a drive but I think worth it.
    I'll look into support groups in my area. Hopefully I can find some other young people- I think that could give me a lot of strength.

     
    Old 11-14-2008, 09:12 AM   #5
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    Wow, a GP who won't Rx an(other) NSAID? That's kinda odd. Well, sometimes it takes awhile for a NSAID to get revved up and working, hopefully the Celebrex will kick in soon.

    The hair loss question (as I sit here shedding like a collie) several medications can cause hair loss, methotrexate most notably, but the big problem is . . . so does chronic inflammation. Any chronic inflammatory illness, even some sudden viral illnesses, can cause hair loss. So the meds cause it but so does untreated RA. It's a catch-22.

    If you do start losing hair don't just assume it's the meds though - another cause of hair loss is autoimmune hypothyroid, it's a common secondary disorder with RA and it's easily treated.

    Good Luck with your appt!!

    Last edited by AuntieLeela; 11-14-2008 at 09:15 AM.

     
    Old 11-22-2008, 05:15 PM   #6
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    hey all,

    im 24 and was diagnosed with ra in march.on plenty of meds at the min such as methertrexate that i inject myself at home,hydroxychloroquine,prednisolone,nap roxen. i also have quite regular steroid injections as i have had quite a few flare ups. Found it really hard to start with the fact that i am so young. <i work with children> an also a single mum to 1 year old boy so as you can imagine its hard to rest. i have specialist insoles as my feet are the worst and also wrist splints. Try whatever meds they offer you as with this type of disease its trial and error as to what works best for you....im hoping things get better as it does get you down. Sites like this make you feel better as the people actully understand what you are going through.so i hope you soon get sorted an can return back to normality.
    keep smiling ppl sally uk xx

    Last edited by mod-anon; 11-22-2008 at 11:30 PM. Reason: removed profession

     
    Old 11-26-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    I'm sorry for what you must be going through Sally, especially with a young child. I don't have any yet but think I should try soon if I'm going to become full of medicines. I haven't met any other young people who have this and I think that's been hard for me.. I don't understand how it can happen to people so young. I know there's juvenile arthritis but I'm too old for that, but typically too young for RA. I keep blaming myself, and kind of feel like everyone else does too. My family expects me to regret my past choices because of this but I don't because I have always learned from my mistakes. My GP said it's not my fault, but it's hard not to think so.
    I've been so sore the past 2 weeks. I'm hardly leaving the house anymore, especially with the snow. I am seeing a physiotherapist at the Arthritis Society (for free! which is good on my student/sick leave budget). The exercises help so I can move but don't help the pain. She was able to get me an appointment with a rheumatologist here in my city (better than making the drive elsewhere) for December 12!! I have been suffering for 3 months now but there is finally some hope of getting help. Maybe I'll start feeling better by Christmas

     
    Old 11-28-2008, 10:22 AM   #8
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    Re: 23 with arthritis?

    Hi Megan,
    Have you ever been tested for Lupus? My 22 year old daughter was told this week that's what she's got. I understand theirs a couple of different types, her's is affecting her bones. Just take care of yourself, eat well, exercise, and stay away from tanning beds also.

    Get well soon.

     
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