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Jayaeff 02-21-2012 12:00 PM

40 year old with negative tests
Hi, I just read a posting from a 40 year old female with symptoms and no diagnosis.
Well, I am like that too. I am a 40 year old female who has had coming and going joint and muscle pains and some bad pain flares. My rheumy blood tests have come back negative.

My areas of concern are hands and wrist pains that come worst at night and morning. They tend to be milder in midday. Some mild swelling but nothing the doctor found notable. (Started seeing a rheumy).

I have had back and neck pains too, which have tended to be worse at night.

Today things are relatively mild. But I feel aching in my wrists and fingers if I type too hard. I feel traveling joint stuff in my hands and wrists at night, but lately not so bad. I take Tylenol which I think helps a bit.

Last week I made the bad mistake of picking up a heavy cat food bag at the grocery store, a large pack of beer (for my husband), and 3 12 packs of soda. Then my hands felt crushed for 4 days afterwards. I had to have my daughter do my house chores for me even though I took 3 advils 3 times a day and tylenol too. By the fifth day I felt much better.

In January I had my worst flare, which lasted a week, with many many active, shooting joint pains that made it difficult to sleep. Wrists, hands, back, ankles, everything. I tried a bunch of NSAIDS like nabumetone and mobic, which felt great for the pain but for some reason I couldn't sleep a wink when taking them.

My rheumy and primary care doctor both said that I likely have some inflammatory arthritis but don't fit any diagnosis category. Therefore I should just try to get by taking as little medication as possible.

Last month, after the bad flare in early January, problems have been milder. I got by just taking Tylenol most days. Then the flare last week and now things seem relatively mild again.

What's going on? Happy things are milder now, but I feel a bit like I'm walking on eggshells since I don't know when the next bad time will come.

Do most of you develop a consistent pattern over time? I'm not sure what mine is yet. I have had some times when my hands have been prominent, other times it has been my back/neck.

Moldova 05-24-2012 05:30 PM

Re: 40 year old with negative tests
Hello and welcome!
I am not sure what exactly you have, but I will talk from my own experience and maybe it will be helpful to you dear.

You didn't mentioned anything else but pain. Are you exhausted 24/7? I am not talking about tired, I am talking exhausting to the point you cant get up from bed. Not b/c you lazy but b/c you cant. Another thing: stiffness. Do you get stiff in the morning especially?
While pain in your wrists. hands,neck etc can come from RA, it usually manifests with other very typical symptoms. This condition affects everyone different, for some its mild case for some is advanced/severe (me) so of course symptoms come accordingly.
Just b/c your blood work comes back normal, it still doesn't mean you don't have RA. Honestly, it took me 4 years to be finally diagnosed.
I went through 4 RA DRs, many app and blood work. And only this wonderful, carrying and very experiencing RA in NYC took me seriously.
I was diagnosed with Juvenile RA at age 12 and yet, my RA misdiagnosed me in my adult life saying I don't have RA but have Fibro and other health issues.
They told me I work too hard; I have a lot of stress due to young kids, I had too many surgeries and so on with no end.
The sad part of it is the fact that not only my RA was advanced with a lot of damages done, "RA lung " included and irreversible heart condition but I also had Lupus and MS. All in one body. Nobody saw all damages in every joint of my body as auto-immune diseases, they were ignorant and thought they know it all.

That is why, when I hear stories like yours, I talk. O boy - do I talk! LOL
I am a big advocate for people who are in my skin where I was before 2003. I don't want them to give up; I dont want them to listen to the doctors who cant find anything while they suffer. If your body tells you something is wrong - please go and see someone else. Don't wait. You don't want to wait and end up where I am.
Good RA will always tell you that even if blood work is OK for now, this doesn't mean you don't have RA or other auto-immune conditions. RA is especially hard to diagnose, Lupus and MS much easier.
So go from there; please knock in every possible door, see as many doctors as it takes (Just make sure they don't know each other- very important).

BTW, my pain in same areas hurt at night the worse. When it flairs, I can't use my hands and wrists at all, but on most days pain at nights are the worse.

Best wishes to you

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