Okay… so… yesterday was appointment number 2 with the Rheumatologist. I like her. Yesterday she was a bit busier and more harried… but she was running behind and she was very apologetic over it all… first doctor who ever did that, too.
So… blood work and x-rays came back. I don’t have Lupus. I have not be exposed to hepatitis. I have RA. I thought MAYBE I had it 5 or 6 months. NOT. Based on the test results, and the already erosion of bone in my hands and feet, it has been at LEAST a year.
Wow. At least a year.
Still a good bit of swelling in a lot of joints, so we bumped the prednizone back up to a pill a day.
Yesterday I was really disgusted with myself. How could I not notice for a whole year? How could I blow it off for so long? Guilt is horrible. Yes, I know it isn’t a constructive emotion, but I don’t care. Went to Walmart to pick up folic acid and methaltrexate. And the adventure begins.
This morning I’m less beating myself up. I’m more… weird. Contemplative…
It is starting to be really real. I’m waking up and remembering to take my pills…. out of sheer “duh, stupid, it hurts” I think, but I’m remembering…
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I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. If you didn’t notice symptoms (or noticed, but attributed them to other things), it means that you were focusing on your family and other responsibilities. It happens. Now you have a diagnosis and a treatment plan, and are on the road to feeling better. Hang in there!
Please don’t beat yourself up for not “knowing” you had RA a year ago. You’re just like so many of us — when the joints first started hurting, here and there, now and then, sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a day or more — we find all kinds of “reasons” for it. I thought for months that I must have been “sleeping wrong” on this wrist or that shoulder, or that my shoes were to blame for my suddenly, dreadfully painful feet. Nope. It was all RA. And it took me a good year to finally go to the doctor about it.
You’re doing the right thing, reading up on the disease, how to cope with it and what medications and therapies are available. You can never know too much. And because of its mercurial nature, RA can be frustrating to your doctors, too. You need to learn to be your own most passionate advocate. Only you know how your body should feel, and only you know when there’s something definitely “wrong.”
Take care of yourself. Keep smiling. And keep writing! It’s great therapy and, by blogging, you’ll find yourself with a good circle of supportive friends.
Hey there…I just read your post on RA Guy’s blog…..sorry for your diagnosis but at least now you know what is going on. I was diagnosed with RA this past year and I take methotrexate also. Don’t beat yourself up about not knowing about the RA. Erosions can occur regardless of how you feel. The inflammation is still there but you may be feeling okay.
The more of us RAers I find, the more I realize that it takes a long while for many people to get diagnosed, sometimes because, like you, we don’t notice the symptoms right away, Or sometimes we can’t find the right doctors, like me, and you go around in circles for Over a year trying to find someone that knows what the heck is going on with you, which is really frustrating.
I just want to encourage you to question your doc about the prednisone. I know that a lot of people need a daily dose, at least for a while, but make sure you at least get them to try a somewhat safer anti-inflam, Celebrex or something, you never know that could possibly work and be less damaging (for some the opposite), but the prednisone and cortizone stuff scare me. My first Rheumy prescribed them like candy, my 2nd explained the consequences. Yet another difficulty with RA, having to know so much and keep ourselves educated can be a full time job in itself!
I wish you the best of luck on your treatment plan and hope you find yourself feeling as well as possible!
My Dr was very very hesitent to put me on prednisone… actually… the original stint was 9 days, but since my swelling was still pretty high, and the holidays were coming so quickly… she said it would be safe enough to take them for another couple weeks. I’m on the “weaning off” phase again now… and bolstering up the pain with naproxin sodium and tiger balm… Today is actually the first of the weaning off days, and I’m stiff and achey… I’m toughing my way through… but I had to have help with peeling potatoes for dinner tonight…
When I go back in January, I’m going to ask about Celebrex or if there is something safer than the options I currently have.