As I wrote in "Arthritis Patients - Fearing the Future": The uncertainty which can consume newly-diagnosed arthritis patients leads them to try to obtain a prognosis combined with some measure of reassurance.
Think back -- do you remember how you reacted when you were diagnosed with arthritis? What was it like to hear the words -- "you have arthritis?"Share Your Experience
Thought I had escaped it.
- My grandmother was crippled up from RA as far back as I can remember. Then my sister was stricken with it after the birth of her third child at 27. I spent my whole life waiting to get it. Then my mother got it and my aunt got it and my cousin got it. When I turned 50 I decided I'd beat the odds and would be the one that didn't get it. Then like a ton of bricks it hit when I was 51. I went to a rheumotologist and she said she didn't think I had ra. Symptoms were one sided. I was thrilled. Two weeks later I received a form letter in the mail with a prescription for methotrexate. I looked it up on the computer and it scared me to death. I refused to take it... I suffered terribly for the first year. I've been on low dose prednisone which seems like a miracle pill. I recently found out my cousin has been on methotrexate for 16 years and feels very good. I guess it's time to give it a try. Very sad, rheumatologists here are few and far between.
- —Guest Juliet
Shocked by diagnosis
- I was shocked. I had been diagnosed with lupus many years before. Then to be told I had RA was devastating. RA is now more of a problem than lupus is. It is certainly more debilitating.
- —Guest anita8737
- I am very angry! I am allergic to all pain meds that contain codeine - which is the majority of them! My stomach is very sensitive to aspirin. Tylenol does not work for me. When my pharmacist recommended I talk to my MD about Darvocet it turned out to be a God send. I've had 6 surgeries in 7 years. I hope I need any more but it's likely that I will. Now what am I to do??? I want to know what kind of studies led to this decision. Darvon has been on the market for at least 50 years. I remember my Mother taking it after her surgeries. She died 31 years ago and NOT from the use of Darvon. This is a bad decision and needs to be reversed or exceptions allowed for its use!
- —Guest Mary Sisson
- considering i am a healthy 20 year old female and was never injured or in a car accident i was shocked when i found out i had arthritis in my neck. I was slightly happy though because i was worried it was something horribly serious, you know you have to be careful it is your head. My doctor said it was my C2 and C3 which is in a strange area at the top, but seriously alot of times i am in pain.
- —Guest kaykay10
- I was just told acccording to an ANA test, pattern of joint pain, and my father's RA, I was being referred to a rheumatologist. I'm having a hard time coming to grips with it. I remember all the times I wanted my Dad to something with me, but he had too much pain. And for him it afffected more joints as time went on, and I have to wonder if that wasn't part of the heart disease that he eventually died of. My kids are 8 and 10. Time to be serious about my health, and treat this as aggressively as possible.
- —Guest Mike
- Frustration and fury every day at what has become impossible for me to do. The big things. The little things. I am furious every single day, but then, I've always agreed with Dylan Thomas.
- —Guest Matt
Suspected as much
- When I was in my 40's and taking a walk during break from work, I felt a twinge in my knee. I had already been diagnosed with fibro so I kinda suspected that this was OA. I had done a LOT of research on fibro when my sister- in-law had been diagnosed (this was before I was DX). Then during my research on it about her I thought "hmmmm these are my symptoms too." And after my confirmed DX on fibro, I continued to research and study relationships such as OA and RA. I learned how common it was to have all three. So when I first got that twinge in the knee, then went to the doctor for that x-ray, it was just to confirm what I knew. Same thing when I suspected RA. A little more work for confirmation. I had an ultrasound on my hands showing bone degeneration. And blood tests showing high SED rates, but no RA Factor issue. Conclusion: seronegative RA. I am my own advocate. You have to be these days.
- —Guest Telsa
Still don't believe it!
- I was diagnosed with RA in July of this year 2009 and still am trying to accept it. Since starting on Plaquenil my fatigue is much better, but I suffer daily with pain in my elbows, fingers, knees and feet. I walk with a cane and there are days when this is difficult. I get very depressed when I hurt so bad. Finally I have to call my PCP for pain meds which he does prescribe. I do get some relief - figure some relief is better than none. I'm not set on a combination of medications. I read posts were multiple drugs are taken. No way will I take all the meds that alot of the posts say they take. I would rather deal with the pain, treat it as needed and go on with my life. I was in a flare which has since settled down. My life has changed drastically and I have shed a river of tears. I am 57 years old was an avid horseback rider, skier, golfer just an all around jock, and it's all been taken away for now. I still have hope and until that hope dies I will live life day to day.
- —Guest jayray
"I am too young for THIS!"
- I was diagnosed fairly quickly. The week before I turned 21. At first I was relieved to have a name to put with the pain and fatigue. And then I went through denial. :) Eventually I've come to accept that this disease is going to be with me the rest of my life, there will be a lot of bad days and some good days too. So as long as I just keep going and don't give up... that's what matters most!
- —Guest Guest
Cried and cried
- I was 30 with a six month old baby at home and I could no longer open any baby food jars. I remember after going through lots and lots of tests and trying different meds, finally seeing the box get checked for RA instead of the other options on the check out form. I went to my car and cried and cried. I am still brought to tears at times. I can no longer go upstairs to tuck my little girls in to bed, but I am fortunate enough that I can hug and kiss them good night. As I am writing this, my "baby" is now 10 and sitting next to me with a sore foot from too much dance. Oh, to be sore from such a wonderful thing like dancing! It is a tough disease to live with, but it has been ten years and I thought I would have been worse at this point than I am. Shoulder surgery is next. I am at the point of trying to relieve pain and staying in motion for my family. However, I teach kindergarten and those little ones keep me on my toes and help me to forget any pain during the day. Smile!!!
- —Guest Alesia
Scared and relieved
- i was diagnosed with r.a just a year ago,i had the bad pain and had short of breath and chest pain,went to my pulmonologist and he said it was a lung disease and it was pulmonary fibrosis but caused by r.a,so he sent me to see a rheumy and did the test and it was positive for r.a,it had taken over my lungs and the pain is excruciateing at times,i take metho and vicodine for pain but it dont seem to help,i have the pain all the time and have to use a walker to walk and before long was told i will be in a wheelchair,but til that day comes i deal with the pain and take my oxygen and get thru my days with all my support,my boyfriend has been a big part of my life and support since my diagnosis.
Resigned to having it
- I still vividly remember the day I found out I had arthritis. For 13 years I went from specialist to specialist ending with them telling me that they did not know what was wrong with me and that they could do nothing but prescribe pain medication for me. Then in 1996 I went to a new doctor in town, who instantly ordered a MRI on my back. A few days later they called me to come into the office for a consultation. I was 33 yrs old. I left the office in shock. The moment she told me that it would never get better and that it would only get worse was indeed the worst day of my life. My mother was waiting outside for me and I just broke down in her arms. I could not imagine at this point living with this each and everyday of my life. But here I am 13 yrs later somehow living my life, it has since spread to both hips my right foot and fingers on both hands. My doctor and I continue to work on a safe healthy treatment for my disease and I have since resigned to having it the rest of my life.
- —Guest Leslie
Glad to have answers
- ok that may seem weird but my first reaction was being happy that it wasn't my imagination. My next inclination was to learn everything I could about the disease. I deal best with things when there are no suprises..research is one of my coping mechanisms.
- I cried all the way home from the doctors office,all I could think about was an uncle when I was a little girl,he was in a wheelchair and his hands were all mangled up! He has ra!
- —Guest Teresa
How did I react when diagnosed with RA
- At first I didn't know the cause of so much pain on my joints. I could hardly walk downstairs and on one occasion I was dragging myself instead of walking downstairs. My wife was saying "You're being lazy". The pain was horrendous. After some blood tests my GP confirmed that I had RA. My first reaction was crying followed by looking at my wife's face thinking "you were wrong! I knew there was something wrong!". I then started to think Why Me? What have I done to deserve it? And now, what am I gonna do? I couldn't bear the shock and the slap on my face. At work my supervisors thought it was temporary illness (like they do with pregants) and that I could work somewhere else, but I didnt want that. All those years, looking ahead, working hard and planning a change on my carreer, had just gone down the drains, like water on my hands. I still cant get my head around it after 30 months. I am now 47 years and have no aspirations. Just like a plant fed with only water... nothing else. Lonely.
- —Guest PC Jose - UK