May 12, 2013
My feet felt numb and painful. I felt like I was walking on rocks and it was worse when I went to bed. I had thought it was a diabetic neuropathy although my A1c was never over 6.1 to my knowledge. My rheumatologist said it frequently starts in the feet. Many think it starts in the hands. Surprisingly, the feet are a popular starting place, too. Small joints are in both locations.
When I had this sudden flare. It was my left hand and wrist, left shoulder. My muscles ached. My left hand was swollen to double its size. My right side was affected too, but the left was the worst. I ran a low grade temp 99-100. I lost 10 pounds.
My bed was like the rack. I could not move without being in extreme pain. It was a good 5 minute process to get my bra on. My seat belt in my car was a hard one too. It was tough.
Early diagnosis is important as joint damage occurs in the first two years and it is treated aggressively. It wasn’t at one time. At one time the medics needed to see joint damage before serious treatment began. I was started out on Methotrexate as soon as my diagnosis was confirmed. I’m on max dose at 25mg a week.
I am fortunate in that I have no side effects. I am also on Prednisone and I’m down to 10mg a day. When I was up to 30mg, my face was very puffy and I did not sleep. It is better now.
I am on Meloxican, an anti-inflammatory, Prilosec to protect my stomach, Tramadol for pain, Folic acid for the Methotrexate. I do take calcium and vitamin D and a B complex.
So I am a walking pharmacy. My hands are still swollen. I still have ups and downs with pain. I do feel better than I did.
The interesting thing about RA is that it does affect people differently. I don’t have knee involvement so far. My toes and feet are a problem as are my ankles. My right hand and wrist have joined my left for equal attention. My shoulder and pelvic girdle are affected as is my neck. And they all take turns looking for attention.
Some people have a bad bout of RA and then it disappears. Some have intermittent flares. For most it is progressive. It will never get better. I am in the progressive group.