Overwhelmed with pain I began my rheumatoid arthritis odyssey. I had no clue what was wrong. I was in such pain that I just wanted it to go away. I ended up in the ER and was sent to a rheumatologist. Poly-arthritis was certain. After many tests and a trial of 30mg of prednisone, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My sedimentation rate and my c-reactive protein were off the charts. My left hand was swollen to almost double in size. It seemed to have started in my left shoulder. It quickly progressed to both hands, wrists, shoulders, ankles, feet, left elbow. Also my clavicle joints were affected./ I responded to prednisone. I do love prednisone as it does make me feel much better. That was part of the diagnosis. I did not have lupus, Hashimoto’s. RA is an auto immune disease. It is in the same family with lupus, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and many others. I have been tested for many and it came up RA. It’s possible to have more than one auto …
Life changes instantly with a diagnosis of cancer. I don’t feel invaded or betrayed by my body. I have always been happy with my body. No change there. I am just plain scared. The more I read, the more I realize the possibilities. The more scared I am. What will happen to me? Am I on the slippery slope? Is it all down hill from here?
My Doc ordered a lung scan when I said I was having trouble with breathing. Dr R ordered it because methotrexate can cause lung issues. She ordered it because she is thorough. I now know that I have nodules(aka tumors) in my lung. Something to be watched. The scan also showed nodules on my thyroid. The follow up was an ultrasound of my thyroid and a referral to an endocrinologist.
Monday I had my first appointment with physical therapist, Christine. Dr. R had sent me for the evaluation. She thought instruction in the warm pool of the Health Plex would help me. I had other motives, too. My first concern was stability when walking. My second was avoiding losing the flexibility I had worked so hard to maintain over the years. My third was getting enough physical activity while dealing with RA fatigue. Christine talked with me, checked me over. She has already reviewed my chart.
My very first signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis were swollen, painful feet. On hindsight, it made sense to me. Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center says frequently RA starts in the small joints. The hands, the feet, the wrists are likely candidates as starting points. The foot has 26 bones. Many of those bones are small bones with small joints. Imagine all those little guys in your feet each with joint lining inflamed and swollen. Ouch!