Month: July 2013

RA diagnosis reflection

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 …

RA with thyroid cancer

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.

RA visit to physical therapist

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. I needed to slow down, she said. Rest is of vital importance. Being extremely busy without enough rest periods was self-sabotage. Pacing is one way to be sure I had enough energy to do what I wanted to do. I also understood that sometimes choices needed to be made. With RA it is not always possible to do it all. Sometimes the only good thing to do would be to rest. Resting is a good weapon against flares. It works best to rest so the flare doesn’t happen. Swimming …