Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Introduce yourself and meet others

Let’s talk about living with rheumatoid arthritis.
As moderator of the Autoimmune Diseases group, I noticed that several people were talking about RA, but those conversations were scattered throughout the community. I thought I would start this discussion to bring us all together in one place.

Let’s grab a cup of tea, or beverage of choice, and let’s chat. Why not start by introducing yourself?

@pearlbaby7

Actually, it is RA and isn't limited to my knees and eyes. I've lived with it for over 40 years but have never noticed the flares. This time isn't bad but it's affecting me. I can see my hands and wrists but not if I'm also flaring in my lungs and blood vessels. The damages to my body have been going on for two thirds of my life. One of my concerns at this point is how much more damage I can receive internally before something quits.

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I may have osteoarthritis as well. No doctor has mentioned it. But I've had RA since I was a teenager, unfortunately. Even with all of my challenges I still consider myself luckier than a neighbor I had as a child. She and I were about 10 years old when they moved onto the block. Every joint in her body was damaged. Her parents said it was arthritis. It made movement awkward for her but also made her vulnerable to severe consequences if she fell. I hadn't thought of her in years but she came to mind this week. They moved away about a year later but I hope advances in medicine made her life better…

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@pearlbaby7 RA is system wide, not specific to just a few joints/organs…as yours is made me question the dx…hope you regularly see a Rheumatologist and together you two are working to significantly decrease your inflammation. BTW, when I get a blood vessel flare IT HURTS…so you'd know. When my inflammation worsens, so does my bronchiectasis, which I can also feel, and the inflammation has effected my eyesight, so I think you'll know when RA impacting something

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@pearlbaby7

Actually, it is RA and isn't limited to my knees and eyes. I've lived with it for over 40 years but have never noticed the flares. This time isn't bad but it's affecting me. I can see my hands and wrists but not if I'm also flaring in my lungs and blood vessels. The damages to my body have been going on for two thirds of my life. One of my concerns at this point is how much more damage I can receive internally before something quits.

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@pearlbaby7, thank you for the additional information that your rheumatoid arthritis is not limited to your knees and eyes, but rather that these are your current areas of concern. I also appreciate the comments of @bluebird6156 and @boomerexpert regarding seeing a specialist and to inquire about RA treatment options. Am I correct in understanding that you have not been seen by a rheumatologist?

It has been a couple of weeks since you posted. How are you doing now? Did you end up getting an earlier appointment with your doctor?

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@colleenyoung

@pearlbaby7, thank you for the additional information that your rheumatoid arthritis is not limited to your knees and eyes, but rather that these are your current areas of concern. I also appreciate the comments of @bluebird6156 and @boomerexpert regarding seeing a specialist and to inquire about RA treatment options. Am I correct in understanding that you have not been seen by a rheumatologist?

It has been a couple of weeks since you posted. How are you doing now? Did you end up getting an earlier appointment with your doctor?

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No. I've never been referred to a rheumatologist. My appointment with my PCP is next week. I'll ask him about it then.
I'm still swollen in my hands and wrists. It may be why I've been running a low grade fever recently.
When I was in the hospital in October my levels were almost 23 times the maximum it should be. I'll ask that they check it again when they do blood tests again next week.
Thanks for asking.

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Hi all — I'm new here so thought I would introduce myself. I live in Australia and was diagnosed with RA (and fibro) in 2016. It took a long time for me to get a diagnosis as I am sero-negative, and I apparently didn't 'fit' the classic picture. I do have joint pain in my hands and feet but have always more battled awful fatigue and muscle pain as my main symptoms. I was eventually referred to a sympathetic rheumatologist who shook her head a bit and said she thought it was 'obvious' I have RA (by then I was pretty fed up with being told "there's nothing wrong with you" so I wanted to hug her! :). Most of all I was happy to finally get a diagnosis and some treatment. I'm currently taking Methotrexate, Plaquenil, Mobic, Prednisolone and Simponi for the RA and Clonazepam and Zaldiar for the fibro-related pain. For now the drugs seem to be working and I still manage to work 4 days a week although at times I'd like nothing more than to spend the day in bed! I've found keeping moving, doing yoga, and learning mindfulness-based meditation has helped me keep active. I'd love to hear what everyone else is doing to try and stay active.

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@mia447

Hi all — I'm new here so thought I would introduce myself. I live in Australia and was diagnosed with RA (and fibro) in 2016. It took a long time for me to get a diagnosis as I am sero-negative, and I apparently didn't 'fit' the classic picture. I do have joint pain in my hands and feet but have always more battled awful fatigue and muscle pain as my main symptoms. I was eventually referred to a sympathetic rheumatologist who shook her head a bit and said she thought it was 'obvious' I have RA (by then I was pretty fed up with being told "there's nothing wrong with you" so I wanted to hug her! :). Most of all I was happy to finally get a diagnosis and some treatment. I'm currently taking Methotrexate, Plaquenil, Mobic, Prednisolone and Simponi for the RA and Clonazepam and Zaldiar for the fibro-related pain. For now the drugs seem to be working and I still manage to work 4 days a week although at times I'd like nothing more than to spend the day in bed! I've found keeping moving, doing yoga, and learning mindfulness-based meditation has helped me keep active. I'd love to hear what everyone else is doing to try and stay active.

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@mia447 I too have sero-negative RA…became active in 2008…IMHO you are being quite over-medicated…

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Hello! I am Jill and I was diagnosed with RA about 2 years ago. I struggle the most with hip pain and fatigue. I also have primary biliary cholangitis. I look forward to being part of this group!

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@jill1234

Hello! I am Jill and I was diagnosed with RA about 2 years ago. I struggle the most with hip pain and fatigue. I also have primary biliary cholangitis. I look forward to being part of this group!

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Welcome!

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Hello @jill1234, welcome to Connect. Thank you for joining the discussion for rheumatoid arthritis. Also since you also have primary biliary cholangitis, you may want to join in another discussion on Connect here:

> Groups > Autoimmune Diseases > Primary Biliary Cholangitis stage 2
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/primary-biliary-cholangitis-stage-2/

Are you able to share a little more about your treatment or what helps you?

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One of my big problems is myself and my doctors cannot tell the difference of which one (rheumatoid or psoriatic) arthritis is kicking up. Also must include the vascular problems. Terrible, terrible pain, pain. desparitly holding on. Have stayed away from opiods but think now at age 81 it is time for some relief. Do not know if I should or should not go the way of the opiods. Would really appreciate any advice. I am grateful to have this site available for all of us. peach

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@ ph1 41414 page I have been on opiates Tramadol since I fractured my back in 05 it relieves the pain at I don't have any side effects that I'm aware of I'm down to just one at night if I need it during the day I can take one if necessary you deserve some peace and away from pain I fractured my back in 05 and have been on opiates since then Tramadol shohei go for it

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@peach….just an opinion here. Considering the fact that you have held off so long from using opioids…1. Low doses will work for you. 2. Participation in life will increase, due to physical comfort. That participation will increase your activity level, actually improve relationships 3. Decrease depression while increasing inner joy and satisfaction with life. That's the upside.

Downside, you may have to deal with a few of the side effects. Ummm…constipation, which can be controlled with plenty of fluids, fiber, increase in activity. Plenty help available over the counter. Your doctor will go over pros and cons. Personally, I am limited on types of pain relief available to me, due to various issues. Opioids help me, but I always have to keep low dose, to avoid complications from use. If I had a natural alternative close in pain relief, I'd do it. But, as of now, I choose living to my fullest.

6 kids, 14 grandkids. Can't participate in family with the issues I deal with daily, that is, I can't without help. With help, I enjoy my life. Again, this is my opinion. Opioids are not the devil. Abuse is. At 81, can't see you doing that. There is a point where we are allowed, under doctors care, to enjoy some comfort. I am far from pain free at the dose I take, but take the edge off and I can move. Pick up babies. Attend activities. Bake and cook for family celebrations.

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@jmjlove

@peach….just an opinion here. Considering the fact that you have held off so long from using opioids…1. Low doses will work for you. 2. Participation in life will increase, due to physical comfort. That participation will increase your activity level, actually improve relationships 3. Decrease depression while increasing inner joy and satisfaction with life. That's the upside.

Downside, you may have to deal with a few of the side effects. Ummm…constipation, which can be controlled with plenty of fluids, fiber, increase in activity. Plenty help available over the counter. Your doctor will go over pros and cons. Personally, I am limited on types of pain relief available to me, due to various issues. Opioids help me, but I always have to keep low dose, to avoid complications from use. If I had a natural alternative close in pain relief, I'd do it. But, as of now, I choose living to my fullest.

6 kids, 14 grandkids. Can't participate in family with the issues I deal with daily, that is, I can't without help. With help, I enjoy my life. Again, this is my opinion. Opioids are not the devil. Abuse is. At 81, can't see you doing that. There is a point where we are allowed, under doctors care, to enjoy some comfort. I am far from pain free at the dose I take, but take the edge off and I can move. Pick up babies. Attend activities. Bake and cook for family celebrations.

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Thank you. I am trying to put it all together. peach

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@lioness

@ ph1 41414 page I have been on opiates Tramadol since I fractured my back in 05 it relieves the pain at I don't have any side effects that I'm aware of I'm down to just one at night if I need it during the day I can take one if necessary you deserve some peace and away from pain I fractured my back in 05 and have been on opiates since then Tramadol shohei go for it

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Thank you. peach

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@lioness

@ ph1 41414 page I have been on opiates Tramadol since I fractured my back in 05 it relieves the pain at I don't have any side effects that I'm aware of I'm down to just one at night if I need it during the day I can take one if necessary you deserve some peace and away from pain I fractured my back in 05 and have been on opiates since then Tramadol shohei go for it

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Thank you peach

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