Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Community
Do I really have RA?
About This Community:

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a form of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in your joints. It can affect any joint but is common in the wrist and fingers. The purpose of the community is to share support and information with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) patients and their loved ones. Topics in the community include: causes, clinical trials, complications, family issues, living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), prognosis, research, surgery, treatments

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Do I really have RA?

Like most posters...took years for drs to finally tell me I have RA...not because of ANA count but injected dye and did test ...that was 4 years ago...started steroid/methotrexate combo...moved to self injectable enbrel..then humira..nothing.  Increased methotrexate...small windows of feeling "ok". But my symptoms...had gone from slight stiffness when I first wake up to extreme pain now when I lie down for more than an hour or so.  Finger joints swollen, my legs tremble at night and I haven't been able to handle my knees touching at night for a few years...too painful...I sleep with special pillow between them...got a new RA specialist in NYC...he decided I should self inject the methotrexate and added a monthly course of Orencia... 9 months later...no relief...I am so fatigued. ..especially in the am...doing steps is tough....he wants to try yet another infusion but I am ready to jump ...do I really have RA?  I use to play tennis, my garden was spectacular, I did set designs for plays...now I can't grip a paint brush, gas pump, or toothpaste for very long... Could I have something else?  I was told RA, RLS, but nothing is helping...I take gabapentin which does help,at night but leaves me very lethargic in the am...folic acid, prednisone as needed, and now added a water pill...so I have to do the penguin walk to the bathroom several times a night...I have had man chest cts ..have multiple,nodules but 2 drs swear I am fine...past due for another one but am hoping I wont be the first human glow,stick...my primary was REALLY concerned abut the lung nodules but...not the pulmonary guys and I saw three...add into the mix my short term memory prob...getting nuts...I scramble my own 3 kids names a lot...I left my car running ..went shopping, came out searching through my purse only to realize the car was idling....told the dr...he asked me if I had ever forgotten my kids...no.  Ok...you are ok he said.  I cant remember to take my meds ...I make a list but then forget to look at it....   I did find a tick on my about 7 years ...was tested at the time and they said negative........would LOVE any ideas you might have?  
1711789_tn?1361311607
Hi there!

Well, without a clinic al evaluation it would be difficult to comment on the situation. This could be plain RA with increased severity or there could be involvement of another disease process as well; though with the history this sounds more like RA. If primary medications have not been effective, newer stronger medications can be tried. I would suggest discussing the situation and the management plan in detail with your treating rheumatologist.
Hope this is helpful.

Take care!
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TheLightSeeker
London, ON