I just turned 32 last month. I am the mother of 3 children (15, 6, 15 months). My oldest child has Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. During my last pregnancy, I had frequent hip pain & neck/shoulder pain. After giving birth, I had the neck/shoulder pain every month or two, lasting several days each time. I began getting sore wrists/fingers last August (2012). I saw my family doctor for this and was told to take Aleve, which helps some. I had lab work done (including RA factor) which all came back normal. I am slowly noticing knee pain, feet/toe/ankle pain, hip pain, hand/finger/wrist pain, shoulder/neck pain, arm & leg pain. I have had no health insurance as of September (2012), so have not had a follow up appointment. I am not sure if this really is RA, and if there is anything I can do until I can obtain health insurance and see my doctor. I also have fatigue, cracking/popping joints, feel foggy-headed, bouts of dizziness lasting 1-3 days, weakness, loss of strength, swelling in hands, stiffness in my whole body (especially the first couple of hours in the morning), and an overall feeling of "achy sickness". Any advice/suggestions/opinions is greatly appreciated! Thanks!!
Hi there. I'm sorry to hear about your circumstances. [[hug]]
It is not at all unusual to have what is called "sero-negative RA", which means you have physical symptoms but your blood work shows nothing. A good rheumatologist will look at a broad range of evidence (xrays, symptoms, and laying hands and eyes on your joints), not just at blood test results. I have been in a full body flare have had nothing show up in my blood work.
The fact that the Aleve, a non-prescription strength of a commonly used anti-inflammatory medication, is helping you is an indication that you would benefit from treatment. You are under an incredible amount of stress with kids, post-partum hormones, and no insurance, and stress is one of the biggest triggers of RA pain.
The first thing I would suggest you do is ask for a referral to a medical social worker, who specializes in hooking you up with free and reduced price treatment and other services. Your county health department may have some resources for you as well. Most, if not all, drug companies offer free meds to those who qualify; there is an application process. Plus, most of the first-line meds they will try on you are generic and therefore relatively inexpensive.
Most of all, save your limited energy. Say no to anything and everything that ***** away your time and energy. Your kids are old enough to take on the majority of household chores - trust me, it won't do them any harm. :) Even your littlest one can be taught to help mommy with simple tasks.
Hang in there! Please let me know how you're doing.
Thank you for your response! I am still awaiting health insurance, but will look into the options that you suggested. Your encouragement is appreciate! (Ha I was wondering why one word was "starred" out")
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