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Thread: Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. #1
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    Apr 2004
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    Unhappy Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Anyone else have RA?

  2. #2
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    Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Hi Sabine. I don't have RA, I have Lupus, but my mom had RA from age 18, so I'm pretty familiar with it and other autoimmune diseases.

    How long have you had it? Are you able to control it with meds? Do you have any of the extras that can pile on (I was diagnosed with Sjogren's last year)?
    Only an expert can deal with the problem

  3. #3
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    Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Hi Annie - I like your avatar. Anyway, I have had RA for four years. It turned up around St. Patrick's Day 2003 so that's kind of my "anniversary" even though of course it took the doctors many months to figure it out. I was only 33 and no one in my family ever had an autoimmune disorder ... so even though my panel came back positive for ANA's they said it must be a false positive and told me to join a gym to get rid of my aches & pains.

    Anyway, it is pretty well under control with the meds (Enbrel & methotrexate). But the methotrexate is very hard on my liver, which is already showing signs of damage. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to stay on it. And I know once I go off the mtx, the Enbrel can't take care of it alone. I had to go off the mtx last November b/c I thought I was pregnant (totally by accident) and in those four weeks I could see how much the mtx helps the Enbrel.

    I might have pernicious anemia. I have a blood order from a month ago and I'm too chicken to go have the blood drawn. Every time I do it's more bad news. Right now I'm living in a little bubble. :-)

    Thanks for replying! Any thoughts you have are welcome!

  4. #4
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    Post Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    By the way, I got my nerve up and went to the lab for my blood test yesterday. If I hadn't posted here I probably wouldn't have but reading it in black and white made me realize that putting it off woudn't help anything!
    My so-called life...

  5. #5
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    Post Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Bravo! I'm glad you had your blood done. I know exactly how you feel about it, dreading the next trick your own body may decide to pull on you. I'll have my fingers and toes crossed that it comes back with great results. I'm not familiar with pernicious anemia, is it one of the things that go hand-in-hand with RA?

    I've avoided methotrexate and imuran so far. My doc added neurontin last month for CNS issues and I'm not loving it... does what it's supposed to do but it leaves me feeling kind of stupid, like I can't find words and am a little dyslexic when I read. So we're playing with dosage.

    Let me know when you get your results!
    Only an expert can deal with the problem

  6. #6
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    Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Pernicious anemia has more to do with my digestive problems (gastroperisis - sp? - my stomach does not empty w/o drugs), which may or may not be linked to autoimmune stuff. It's alll pretty confusing! But I'll let you know what the results say. How long have you had lupus? Just curious, not nosy!
    My so-called life...

  7. #7
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    Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Well, I was right. Every time I get testing done I get bad news. This time the results came back showing anemia and now they are trying to find the cause. I think that pernicious anemia is somewhat a diagnosis of exclusion (make sure it's not caused by anything else and if not it might be PA). They put me on an iron supplement, sent me for stool tests (icky!) for which I have to stop taking the iron supplement for three days prior (I love doctors) and scheduled me for a colonoscopy in mid-July. Sorry to be so gross with the details. But they have to rule out internal bleeding as the cause of the anemia and the most likely culprit is bleeding somewhere in the nether-regions (ulcers, polpys, etc. in my lower digestive system). So gross! Anyway, I am having problems with my liver, due likely to the methotrexate - which I've been on for only four years and take a relatively low dose of (15/mg week). I might have to go off the mtx within the next year and that will spell trouble. I was off it for several weeks at the end of 2006 (pregnancy scare - just what every woman on mtx wants) and I found out that Enbrel alone will not control my RA - I also need the mtx. It would be just a matter of time until I would have to stop working the few hours a week I currently manage. It's so weird because when I was first diagnosed I was told that 50% of RA patients are on disability within ten years of their diagnosis. And I thought "that won't be me." But it might be. Who knows ...
    My so-called life...

  8. #8
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    Post Re: Rheumatoid Arthritis

    I'm pretty impressed that you're still able to work much at all. Don't let it get you down too much if you have to let that go. I know, easy to say. One more piece of real life chopped off (gee, can you tell I'm having a bad day ?)

    I hope you don't have to change your meds. I've been through that a few times and it is always such a pain. Is there a protocol for the pernicious anemia?

    You asked earlier how long I've had Lupus... I was officially dx'd 7 years ago after being treated aggressively for Lyme disease for 3 years. I definitely had Lyme, but maybe not the chronic Lyme that I ad been tagged with. So many of the symptoms are the same or similar. My Lyme doc after round 3 of IV antibiotics. He had done loads of blood work to check on what the abx had done (the good and the bad) and saw signs then. It always kind of shocks me to think about how long it's been.

    My hands have been a mess this week, so haven't been posting as much as usual. Hopefully, this week will be better. I'd say cross your fingers for me but... I'm sure yours are worse than mine
    Only an expert can deal with the problem

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