Hello to All and First Rheumy Appt

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Hi all, thank you for all you do. I have been reading lots and decided to join. 

A bit of background;  I'm 30, active but overweight, very physically demanding job for 12yrs. For about 4 months I have been experiencing increased stiffness and pain in joints in hands. Symmetrical.

Pain in feet and knees, extreme fatigue (which good lord, I'm sorry people deal with that) night sweats and fevers and swelling of hands. 

Initially ESR was 22 and 23, no RA factor, but ultrasound on hands came back hot on both hands first 2 fingers and thumbs. 

GP suspects early rheumatoid, so I had my first rheumatologist appt Thursday which was a cancellation. 

It was good, got along great, he shops at my store, then I got in the gown and he barely examined me. 

Proceeded to say I had normal bloodwork and ultrasound and no swelling. Though with my family Dr for 3 months we've discussed all findings and I have all results saying the opposite and my right hand in particular was more swollen and red that day. 

He says he thinks I have Anthragias (spelling?) But I told him that pain is least of my concerns compared to stiffness and weakness. 

Wanted to give me anti-inflammatory meds (but I have no swelling?)

Very confused and wondering how others initial appts went?

Should I monitor and get another opinion?

I am seeing GP in one week. I have increased burning sensation in palms that keeps me up, and a feeling of knots in my forearm muscles. Have also developed a nodule on my middle finger that rheumatologist didn't look at when I brought it up. 

Yuck all around, any info or guidance is welcome... I'm feeling lost. I definitely don't want RA but I need to know how to manage my life if things are progressing. 

Much love to all. 

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Michelle, my main concern is his lack of physical examination or additional blood work. I have “inflammatory arthritis” because I am RH negative (as is my mom so they won’t call it RA. But essentially that’s what it is. Unlike my mom, I have minimalto no swelling or visible inflammation but I do have pain and measurable inflammation on my blood work. Since RA affects your organs and muscles and not just your lungs, I’d talk to your GP about another opinion. I’ve learned I have to be my own advocate. I also have Hashimoto’s hypothyroid, another autoimmune disease since these things do tend to run in multiples. And also some regular osteoarthritis. I’m 42 and was diagnosed about 2 yrs ago.
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  • Posted

    Hi, do you know your CRP, C reactive protein it's a measure of inflammation normal levels are below 8, not a specific to RA, there are many forms of arthritis, but what you describe sounds like RA, you can have it without the Rheumatoid Factor, nodules usually developed late on in RA.

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    • Posted

      Hi there!

      Yes it was low, 1.9.

      Everything is pretty much showing as normal except the ESR which was a "low high.

      The week prior to the rheumatologist appt I was experiencing more of a burning it rug burn sensation on my palms and get, that had now left and I'm back to aches in my tiny joints in fingers.

      Funny enough, the Rheumatologist bloodwork came back and now ESR is saying 12. I'm so frustrated! Today my fingers on both hands ache and are red and almost bulbusy.

      No idea what's going on. Now I feel silly. Hopefully GP will help out, all of these symptoms are way out of left field for me for general health.

      Thanks everyone for your input!

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  • Posted

    Keep a journal of your symptoms. If you have visible signs like your swelling or redness that vary over time, take pictures. 

    Do seek a second specialist opinion. If you see that specialist again, ask openly why he didn’t examine you thoroughly and the reasons for his conclusions.

    Treat your pain and see whether anti-inflammatories help at all. 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I've sent PM on your symptoms.

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  • Posted

    Hi, have heard of M E ?, chronic fatigue syndrome, it seems to include symptoms you describe but with low inflammation, I've sent PM with info.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the info

      I'm usually always full of energy (except the few days, and I mean few) that I really experienced fatigue. Perhaps there has been more but I didn't realize because I usually work 50+ hours a week haha

      Thanks so much for replying.

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  • Posted

    Michelle, just a thought but has your GP done a test for Lyme disease? When my symptoms first started and my ESR came back elevated that was the first thing done before referring to a rheumatologist. I know a number of people that have Lyme that present w RA symptoms and never saw the tick bite. It might be worth the test to rule it out.
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