I was basically hit by a train.

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Had RA 15yrs, prednisone, plaquienell, enbrell and my pain level was a 5, I functioned and worked.  Now I can barely move my hands, arms, shoulders, legs and feet.  I am swelling and my pain level is 10.  I didn't do anything before this happened, overexert myself.  What is this ?  Do I have a differnet disease?

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Probably not but you need to check with a doctor asap.

    Most likely it is the mother of all flares. Have you been under a lot of stress lately, or had major change in your circumstances? Even things we cope with just fine mentally and emotionally, can stir up RA. Have you tried a new food that may have stirred up your immune system?

    Sometimes a medication loses its effectiveness and you need something else. Or you may just need a bum full of steroids at the Rheumatology clinic to put the lid back on this thing. There's lots of possible causes but the important things is to get this diagnosed and treated as soon as you can.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cathy

    gail has covered it all.

    just important to get to see a rheumy ASAP . As you are on a biologic I guess you have regular blood tests which will probably show high levels of inflammation. Gail s right that small things can set us off, but it s really hard to work that out sometimes.

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  • Posted

    It could be something else - you need to ask your rheumy to have a think.

    Are you currently taking prednisolone at above 10mg/day? Does it help at all with the pain? If I were over on my "own" forum I'd tell you to ask if it could be polymyalgia rheumatica - it is possible to have both that and RA at the same time.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cathy, I can sympathize and relate to this feeling of being hit with a train/bus, I'm currently feeling the same way. I would assume it's a huge flare. Alternatively it could be an underlying bacterial or viral infection that is yet to show itself. It's difficult sometimes to pin point what's causing what, for example when my ra peaks and I'm in a lot of pain it makes me feel physically unwell and then when I'm unwell with a bacterial infection and taking antibiotics my ra is always much worse!! Hope that makes sense. When ur ra is really bad like urs is now it's difficult to see where ur ra ends and ur general unwellness begins. I'd advise going to ur gp and getting a routine health check, they might treat u with a course of antibiotics just to rule an infection out. Hope u feel better soon. G.
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  • Posted

    Are you still on the meds
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  • Posted

    I am on 5mg predn, embrell and plaquenell.  I quite the prednison over the summer and this flare started in Nov.  I am concerned my body never went back to making its own prednisone.  I took 15mg of it last night and it helped some.  I will need to see my RA.  Does anyone have shoulder pain, it is horrible.
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    • Posted

      If you were only on a low dose, 5mg, that should be low enough for your body to have got back to making cortisol. The symptoms of that are different and you would have known - and been to your doctor about the symptoms. Shoulder pain and inability to lift your arms is a symptom of the PMR I mentioned - so yes, seen the film and got that t-shirt! If the 15mg of pred does help your symptoms quickly and quite clearly that could be a sign it may be PMR - but there are other things. Doctor time!
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    • Posted

      At my worst with RA I have had very painful shoulders / hands/ feet/knees -unable to move limbs- hold a cup of tea, start car, walk to , and pain as you are describing at 10. So it can be RA, though as Eileen says it s worth seeing if Dr thinks it s something else as well.

      One thing that s a little question in my mind is you say your pain was 5 and you were able to work back in the Summer. To me that s still a lot of pain ( and no doubt at least medium if not high disease activity) and the enbrel should be working better for you than that.

      It sounds to me like there s been a decline in these meds working for you but have you ever got down to low disease activity in the 15 years you ve had RA?  

      In the meantime I would suggest you make sure the pred you take is done in a structured way- I expect you already know that having come off it once.

      hope you get a rheumy reassessment soon.

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  • Posted

    Hey Cathy, hoping you are in better shape then when you posted it. Hit by a train is how my flares feel.  It's horrible and makes me question everything I'm doing.  Which is crazy making, which I'm discovering is a big part of living with ra.  Odds are good this is an untimely and unwanted flare.  Again, I hope things are better a week or so later.  All the best. 
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  • Posted

    Hey Cathy, just checking in to see how you r doing.  Hoping you got some relief.  
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