Possible diagnosis of RA

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Since last year, I had been waking up with both hands swollen and was unable to expand my fingers. I am now having difficulty raising my arm above my shoulder. After several tests and MRI, my doctor finally ran some blood work . My ANA was positive and so I have been referred to rheumatologist. I am not sure how to handle this information. I also have MS. Can someone please advise me on what to expect or what questions I should ask when I meet with doctor. Thanks in advance for any information you can share.

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  • Posted

    There are questions, but they would be personal. He'll look at your reports and then epxlain.

    Get him to talk...

    The main thing I can offer is to suggest you do your own research online first to prepare you, write down your questions, and – very important – take a support friend with you. Give them a notebook and have them take notes.

    That frees you up to talk and listen, and it also gives a third-party ear. If the friend/partner has done their own research, all the better.

    They'll have questions too.

    Having another person is not just about the notes and the 'witness'.

    It gives you space...

    Because there'll be lots of information and as you're so emotionally involved, there's a big likelihod you'll forget stuff.

    good luck!

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  • Posted

    look online you may get some answers i have RA and my daughter has MS some of our symptoms are the the same but not all
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  • Posted

    Hi, I was diagnosed with RA in 2003 and since then it has been a roller coaster ride with the doctors, especially the specialists/rehumatologists. About every other time I go they say they're not sure I have RA which can be really unsettling. Each time they have said that, then I think I have to start all over figuring out why my joints swell and hurt so bad, and why I've had a couple of such dibilitating flare-ups that I couldn't walk until I got on prednisone. 

    I tried for 11 years to treat with high dosage prescription anti-inflammatory meds (ended up with 3 ulcers), diet, rest, and exercise. I always said that when I had more bad days than good I would try some of the stronger meds available to suppress the immune system. I started on Plaquinil in October of 2014 and while it's not without some unpleasant side effects, my joints are feeling better and I can get out of bed and move freely right away as opposed to the 30 minutes it used to take me to "warm up". 

    My suggestion to you is to read everything you can about RA from both patients and doctors, and make copious notes to take to the doctor. I find when I have notes, I don't forget to ask things. 

    Good luck and I hope you don't have RA. I'm so sorry you have MS, and perhaps some of the symptoms are similar.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Melody, that is some helpful information. I will do so more research and come up with questions to ask. Yeah MS has some similarities so who knows if that might be what is causing all this. We'll see. Thanks for responding and I'll try to find more information.
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  • Posted

    I hope. I am doing this right)

    Well I am frustrated until I can see a doctor all I can do is deal with the pain, since I don't what to take, I am currently between vocidin and ibuprofen depending on the level of pain. To hear the many discussions it sounds like  I will have another pill to many I already take, lol. My only complaint is the pain, weakness and  swollnesss in the morning. Oh and raising my arm happens from time to time. Then the pain returns again at night possibly of all the activity going all day. I am enjoying the information I am receiving it prepares me for what happen.Well I am frustrated until I can see a doctor all I can do is deal with the pain, since I don't what to take, I am currently between vocidin and ibuprofen depending on the level of pain. To hear the many discussions it sounds like  I will have another pill to many I already take, lol. My only complaint is the pain, weakness and  swollnesss in the morning. Oh and raising my arm happens from time to time. Then the pain returns again at night possibly of all the activity going all day. I am enjoying the information I am receiving it prepares me for what happen.

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  • Posted

    look online for symptoms of MS and RA  see howmany symptoms are the same good luck with the rheumatologist
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