Diagnosis of Rheumatoid arthritis aka RA

After doing some research we went and met my first Rheumatologist. She saw me and ordered some scan to check for inflammation as it was not detectable she said it could be some muscle cramps or stiffness and gave me my first of many to come steroid injection and advised me to indulge in physical activities like swimming or yoga… ufff if only I can walk as a normal person and sent me home. Things started going down from then the injection helped me for a day then the pain is back with a bang. Till now my legs only were hurting now my fingers, hands started becoming stiff.  It was not consistent one day my left hand thumb will pain and the next day ring finger in my right hand. It is becoming more difficult to work as working on my laptop needs my fingers to co-operate. Met her again and she ran some calcium , CBP tests to check for deficiency gave me yet another steroid injection and advised to take rest and take it easy. Of course I’m taking rest as if I have any other choice other than resting :P. Same as earlier no help the pain will be gone for a day or two and is back .

These visits lasted a month and I’m limping and complaining full time now. Thank god in my next visit swelling in my fingers is visible to eye now. But my doctor is not convinced as I don’t meet the primary criteria of RA which is symmetrical pain I.e., I should have similar pain on both hands and legs at a time but I have asymmetrical pain as in both hand and leg on the same side would ache or the other side but I never had pain in two hands or two legs. But she took pity on me and ordered the magical blood tests to test her theory I.e., CBP, RH factor and Anti CCP. My RH factor turned out to be negative but CCP report will take a 3-4 days. So without wasting time we met a spine specialist thinking Rheumatology is not the one. He ran some X-rays and after clinical assessment he concluded it will be solved only by a Rheumatologist and referred me to a different doctor.

By the time we went to see the new Rheumatologist my Anti CCP results came and it is positive. (Hurrah !! something finally). My new Rheumy examined my knees, feet and arms and confirmed I have inflammation in them and confirmed I have a mild case of RA. Ordered some more tests CRP, ESR, some LUPUS related tests. Turns out I have only RA with no other side on (Lucky Me 🙂 ) . But he did not want to start RA medication right away as it is toxic and once started there is no stopping as it is a chronic illness. Gave me another steroid and prescribed Hi-fineac tablets twice a day and HCQS – 300 mg to protect my cartilage from damaging due to the disease activity.

So for lucky people who are not aware of RA it means : a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. (For me it include shoulders, elbows and knees 😦 ). Basically  my immune system has gone mad and started treating my joints as enemies and started its attack there by causing irritation and inflammation initially damaging them permanently if not treated early.

Hi-fenac is a magically drug if taken continuously as my pain is gone after 3 days and doctor asked me to use it when ever my pain is back. When asked does it not have side effects he said no side effect is more dangerous than your actual problem so just go with it. So I used it as much as possible to avoid pain but I started gaining lot of weight due to steroids. But life with no pain is heaven so enjoying the bliss even if it is short lived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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