Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms

What were your symptoms at the onset of your rheumatoid arthritis?

Comment from: Lori, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I retired at 63 with what I thought was excellent health and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) hit me like a ton of bricks - took 2 months of intense traveling pain before I was properly diagnosed. It had already been wreaking havoc with my lungs as I have interstitial lung disease too. I mostly slept in my recliner and thought I was losing my mind. It feels like your affected part at the moment is BROKEN. I have a constant cough that drives me nuts they have pretty much ignored. I am on methotrexate, Plaquenil, and prednisone - these drugs are making me lose hair and messing up my skin. I've read the side affects of these drugs and it appears the cough, thin skin, and hair loss are caused by these wicked meds. This is one UGLY disease I wish on nobody! I try very hard to be grateful for the years I had without pain and to accept it and just be grateful it's not cancer but some days...

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Comment from: marleen, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 20

I do understand how others feel. I was going through the same thing. When I went to the doctor I was diagnosed with gout. It's a very painful experience. If you don't know the score now, it can hurt longer than a month. Go get it checked out; it can be something serious and you can prevent it.

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Published: June 25

The first sign was my jaw that bothered me for 2 months. Then my neck was stiff for 2 months. My hands and wrist started stiff and sore. Continues with painful right shoulder and fatigue. I went to a Rheumatologist and he stated that I will be treated with an I.V.

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Published: June 20

I am just over halfway thru my 60th year and was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In January I was experiencing stiffness in my hands and random muscle spasms moving between my arms and shoulders and then I suffered a major attack of Hives. At that time my doctor gave me a prescription for prednisone, which stopped the hives and really fixed everything. I felt 20 years younger in a matter of days. Within a month after that the hands started getting stiff again, and soon were keeping me awake at night with unexpected pains and spasms. On my doctor's advice I went to a rheumatologist, and discovered that I have RA. It was really quick to take over. If I had symptoms before this year, they were minor...

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Published: June 19

A tired feeling for 6months or so then pain started in neck and right shoulder and arm. Now I have fluid entering around my left lung.

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Published: June 19

My wrists were really swollen and sore and my right shoulder a little bit. I was also pretty tired. My toes seemed somewhat swollen also, but not hurting.

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Published: June 19

My symptoms began after I had my second child. My first symptoms were fatigue and joint swelling and pain. I thought these symptoms were a result of having been pregnant and having a new baby at home while taking care of a 1 1/2 year old toddler. However, as the next few months went on I started to notice I was having difficulty managing the snaps and buttons on the baby's clothes, I was having a difficult time pushing my older son in the stroller and in a swing due to pain in my hands and wrists. When my son was about 3 1/2 months old I finally went in to see my primary care MD because I had no idea what was wrong with me. After she examined me and ran some tests, she told me she believed I had RA and that I needed to see a rheumatologist. I went to see 2 different MD's and the diagnosis was confirmed. The first MD I saw was very nice but did not seem to truly understand how this was affecting my life and the lives of my husband and children. She started me on Celebrex and told me to follow up with her in a few months. I did not do well on Celebrex and was switched to Bextra 2 weeks later. Luckily I had scheduled an appointment with another rheumatologist who my primary care MD had recommended. After seeing him I was immediately started on methotrexate, Plaquenil, prednisone, folic acid, and Motrin. I have been on multiple treatments in the four years since then and am thankful my MD is as attentive to me and as aggressive as he is. Today I have 3 beautiful children and have an active and happy life.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet Question: Discuss the diet or other lifestyle changes you've made to relieve symptoms of RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diagnosis Question: What led to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis?

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