Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience

Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.

Comment from: pizzagirl12280, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I was diagnosed with RA a little over two years ago at the age of 46. It started with severe swelling and pain. I took several medications and was doing well, lost my job and insurance. Now I only take NSAIDs and am miserable, especially since I had to quit taking all medication including methotrexate, cold turkey. steroids work wonders but I cannot get them on a regular basis. Many people think it is just pain because they look at the arthritis portion, they do not understand the other symptoms and that I am really degenerating slowly. mMore information needs to be put out about this disease so people understand the whole picture.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Ella, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I just found out I have RA at age 21. Needless to say it is quite depressing. My knees have been killing me for over a year, and I refused to take no for an answer. I went to see my primary doctor and he said my knees are fine, blood test was okay. I went to see an orthopedist and he said it was fine too. I went to see a rheumatologist and four tests later I am positive for RA. My knees would swell severely with exercise, and also when it would rain, and or the weather would change. I am going to move to a dry climate area. The more weather changes, and humidity the worst my RA is. I am also going to do yoga. I am scheduled to get an MRI done soon and start the steroid injections.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: mae, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I was recently diagnosed with RA. I have been under medication for eight months and I am not yet recovered from pain. At first my doctor thought it was SLE but after a lot of tests that were made; ASO, ANA, ESR, ALT and RA my doctor concluded that it was some kind of Rheumatic factor. In January I experienced a stiff neck and thought it was only because of a sleep disorder and after a week I felt relief. After that I experienced a pain in my right knee, then left, then both knees, both of my ankles, and in my upper limbs, and shoulder. I feel scared because both of my hands cannot grip. I feel restless, wreckless and incapable of doing things. It makes me depressed and stressed. I am 25 years old now and a teacher. My job requires physical actions and I don't think I can survive the whole school year. I am now taking 5 mg of prednisone three times a day with Plaquenil in the morning, folic acid and two times a day of Celebrex. However, it doesn't relieve the pain one hundred percent.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: RA Sufferer, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I have been diagnosed with RA, but have not had actual blood tests done to confirm. However, I know one third of the diagnosis is based upon my extensive family history. The RA is primarily in my hands, wrist, neck and shoulders. My right hand, wrist and index finger are very swollen and painful. Also, my pinky and index finger are already crooked.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 29

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 5 years ago, but have dealt with the disease much longer. I've had symptoms since my mid-20s, but numerous doctors were unable to diagnose the problem, with one going so far as to say I was imagining things. After a case of unexplained tendinitis in my ankle, a doctor suggested I might have rheumatoid arthritis. A rheumatologist confirmed it in 2007, which helped me finally connect the dots. I started on Humira and Paquanil which worked for a time, but the disease has progressively gotten worse. Now it's Remicade every six weeks along with Luflonomide, Paquanil, and Mobic. I am grateful to have such an understanding and loving wife. She watched her father go through this when he was my age. My father-in-law is a great resource because of his experience with rheumatoid arthritis. Thankfully I have great insurance and am still able to work, but I fear I won't be able to work much longer.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Margaret, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 29

For several weeks I felt unwell with flu like symptoms. Then the middle fingers on both hands swelled up and became painful. When I experienced pain in the left side of my jaw I sought medical help. Blood tests proved I have Rheumatoid arthritis. Previous to these symptoms I 'd had no kind of joint pain. I'm now taking medication to ease the pain and swelling. I have the most pain and stiffness first thing in the morning. Gradually over the day the pain lessens. I find knitting and playing the piano very good for loosening my stiff fingers. The pain and stiffness in my jaw is a problem at breakfast time but eases over the day. I have an appointment to see a Rheumatologist soon.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Fordownr, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 18

This disease is a real pain. I'm 51 and was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after many years of joint pain. It took a new doctor to finally run a rheumatoid arthritis blood test and it was positive. I was started on Methotrexate, but it left me nauseous and unable to function on the day I took it. I am now on Plaquenil twice a day and Cimzia 200mg self-injected every two weeks. I am getting some relief but am nowhere near "controlled" as I still get debilitating flares in my hands and ankles. My primary care doctor has finally started getting aggressive with my treatments when I get a flare-up and it helps (high dose short term steroids and industrial pain medications). I have to agree totally with one of the other posters that the effects of this disease are not understood by the public at large. I keep waiting to get written up for "zoning out" at my desk, but I just can't help it. I also miss a good amount of work, but my bosses have seen how miserable and ineffective I am during major flares and are understanding of that. I get extremely frustrated at this disease and the way it changes my lifestyle. I used to be an energizer bunny, but now I feel like a slug. It really annoys me when I have to get help to open a bottle, open a door, or carry what is normally a light object.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms at the onset of your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your 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?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.


Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.