Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience

Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Comment from: cathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 21

My rheumatoid arthritis started suddenly. My hands both seemed stiff and I couldn't even make a fist. Then both my knees ached all the time and I had no energy at all. Couldn't even go to the store as everything ached so bad.

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Comment from: Tabbs0530, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a year ago. It took me down really fast. I couldn't walk or use either hand without severe pain. Prednisone helped until I was given Methotrexate and Humira. The injections burn a lot but seem to have the rheumatoid arthritis under control. I also have occasional finger swelling when it rains.

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Comment from: Torey, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 01

My mother has had RA for 25 years. She has her wrists fused together, all the joints have been removed from her feet and her spine is also twisted. She has been on almost every medication. Her last one was Remicaid which slowed it for a while but quit working. With the new Medicare requirements she can't afford the copay she has to make for the IV medications anymore. We have no idea what to do next.

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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?

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