Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience

Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.

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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Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I went through a 40 pound weight loss then the pain and stiffness started in my right hand. I went to the family doctor and after an X-ray, MRI and biopsy of my right hand, he finally sent me to a rheumatologist and he said I have rheumatoid arthritis at 28 years old. I am taking methotrexate and prednisone and folic acid. I have symptoms in my right hand, left hand, and my knees. My doctor is thinking about starting me on Humira. I just want to find a treatment to help me feel better and less fatigued.

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Comment from: Nevinovatainima, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I'm a 19 year old woman. Starting at the age of 13, I have been experiencing weak wrists and knees that bring about pain when bent for too long or too far. Last month I went to the doctor about this and they did some blood tests showing that I have rheumatoid arthritis. I didn't know what symptoms to look for until I was shown a few signs on my own body like the fingers growing to be a bit odd shaped, which I've noticed my father had and it was pretty bad. That's when I knew whom I got it from. Also, just a few days ago I started having sharp chest pain throughout my chest and luckily was given two medications by my rheumatologist, they both help wonderfully, but I worry I'm only going to get worse. I wish there was a cure! Any suggestions on how I could possibly slowdown the process? I currently try to exercise regularly.

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Comment from: COGPK84, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

I am 27 years old, so I was very surprised when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. According to my doctor, I developed it early because of a car wreck I was in 5 years ago, as well as having toxemia with my last pregnancy. I have hesitated about starting treatment, but it seems to be worsening quickly. I appreciate all the info, it has really helped.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms and Signs Question: What were your symptoms and signs 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 and signs of RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diagnosis Question: What led to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis?

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