Patient Story: Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

When Joint Symptoms Flare Up, It's Important to Listen

By Karina Lichtenstein
MedicineNet.com

Reviewed by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

"One morning, I woke up with severe joint pain and stiffness. When I got out of bed, I could barely move my fingers. I should have listened to my joint symptoms sooner …" ~ Joanne

How did Joanne get here? This is her story …

Joanne is a busy, 37-year old mother of two small children. Like many working moms, she works part time, shuttles the kids to and from school and different activities, and takes care of the house and family. She tries to live a healthy lifestyle, exercising several times a week and cooking nutritious meals at home. Joanne has been happily married to her husband, John, for 15 years.

One day, Joanne felt sick after picking the boys up from school. She was tired, achy, and had a fever. "I must have the flu," she told John. Joanne took some Theraflu and went to bed. She lost her appetite and didn't eat much. Her symptoms went away after a few days, but she still didn't feel right. 'That was the worst flu ever," she thought.

Joanne went back to her routine, but something was off. She normally had a lot of energy, but now she felt fatigued, run down. And her joints still ached. Joanne didn't like going to the doctor, so she carried on as best as she could. 'I'm young and healthy," she thought. She didn't suspect that anything was seriously wrong.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2014