Arthritis Action
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more bad news!

Hi I am new to this and have just been diagnosed with RA. I was also diagnosed with bipolar a few years ago which I have had since my 20's but it just became more difficult to control and the medications that I have been given like a guinea pig have all worked for a while but then had adverse reactions sometimes sending me to hospital and nearly killing me.

I am now terrified with the RA diagnosis and the introduction to yet more medications and the disturbing side affects which I may have to deal with. I am just about to bring in my 50th birthday on my own and the future looks quite bleak.

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Hi hello and welcome.

Firstly, sorry to hear you are newly diagnosed with RA it must have come as a shock to you.I am afraid I have no experience or knowledge of bipolar so I am not in a position to make any comment on that.

It is widely documented that early aggressive treatment of RA produces the best results in helping with the condition,keeping it well controlled,and obviously this will involve use of drugs.

As you have probably been advised or are aware of there is no cure at present for RA so good management of the condition can make a world of difference in how you cope with it day to day

If you look through various threads and comments on this site you will see the comments from fellow sufferers.With the use of drugs there is no one size fits all.Everyone is different and what suits one person may not suit another.I used to have methotrexate by injection once per week.The side effects were awful and then in Nov. 2015 I was admitted to hospital twice with acute kidney failure attributed to use of methotrexate. Needless to say I cannot take this any longer.However others on here have said how well they get on with it and what a huge difference it makes to them and with no side effects.RA is often treated with more than one drug and so it is also down to getting that combination of drugs and the doses right.This is often a case of trial and error and can sometimes take a while to get that right.

I can understand how scary it is being newly diagnosed and what lies ahead.I am not going to lie to you and say everything will be a smooth journey. You may be one of the lucky ones who with early treatment can manage your condition well and live a near normal life.There are others like myself who can barely walk across a room.I was diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 51.Up until then I was cycling 80- 100 miles per week,mountain walking and very fit and active and then Wham! RA hit me.And boy was that a shock !! Thinking back I had probably had symptoms of this for a couple of years before,aching joints etc but put it down to too much exercise combined with the aging process and I ignored it,

When I started my treatment it was probably quite advanced into the condition and so a lot of the damage had already been done.

So I would speak to your rheumatologist and express your concerns over drug usage and hopefully he/ she can alleviate your worries and answer any questions you have.

Build a good relationship with your rheumatologist and your rhematology nurse this will go a long way.Also if you have any questions or just feeling you need someone to talk to come back to this site.Although not medically trained and unable to give you any medical direction there are folks on here with a wealth of experience and knowledge who would try and answer honestly any questions you have.

It is also a safe place to vent your frustrations and this site is used by people who understand just what you are going through and don't judge you.Something which friends and family cannot do.However well meaning and best intentioned they may be, they will not know exactly what or how you are feeling.

So yes I see how you think that the future may be bleak for you but please try the treatments that your rheumatologist recommends and keep in close touch with them re any concerns or side effects that you are feeling,and most of all enjoy your 50 th birthday- best wishes for a great day.

Take good care .



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