Visit to Rheumy

I have been suffering for about 3 months with more pain especially in my hands and wrists even if I havent done anything out of the ordinary like painting. I was due for my annual review at the end of May. However I couldnt stand it much longer so phoned the clinic and was given an appointment for last Tuesday. Unfortunately the clinic was running over an hour late but I didnt mind cause I thought it would be worth it. It wasnt lol. The consultant just felt my wrists and fingers and said "they dont look swollen to me". After reading in the last NRSA mag about methotrexate injections I asked if I could change to them to cut down on the nausea. He said I could change if I want to but suggested I tried folic acid every day instead. So no blood test but I did get my hands and feet xrayed. I find I always get more from my appointments with the specialist nurses. But hey ho I live to fight another day.

21 Replies

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  • Grrr, why don't they just listen to us - if we say it hurts, then it hurts. And it is possible to have pain without swelling. I've rarely had swollen joints, and certainly not persistent ones. How frustrating for you. I hope the folic acid helps.

    Good luck,

    Dotty xx

  • You are so right Dotty. What is wrong with some of these GP's? Also I agree with you about the swelling. I very rearly have swelling. I used to think that maybe I wasn't the same as other sufferers because I didn't have hands like they had. My joints have got bigger but not really swollen.

    Again I have to say that my rheumy hospital team and my GP are excellent and have gone out of their way to help in every way they can. My GP (god bless him) even told me not to try to make my way to the surgery if I am not up to it! He fones me and we arrange what has to be done that way. I live in the north of Ireland and when I read what others have to go through with their medical people I am so great full for the people who are looking after me.

    Jean X

  • Glad you get good care Jean. I normally do but I think as I only see the Professor once a year he doesnt know me like the nurses. Thank you for your helpful comments.

  • Yes why dont they. My joints don,t swell a lot but god they are painful. Thank you Dotty.

  • Hi Sharon

    God ur consultant sounds much like mine. Mine always says the same and no swelling he says no pain. Sometimes im in agony n i feel that he thinks im at it. Thats interesting what he is saying about folic acid, because both my consultant and gp warned me against taking folic acid same day as mtx they both said nothing bad will happen, but it woukld counteract the dffects of the mtx. So it would be pointless taking the mtx even my pharmacist always reminds me too. I dont blog much here as im so busy with my two young kids and im moving house but your post interested me about folic acid. I hope you get some relief soon and sending you cyber hugs ()() xx

  • Oh thank you for the cyber hugs and for the comments on the folic acid. Good luck with moving house. Sharon

  • hi , i am having the same problem with pain even when there,s no swelling. i have come to the conclusion that its the damage to joints from the flare ups of imflamation, sadly i think it is something we have to live with, i don,t think the medication can take all the pain away, in my own experience i find keeping the joints moving help to stop them seizing up.. pacing myself not feeling guilty when i have a bad day and need to rest. being able to read other peoples experiences also helps knowing your not on your own with it and any new symptoms there is someone out there that knows what it is . best wishes to you all.

  • Yes I think you may be right. I keep moving as much as I can.

  • Hi, went to my rheumy visit on 2nd May and she examined me (usually I dont get this much attention). I have great ROM (range of movement) so my complaints about painful feet and wrists fell on deaf ears - as others have said, no inflammation, no pain = oh yeah???!!!! I take mtx and folic acid every day except my mtx day and I dont get too much nausea feeling. I have "resting splints" that have helped me a lot with my wrists and hands in the past - you wear them in the evening when you are flopped on the sofa - have you got those? Ask GP for Occupational Therapy appt. to see if you can get them. They hold your arm and hands in a resting position and you can feel the relief - can't do anything when you've got them on though! A good excuse to have your drinks made for you and brought to you!

    Also, I had "working splints" that I used when doing housework, mowing the lawn, lifting/pushing anything, etc. Lost original ones so have an appt. to get more fitted in June - again Occuptational Therapy should help with this. These really help too, as long as you wear them (my hubby always had to nag me to wear them!)

    Keep using cold compresses for the inflammation and hot for the pain.

    Dont know about you, but the very damp and cold weather causes me more pain and inflammation so that may be what has made things worse for you as well?

    Gentle hugs to you. x

  • Sorry following comment was meant to be a reply to you.

  • Hi yes I have got one resting splint I may request one for the other hand. Over they years I have got quite a collection of working splints some black ones which make me feel like Michael Jackson (lol) you know when he used to wear one glove. I do try to wear them when I am doing stuff but like you I sometimes forget. I do use hot and cold compresses and even take them if I go away for one night. I think the Prof must have forgot to tell me not to take methotrexate and folic acid on the same day. I will check it out with the Rheumy Nurses. Thank you for taking time to reply to me.

  • Best of luck with it all Sharon - yes, double check abt folic acid as there seem to be varying opinions on it. For years I was only taking folic acid one day a week, 3 days after the mtx until everyone noticed and threw hands up in horror "oh no, you should be taking it every day except mtx day". !!

    I will always see you now with a Michael jackson hand!

    Lynn x

  • Oh goodness it is worrying how the advise we are given varies so much. Bye for now.

  • He he my partner said I look like Michael Jackson too! I wear two black working splints. Aaow!

  • I did ask if they had any ones that are a bit more glamorous but no afraid not. Maybe I will glam them up a bit.

  • I worry when I listen to you all, that I have RA rather than OA. I have pain in both wrists, thumb bases, heels, big toes and ankles. Bit odd for it to be OA.

  • Have you been tested for RA?

  • Blood tests all came back negative

  • Most likely you dont have RA, but if you are concerned would your GP send you for re-testing? I think OA can cause pain in every joint so it may be that. RA is systemic so you get other symptoms besides joint pain and inflammation is a big factor in RA.

    Lynn x

  • hi sharon, so sorry your consultant did not listen to you. Maybe you should ring your rhuemy nurse and have a chat with her and explain how your feeling if the folic acid doesnt work and tell her how you would like to try the injections . I dont always get swelling in my joints all the time but still get pain and then some are swollen and have no pain so swelling doesnt always mean you have pain you can have pain without it Hope the Foic acid works for you . love the chat about working splints where did you get the black ones from i only have flesh colour ones. I have just got a knitting pattern for them as covers , i'm going to knit some to cover them up lol. take care sharon . lena xxx :))

  • Hi what a brilliant idea knitting covers for the splints, I thought about sticking some sequins on lol. I have had the black ones for ages the physio at the hospital gave them to me. Yes if I keep feeling this way I will definately ring the rheumy nurse. Hope you have a good weekend. Cheers Sharon

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