Any advice for a newbie?

Hello, I am very new to this, only getting a diagnosis a couple of weeks ago. I saw a consultant and she gave me an injection of 120mg depo medrone and I have just received a letter for a appointment with the specialist nurse in about 3 wks. But my knee is still swollen and stiff, my ankle/foot hurts to walk and my wrist still hurts, let alone the other little aches and pains. Should that injection have helped more? I feel really down as I haven't told many people as I don't want my work to know (I'm a pe teacher). But am finding it hard to hide my limp and the complete look of dread I have on my face when I know I've got to run round the track or demonstrate the high jump! Any suggestions, advice or funny stories to get me through?

12 Replies

  • Demonstrate the high jump? I think your rheumy should be doing that not you... Did they not suggest that you should be taking it a bit more gently until you've got inflammation better controlled? Or even have time off work completely given what you do? Exercise is v good for RA, and diagnosis doesn't mean the end of an active life at all. But you must be careful with inflamed joints, particularly with high impact stuff like landing from a great height! Steroids can work brilliantly, but they're not miracle workers so you do have to help things along a bit too. Are you also icing your joints? That helps too... It's a lot to come to terms with, so my best advice is to take it slowly. Polly

  • hi, welcome sorry to hear your news but with the right treatment things can be so much better, x

  • Hi, I might sound dumb but did u get a diagnosis of RA? Cos normally steroids well dampen down the inflammation of RA within a few days.

    The other thing just with ur job, did they X-ray you and check ur joints for other problems due to competing for example!

    I know that sounds weird but stranger things happen.

    But did they prescribe you good painkillers too, if not your GP can normally help.

    Also in some ways it's goo too that it's nearly the end of term cos it gives you time to see the nurse and get your treatment started before you have to go back.

    I would ask at this appointment for a very quick referral to physiotherapy maybe as it's important to keep your joints in good condition until they settle, and she may be able to advise you on that issue .

    I can understand u wanna keep it under wraps so I don't know how good your head is if you want to discuss it or leave it until you have a little more information.

    Glad u blogged here, the people on here are great and vsupportive so I have only these suggestions.

    Funny story well of course! I couldn't swim as I lived in the centre of Glasgow, but our new school got a pool! I was excited until our gorgeous dishy PE male teacher asked us to swim a lenghth, well did I blush!!! I gurgled my was across and looked after my effort to see him suppressing a giggle! Gutted yeah, I was 13! But the story now makes me giggle and yes I can swim now lol xxxx

  • First sentence should read, steroids normally dampen down a lot of the inflammation, for a lot of people! SOZ wrote it quickly! And head referred to head teacher, I wasn't asking you if you were clever lol :) xx

  • Note to self don't blog with the flu ! Xx

  • Oh do blog again wiht the flu Allanah it made me laugh! Starbucks I agree with Polly - it is madness to think that you can do all this when still flaring by the sounds of it. Steroids only really work if you work with them. If you carry on as if nothing was wrong then so will the active RA probably. I can say this as one who is always carrying on as if nothing was wrong. It's less of a problem now I'm on Methotrexate by injection (one of the first line drugs you may be offered) but when I carried on with my normal life in the early days after diagnosis I found that bits would swell and hurt like fractures and I was forced to stop working for periods of time - and I'm self employed so couldn't really afford to stop as no sick pay. You should qualify for some time off I would have thought and there are strict rules that the headteacher will be aware of about your rights as an employee with RA. If you can't cope with work while you digest the diagnosis and rest up your joints then go and see your GP and get a sick note from them to cover you for a few weeks. Tilda x

  • I agree with Tilda I think you really should tell them at work. You need to start looking after yourself to give yourself a chance to feel better. I am newly diagnosed too and am on oral steroids at the moment which have worked brilliantly but resting and not pushing your body too far are just as valuable as the drugs. I know you don't want things to change but sadly they have and you need to go with it a bit. Take care of yourself x Sally x

  • Hi I am newly diagnosed to and a physio so I know what it's like when the symptoms affect your job. I have stayed at work but I am lucky as I can dictate how I work so I can spread out heavier clinical work with admin bits. If you discuss with your head/department head they may be able to modify your job. It's good to stay at work if you can but doing high jump on inflamed joints may not be the best idea! How you look after your joints now along with the medication will affect you long term. I have stopped high impact classes that I used to do and have switched to swimming. You have to look after number one and find a low impact exercise that you enjoy. I understand it takes time to get your head around it, I also struggled with the strong medication but reading the NICE guidance made me realise it really was for the best in the long term. Good luck with it. I too have found this site really supportive. S

  • Hi, welcome to this lovely site. I was diagnosed with RA Jan 2012 and given initial Depo Medrone injection. But although it immediately got rid of the stiffness and tiredness, my joints still felt painful and the only thing that seemed to help that (until being put on MTX in May) was regular anti-inflammatories. Have you been prescribed anything else? Totally agree with everyone re resting your joints and getting support from work. I still find now if I overdo things with one joint I suffer for it later.

    Wishing you all the best.


  • Oh blimey - haven't read the other responses yet & only got as far as seeing that you are required to run around the track etc. Don't do it! I know we are not supposed to give specifically medical advice but just don't do it! It took over a year to diagnose my RA & meanwhile I was proud of how active I managed to be but my knees are now permanently damaged & I may need knee replacements at some point. If you have inflammatory arthritis your joints are at real risk ...... you may be able to be very active in time, with the right drugs etc. but for now please go careful.

    Luce x

  • Hi...I first wrote on this sight a few weeks ago as I was looking for support for my teenage daughter who was diagnosed in November with adult stills disease.She to started on high dose steroids etc.she then went onto methatrexate injection.two weeks ago she started anakinra injections and 25mg methatrexate.she has reduced steroids to 10mg daily.i am telling you this because today she has gone to the gym and feels so much better...the future is bright as the drugs do help it is scary when first diagnosed but trust your rheu my

    I thank The Lord we found this site as it gives a good balanced view of inflammatory disease

    Thanks everyone!

  • Hello, thanks for all the replies.

    No I haven't been told to take it easy, in fact the consultant asked me if I was going back to work after my appointment, to which I replied yes. I am icing my joints.

    Allanah, I did get a diagnosis of RA and I had chest, hand and feet X-rays. Thanks for your advice and story ??

    Thanks Tilda, it's hard not to charge round like a maniac when that's all you've ever done, but you sound like you know that.

    Thanks for all your advice and suggestions, it's great to know you know howI feel. It's even better to know there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you xx

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