Been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and my question is how do I stop my condition worsening till my specialist appointment in 3 weeks?
Since my diagnosis about 3 weeks ago the pain in my hands, neck and feet has gone up alarmingly.
I can understand how you feel. Steroids is really the only thing that will give relief, but if you take them now then it will be difficult for the rheumatologist to assess your symptoms and current condition accurately
I was in exactly the same position back in march when I was diagnosed with a three month wait to see the rheumatologist.
A three week wait is quite good. I think I would advise you to get some better anti inflammatories from your gp and grit your teeth. Hard I know.
I know it's so hard to be patient at the beginning but in a way it's evidence. Now Sod's law the swellings will miraculously disappear the day you see the doc! So I would advise you take photos on your mobile so you can show him the severity of the sweeping at your appointment. I find heat pads extremely helpful, others find cold pads better, so a bit of trial and error there . Also see your go, they are the best got pain relief and I get strong anti inflammatory drugs ) 600 mg Brufen and Tramadol and morphine depending on the severity of the pain from him.
Hang on in there I am sure when he sees you and the pictures he will get you sorted! U will find in this RA game patience is a virtue! And rest you will probably be feeling exhausted. Xxxxx
I do agree with the above. Take the pain killers and the rheumatologist will start you on medication at once, I should think. Do hope the three weeks passes quickly for you and you can manage the symptoms OK 'til then xx
Hello BOB here
Given it is only three weeks it may be a good idea to see the GP and discuss with him the diagnosis that has been given Has the Hospital given you tests on bloods, and X rays and scans. It may seem that three weeks seems a long time although you have to allow time for tests to come through.
Now personally I have a firm belief in the patient asking for a copy of the letter that is sent to your GP. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT. This will inform you of the diagnosis, the tests done and their results. When you get this letter it becomes easier for you to approach the GP and discuss your condition, this make you more confident when you discuss Consultants options and your GP will discuss this with you.
You need to understand that many early treatments are treated with medications so time has not been waisted due to this three weeks. This follow up period is not unusual as your GP can medicate
All the best
Hi Bob, It was the GP who ordered the blood tests for me after he became concerned that I may have autoimmune disease, when the results came back he referred me to a rheumatologist and prescribed some anti inflammatory medication and a gel. When you say letter, do you mean the one he may have got back from the hospital with my results?
Hello Bright smile
Yes you can ask at the reception desk of the hospital Clinic, it will be entered on your records and you will get them from the hospital every time you visit the Clinician. This will also happen when you visit other departments, you only ask once
During the wait, be sure to eat well. Limit the sugar in your diet as much as you can, including bread and pasta. My rheumy said that carbs feed inflammation. Good luck to you.
In 3 weeks there is not a lot that you can do just rest/pain killers/relax/eat well. Take care x
Thank you guys for your replies. I'm taking paracetamol for the pain and saving neproxine for times when the pain is really severe as I react to aspirin. My GP also gave me a gel for pain relief which really helps. Do anti inflammatory drugs prevent actual damage and act as part of the treatment or are they just used for pain control?
I was told that anything that reduces the swelling will limit damage so anti inflammatories whilst sometimes not really doing a lot for the pain are still a good idea.
Hi bright smile, I'm not quite in the same position as you as I've already started my treatment, it just hasn't worked yet!!
Anyway, NSAIDs like naproxen I was told unfortunately don't stop any damage but they will help to treat the symptoms.
I think the only meds that will slow/stop the damage are the dmards you're likely to be prescribed and steroids that will help until the dmards work.
For me, naproxen was a life saver for a while but I was told by my rheumy nurse that it is way more effective if you take it regularly. Like you I had been trying to save it for when I needed it so tried taking it twice a day like she said and it worked so much better for me. It builds in your system and does reduce the inflammation which helps with the pain and fatigue as it's the inflammation that makes you tired.
If you're going to take it regularly you really need to take something to protect your tummy like Omeprasole as naproxen can be quite an irritant, I had to stop taking it after 2-3 months but it was fab whilst I was able to take it. As everyone has suggested talk to your GP about all of this in the meantime whilst your waiting.
I'd really also recommend using this time to do some research, giving the nras website pages a good read, having a chat with the nras team and really preparing for the consultation so you can get the most from the appointment.
It is a horrible disease and there's so much to take in. I hope the next few weeks go quickly for you and you soon get some relief.
Take care and let us know how you get on xx
yes i agree i used naproxe on a daily bsis eight a day till treatment along with tramadol and oemaprozol for stomach but now on treatment i dont take naproxen just tramadol when pain bad good luck xxxx
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