At last!

On Thursday i finally have an appointment with a rheumatologist after a long wait.

My symptoms first started about a year ago but i took a long time to go to see my gp. He did bloods and i came back with raised rheumatoid factor. They then did xrays and i was referred. I then got a call 2 weeks later asking my choice of hospital but then told me all the lists were full. Four weeks later i was offered an appointment in 12 weeks. The time has really dragged.

My hands are really painful and my feet knees are sore. This week my elbows and hips have ached. I cannot make a fist with my right hand anymore and have very poor grip in both. The pain is particularly bad with movement laterally like when picking up a jug kettle.

My gp gave me Naproxen and told me to take paracetomol. To be honest i haven't noticed any difference when I take these.

I hope that after my appointment I will at least get some understanding of what is actually wrong and start to get some treatment.

6 Replies

  • Good luck at your appointment. One thing I've heard about 'reporting' your condition to rheumys is that it helps to focus on function as well as pain. For example how you are with stairs / walking any distance / opening cans / reaching up to shelves / getting into and out of chairs / cutting up the food on your plate / washing, showering, getting in & out the bath and so on. Pain is relevant of course, but what you can and can't do compared to what you used to do is a very specific approach to how the disease is effecting you.

  • Thank you that has got me thinking. Because the changes are gradual I have just accepted things without really noticing.

    In the mornings i cannot put my socks on without sitting on the floor...and then i have difficulty getting back up. I cannot cross my fingers on my right hand or lift sacks. Opening jars is also something I struggle with.

  • It is awful at this stage when undiagnosed and untreated. Postle's suggestion is excellent - my rheumy seems to register things better when I describe them in practical terms so write it all down in a list. Best of luck. Twitchy x

  • Hope all goes well at your appointment & once you're started on your treatment you'll start to notice an improvement. In the meantime try not to overdo things, though you probably know your limitations at the mo.

    Let's us know how it goes & if you need to reach out meantime you know we're here. :)

  • I also had a long waiting list for my first appointment with the RD consultant so went privately. The sooner you get treatment medication the better to prevent damage to the joints.

  • After five months of pain and a high RF result my GP decided to send me to see a rheumatologist. I had to wait six weeks for an appointment then was told that taking naproxen was masking any RA symptoms. I then had to wait another two weeks naproxen free before I could I have a scan which showed the joint inflammation and it was decided I needed a CCP blood test which took a further two weeks to get the results from.

    I wouldn't take any painkillers before seeing a rheumatologist anymore as it appears to just delay getting treatment.

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