Hello, if you've read my previous post about preparation for my appointment maybe you'd like to hear how it went.
I was very nervous as after previous appointments had always felt angry and/or upset. I had written down 3 pages of things like descriptions of pain where and when, what helps and what makes things worse plus anything else I wanted to get off my chest and I did a drawing of my hands and feet where I highlighted which parts hurt most with 2 colours.
When I went in my fears of not being taken serious again were put at ease quickly. This doctor clearly was not some registrar filling in for a consultant, he was the real deal. He was very friendly. Read all my scribbling and asked questions before inspecting my hands, feet, wrists, elbows and neck. He also looked at my mums hands ( she is visiting and came with me as support and she has similar problems). He says he is quite certain on a diagnosis after this but just to exclude 2 very rare possibilities he ordered an MRI of my hands. He thinks I have 'nodular osteoarthritis' which is a rare form of OA ( about 1% of people with OA have this). He said the bad news is that it's just as painful as RA and there's no cure but the good news is, there's no need for me to take strong meds to manage it. He explained that it goes in waves/flares up and down with the 'normal' level being an upward trajectory. He says my trajectory is so far looking likely to be not too bad and I should be able to just deal with flare ups with pain killers when needed. He also wants me to see a podiatrist to maybe get insoles as the pain in my big toes makes me walk on the outside of my feet too much and this might be corrected.
Although it's obviously not all wonderful I am however deeply grateful that I got a relatively firm diagnosis and was treated with respect and taken seriously. I went out of the consultation happier then I've felt before after an appointment ever. I feel I'm in good hands. I might now no longer fit into your group as I don't have RA but you have all helped me deal with this for the past 2 years and I would like to say thank you!
I will keep looking here as I found lots of helpful advise that probably still applies.
Thanks for reading and have a good and hopefully pain free week ahead!