First Post and certainly not the Last!

Hello everyone, my first post since discovering this fantastic and informative site. I was diagnosed with RA 18 months ago together with OA in the left hip and right knee. In addition, I have a totally inactive thyroid for the last 30 years and been treated for depression for the last 12 years, oh and my stress incontinence has worsened and get recurrent UTI's.

I remember in the early days prior to the RA diagnosis, how 'ill' I felt and not understanding why and worrying constantly. I really struggled at work managing a team as well as meeting objectives, but I pushed through without taking a day off sick, as I had a manager who totally dismissed me and likened my symptoms to a twinge he had in his leg or some other part of his body.

Fortunately, I was offered redundancy after 31 years which I readily accepted before I was a complete wreck. So glad I did, as instead of expecting to feel better, the condition was still obviously still sorting itself out with the medications and I had really dark days. My RA consultant told me it would take 2 years to feel as I did before the symptoms started and at the time it seemed an eternity. My hip joint with OA has now rapidly deteriorated and am down for a hip replacement sometime, hopefully sooner now as I have bursitis in the right leg now due to over compensating when walking!

I fell down some stone stairs whilst in holiday last year, due to my hip and broke my wrist, this has now left me with OA in both wrists as well.

My current medications are:

Etodolac 600mg daily, Folic acid 5mg weekly, Hydrochloroquine 200mg x 2 daily, Levothyroxine 100mcg daily, Methotrexate 2.5mg x 5 weekly, Omeprazole 20mg daily, Reletrans patches 10mcg/hour weekly, Vensir XL 225mg daily.

So do I feel any better with these medicines? The main problem is deciding what is RA pain as opposed to OA. I still feel exhausted all the time, ache all the time. Chronic at night usually in my legs which is difficult to describe.

So fellow sufferers, can you tell me if these are normal feelings, whatever normal is? I am hoping that once the hip is replaced then I will be able to decipher a 'flare' from an OA pain.

Thanks for a great site, and thanks for reading. I will continue to read with interest.

8 Replies

  • Hi you could maybe try taking the frolic acid daily except mtx day , it might help with the fatigue, mind you I do that and am still getting a lot off fatigue, also I drink gallons off water which helps reduce side effects , but what about Biologics that is the next step that's what I'm on now alongside mtx 20mgs and it's made a big difference although I still get a bit off pain and fatigue but I go to exercise classes most days which helps , I have RA and OA too and was medically pensioned off last July at 51 and I'm glad because I was struggling for 3 years before that and don't think I could work now xxx

  • Thx for your reply. I did try and mention biologics to my consultant, as I worked for a pharma company that made them so was well informed as to their efficacy, however he was not interested. I only see him 6 monthly now and he seems happy with my current dosing regime, so not much else I can do.

  • I have also wondered about this. What i is " feeling normal" with meds?🤔

  • Like me, able to get on as normal more days than not, except for my feet who do they're own thing & refuse to respond to meds but that's easily got round.

  • The hip replacement will cure only one problem darling. You need those drugs long term to get some relieve of the pain ans symptoms. Exhaustion i am afraid to is normal with RA and Fibromyalgia as well.I hope you don't get the latter i really do.xxxxx

  • Hiya Recam & welcome. Thank you for such an informative first post, most helpful. I was also diagnosed back in 2008 with both OA & RD (Rheumatoid Disease, you may have noticed this is sometimes as opposed to RA, it just differentiates it from OA, arthritis is lumped in as osteo by those unaware of the difference). My protocol is RD: MTX (17.5 mg injection), folic acid (6 x weekly), leflunomide (10mg nightly), deflazacort (3mg daily), etoricoxib (60mg alternate nights), omeprazole 20mg/40mg alternate days/nights), OA: Butec (20mcg/hr weekly), co-codamol (30/500mg as req'd), amitriptyline (75mg daily), pregabalin (100mg x twice daily), atorvastatin (10mg nightly) plus AdCal-D3 (1500mg/400iu daily) & Omega 3 fish oil.

    I also had that 'which is OA which is RD' problem though prior to a regular Rheumy appointment I'd convinced myself it was the RD progressing. It took me by surprise when it was explained following examination that it was OA progressing. I'm ashamed to admit it's the one & only time I've cried in a Rheumys consulting room, it was such a blow in a way because I'd been so sure it was just a case of increasing a DMARD, I knew not much else could be done for my OA, I know different now because that's when I started stronger pain relief. It's now in my neck, lumbar region, knees, hands & possibly hips, though my Rheumy has considered that to be trochanteric bursitis for a while now I'm going to ask if she'll examine it again & maybe order imaging because the pain is now different. I'm also osteopenic, hence the calcium & Vitamin D & checked by DEXA scan biennially.

    So, whilst our histories aren't totally in sync they are similar & somewhat typical of someone with both RD & OA. Dependant on any inflammation you have, because it's synovial swelling RD is usually softer, boggier, as if there's fluid inside which of course there is & the pain doesn't usually let up. OA swelling is harder & generally not as puffy, often the joint clicks or grinds & the pain is worse at night when we tend to be more sedentary so it's a good idea to get up & walk around every hour or so. I wonder if you think your pain is RD related if one or other of your DMARDs could be increased. Or if you think you could attribute your pain to OA maybe your pain relief or NSAID need reviewing, there is room for each I would think unless you've reached your tolerance levels for your Reletrans &/or etodolac. Or, if necessary & appropriate, if it's that your pain is in part neurological there are meds which can help.

    Gosh I've gone on, I hope some of this is legible, apols for my rambling! 🙄😉

  • Thanks very much for your comprehensive response. Much appreciated.

  • Welcome! You're in good company and on a wonderfully knowledgable and giving site.


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