Hi, I've been unwell now for 10 weeks with what appears to be quite severe RA. It came on really suddenly on a weekend away, initially with really painful, stiff and swollen joints in my ankles but within days it was affecting my toes, knees, fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders. It also affected the joints in my ribs (costochondritis!) and left me with very dry eyes. I've been struggling ever since to try and manage the pain and stiffness and it has been such a shock as to how much it has totally affected my ability to function and even do the simplest things. On my worst days I've struggled to get in and out of bed, the bath, walk, carry things, open cupboard doors etc etc. I've dropped numerous cups of tea and even fell last week as the stiffness was so bad. Trying to walk around the freezer section of the local supermarket is horrendous as the cold causes my knees and anckle to totally cease up and I end up in severe pain as a result (Does anyone else find this to be the case? Thinking of getting thermal long johns, just so I can shop!!!)
I'm currently on prednisolone 20mg, codeine 30-60mg 4x day and naproxen 500mg twice a day, which only just keeps me pain free and able to function. One of my GP's in their infinite wisdom decided that I should reduced the steroids down to 10mg this week and within days the pain and stiffness were back really bad again with me barely able to function again (Thankfully my other GP increased them again!). He did an urgent NHS rheumatoid/early inflammatory clinic referral 10 weeks ago but sill no sign of an appointment in spite of both my GP and I constantly ringing them. In desperation I've now gone private and have an appointment this Weds 12th.
The fatigue has beeen awful and I'm having to pace myself as much as I can but sometimes I just have to give in and crawl to bed. I can't believe how much his has knocked me for six and am desperate now to get a diagnosis and treatment. Any suggestions on how to prep for my appointment would be much appreciated - thank you.