New to the forum and facing possible RA diagnosis - NRAS


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New to the forum and facing possible RA diagnosis

Carrielei profile image
12 Replies

Hi everyone

I'm a 39 year old female from Lancashire.

I am a self employed nail technician. I love what i do and have recently been up for awards and started doing work for magazines. I've been in the industry 20 years, i love it! However in that time i have had multiple issues with my hands, carpul tunnel, RSI, a broken finger abd a few wrist fractures. I've stull continuedto work but have had to cut back in recent years and go into teaching.

About 6 weeks ago, i suddenly experienced the feeling of weakness and pain in my wrists, arms then up to my shoulders. I couldn't grip, put Weight on my hands or lift anythibg. I could still work though! Albeit, in pain.

This later a few days so i went to the drs.

She immediately referred me to RA clinic. By the time the appointment arrived i was feeling much better and had no symtoms that were visible. She did note a small lump in my left have which she has referred me for scan for.

The following week my symtoms came back, not as severe but which that i can't function normally. And on top of that my nails are lifting and sore. Being a nail tech this has been a massive drama to me! I've been back to my dr who can't do anything, it's in the hands of the RA clinic. Ive called them only to find out I'm not even on the fast track list for the scan on my haves abd it could be months! My RA dr is going to call me asap (she's away and noone ejse can deal with my case) typical. I'm hoping once she knows of the new symtoms that she can see, that she may refer me quicker. Her initial report states that i may have RSI but asks that inflammatory Arthritis be summed out.

While all this is going on, i am still working so i guess I'm not suffering as bad as some but i am in constant pain and it's hard to optimistic while i am like this. I do hope it's no RA or PA and maybe they'll find something that is curable but after everything I've read, i can't see wgat else it could be.

12 Replies

Hi Carrielei

I am sorry to hear about all that pain and unexplained symptoms.

Nobody’s experience of RA is exactly like another’s. Your description of your symptoms is nothing like what mine were but maybe you could look up typical RA symptoms?

Hands and feet are diagnostic in RA as they usually are affected and show erosion in feet x-rays done for diagnosis.

If you have not had blood tests and x-rays, maybe there is doubt that RA would be the correct diagnosis.

Hope you get the help you need, very soon!


Carrielei profile image
Carrielei in reply to

Hi Angela

Thanks for replying.

I forgot to mention that i have had two blood tests and an x-ray, all normal accept they did record a very slight elevation in inflammatory markers.I will check your Iink out,

Thanks x

Just found this, about PA and nails lifting....

Kai-- profile image


💅 👍 😊


Kindly consider thoughts shared at, 'RA Newbie Introduction', Carrielei: 🙏 🍀 🌺 🌞


helixhelix profile image

Sorry to hear your woes, it's unnerving having symtoms that you can't explain.

I've a couple of suggestions. First off, keep a diary of symptoms and take photos if you have any swelling, or hot red joints. And secondly ask your doctor if you could try some prescription strength anti-inflammatoires the next time you have an episode. If these help then another clue that you could have early stage inflammatory arthritis (IA).

But don't give up pushing your doctors - if it is early stage IA then early treatment can stop it in its tracks. Don't wait for permanent damage. And with nail or skin involvement then it could well indicate psioratic arthritis which can be tricky to diagnose. People with PSA are usually sero-negative for the most common blood test, which doesn't help. Any many people (like me) can have inflamed joints without it showing in the blood tests.

Good luck!

Carrielei profile image
Carrielei in reply to helixhelix

Thanks helix.

I can't take anti inflammatories due to my hiaetus heirna but I'm on cocodamol. They did help me to function at least. I am drawing my journal abd have already taken a few pics so i prove I'm not making it up next time i see someone. I am certainly going to be firm on Monday with the rheumy abd insist she get me on the urgent scan list.

nomoreheels profile image

Hiya Carrielei & welcome from a fellow Lancastrian! I'm sorry to hear your experience, though it has been known for things to improve or settle down when we have our diagnostic appointment, it's as if symptoms go into hiding. The Carpal Tunnel symptom is interesting & may be telling to your Rheumy, you probably know it's cause is inflammation causing the median nerve being compressed, something I'm currently coping with too, bilaterally. I've had this trouble before & had CT release (left) back in 2013. RSI, that may be a red herring given your hand involvement with your job though your Rheumy's full joint examination, blood tests (RF/anti-CCP/ESR/CRP) & imaging will give a clearer story. For some, me included, inflammation values aren't always in sync when we have inflammation blood tests (ESR/CRP) unless I'm in full blown flare.

Have you ever been investigated for osteoporosis? With your two fractures & finger involvement it should be discussed, maybe a DEXA scan will be ordered.

As you're working through the pain it might be an idea to ask your GP to prescribe you suitable pain relief & an anti inflammatory for when inflammation is obvious, this will also ease any pain you may have. Jotting down any specific symptoms would be handy as they're not constant, maybe marking pain/inflammation out of 10 would help too.

Whichever the diagnosis, IA, RD (Rheumatoid Disease/RA) or PsA you're very welcome here. If you have any questions just ask, we're a mixed bunch with plenty of experience of our conditions so there's always someone who'll be able to help.

Carrielei profile image
Carrielei in reply to nomoreheels

Hi nomoreheels.

Your dog is beautiful!

I am actually from the Preston area. Thank you for replying. I will definitely take your advice on the journaling and pain factor. Nothing had been mentioned about osteoporosis but ill be sure to mention it to them. I did have the carpal tunnel op back in 2005 but didn't get much relief.

It's frustrating that i can't show them when it's bad abd the longer it carries on the more worried i am that it is going to be RA.

Already, it is helping to speak with people that have experienced or are experiencing similar problems to me. I wish you well abd hope you get some relief yourself soon.

Jacki08 profile image
Jacki08 in reply to Carrielei

Hi Carrielie--- I too am from Preston , Fulwood. Like you my hands pay my bills as I am a Chiropodist, and sometimes find it really hard to carry on working. I find that cold compresses alternating with a hot wheat bag help with the swelling after a days work. My RD was diagnosed after positive tests for CT and a scan if my hands organised by my consultant at the Minerva center at Deepdale. Once I was started on meds my C.F. disappeared.

Carrielei profile image
Carrielei in reply to Jacki08

Hi jacki

That's great news for you. As much i really don't want to be on medication, it's much better than being in constant pain. I am attending the Minerva too. I'm waiting on a CT scan but I'm not on the urgent list so won't be for while unless they chabge theirs mind once they have heard of my new symtoms. I think what has happened to my nails might make them is it As a little more urgent. As a nail tech I'm mortified but right now it should be the least of my worries.

nomoreheels profile image
nomoreheels in reply to Carrielei

I was just about to reply saying we have another member from Preston & pleased to see she's already introduced herself! Jacki speaks sense about easing your hand symptoms, hot &/or cold helps.

That's Freya in the pic, a Pointer/Lab cross, a daft but loving dog. I live up the way from you in St Annes but know Preston quite well as we have friends in the area & I much prefer shopping there.

It might also be useful as your symptoms come & go to take pics of any changes, any noticeable inflammation. We are in the fortunate position now that Rheumys have more meds available to prescribe than ever so if you do receive a diagnosis chances are you'll be able to continue working more comfortably.

I'm pleased being here is helping, & although I hope you aren't diagnosed if you are you're most welcome here. 😊

Carrielei profile image

Hi all..

So I'm still waiting on my results from my ultrasound. The dr doing the scam implied he couldn't see any inflammation but found a cyst. He said that they wouldn't remove that, i did say that finger was very stiff abd sore abd affecting my grip to which he replied there could be another reason?

He also said if the disease isn't active it won't show, which itwasn't at the app. Since then i helped move a fridge, the following day it started again. Swelling pain, stiffness and a horrible unwell feeling which seems to come on more in the afternoon. This has now been going on for 5 days.

I've no idea what to do as the GP won't do anything until the results come but if that's clear what the he'll is wring with me. My hands still hurt to a degree constantly even between these flare ups or wgat ever they are.

I'm at my wits end

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