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Flares?

I’m a newbie on this site but I have to say that so far, I’ve really enjoyed reading about everyone’s experiences and am so grateful for all of your insights! I’m curious as to what you would call a flare? My RA is mild-moderate in degree and I’m having a difficult time figuring out when I’m flaring. As a 52 year old who’s been used to being very active, my last five years have slowed down quite dramatically due to pain. Not the punch you in the gut kind of pain, but rather the gnawing relentless kind of pain. I’m not sure if I ever have times without that continuous ache, but am not sure if it’s my age or my RA. (I’ve been diagnosed since June 2016 and have no visible swelling, but sharp joint pain at times.) please if you can, describe what you would call a “flare” please.

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Hi Mraio...My Rheumy is the one who told me that my RA is mild to moderate in severity. I have a little visible swelling in my hands and ankle joints but only one erosion at the base of my thumb joint that makes pinching my thumb to my pointer finger quite painful. I also have constant achiness both in the muscles and joints throughout my body of course the fatigue is never ending! This is an improvement from last fall, when I could barely walk because of the sharp pain in my ankles. The medications have helped to smaller degree, but I’m still curious if further improvement is possible.

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Sorry, I didn’t answer the rest of your question...I get blood tests every month since starting 17.5 mg of methotrexate once per week and 5mg of folic acid once per week on top of what I initially was prescribed, 500 mg sulfasalazine twice per day.

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Hi Suzie.... I have mild to moderate RA and I am on Methotrexate 15mg weekly with folic acid daily. When I get a flare up the Gp prescribes a low dose of prednisolone.

I know I am having a flare if one or two of my joints are hot and painful and I am more tired than usual and maybe even feeling a little flluish. If this only lasts a few days I just rest more but more than that I will go to Gp for treatment. I have never really gone into complete remission where I can work, even part time. It may be that my rheumy didnt consider it that important due to my age (mid 60's) but I have longed to work.

Some people on this site have complete remission and that amazes me but I must say the methotrexate stopped my hands ceasing up when driving and stopped my knees collapsing when walking but I am having a lot of trouble with painful feet lately. (as well as gout)

I would love to get well enough to do a course on counselling and go back to work full time. Its a sit down job and a listening job... I think I would like it. Being chronically ill has made me feel a bit useless and out of touch with the world. I love craft and spend most of the day enjoying that. well I have waffled a little but I hope this has helped.

Rosie xxx

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Yes, Rosie, I’m so glad to talk to someone who understands! I’m frustrated too because I feel decades older than my age! It wasn’t very long ago I was into landscaping and house construction as a hobby and now I can barely leave my bed some days! Even though I have extreme fatigue and all over achiness, plus sharp pain at times, my RA doesn’t leave visible signs like obvious swelling or redness. I’m sorry to say that sometimes I’ve wished for those things because then it would show on the outside what I’m feeling inside. Right now I just feel a bit confused about whether the meds are working or if it’s all in my head! 🤪 Talking to great people on this site definitely helps though, so thank you for your reply! I hope you can get to do some of those things you mentioned in your post. ❤️

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Hi Suzie

When I first got Ra 23 yrs ago, my rheumy nurse told me that RA patients often don't look unwell and it would be better to tell friends I had the flu! How right she wss.

Have gone back to bed this morning. ..too much pain and internet surfing. Have set up cups of lemon tea on mt bedside table. All I have to do is get through today with some enjoyment.

You will slowly discover a new you. When I got sick, I took up writing. I have an uncompleted manuscript on RA. I have a couple of other small self published books as well.

Xxx Rosie

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Good for you! Enjoy that tea and hope that tomorrow is a better day. ❤️

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Thanks Suzie. You have a great day. Xx

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Hi Susie, I am 26, would say I am in a flare when I am unable to move without being in tears! It definitely is a struggle at times. My life has changed dramatically too. I hope you find some treatment that gets you back to feeling yourself.

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Thank you for your reply! I feel fortunate to not be in severe pain like you have been! I don’t know how I’d handle that!! 👌

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sometime I fell like someone gave me sugar pills instead of my pain medicine but I am not sure if some are flares or medicine not working. My doctor is still trying to find something that works without having to take prednisone. I started off with thinking my finger was broken and wondering what i did to it. Within a little over a month I was so bad off that when I finally got in to see the ra doctor couldn't hold a glass, kids had to go to the store for me, couldn't tie my shoes or get out of bed unless I could just slide to my feet. I used to be very active until then working around 45 hours a week or more and watching my grand daughter who was around 6 all weekend long. Now they say I won't be able to work full time anymore and just working part time I need a two hour nap. I have even rented a wheel chair a could of times when I take her to a zoo or amusement park.

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