I have been diagnosed with RA for about four years now after going to see my GP with tenosynovitis in one of my fingers and being referred to a rheumatologist for a positive anti-CCP test.
I have been on hydroxychloroquine for a few years and my finger is back to normal now, and from time to time I do get joints aching but nothing major. Last summer I felt that things were progressing, and my rheumatologist has increased my hydroxychloroquine dose and I feel much better overall. In fact I don’t really feel like I have RA at all most of the time. All my blood tests are normal apart from the anti-CCP.
My mum had severe joint issues when she was around my age (45). She was never diagnosed with RA and she never got a definite diagnosis for her problem (they didn’t have the anti-CCP test back then). She is now in her 70s and feels a whole lot better than she did when she was my age (her words!) She tried methotrexate at one point and had an extreme liver reaction so I am not keen to take it if I can.
Every time I go and see the rheumatologist I feel pressure to take methotrexate, which feels far too strong a drug for my situation. I am not convinced they have the right diagnosis for me. I know the idea is that if you take methotrexate early then you have better outcomes overall. I just don’t feel like this is the right path for me.
I feel very confused and am due to see the rheumatologist again next week. Are any of you in similar situations? Am I being a wimp about methotrexate – and is it not that bad? Would I have a different experience if I found a decent private specialist?