Had an appointment with the rheumy today. Thought to myself I'm gonna try to get some answers.
I have been taking MTX for 12 or so years, sulphazalazine before that. Going along for appointmens once or twice a year - getting blood tests as requested. Going to ages with no probs. then knee flares up, painful, stiff, swollen hot etc. then after a while all ok again. Then about 2 years ago the hip decides to join in - sometimes hip and knee, sometimes just one or the other.
Since last september I have been in a word 'lousy'. Knee won't settle down, neith will the hip. Hands joining in as well now. Had steriod injection late last year, and been to see the nurse 3 times since October. Now waiting for a consult for Ittrium injection to the knee.
So - what does the rheumy say. No - you do not have RA. There is no medical indications at all that my symptoms are systematic, and apparently despite the right knee being twice the size of the left - no physical evidence of swelling of the joints. There is some evidence of minor wear and tear to the knee on xray. Neg for RF all blood results are normal. So his original diagnosis of 'some kind of mono arthritis of the right knee' still stands and he doesn't see why that should change. Told him about the fatigue - especially the three month long spell that drove me to the GP earlier this year that he (the GP ) guessed could be possibly ME or Post Viral. Not sure the rheumy was listening any more at that point. Rhuemy suggest adding a painkiller to my prescription - rather than relying on paracetemol. He has given me Amytriptyline - apparently they will help the pain and help me sleep better (the hip and knee disturb my sleep). What are they I asked, as my GP tried to insist that I needed anti depressants and I was adament that I don't want to go down that route as I don't feel I am depressed - just pee'd off with the pain and the fatigue. Well they are used as anti depressants he said - but in higher doses.
The rheumy could give me no guidance of what is wrong with me if it's not RA. Just treat the symptoms he says. That's all well and good for some perhaps.
I just felt like I was being shuffled out of the door. He had written up my notes and signed them while I was till trying to ask questions.
Has anyone else had this experience? I know I am not making it up - I am in pain, my joints get hot and inflammed and stiff and hurt. It comes and goes, even within a couple of hours. as in waxes and wanes. Sometimes the hands can be fine for days - then for no apparent reason rings are tight, too tight to move, but at other times they rattle around to the point I am frightened I might loose them. Knee and hip are just so painful at times I could cry. When I get cold all my joints hurt - like when you get flu. Some days I just do not have any engergy. Is there any way I can find out what is wrong with me?