First Rheumatologist I saw back in June (a locum) thought I had Psoriatic Arthritis. Then the Rheumy who took over from her on a permanent basis said it didn't matter whether I had PsA or RA as the treatment is the same, at first anyway. I then saw a Rheumatologist privately (as it happens, he was my NHS Rheumy's predecessor) and he stated that I 'almost certainly' have PsA. I had another NHS appointment at the end of last month and my Rheumy was still of the opinion that specific diagnosis is not important but agreed with the private chap's treatment plan which was, I thought, geared towards PsA.
Sooooo ... yesterday I got the follow up letter from that last NHS appointment. Under the 'Plan and Opinion' section, my Rheumy states: 'my clinical impression is that she has active rheumatoid arthritis.' Gordon Bennett.
Does it matter what type of inflammatory arthritis I've got? Yes, I think it does. I get the impression that the differences between RA and other forms of inflammatory arthritis are increasingly being recognised as important ones, especially in terms of treatment. And while I can understand that my Rheumy might have very good reasons for thinking that I have RA, why didn't he tell me that at the appointment? It doesn't help greatly that the follow up letter is written for the GP: 'she this, she that' - why can't I have one addressing me directly? Is it me that's got this disease or am I just looking after it for a friend?
Oh, and I could conceivably have Lyme disease arthritis I suppose. My Rheumy sent me for a Lyme test in August. I eventually got around to phoning for the result and was told the lab had sent my sample back because they could not read the clinical details sent with it, requesting that it be re-submitted. And I think that's as far as it got!!