2 Hospital visits last week

Hi everyone

I thought I would update you on my hospital visits last week.

On Wednesday I saw the orthopedic surgeon about the problem with my left knee giving way and the amount of pain I have in it. He had checked the MRI scan and said that there is a tear on the kneecap but I do not need surgery but do need physio to strenghten the knee so this was good news.

I then asked if he could suggest what would be best for the pain and stiffness on my left shoulder, I had a steroid injection a couple of weeks ago but it did not help at all. He said that the steroid injection had done its job by removing the pain from the top of my arm and left the pain now in my shoulder. He said that this will take months to heal but said when he arranges physio for my knee he will ask that I get physio on my shoulder, he also showed me some exercises to do with the shoulder while I wait for a physio appointment. So if was a good visit and the doctor was very nice.

On Friday I saw the Chest specialist as I have had problems with being short of breath and had a constant cough for months. I was taken off the MTX on the begining of January because of this problem.

The doctor examined my chest and said that there was diffinately something wrong but was not sure exactly what it is.

I was sent to the Respiratory Lab to have tests done. You have to blow into a device connected to a computer and when told you have to try and blow as hard as you can and keep blowing for a few seconds, there is a nurse telling you when to breathe in and when to blow and when to stop.

I found it difficult some of the time to continue to blow and then I would start coughing.

I felt like a child at being told off and told to try harder by the nurse on the few occassions that I could not blow for the correct amount of time. He kept saying I cannot send these results back up to the doctor you need to try harder.

Then I was put on a ebulisor for a few minutes then told to wait outside for 10 mins.

I was then asked to do the tests again and this time I was able to blow for the correct amount of time with less difficulty.

I went back up and saw the doctor who told me that the test had shown that the readings are not at the correct range as they should be, although after the ebulisor the percentage was higher than before the ebulisor so that did make a bit of a difference.

The CT scan I had a few months ago did show scarring on one lung and modules on the other along with inflamation but the doctor said that they were not clear enough so he has arranged for me to have another CT scan but this time they will inject dye into me so that he will have a clearer picture of what is wrong with me.

The doctor has gave me to 2 inhalers, a brown one to take morning and night and a blue one to carry around with me to use when I need it.

Once I get the appointment for the CT scan and he has the results he will arrange to see me again.

The good news is that I can start the MTX again so tonight I am going to have 10mg, I normally have 17.5 but I think that will make me quite sick if I start off with this again.

I can also go back to 4 sulpha again instead of 6 a day.

As you can imagine I am worried about the chest problems and thought I would have had a answer about what the problem is but I will just need to wait now.

I do not smoke so don;t know why I am having these problems, I know that the RA can affect the lungs but not sure if it is that.

My appointment on Friday was at 09.30 and I did not leave until 1pm so I was really tierd when I left.

I have started using the inhalers and they seem to be helping already as I am not coughing as much.

Sorry this is such a long post.


6 Replies

  • Hi Mary. Poor you what a hard time you are having. When do you get the next CT scan done and learn the results? Sometimes the waiting is hardest of all isn't it? I wish I had been born with patience - I'm one of those who always skips ahead with thrillers so I've got very little but I find tai chi helps me with breathing and with mobility. Its like meditation with feet and hands if you know what I mean? Maybe something you could look into while you are waiting if you don't do it already that is? My instructor overcame pneumonia using tai chi breathing technique recently - and its very gentle physically and diverting mentally. Take care and hope the MTX and sulpha kick back in soon for you. Tilda x

  • Hi Tilda

    I don't know when the scan will be so I just need to wait for an appointment to come through the post. Hopefully it wont be too long.

    I am going to Spain on 8th May for 2 weeks and I hope I will at least have the appointment though but you know how long you have to wait on these.

    It took 3 months to get an appointment with the Chest doctor.

    My holiday will help so I am looking forward to it.

    I am a bit worried of what the results may show but then again you cannot control these things so I am going to try and keep calm.

    I have never thought about tai chi but maybe after my holiday I will look into this.

    I am still working full time so really need this holdiay as I am totally exusted.

    Mary x

  • the inhalers will help use them as directed. the machine you blew into is called a spirometer..

  • Did they mention asthma? I've puffers (blue and brown and more recently orange) for just these reasons. Asthma is an autoimmune disease I think and could be connected to RA. Your tests sound like the ones I did when I had bad asthma. It can be controlled and often goes away of its own. I was allergic to house dust mite (everywhere in pillows, mattresses etc) and also to the polish we used to put on ceramic tiles in the kitchen. Now I can paint with turps but I try to use other products and to breathe fresh air as much as poss.

    Hope you get to the bottom of your breathing problems.


  • Hi Cathie

    The doctor did not mention asthma he just said that he wanted to wait until I got the next scan which would show in more detail exactly what is wrong with my chest and lungs before he would diagnose what is wrong.

    My daugher has asthma and she only took this recently so I was thinking maybe it is the same with me, the only difference is that she smokes and had a bad chest infection which then caused asthma. I don't smoke but as you mention it is a autoimune disease so it could be this.

    My daughter has the brown and blue inhaler but although mine are the same colour they are a different type of inhaler but don't know if maybe mine is a newer type.

    The inhalers are helping already as I am not coughing as much and although I am still a bit out of breath at times it does not seem so bad.

    Hope you are well Cathie and thanks for replying to my post.

    Mary x

  • I'm glad you're a bit better and hope you can keep away from smoke xx

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