Hi, my name is Penny. After 7 years of struggling with swollen knuckles and having to cut off my wedding band, I was finally diagnosed with RA (1 year ago this month). My previous doctors (I switched PCPs several times) would look at my fingers and say it was osteoarthritis. No tests were offered until late fall 2014. Then only a blood test, no hand x-rays. The test came back negative. I was too "busy" to research it further. To top it off, we have a family history of autoimmune disease. I still didn't make the connection, until the diagnosis punched me in the gut. Then I cried because I was angry that not one healthcare professional had made the effort to find out the true cause of the inflammation. So it goes.
After about a 1 year on Methotrexate and 5 months on Humira, I'm ok. The swelling in my fingers at least is not getting worse, and is slightly better. I'm not incapacitated by any means (my husband still has to open the jar lids, however). I can't grip the golf club as tight, which is not a bad thing. I work in the yard, which is under construction, so I'm digging dirt, building walls and etc (I do rest more often). I am taking a more serious look at my diet. Chocolate is my downfall!
My problem with the current RA doctor is the rush to get me to infusion therapy. He started me on Methotrexate and Prednisone, which helped. Then jumped right to Humira, and is now hell bent on infusion drugs. A little too aggressive in my opinion, so I've slowed it down. After suffering from two injection site reactions, I ready to take a step back. I am just not sure what that involves. Any suggestions?
BTW - RA doctors in Tucson are in severe shortage. It is not easy to change doctors. Your case has to be "accepted" by the doctor.