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Referral for Rheumatologist

So got the call today, I need to go see the Rheumatologist, I am thinking do I really need to go but after reading another thread from jellyhall about how she waited for surgery and it was nearly too late. I am doing well with my fusion I almost do not want to "rock the boat" but there is something going on with my wrists and the spine surgeon says {wasnt me} perhaps this doc can get to the bottom of it. I am not pain free but I have moments that almost feel normal..that is amazing. I was in so much pain for so long that to have a moment or hour go by and it is not about my neck is Normal and Awesome! SO lets see what my joints have to say. I will let you know when the appt is. I survived my first week back at full hrs last week and damn was it busy but I lived. I am playing poker on Labor Day with a bunch of friends and see how that goes. I played on 4th of July and it wiped me out but begining of July was bad for me, so i am expecting better results. I need to try to live little. Do something besides work and rest, to work again! My friends have stayed away because I seemed so fragile then I do not think they knew what to do, so they did nothing...I cant blame them I wouldnt even have been able to convey my need or my pain to them then anyway. You were the only ones who really understood. So bygons and all. Lets see how it goes. Ok just checking in I will keep you posted on the Rheumatologist. If any of you have been to one give me a heads up of what to expect. Thanks and blessings Kim
3 Level ACDF C4-C7 4/16/12
Kimberly Martin


  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 08/28/2012 - 11:31 AM
    I've had back issues since around 2001. In 2009 my knees started swelling, my primary took blood work and my sed rate was elevated. he sent me to a rhuematologist. They drew blood, lots of it, did a urine test and took xrays of my hands, feet, knees, and hips. The Rhuemy diagnosed OA and suspected I had some form of inflammatory arthritis to boot but the test for rhuematoid was negative. I ended up having 3 arthoscopic surgeries on my right knee and 1 on my left. my right knee kept swelling and they decided to do an open synovectomy and a partial knee replacement.
    That was in Jan 2010. My knee continues to swell and the ortho surgeon recommended I get a second opinion from another Rhuemy. The end result is I have seronegative RA and take meds to help. But because I still have part of the right knee they are going to have to do a revision to a full replacement. My left knee swells from time to time and will eventually require replacement.
    An Rhuemy treats more than just RA, they work to identify what's going on and provide a treatment. I go in about every 2 to 3 months for bloodwork and adjustment of medication. I have had to have steroid shots and infusions to try and stop when a flare happens.
    If you have any questions or want more info just let me know.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • john007jjohn007 Posts: 1
    edited 08/29/2012 - 5:37 AM
    and dont forget just because you seronegative RA dont feel afraid to ask doc why am i seronegative RA but haave these problems get them to do more blood test for it in 3 months time it may show then
  • KarenDKKarenD Posts: 742
    edited 08/29/2012 - 3:38 PM
    Kim, there are a number of types of inflammatory diseases - I have ankylosing spondylitis, and fibromyalgia as well as OA. I lot of times it's difficult to tell what is causing which pains. The Rheumatologist has been the person I have seen the longest and helps sort through things and monitor how meds are helping with inflammation or pain.

    Let us know how you're doing.

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • So my appt is Sept 25 but my ankles and wrists are killing me. When I wake up in the morning I can barely walk. My wrists feel like someone bent them back, but noone did anything. I did not do anything! This is a little frustrating I could take it easy wnd not move for my neck pain. I do not need to move for this pain and I mean let me rephrase it hurts but when you have gone through what we have gone through pian is a different caliber than normal pain.But I cannot do anything to help symptoms, Advil, Tylenol, even Percocet....still hurts. I cannot not move my hands, I mean I can stay off my feet but I ned to work and I do alot of writing and typing. SO you deal. I know that this comes and goes, so now i am hoping it bawhatcks off and soon. I dont know what the hell it is, all I know is that 6 months ago nothing like this had ever happened. So who knows. Thanks for the info everyone. i will keep you posted. Blessings Kim
    Kimberly Martin
  • I have bouts of foot pain that tends to coincide with a flare of RA. It feels like I am walking on broken bones when I get up in the morning. It takes a while to get down stairs when one of these episodes come on. I do get the hand and wrist pain as well as tingling and numbness so I think some of it is related to cervical issues. The only thing that I've taken that helps with this kind of pain is prednisone.
    Best of luck at the Rhuemy's office visit. Hope you get answers, don't be frustrated if they don't come quick. I went through a battery of tests trying to find the cause even went to an infectious diesease Dr who tested me for everything under the sun and for every place I had been (Navy vet). All came back negative.
    I went to the first Rheumy for 2 years and the second for 9 months before getting a diagnosis. In many cases it's a process of elimination.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
  • I can barely walk when I get out of bed. It gets easier with more movement but the pain doesnt ever go away, same with the wrists and hands it worse in the morning but usage usually makes them hurt. Typing not as bad as handwriting. Ugg it is frustrating because I need to use my hands, so it does go away and I am fine for a week or so and then it comes back! So weird...I am waiting for this to go away because I want to play poker over the weekend with friends and I really cant play if my hands are really bad like they are today/ Oh well we will see. Hey Davrunner did your RA just come on strong or was it gradual before you knew there was a problem. I mean I had no irritation over the years nothing and even before surgey my only problem with hands from cervical was numbness and tingling in my fingers. I have no numbmess now and it is my wrist not my fingers. Well keep me posted. Blessings KIm
    Kimberly Martin
  • welshladywwelshlady Posts: 121
    edited 09/06/2012 - 6:27 AM
    i still have pain in wrists and base of thumbs, only since cervical problems, am still hoping for improvement but i fear this is part of the myelopathy? i cant type or write for long either, or grip or use in anyway without causing pain to become unbearable... but of course we bear it! still have pain in lower back, down legs and into feet too, i must look drunk when i walk. i see the surgeon on the 18th of this month so i am hoping he will say it will all improve.

    i hope your syptoms settle down and let you focus on what you need to do. very best wishes! Tina ann
  • Tina at least you have a name. I need a name and a plan it is the Libra in me! LOL I do hope you feel better it such a struggle sometime, does your neck feel bettter now? You were behind me by maybe a month right? I can tell you to keep the faith I have good days and not so good days but befroe surgery they were all not good days! Progress not perfection. So the wrists pain is on the off week, so all is well! So strange it is like 2 different sets of hands. They are fine, do not really hurt at all but dont be fooled because the pain comes back with a vegence and I can do nothing to progress or prevent it I only get to react to it! The ankles are a differnt story however they are swallon and as I was testing painful areas I discovered a Lump on my foot??? WHat the hell is that I thought..gosh it is pretty tender there maybe the bump is causing the pain or vise-versa! SO the saga continues but I should get some xrays at MD on 25th I hope. We will see what happens.Blessings
    Kimberly Martin
  • davrunnerddavrunner Posts: 478
    edited 09/07/2012 - 3:52 PM
    sunshinebry2000 said:
    Hey Davrunner did your RA just come on strong or was it gradual before you knew there was a problem. I mean I had no irritation over the years nothing and even before surgey my only problem with hands from cervical was numbness and tingling in my fingers. I have no numbmess now and it is my wrist not my fingers. Well keep me posted. Blessings KIm
    It was gradual at first. I complained about painful joints for quite a while before getting any idea what was going on. During on visit to Pcp nurse noticed my swollen hands I was there for knee swelling and pain. She took blood and it came back with an elevated sed rate.
    I started going to a rhuematoligist and three years later after five knee surgeries and a second rhuematologist finally diagnosed with sero-negative Ra.
    Unfortunately one of the knee surgeries was a partial replacement which was a year before diagnosis. Now I am facing a revision surgery to full knee replacement Oct 11. RA is still attacking remaining cartlidge.
    From the fist time I noticed symptoms it seemed to progress slowly but appears more aggressive the last two years. Ive had many more flares the last year very frustrating
    Hoping for a rapid recovery so I can move forward with the fusion.
    laminectomy c4/c5 2008, ACDF c4-c7 Jan 20 2014 sched
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