14 answers

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hi everyone....I have just been diagnosed with RA. Anyone out there been diagnosed? What can I expect?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

More Answers

Hi L. - I was diagnosed with RA in Nov 06. I'm a mom of a 6 yr old. So I truly understand what you are and will go through. First there are some wonderful resources that you should check out; Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org/; and a wonderful support website Daily Strength http://dailystrength.org. There are 2 books that are wonderful Good Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and The First Year: Rheumatoid Arthritis: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed by MEA McNeil.

A lot of people don't understand what Rheumaotoid Arthritis (RA) is. They often get it confused with the common form of Arthritis, OsteoArthritis, they don't realize that our's is an autoimmune disease. Be prepared for all kinds of stories and remedies. Do you have a good Rheumatologist? That's key. A Rheumatologist will get you started on medication, but don't expect it to cure it or be a miracle drug. There isn't just one medication for RA. What works for one patient, may not work for another. But something will work, so don't give up.

A supportive family and friends are also important. They need to understand what RA is and what to expect. The hardest part for me was asking for help, my family and friends have been so supportive. They also need to understand that plans may have to be changed last minute. With RA, doing everyday activities can be hard, so you will need to learn to pace yourself and prioritize. Another thing that has been hard is saying "No". I can't do everything now, so I have to determine what is realistic.

I know this may be more information than you wanted, but I hope it helps. You are welcome to email me directly if you have more questions. I truly know what you are going through, so please feel free to ask.

1 mom found this helpful

I've had RA since childhood. It can be a pain, but remember to listen to your body. I am fortunate to no longer take medications. I take panathanic acid when I feel flares coming. Just keep moving has been my theme. I found alot of natural health books where helpful. I have 4 adopted cildren and #5 is coming home soon. You just have to pace yourself and ask for help when you need it.

Good Luck
B. V

Dear L.,
My mom has had RA for many years. In her case, she suffered alot of joint decline before they came out with many of the medications they now have on the market. Those drugs could be of enormous help to you and I hope you have access to them. These newer drugs prevent the severe deteroration of the joints common to the disease. Protecting your joints now will give you a much better future. Exercise is very improtant to help strengthen the joints and to keep them limber. My mother swimms daily and that helps her feel much better. Consult your doctor and the web for appropriate exercise, it's important not to do exercise that puts to much strain on your joints. It's hard not to over do when you have a 4 year old, but rest is very improtant. RA can prevent you from getting the rejuvinating deep sleep you need, fatigue can be a real problem. Journaling your feelings can help alot too. This is a diease that requires you to take good gentle care of yourself, mentally and physically. I wish you the best. I hope you have the support and understanding from your loved ones. There are support groups out there. Take care.

I am also a Mom of a 4 year old and got diagnosed almost a year ago.I was a ballet dancer and a yoga teacher so I am very active.I was devastated when I got diagnosed .I never took medacine and was kind of anti,even having a natural home birth and everything.So I gave every holistic aproach a good shot.Everything from homeopathy,ayurvedic,accupuncture,and macrobiotic healing diet.My outcome was letting my disease progress untill I could no longer walk or make a fist down to 100 pounds at 5.9!I started humira about 2 1/2 months ago.It is a miracle concidering the shape that I was in.I did however try methotrexate prior and had horrible side effects and I hope to have more children someday and that drug seemed so horrible.I still lead a very healthy lifestyle,as far as my diet is concerned no meat,dairy or nightshades.They also recommend no wheat,or gluten.I am strong and getting better each day.Thankfully there has been alot of advancements with meds for RA in the last 5 to 10 years .We should beable to live a healthy normal life.Hopefully they will find a cure.I know this all sounds so scary and overwhelming.If you would like to chat sometime let me know.Good luck!

Hi L....
I'm a nurse practitioner with a specialty in pediatric rheumatology. The advice to contact Arthritis Foundation for resources and information is right on. They are a wealth of information on RA. Also, remember that most of the joint damage happens at the beginning of the disease so it's important to be very aggressive with treatment at the beginning and then if you respond you can pull back. Since RA is a "chronic" illness you can expect to be on meds on and off as you flare and then get better. Methotrexate is a very safe medication that has been used for RA for years and the new TNF inhibitors like Enbrel are also amazing. I've seen a child who couldn't walk respond to Enbrel in a week and start playing basketball. Be aware too that RA will make you very fatigued when you are flaring and that you need to rest. Most of all, make sure to have a great rheumatologist. You can ask the Arthritis Foundation for a list of rheumatologists in your area. I wish you the best.

Oh my gosh, L. ! The only reason I am saying this is because I seriously know what can help you. My dad was told he had RA in the back of his thigh. He tried everything the doctors recommended, until last month. I had him start drinking MonaVie, main ingredient is the Acai Berry, known to Oprah and Rachel Ray as the #Superfood. I know we each react differently, but in one week, he told my mom,....." Hey, something is happening,....my leg not sore!" (That's how he talks, from Hawaii ;-) Please call me a.s.a.p. ###-###-#### !! I will be out running errands early 630am Saturday morning, feel free to call me !!! Hopefully you live on the east side of town, I can meet up with you and let you taste it and try it for a week, got nothing to lose !!

Hi L., It's great that you love to Exercise cause that is the best thing that you can do for your RA. I was almost 13 when I was told that is what I had and I finally grew out of it in oct and I am now 25. I thank God everyday. I had a lot of problems with some of the meds. I was on but I finally found one that worked great. You take it once a day and it's called Mobic. Some of things to expect are, being tired a lot, swollen joints ( it kind of happends out of no where). If you want some more info you can contact the ARthritis Foundation. I got a lot of info from them here is the website if you are interested. http://www.arthritis.org/ God Bless you!

Hi L.,

My name is L. as well. I too was just diagnosed back in June 08 with RA and as of last week with Fibro. I am still trying to figure it all out and get a grip on the emotional roller coaster I have been on ever since I found out. Just wanted to let you know that I am here if you ever want to talk or share experiences.

L. R.

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