I've been reading this forum for about a week now and feel comfortable to register and post. I am anxiously awaiting my first rheumatologist appt, but it's not until Aug. I am on a cancellation list tho.
My PCP gave me a referral a few weeks ago after the exacerbation of symptoms. When she did bloods last summer, she said my ANA indicated further testing, but it did r/o Lupus, sceleroderma, and Lyme's. But overall I was feeling so-so except for some tender spots which she dx'ed as fibromyalgia. She prescribed 60 mgs of Cymbalta - for depression as well as pain.
Over the last year since that initial appt. I've been getting stranger and stranger symptoms that warranted looking into. Since they were happening bilaterally, I knew RA or PA fit. Joint pain, esp. hands, feet, wrists, and elbows. Now the knees are starting to bother me. So I went back to her a few weeks ago. She noticed something on my feet as I was wearing sandals and that's when she said that she thought I would need to see a rheumy.
Being in the medical field, I know enough to be dangerous and then Google does the rest. I know that RA, PA, and Lupus have many symptoms in common, but there are a few that are lupus specific. I have the very faint butterfly rash which I can just make out and it gets worse when I am in the sun or am blushing. I also have rashes that come and go on the inside of my arm from wrist to elbow.
As far as I'm concerned this appt cannot come soon enough. Two years ago I started with horrible psoriasis (or what we think is psoriasis) on the right side of my scalp and back of neck. The summer of '09 was emotionally the pits for me since my dad was in the last few weeks of his life and then died in the fall. It seemed to then trigger all sorts of extremely weird things. I ended up going to PCP a year ago because I was due to be married for the second time in July of '10 and felt like crap - - emotionally and physically. Cymbalta helped tremendously.
So I have been a mess off and on since then. Hands and wrists, feet and ankles, some edema, the rashes, the flu like feelings, and now the knees.
Anywho, long-winded hello and now I must scarper off to my own little corner of the medical field and see what's what at our clinic.
I hope to be an active and contributing member.
Hello Manderson, welcome to our wonderful WHL. I am so happy to here you have a medical background. You will be a blessing to us all, I'm sure. I was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and I have Lupus. Cymbalta was added to my many meds and it helps some. I'm sorry that you are struggling so much but you will not be alone in your struggle with this group. You will find yourself laughing in spite of the suffering as these folks have great sense of humor. Again, welcome. Tammy
A warm welcome to WHL and you know what the sites about now looking through the threads but come on here any time you need to vent and lose off any flustration off as we all do it.
Besides waiting to see a Rheumo you should really get refered to a Dermo also with the skin problems your having, i have psoriasis and i've had the butterfly rash besides other rashes that come out when the sun and heat hit my skin because once under a dermo you'll be able to get steriod based creams to help your skin as they're excellent for moving a flare but once on them you need to take a break for at least 6mths as they're an aging process to the skin.
When you see a Rheumo they'll take your history and details and bloods are usually done and x-rays if needed but if your are Lupus related it causes the bloods to give off false readings sometimes, as it fluctuates the blood and so many member's now keep going back till something shows, it can flustrate you at times.
Refering the joint issues i have all that and the knees do hurt with swelling and sometimes twisting inwardly but we have quite a few member's with fibro also who will give you excellent advice.
Welcome to WHL Manderson! I am so glad that you decided to join it. As you may know it is not uncommon for people with AI issues to have "overlapping diseases". So many of us deal with 2, 3 or more disease at one time. I am really glad that you are on the cancellation list as it can cut the wait by months.
Please make yourself at home. Look through the old threads or start new ones if you wish. I look forward to getting to know you
So glad you have joined the party. Looking forward to hearing about your progress in getting a diagnosis.
Hey guys, thanks for the welcome. At this point whether it's RA, PA, lupus or howling at the moon disease, I don't care. I just want a dx and get on with it. I'm sure you all know what I'm feeling.
I know the symptoms have been coming on slowly but surely over the past year or so (probably much earlier if I really think about it) and as they came one by one, I've been able to handle it. But now it seems like they've all decided to gang up on me.
Peridot, I have a HMO so I can only go where my PCP gives me a referral. This time it was to rheumy, but I suspect eventually I will get one for a derm as well. Today my face itched so much that I gave myself welts and scratches and now it's red and a little swollen. Most of the itching, redness and swelling has been confined to the sides of my eyes and under my eyebrows. Luckily husband has turned in early - he hasn't seen the mess I turned into since he saw me this morning. LOL
One quick question tho - has anyone else's handwriting turned to sheer crap?
YES! I feel like I can't write well anymore - like the muscles aren't coordinated and my joints hurt
Originally Posted by Manderson
Yep! It was even noted on my last neuropsych exam that there are now issues with my motor skills. I never wrote well before but it really sucks now!
Originally Posted by Gizmo
Originally Posted by Manderson
yes you have howling desease.... you are mad. at least it is a dx.
that is the way many of us feel, why not join us.
my handwriting isnt crap.... it is non existant.
all of my fine motor skills have disappeared. and i have fibro as well as lupus.
Yes we all know what you feeling mate the lot can be a nightmare at times and it's the waiting that does alot of we in but when you see the rheumo i do hope something shows of what's causing your problems.
That's how my SLE as been in the last 2yrs going mad with my system and you can't enjoy your life how you fully want to.
Well i hope in time you can get to see a dermo in time who usually besides a Rheumo take bloods as well to diagnose your skin problems, i'm just pleased i'm with a good bloke wished i could say more for my Rheumo but that's life and we don't have much choice here in the uk, only on what hospitals you want to attend and where i go is the nearest.
Oh be careful going mad at your face...could'nt your Doctor perscribe a steriod cream to help in anyway at all, as they're great and reallywould help your skin, i know what your going through as there's the soreness besides itching i rub the back of my hands across my face just to ease it that way.
My handwriting is'nt the same and the longest i can write for is 15mins but my fingers get cramped and then my knuckles hurt and if i don't rest my shoulder kicks off.
Enjoy your weekend mate the best you can and be careful with your face. x