Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Experience


Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Rahul, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 22

I am suffering rheumatoid arthritis since last 8 years. In the initial phase it occurred with fever, sweating, stiffness in the joints and fingers, and cramps. I took allopathic medicine for some time, then shifted to homeopathy under a qualified doctor and got complete relief. However homeopathy medicine used to increase the pain initially. I kept well for 6 years, after 2 years of medicine. Since the last year I felt problem developing again but again I consulted him and feeling better.

Comment from: Aristotle, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

The joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) moves from waist to the back bone to the neck bone. Sometimes it comes to the ribs exactly below the shoulder, where the excruciating pain affects my breath as the pain becomes severe while breathing. I am presently having the pain on my shoulder joint and it has lasted here for months. Anytime I used my left hand to hit hard on a surface, the pain on my shoulder is terrible. I find it pretty difficult stretching the affected shoulder because of the pains.

Comment from: R Woodward, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I was in a good comment thread regarding Plaquenil’s efficacy and side effects. Not sure if this is that thread. Anyway, I’m on 200 mg for 2 weeks now. So far pretty good. My rheumatoid arthritis isn’t flaring much but now many joints feel generally better. Yes to mild headache around when you’d have a hangover. Bathroom breaks at night are gone. I’m 67, male. Flatulence, yes. Not terrible, but I was almost devoid of it before. Wonder if anybody has heard about hibiscus tea working against the drug. I drink it for blood pressure lowering.

Comment from: gg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) when I was 26! It is a terrible disease and I live in pain every day! I’ve had to quit work but now I am on disability. I’ve been on biologics several times but if I had to get off because of the inflamed lymph nodes and have had biopsies done. I have a complete fusion in the rest of my backbone, lost just about all range of motion in my neck. The main thing I suggest to you all is to move around every day, no matter how hard it may be.

Comment from: Frosty, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 28

My struggle started with carpal tunnel like symptoms, and developed to the point of it being extremely hard to get out of bed, or even roll over, not to mention the fatigue. My wife commented on how much I had declined in the last year. After doing some research I went to the doctor and asked for tests for thyroid, Lyme disease, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They questioned this, but it came back as RA. You need to advocate for yourself and do your research. Fatigue and energy levels are the toughest issue now.

Comment from: Charles N, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 31

I just got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in my lower spine. Plus, I have got bone damage from working.

Comment from: Deborah, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. It has taken a long time to get to this diagnosis. My back can hurt so bad I can't do anything. I wear size ten rings because of big finger joints (I used to wear size 7 rings). My right shoulder has been replaced and my right wrist is fused. I have pain in my knees and have had synovial tissue removed from both knees. Now I am having pain in both ankles. I take Celebrex. I have had to take steroids when the inflammation has gotten really going. Can't more be done!

Comment from: Rei, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

Severe foot pain started unexpectedly with no obvious reasons. It seems to be pinpointed at the left side of the right foot, intense blinding pain. Swelling started on the second day, and as I worked throughout the day the swelling affected the leg to the knee. I went to the doctor and he recommended me to stay off my feet and soak them in hot water, and take Tylenol as needed. He only took an x-ray and said the arch was not broken but didn't know what it was. He is an orthopedic doctor; no help there. I cannot walk without assistance but I'm a teacher and we have 2 days until midterm tests and cannot possibly miss. I elevate the foot at night which helps, soak it with Epson salt and rub down the area with a warming muscle cream. I wrap the area in a compression bandage while I am on it to help restrict swelling. Nothing is working and I am in intense pain. I will try icing it.

Comment from: SandyEggo, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 23

I have waited thinking it would get better and had to have the abscess drained and packed. I thought the ones on my face were bad, that was until I got one on my labia. It really hurt. Warm compresses kind of helped until it burst on its own. But in my experience, it's sooner the better with going to the doctor and getting antibiotics.


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Symptoms, Treatment, Diagnosis See Slideshow
Comment from: Maggie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I've been diagnosed way back in 2000 with crippling rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel but wasn't given any medicines to take. But I was given braces to wear on both hands and I kept doing exercises to help. Today because of this doctor my hands are swollen, all bent, and am not able to pick things up or do much. You try to explain to the doctors and they look at you like ‘huh’. Not much can be done because being bent anything that touches my hands causes pain, and I can't even wear the arthritis gloves I got to wear because they are way too tight.

Comment from: blaquerose, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I guess I really do not understand rheumatoid arthritis, because when I have flare-ups my rheumatologist says it is not due to rheumatoid arthritis. So if the doctor saw me in August and I showed no signs, and I don't know what that means. It is now November and I can hardly walk because of pain in my groin and I have not been able to move my shoulder for three weeks. Doctor had nurse call to say it is not because of rheumatoid. I don’t know what I am missing.

Comment from: Grammy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I have been diagnosed with diverticulosis for over 10 years, so I have flare ups of diverticulitis about 10 to 15 times a year varying in severity. The one thing I have not seen mentioned in the stories is the drug hyoscyamine. I have used it for all of my flare ups and it is a miracle worker to take out the frequent bowel movements and the stabbing pain; works better than pain medicines. And there are no horrid side effects.

Comment from: Graeme, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1995. I was put on prednisone resulting in reduced bone density so it is important to have bone scans every 2 years. In 2001 was diagnosed with Felty’s syndrome and had my spleen removed 2012. I had heart bypass in 2014. I have just turned 65 and still working. It is important not to give up.

Comment from: Lilly, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 02

I stopped all sugar and chocolate. I loaded up on broccoli and my boils seem to disappear in a few days. I also took multivitamin with B that also seems to help.

Comment from: T, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

For me rheumatoid arthritis (RA) started two years ago at the age of 41; and my life is not the same. For me it started with traveling joint pain. I went to many doctors, it took a year to diagnose, and the only reason I was diagnosed was because I have nodules and they removed one and it came back as RA. I have been in pain every day. But I keep moving. I still can't believe I have this horrible disease that so many suffer from. I have been on one pill a day of diclofenac. If I don't take it, by the third day I can hardly move and I feel like I have the flu. I hope one day it will leave my body!

Comment from: Aussie2, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I have suffered with rheumatoid arthritis for the last 38 years. It is in my family, hereditary. All the usual drugs for it have not worked (including 3 biologics) or stopped after a while, and I lost half a lung to fungus infection on one of the first line drugs. I still take ketaprofen and prednisolone. I started natural supplement SAMe-SL methionine 200 mg, 6 weeks ago and within that time it has made my ESR 8 and CRP 11 - lowest for 38 years. It also reduced rheumatoid factor to 800 (from 1695). So next week I’ll be cutting prednisolone back to 3. Hopefully when I can afford to take 400 mg SAMe-SL I can cut out all prednisolone and the ketaprofen.

Comment from: Vmitch, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I had very sudden onset of projectile vomiting and my legs tingled. I had to be helped to the car. It felt like a heart attack could only breathe when my right arm was above my head. That was the 1st time and I went to emergency room. Second was a month later, the quick vomiting and legs would work, so I went to Urgent Care. Neither if these visits said a word about rheumatoid arthritis. The 3rd time I barely made it to the bathroom to vomit and once on the potty my knees hurt so badly I couldn't get off. I had to scoot on the floor where I later, for 4 hours, was trying to get up. I could do nothing from waist down. A friend came over and helped me up. She thought it was multiple sclerosis. This time I did nothing but take Lortab and slept all through the next day. I could walk the next day but hurt really bad. Eventually I went to a rheumatologist. My CRP was 265, normal is 1 - 4.9 and all blood work indicated rheumatoid arthritis, high sedimentation rate and RA panel of labs. Now I'm on Prilosec for my stomach issues and I'm back on Plaquenil and have bad pain pretty often.

Comment from: Nina, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

Thinking back I'm sure I've always suffered with some sort of arthritis. As a young child I'd be up most nights with dreadful knee and elbow pains, as young as 8 years old. I remember my parents having to get warm towels to wrap around my joints and the smell of Algipan (deep heat remedy) was a popular aroma in our home. Doctors diagnosed growing pains. I had my daughter at 23 and within weeks of her birth I had intense pain all over my body. Everyday chores of motherhood became so difficult which upset me so much however I persevered and finally saw a rheumatologist who diagnosed RA (rheumatoid arthritis). I worked as a dental nurse part time and was a mother of 2 young children so I kept busy which I truly believe is the key because if I had given up my part time work I would gave probably dwelled on the pain too much. When I was 37 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well causes body aches and a general feeling of flu like symptoms. I am now 47, I've recently had an ankle replacement and will be having a wrist replaced early next year. I'm totally disabled by the RA now but it won't beat me, I go to work in a salon that I run and I do beauty therapy on part time basis day to day depending on my condition. I'm on morphine patches and very strong oral painkillers but otherwise I'd be at home unable to move.


The term arthritis refers to stiffness in the joints. See Answer
Comment from: Abrar, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 26

I am 32 years old, 5.7” feet tall with 70 KG weight. During June 2015, I had high fever with temperature measured 103 by a local doctor in my area. The doctor gave me an injection whose name I could not note. Next day when I got up, I did not feel temperature however there was a swelling on my both radiocarpal joints (wrist joint). After about 15 days when I could not get rid of swelling of joints, I visited an orthopedic specialist who advised for RA and ANA medical test which were declared negative in reports. ESR was 80 and CRP 265. I still have symptoms which I am concerned might be of rheumatoid arthritis. I get typhoid after every 3 or 4 months, temperature measured is different from different body parts, and I have swelling of joints (knees joint, shoulders joint and radiocarpal joints). I take following medicine as per doctors’ instructions: prednisolone 5 mg, Celbex 100 mg, hydroxychloroquine 200, and Panadol for fever. Doctors have advised for many tests and I provided all tests reports as doctors advised but unfortunately, they could not find the exact problem. Till now I am taking those medicines but in vain.

Comment from: hari om, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 01

Every morning I have deep pain in the right testicle. It is swollen and has warm loose cover.

Comment from: Lalita V, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

I have been suffering from severe pain in both the knees, but the right knee has been more inflammatory. Some acupuncture treatment was undergone for rheumatoid arthritis, but no expected results. Use of painkillers prescribed by the doctors had temporary effect. Once intake of painkillers was discontinued, severe pain would start.

Comment from: grub, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

This gastroenteritis virus is nasty and lasts a long time. Ten days ago I started with diarrhea, no vomiting, and lots of up and down fever. I have been living on Advil, but stomach pains don't go away. It’s no fun, I am still feeling bad.

Comment from: Margie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

In 2004 I woke up to stabbing pain and unable to move my right shoulder/arm. Things progressed to legs and knees, general malaise, etc. I insisted the cause was a response to being stung by ground bees and having had major oral surgery. No doctor believed me. Both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) factor and Lyme test negative (every time, every year). My general physician (GP) sent me to rheumatologist who then prescribed prednisone and Azulfidine, but no relief. He wanted me to use Dimard or a biologic. I refused due to side effects. I went to a doctor who treats with antibiotics and ibuprofen. That protocol worked for 6 years! Another flare and I went on a brief protocol of methotrexate for a variety of reasons. It worked and I have been symptom free for 5 years until a month ago, when symptoms started after having surgery and invasive dental procedure. There is that infection connection/inflammation and stress response again. My GP wants me to see a rheumatologist who will, of course, want me to go on the major drugs again. I am again searching for a doctor to believe me that these responses are due to current events and will use antibiotics.

Comment from: Moag, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

Worse part of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the pulmonary fibrosis, this distresses me and is more problematic than the pain from the RA, so debilitating having both things. I thought the RA was bad but this fibrosis really saps me of energy. I feel stuck at present, need to exercise for my RA but get so breathless with the fibrosis. I have never met anyone with both conditions, feel so alone with it all sometimes.

Comment from: terry, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

People should look into Remicade treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, I have tried various medications and the best has been the Remicade infusions. It is administered intravenously.

Comment from: 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 04

I am now 72, was diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) in 1981 - a few months after I enrolled in a workplace exercise/gym activity. It started in fingers, all over body, toes to neck. I also had psoriasis. After all the usual methotrexate, gold injections, NSAIDS, hands are now very deformed but I still play golf. Prostate was removed in 2007, psoriasis went away. There’s no real cure but if caught early some people were cured by major steroid treatment. I am now on 1 piroxicam daily plus blood pressure medication. Keep doing your normal stuff, don’t stay on the couch. The medicine is still from the 1950s.

Comment from: Judie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

The pain started in both arms about a month ago and now everything hurts. I am an active person who tends horses and feeds a lot of animals. I ride a lot, and work around on the farm. This rheumatoid arthritis came out of nowhere and I feel like I have the flu or something because I ache all over.

Comment from: Lochner, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 07

I have been diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis) a year ago. I started with frontline medicines methotrexate and Celebrex. RA factor is 1030 where 5 is normal. I will be seeing a specialist to be prescribed different medications. Most joints are ok, ankles and feet hurt most.

Comment from: Maura, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

I have arachnoiditis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. I have had these for over 40 years and the pain and inflammation is continuing to be more debilitating. I am unable to take NSAIDS, so must control with a narcotic. I go to the gym every day with the exception of Sundays. My only true exercise is at the gym because I am unable to walk on any type of uneven pavement or ground. The only thing that has kept me out of a wheelchair, at this time, is the gym and also the fact that I have a pug. The worry about what would happen to her really keeps me focused on trying and not giving up. I am also a stage IV breast cancer with metastases to the bone survivor for 5 years. Although I am in incredible pain, life is to be enjoyed and I try!

Comment from: Godsway, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I went to a arthritis specialist 25 years ago she said your rheumatoid arthritis is so advanced we can only do pain control. I had back surgeries and neck surgery too. In 2007 I felt better and I canceled surgery for rods in my toes and a plate in my foot and a morphine pump. My neck can turn now it had not since 1969. I do have pain at times. My fingers double up and freeze mostly when I'm sewing or crocheting. I recently had a cortisone injection in my elbow. Something is going on in my groin that caused severe pain. A cat scan showed a hematoma, cyst, or aneurism. They are not sure. But the pain is better for now. All is not bad, considering. I am on blood pressure medicine, blood thinner, baby aspirin, Tylenol/codeine, and/or Motrin only as needed.

Comment from: Lisanexeter, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

One morning I woke up with rheumatoid arthritis. The onset seemed overnight. Weeks passed until I was diagnosed. I had a severe case. The depression was overwhelming at first. Everything changed. My life does not allow immobility. I had months of pain with little progress. My only hope was starting new medications. The methotrexate started to work. Finally, I received Enbrel injections. It took months before I improved. I experienced two flare-ups, but they quickly passed. I still have fears about the future, but things do get better with time.

Comment from: lauren, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

After 10 years of tests and surgery to both my ankles. I have finally been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 27. No one would diagnose me with arthritis at such young age. I am on methotrexate, folic acid, Celebrex, sulfasalizine and tramadol to control my symptoms. I have to go for 6 weekly blood tests for liver function/ I can't even walk for ten continuous minutes with crying from the pain in both my ankles. I can't even go shopping with my friends because I can't walk around for long. I work in aged care i have more pain then most of the 80 year old residents I ooh after.

Comment from: melrosebelleacre, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I've had rheumatoid arthritis for 7 years. I work as an RN and have pushed myself beyond what I should have because of public opinion related to disability and the way that physicians view patients with chronic medical problems. I've not been offered OT or PT for splints. I wear generic splints from the store and I am certain although I am very clean, I am an infection control nightmare. I must protect my joints. I've had one tendon repair surgery and it took months of recovery and my finger will never be straight again. I think doctors have no interest if you already have a chronic illness. I feel bullied to report that I am doing fine, but honestly, I am not doing fine at all. Outstanding evals at work, though they tell me I am not physically capable of doing my job and that I should look for something else. 20 years of being a caregiver to all, for this.

Comment from: Penny, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I have had RA for 11 years now. I have a positive RA blood work, but you can have RA with a negative blood. I have only had to use prednisone occasionally I avoid it because of side effects. I have taken methotrexate for 10 years; about 5 years ago I couldn't take it oral anymore because it gave me a GI bleed. But thank god it can be injected and this I do plus an injection of Embrel 40mg for the latest 6years. I think I am very good. I have difficulty working fulltime it positively exhausts me and I am awake all night in pain. Also a hot tub is a god send when pain pills won't cut it. I do take Vicodin for pain but I try to take it as little as possible and when nothing else will work. As you can tell by my typing I have had bilateral carpal tunnel repaired with fairly good results, also had Right great toe fused. Now my Right ankle swells constantly and I wear a brace but x-ray shows no joint damage. Any repetitive motion will escalate pain. I know I am very lucky as my husband is able to carry my insurance and support me. I have never done a diet, I suffer from depression due to low serotonin and can't stick to a diet. I find a good rheumatologist and staying as active as possible, like swimming or Tai chi is the best.

Comment from: Judith, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for about 26 years now!! When I was first diagnosed when I was a healthy 25 year old with two young children to look after. I worked part time in the evenings shelf filling in Sainsburys when one day I was filling up the freezers when I found that my right hand had seized up and I could not move it (which was quite frightening)but by the next day my hand was alright and functioning perfectly so I carried on my normal day to day activities. Two weeks later the same thing happened again but this time it was my knee and I found that I could not walk properly and so missed the bus home by this time I was getting really scared trying to think what was wrong with me. I went to the doctors had blood tests etc and then was sent to the hospital where my Rheumatoid Arthritis was diagnosed (but by the time i went to the hospital a lot more of my joints were affected. I have had many treatments since my arthritis was diagnosed and now have been fortunate enough to be put on a relatively new drug Infliximab (Remicade) which I have to have done by infusion at the hospital every 8 weeks.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 02

My journey with all of this has started fairly suddenly-swollen hands and joint pain. Now I am taking 30 mg of Prednisone and day and I am up to Hydrocodone for pain four times a day. I will not see a Rheumatologist for 2 more months but the steroids are awful and I feel bad all the time it seems. I feel as if I have no control anymore and I am very scared. I have no one to pick up and take care of me if I cannot work and my job is physically demanding and stressful, which I cannot seem to handle as well anymore.

Comment from: Mominpain, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 13

After having my now 3 year old daughter, I started having horrible pain. Doctor after doctor made me feel like I was losing my mind. About 8mo ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but it just didn’t seem right. I finally saw a new dr that spent 1 1/2 hours with me going over everything, did a lot of blood work, and 2 month ago was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Both shock and relief to finally know it wasn’t all in my head! I just started methotrexate, my goal is to run and play with my 5 and 3 year old! I miss it so much I cry myself to sleep. I’m supposed to be enjoying these years with my young children and it’s very hard to put on a happy face when you’re cringing in pain playing with your kids!

Comment from: Leslie, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 13

I am a Nurse Practitioner who frequently sees patients with autoimmune type diseases, and although too little is known about the causes of many of these diseases, some patients respond to diet, such as the Macrobiotic diet, which helps reduce the body's immune response. In the case of RA, it is an overactive and abnormal immune response. I'm not saying it’s a cure all and it’s for everyone, but if it works for you, it sure would be worth the try!

Comment from: Cynthia, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 03

I was diagnosed over 20 years ago with fibromyalgia because my RA was negative, but doctors frequently rechecked my blood work due to ongoing pain. My current PCP has been suspicious for a few years that I had sarong RA, and after my divorce last year, I had a serious flare, hands severely swollen and painful, pretty much useless, that's when I finally got the diagnosis. Plaquenil seemed a miracle drug, until I got hit again with a bad flare, now I just started Methotrexate. Very frustrating, I have had pain and fatigue my whole life, but now I feel like I can't even function without my hands. It's the loss of control that I hate.

Comment from: Akhil Arya, 0-2 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 06

I was determined to have rheumatoid joint pain. I was put on prednisone bringing about lessened bone thickness, so it is essential to have bone tests at regular intervals.

Comment from: bob, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

I have had internal bleeding for 3 years. Doctors have been unable to determine source. It has gotten worse last 2 months. I have transfusions weekly. Caregivers seem content to continue with present treatment.

Comment from: R. J. Clapham, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 05

An alternative treatment for a chalazion other than undergoing surgery can be found in a book.

Comment from: txbabe_11, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

Just recently I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I am devastated because I am anti-pills. I have seen what they have done over the course of time to my mother who also has RA. Absolutely nothing helps her anymore. She just sits and bears the pain and cries. This is so sad. A lot of these manmade medicines have so many awful side effects. I mean, if I already am hurting, tell me, why would I want yet another disease? Seriously!

Comment from: loracnalitud, 55-64 Female Published: August 20

I began having pain in the middle finger of my right hand about seven months ago. This has developed rapidly. That finger causes the most pain and is crooked at the top knuckle. The pain is severe toward the evening, throughout the night and in the early morning. Pain is severe in both hands, wrists, toes and ankles in the evening.

Comment from: Julia H, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I am a 59 year-old woman with my two grandchildren living with me. They are 6 1/2, and 8 years old. I think I am having a flare-up right now, I started on Saturday evening feeling a little nauseous, and achy, and bone-tired, and with a blotchy rash on my upper arms. Then towards Sunday evening, I started getting terribly achy joints, (especially my wrists, hands and elbows), and a mild fever. The fevers have continued at a varied level of 99.4 - 102 degrees. They only abate when I take Ibuprofen. When I am developing the fever again, my hands and feet are COLD AS ICE!!! The rash has worsened with the days. My biggest concern and why I have not gone to the rheumatologist is that I don't want to take drugs that reduce my immunity while I have these two little ones living with me. With all the illnesses they bring home I will constantly be sick! That is my worry!

Comment from: iram riaz, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I am a patient of RA i suffered in this disease when i was 15 years old. I have gone through total hip replacement of both hip joints and my hands are deformed, but i am trying hard to fight with disease i am doing a little better and getting positions in my class sooner i shall be judge and show the world i am not defeated with disease.

Comment from: vrm123, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I was first told I had RA at the age of 8 years old. It was in every joint in my body. The pain in my legs was so severe I could not walk. My legs and wrists were beginning to bend out of shape so I had specially made "splints" (just like a half of a cast) that I wore every night to bed. They kept my legs and wrists straight. I was also put on medications and got addicted to pain killers. I missed a lot of time in school due to hospital visits. The RA was attacking my kidneys, bladderer, and my eyes. I also had a strict exercise program I had to do twice a day. My Mom, (God bless her) would bend my legs over and over while I screamed in pain. I now know it hurt her a lot more than it hurt me, but at 8 years old all I wanted was for her to stop. It was difficult having RA at such a young age. I missed a lot of trick or treats, birthdays celebrated in hospital, but worse was nobody would take me for a sleep over. They were scared something would happen on their watch and they didn't want the responsibility. At the age of 16 the RA went into remission and everything was great. No pain, no meds, no splints, YEAH!!! Then around the age of 30 I started to notice small changes. I was dropping things, tripping over my own two feet. My joints were sore and swollen and I knew it was back. The RA grew worse and worse and today I am 50 years old and in severe joint pain and I walk with 2 canes but I know a wheelchair is in the not so distance future. I won't let RA depress me. I refuse to give in to it. So for as long as my two, very sore, legs are still under me I will continue to live my life to as close to normal as possible. Thank you for listening.

Comment from: Celly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 09

I am a teacher too. Last year I was an active kindergarten teacher. I've worked full timr for 35 years as a teacher. This year I'm disabled due to RA and institional lung disease. I'm sad, but I'm thankful for my family, God, and insurance. If I didn't have all three I wouldn't have survived. My illness started with double pneumonia. Two months later I was diagnosed with RA

Comment from: tdodge, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I am 52 years old and for years have had pain in my hands. The only way to relieve the pain was to have them rubbed and squeezed by my husband. And that only did it for a short while. Now I am having severe joint pain in my fingers on both hands in every joint. At first I thought it might be golf but it is lasting for long periods of time. Any one else have these symptoms. I have not gone to the doctor yet. I also play tennis. Do sports make RA worse.

Comment from: RitaR, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 15

I have had RA for about 10 years. I’ve been able to manage it will with methotrexate. If there is anyone in doubt about whether to take it – I’ve found it to be amazing. It took time for me to get used to it – months, even – but was worth it in the end. Along with methotrexate, I have had various medications to control pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, nothing works for me, or if it does, the side effects are unbearable. I just returned from Spain, where I traveled alone and was in excruciating pain. What hurt is that nobody offered to help when they could see I had trouble walking. Where are the kindhearted people? This world would be in a much nicer state if we had more genuine people like one kind girl who helped me.

Comment from: sue, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I have had rheumatoid arthritis for 52 years. I got it when I was 2 yrs old. I had knee replacement about 15 yrs ago. Now it is starting to get worse. I started to feel it in my hands and that is marking me mad. I need them to do things. I can put up with the pain. But not stop use my hands I like to play games on line.

Comment from: notreadyforthis, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I woke up a month ago with pain in my arm and shoulder so bad that I thought I had torn a muscle. Exactly one month later I experienced that same pain times 10 in my other arm and shoulder. It lasted 8 hours! I have been bed ridden now for a week because the pain is just too much. I finally got the diagnosis of RA and I am feeling very discouraged when I look at my future.

Comment from: DM, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 01

I was diagnosed with RA today. It started with pain in my hips and then after an ankle manipulation from an osteo down to my ankle. My right ankle is most affected and now my thumbs are starting to flare. I have had a bone scan and this is what has confirmed my own and th rheumatologists thoughts. I suppose I now buckle up and hold on (if I can) for the ride, thanks for posting. I am about to start Methotrexate.

Comment from: TROD7979, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 04

I have had joint pain from the time I was 25. It first started on my right hip, then a few years later in traveled to my left hip. A few more years past and it went to one knee then the other. Then my right foot and now both feet. My doctor doesn't see a problem in the x-rays. He says my ankles are healthy.

Comment from: maxpulsion, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 10

I went to the Rheumatologist about a year ago, got blood tests, etc. She said nothing there. This was after I had extensive blood work requested by a Neurologist. Last week I went back to the Rheumatologist and got examined, got more blood tests, and X-rays. I have extreme pain in my right hand and fingers, I already had trigger finger and had the surgery for this about 4 years ago. I also have pain in arms, and feet area. My stomach muscles also hurt by the slightest of work and while chewing my mouth gets tired. I also sweat very easy. I am waiting for the results from the blood work. Very frustrated, and tired.

Comment from: pizzagirl12280, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I was diagnosed with RA a little over two years ago at the age of 46. It started with severe swelling and pain. I took several medications and was doing well, lost my job and insurance. Now I only take NSAIDs and am miserable, especially since I had to quit taking all medication including methotrexate, cold turkey. steroids work wonders but I cannot get them on a regular basis. Many people think it is just pain because they look at the arthritis portion, they do not understand the other symptoms and that I am really degenerating slowly. mMore information needs to be put out about this disease so people understand the whole picture.

Comment from: Ella, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 12

I just found out I have RA at age 21. Needless to say it is quite depressing. My knees have been killing me for over a year, and I refused to take no for an answer. I went to see my primary doctor and he said my knees are fine, blood test was okay. I went to see an orthopedist and he said it was fine too. I went to see a rheumatologist and four tests later I am positive for RA. My knees would swell severely with exercise, and also when it would rain, and or the weather would change. I am going to move to a dry climate area. The more weather changes, and humidity the worst my RA is. I am also going to do yoga. I am scheduled to get an MRI done soon and start the steroid injections.

Comment from: mae, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I was recently diagnosed with RA. I have been under medication for eight months and I am not yet recovered from pain. At first my doctor thought it was SLE but after a lot of tests that were made; ASO, ANA, ESR, ALT and RA my doctor concluded that it was some kind of Rheumatic factor. In January I experienced a stiff neck and thought it was only because of a sleep disorder and after a week I felt relief. After that I experienced a pain in my right knee, then left, then both knees, both of my ankles, and in my upper limbs, and shoulder. I feel scared because both of my hands cannot grip. I feel restless, wreckless and incapable of doing things. It makes me depressed and stressed. I am 25 years old now and a teacher. My job requires physical actions and I don't think I can survive the whole school year. I am now taking 5 mg of prednisone three times a day with Plaquenil in the morning, folic acid and two times a day of Celebrex. However, it doesn’t relieve the pain one hundred percent.

Comment from: RA Sufferer, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 28

I have been diagnosed with RA, but have not had actual blood tests done to confirm. However, I know one third of the diagnosis is based upon my extensive family history. The RA is primarily in my hands, wrist, neck and shoulders. My right hand, wrist and index finger are very swollen and painful. Also, my pinky and index finger are already crooked.

Comment from: 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 29

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 5 years ago, but have dealt with the disease much longer. I've had symptoms since my mid-20s, but numerous doctors were unable to diagnose the problem, with one going so far as to say I was imagining things. After a case of unexplained tendinitis in my ankle, a doctor suggested I might have rheumatoid arthritis. A rheumatologist confirmed it in 2007, which helped me finally connect the dots. I started on Humira and Paquanil which worked for a time, but the disease has progressively gotten worse. Now it's Remicade every six weeks along with Luflonomide, Paquanil, and Mobic. I am grateful to have such an understanding and loving wife. She watched her father go through this when he was my age. My father-in-law is a great resource because of his experience with rheumatoid arthritis. Thankfully I have great insurance and am still able to work, but I fear I won't be able to work much longer.

Comment from: Margaret, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 29

For several weeks I felt unwell with flu like symptoms. Then the middle fingers on both hands swelled up and became painful. When I experienced pain in the left side of my jaw I sought medical help. Blood tests proved I have Rheumatoid arthritis. Previous to these symptoms I 'd had no kind of joint pain. I'm now taking medication to ease the pain and swelling. I have the most pain and stiffness first thing in the morning. Gradually over the day the pain lessens. I find knitting and playing the piano very good for loosening my stiff fingers. The pain and stiffness in my jaw is a problem at breakfast time but eases over the day. I have an appointment to see a Rheumatologist soon.

Comment from: Fordownr, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 18

This disease is a real pain. I'm 51 and was just diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after many years of joint pain. It took a new doctor to finally run a rheumatoid arthritis blood test and it was positive. I was started on Methotrexate, but it left me nauseous and unable to function on the day I took it. I am now on Plaquenil twice a day and Cimzia 200mg self-injected every two weeks. I am getting some relief but am nowhere near "controlled" as I still get debilitating flares in my hands and ankles. My primary care doctor has finally started getting aggressive with my treatments when I get a flare-up and it helps (high dose short term steroids and industrial pain medications). I have to agree totally with one of the other posters that the effects of this disease are not understood by the public at large. I keep waiting to get written up for "zoning out" at my desk, but I just can’t help it. I also miss a good amount of work, but my bosses have seen how miserable and ineffective I am during major flares and are understanding of that. I get extremely frustrated at this disease and the way it changes my lifestyle. I used to be an energizer bunny, but now I feel like a slug. It really annoys me when I have to get help to open a bottle, open a door, or carry what is normally a light object.

Comment from: cathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 21

My rheumatoid arthritis started suddenly. My hands both seemed stiff and I couldn't even make a fist. Then both my knees ached all the time and I had no energy at all. Couldn't even go to the store as everything ached so bad.

Comment from: Tabbs0530, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 19

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis a year ago. It took me down really fast. I couldn't walk or use either hand without severe pain. Prednisone helped until I was given Methotrexate and Humira. The injections burn a lot but seem to have the rheumatoid arthritis under control. I also have occasional finger swelling when it rains.

Comment from: Torey, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 01

My mother has had RA for 25 years. She has her wrists fused together, all the joints have been removed from her feet and her spine is also twisted. She has been on almost every medication. Her last one was Remicaid which slowed it for a while but quit working. With the new Medicare requirements she can't afford the copay she has to make for the IV medications anymore. We have no idea what to do next.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

I went through a 40 pound weight loss then the pain and stiffness started in my right hand. I went to the family doctor and after an X-ray, MRI and biopsy of my right hand, he finally sent me to a rheumatologist and he said I have rheumatoid arthritis at 28 years old. I am taking methotrexate and prednisone and folic acid. I have symptoms in my right hand, left hand, and my knees. My doctor is thinking about starting me on Humira. I just want to find a treatment to help me feel better and less fatigued.

Comment from: Nevinovatainima, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 15

I'm a 19 year old woman. Starting at the age of 13, I have been experiencing weak wrists and knees that bring about pain when bent for too long or too far. Last month I went to the doctor about this and they did some blood tests showing that I have rheumatoid arthritis. I didn't know what symptoms to look for until I was shown a few signs on my own body like the fingers growing to be a bit odd shaped, which I've noticed my father had and it was pretty bad. That's when I knew whom I got it from. Also, just a few days ago I started having sharp chest pain throughout my chest and luckily was given two medications by my rheumatologist, they both help wonderfully, but I worry I'm only going to get worse. I wish there was a cure! Any suggestions on how I could possibly slowdown the process? I currently try to exercise regularly.

Comment from: COGPK84, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

I am 27 years old, so I was very surprised when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. According to my doctor, I developed it early because of a car wreck I was in 5 years ago, as well as having toxemia with my last pregnancy. I have hesitated about starting treatment, but it seems to be worsening quickly. I appreciate all the info, it has really helped.

Comment from: Debbiema, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 29

I have rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. I barely have swelling. Now and then my rings will be a little tight to get on or now and then my wrist looks a little swollen. I am really scared to go on the "IV" type treatments. When I listen and read to all the horrible side effects, I think I would just deal with the rheumatoid.

Comment from: ceder1969, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I was diagnosed 13 years ago with RA and have seen changes in medication over these past few years. When I was first diagnosed the doctors treated me with pre-determined acceptable form of treatment which left me in dire pain for years. While my treatment has changed over the years as I've learned to be more proactive in my treatment I am left unable to work with disfiguring joints. It can be hard when people don't understand or can't see the pain you are in and harder still not to be able to do things I once enjoyed so much, but I have learned to modify my activities, taking things slower, using assistive devices when needed and keeping positive people around me. I just don't have time for negative people anymore... it's a waste of my valuable energy.

Comment from: luvlabs, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I was just diagnosed with RA last week. I am 40 years old with a family history of RA(father). So far it seems to only be affecting my right foot. My foot has hurt for a long time and over last winter I noticed that the toe above the sore joint was starting to curl in. My rheumatoid factor/ana/ccp were all elevated. I am about to start taking Relafen.

Comment from: Kit, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

RA was a shock. I had been having sore hips, elbows, hands and shoulders for over six months before it got to the point that I couldn't sleep. Drugs are helping ease the symptoms but I still have "migraines" in my joint and a lot of fatigue. I use to do triathalons and marathons, now I'm happy to go hiking once a day with our dogs. This condition is rough not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

Comment from: camason24, 7-12 Male (Patient) Published: October 31

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) caused me to be hospitalized due to an inflammation in my hip that was fixed through surgery. I had surgery on my mom's birthday. It was pretty hard, but managed. Extremely painful, but Aleve usually did the trick.

Comment from: faithful, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 18

For my rheumatoid arthritis I am taking Remicade every six weeks and Metrotrate seven tablets a week. My hand still hurts so bad that sometimes I can hardly get through the day when I get home I am so tired I have to take a nap. Not doing the best right now looking at giving up working for a awhile.

Comment from: David, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 18

I am on Ultracet (37.5 mg Tramadol) two pills, three times a day, and Ketorolac three times a day. This has helped me a lot and I feel good. Please check your doctor to review your condition. I also eat less meat and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, all kinds of berries, and nuts. With these medications I am active and doing well. Good luck!