Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Diagnosis in at last...

Well, I have enough distance now to effectively blog about this. I have been diagnosed with early inflammatory arthritis. This is often the pre-cursor to Rheumatoid Arthritis, but is not always. Treatment is the same for all types of inflammatory arthritis, which is an auto-immune disorder. Basically the body thinks that the joints are invasive and sets the immune system on them to take take them out. Swelling and stiffness are the result and if left untreated can spread to organs and eventually kill you. Onset is anywhere between 25 and 45 and is often caused by extreme stress. My doctors think that my ankle break and the resulting stress had something to do with it.

The Good News

My sister was diagnosed with RA 13 years ago so I know a fair amount about the disease and it's treatment.
I've only had symptoms for three months and my rheumatologist specialises in early detection.
The cortiso-steroids that have been injected into my muscles are relieving some of my symptoms.
I feel better than I have in a long while and the pain in my right knee is completely gone.

The Bad News

I start a very aggressive drug treatment tomorrow with three DMARDs which are disease modifying drugs. The goal is to shove it into remission. I will have to get my liver and eyesight checked regularly as damage to them are potential though rare side effects.
The cortiso-steroids are supposed to take away all the symptoms not just some. My doctors tell me that sometimes it can take longer for them to go away, so I'm hoping I just have to wait a little longer. Right now, my fingers and wrists are the worst off, with my toes and ankles a close second.

So there it is. I hopeful that the drugs will do their job and I will feel back to normal and be able to resume normal activities. The DMARDs don't take effect for at least three months, so it'll be a bit of a wait yet. Wait and see and remain positive, that's my goal.

No comments: