Diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis

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You‘ll suffer from stress-related rheumatoid arthritis

until you understand it.

You’ll suffer from stress-related rheumatoid arthritis

until you understand yourself better.

Understanding is done best in active doing:

in reflecting

in trying

in practising

in improving …

It means more experience, more health, more success.

„You tell her”, my soul said to my body: „to me, she won’t listen.”

by Fritz Perls

So one day in the early summer of 1994, at the end of April, I woke to swollen fingers. The skin felt tense and itched. I was surprised because I couldn’t explain these swellings at that time, didn’t feel ill and wasn’t exposed to any unusual physical or mental stress. Altogether, I thought the puffiness would disappear by itself again.

During the next two weeks, I realized I wasn’t dealing with a mayfly. My fingers kept feeling puffed up after waking in the morning and looked glassy. It then took between half an hour to one hour for them to detumesce, until – during the day – they would be almost entirely mobile again.

Exposed to cold (for example, when I was shopping next to the cold shelves, or put my hands in cold water) an unpleasant tingling sensation in my fingers showed up. It felt as if they had gone dead.

The swellings became steadily worse and soon remained during the day, although not as strong as it was after waking up. In the ordinary course of the day now came first obstructive movement restrictions when I wanted to grab or hold something. From time to time, I felt a pulling and pulsing pain in my fingers and wrists.

The pain in my fingers and hands became increasingly intense. Additionally, I could very clearly feel the inflammatory heat in my joints.

Within days, swollen feet which felt stiff after sleep or short periods of rest during the day added to the symptoms.

June 1994, I had my first appointment with an internist rheumatologist. To protect him from the medication, I stopped breastfeeding my baby. After the anamnesis, the doctor first ordered a laboratory test.

The diagnosis was: onset of severe rheumatoid arthritis with an aggressive course.

I was asked if I was pregnant and it was pointed out to me that I should avoid another pregnancy.

The treatment plan was simple: drug treatment was supposed to curb the progression of the disease.

In their selection and intensity, the drugs would be adjusted onto the current state of the disease. One and a half years after the administration of gold and methotrexate, an operation of the joints was supposed to take place. Because by that time – so the doctor ensured me – the cartilage would have been destroyed by the inflammation.

For the moment I got painkillers, basic medicines, and vitamin E.

I was concerned that substances my medication contained would cause side effects that could end in the same or worse for my body than a possible non-treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. But when I asked about this potential issue, I got a little convincing, drawn-out “Noooo…” as an answer with the hasty afterthought: “but be sure to stop by to regularly determine your liver values!”.

Next post: My experiences with the chronic inflammation of my joints


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0 thoughts on “Diagnosis rheumatoid arthritis

  1. Interesting. I have friends and relatives with rheumatoid arthritis. A finger nodule has come up recently but I don’t know if it is overuse of the ‘mouse’
    Thanks for following my posts!

    1. You are welcome! I’am very happy you find the blog intresting and very sorry for anyone close to you who has to suffer from RA.

  2. Inese Poga artist, writer and life sciences specialist 16/01/2019 — 5:21 AM

    It’s tough. It’s good you have learned to manage it. I can read both German version and English, it’s just so that my keyboard won’t support writing normal German text. Take a good care of yourself. Universe is ready to support anybody who cares about him- or herself.

    1. You officially are first one to post a comment:) And you are right: It really is tough. Have a beautiful day!


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