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Looks as though we're looking at a diagnosis for rheumatoid arthritis :-(

(9 Posts)
sleepdodger Sat 11-May-13 00:02:54

Dh is only 38 and been to dr today for tests
Looks likely to be RA
He is clearly worried and having covertly been reading up on it this evening do am I
We have a 2yo son have just moved to the sticks and he works an hours drive away
I work in a v heavy ft role
I'm now panicking a bit
Pls can anyone advise if they have any experience of RA at this age and what the lifestyle impact speed was
I'm concerned primarily for his mental health if he can't drive as he will have limited transport options which will mean giving up job and being a bit stuck hmm
Our DS is little and at ft nursery
I'd have to stay working ft to pay bills and mortgage but can't think how I could support Dh and manage work and physical support for him and DS
I know I'm over thinking this which is why I'm interested to know more from people who are here now

LittleMissLucy Sat 11-May-13 04:55:31

If the diagnosis is positive- can you ask for a quick referral to a specialist?
I have a friend here in the US who works as one and she told me in the past that it can be highly manageable and treatable and that often her patients are very surprised (and glad). But she said if the condition is left too long its harder to manage.
I hope things work out ok.

pofacedlemonsucker Sat 11-May-13 05:05:25

I know a fair few people with an RA dx. Most manage fine, and only one manages spectacularly badly.

The ones who cope best stay at a healthy weight, exercise moderately and frequently between flare-ups, and lead a very healthy lifestyle (some run competitively in their 50s lol). The other eats for Britain and watches the shopping channel. I would suggest her mh issues are more disabling than her RA.

Join the RA society - they have plenty of info on the site, and keep you abreast of new research.

For most people, it is something that can be managed. Flare ups are painful, but do dissipate and it's what you do in between that helps to mitigate the symptoms.

That said, even my 'worst case' example still drives. I don't know anyone that has stopped driving because of RA personally.

sleepdodger Sat 11-May-13 08:14:38

Thanks for your relies that's a massive relief to know about the driving
We're pretty healthy anyway & I think thus will only emphasize the need for a more consistent approach to exercise etc
Thanks for your reassurance

Purplehulk Sat 11-May-13 08:24:00

I've got RA and am fine. I manage life, kids, work, house, driving, etc. perfectly well AS LONG AS I TAKE MY MEDS!
Unfortunately I'm a bit dappy, forget to take them (for weeks on end) then get surprised and pissed off when I flare! This might happen once a year for a week or so.
The diagnosis is scary, but by taking good care of yourself, the disease itself doesn't have to be.
Good luck to you both

Icantstopeatinglol Sat 11-May-13 08:26:19

I've just been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis which by the sounds of it is quite similar. I have a ds5 & dd2 and I'm 35, quite scared at the minute thinking about the future as I'm in quite a lot of pain and waiting to go on medication.
However, I have heard a lot of good things about the treatments and it sounds like its a case of trying to get the right treatment for each individual which may take time. I'm trying to do some exercise (swimming etc) for now to keep me going (and sane lol!). I've ran half marathons before and been quite active so this has knocked me for six.
It hurt my ribs yesterday to pick my dd up, how ridiculous!
I will get sorted though and I will get back to normal, I have to for my dc.
Has your dh been referred to a rheumatologist?

Billwoody Sat 11-May-13 08:29:23

I was diagnosed with RA at 18 and am now 40. Admittedly I have been very lucky in so far as I had 3 very bad flare ups between 18 and 25 (stress related I am sure) but at no point was I incapacitated or had to take time off work/Uni.

Getting it diagnosed quickly and finding the right drugs - in my case - stopped it damaging more than two joints. I can still do most things - I run, I garden and I have a ft busy job. I watch my stress levels, watch what I eat and watch what I drink - red wine on more than a couple of nights a week is not great!

A recent trip to the specialist confirmed that I no longer have active RA so the only thing I get is pain in my damaged joints which can be managed.

As well as taking all the advice from the doc and finding the right drugs - your DH would be well advised to just listen to his body. Rest when needed and keep the stress levels low.

Good luck!

twofalls Sat 11-May-13 08:42:39

My cousin has it and is very careful about his diet and weight what e everyone else said really. He has been careful to curb his working hours as feels flare ups are often stress related. Good luck and try not to panic.

nothruroad Sat 11-May-13 09:59:51

I was diagnosed with RA at 19 and am now 38. The first two years were very hard until the medication was all sorted out. I now take a variety of meds and live almost a normal life. I never need time off work but I take care to rest at night and weekends. Apart from about 6 months near the start I have always been able to drive but now have an automatic car as I find it easier. The key thing is to get to a rheumatologist asap and to start taking medication early. Your DH will probably be offered second line meds - when you read the side effects of these they can be terrifying. I think it's important to remember that all medication comes with certain risks but that for the majority of people the benefits far outweigh any risks. Being on the correct combination of meds has given me my life back. Hope your DH has a positive outcome too.

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