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    A bad day
    thenikki64 posted:
    Brief personal history: stepson with whom I am close just got back from Afghanistan (thank you, Lord); husband is currently serving in Afghanistan, civil engineer with the US Army Corps, so not directly in harm's way (thank you again, Lord); recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis along with the FM, CFS, cervical dystonia.

    I have always been an independent person but I've never worried about FM, etc. stopping me from doing things. I work full time, take care of my house and pets, etc, but this RA has me scared. The pain in my right hand is almost unbearable today, and I have to work. I spoke with my husband today and couldn't stop crying, I'm so afraid RA is going to stop life as I know it. I've had my hand on an ice pack as often as I could this morning, and it helps. The rheumatologist told me last time that if I had to take methotrexate with the plaquenil, he doesn't want me to work because I'll be so immune suppressed (I'm a veterinarian). My immune system status won't matter much if I can't use my right hand.

    I am not normally a worrier or a cryer, so all these emotions pouring out of me has me confused. I am 48, and could be perimenopausal, which could explain the tears and worry to some degree, but I can't do this for the next 5 years.

    A dear friend of mine who had been a hairdresser for many years developed allergies to some of the chemicals she used in hairstyling, and even to shampoos and other products. She was in her late 40s, and she reinvented herself, went back to school to learn medical coding, and now she has a fabulous career with her new skills. I look at her and say, wow, from a lifetime of hairstyling to medical and computer skills. What an inspiration! And yet, my troubled brain doesn't see me as being able to do the same thing if need be. Ugh.

    I just needed to vent and knew I could here. Y'all been down my road, I know. I don't like to dump too much because I can count my blessings most days. Today just isn't one of 'em. Well, lunch hour is ending and I must get back to work. Say a little prayer that I might get through the afternoon without a red nose and eyes!

    Thanks for listening;) Pam in Savannah
    Anon_2912 responded:
    Take it one day at a time. We don't know what the future holds.

    In reality you can only do it one day at a time, so don't worry about it years at a time..

    Do what you can when you can.
    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Dear Pam,

    Vent here any time. It's understandable that you're frightened and emotional right now, given everything. You will get through this period of adjustment too. (((softhugs)))

    You also may want to talk with others on our Rheumatoid Arthritis Community . It's not as busy a community as this one so it can take time to get feedback, but you'd certainly find understanding there too.

    Soooooooooooo glad about your stepson!
    We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
    katmandulou responded:
    Hi Pam - welcome to the forum!

    I can only imagine what you're going thru, and not being able to work must be frustrating. Would you benefit from a brace on your hand? Physical therapy? I know pain is a buzz-kill, and I'm a total baby when it comes to hand pain.

    There are some good resources in the right-hand column. Also check out . There are some good tips for us, and you have to check out The Spoon Theory - it will help people understand what it's like to be in your body, and I hope it will make you smile.

    Have the best day you can possibly have,
    xperky responded:
    Hi Pam! You and I are feeling similar emotional and physical symptoms. I'm newly diagnosed with RA too, and I have those fears of not being able to do what I need to do. Hell, some days the finger pain makes wiping after the toilet difficult! (Sorry to be so gross...LOL)

    I'm so sorry about your career change. You must love being around the animals, and helping them. Any career change is hard, and this is one being forced on you by medicines, necessary medicines though. You will be able to adjust with time and patience. You are tougher than you think, you'll see.

    It's OK to have upsetting days. At least I hope it is, because I do when my body surprises me with yet another thing it won't do right.

    Take a nice deep breath, do something that brings you comfort, thank God for your step son's good fortune, and put your feet up for a while. Baby steps, take baby steps.

    With Compassion,
    thenikki64 responded:
    Oops I thought I had replied to this. Thank you!! I've been on this forum for some time and have visited the resource center a good deal, but I appreciate the reminder to check that area. I have a much better outlook the past couple of days because the pain in my hands has subsided somewhat. Deep breath in, let it go isn't always easy for me, but it is good advice that I will take. Thanks again, and I hope everyone has a good weekend!
    Pam in Savannah
    dollbug replied to thenikki64's response:
    Hello Pam...MiMi in NC....FM stinks for the most part...but there are things that we FMers can do...hand pain....I know a lot about...and it is hard when your hands hurt...I went through a really rough and tough time of it myself...they have wrist braces that you might want to try to wear at night...I know that they helped me...I have had 7 hand surgeries...(2 of which I fell and broke each wrist, at a different time)...I also found using hot wax therapy also can find a wax bowl and do this at home...I got mine at walmart...I have also soaked my hands in epsom salts...don't know what you take for pain...but Advil (gel) is good..

    Everything is a process...which I am sure you already know...we have to find what works for us...which does take time..

    I am so glad that your son is back...I am sure this has not helped your stress level either...I hope your husband will be safe and will return soon...

    There was a time when I cried all fhe time, over anything and everything and sometimes, joke...I took anti depressants for a while...(several years)...and this helped me...when my dad died...I was unable to cry...and I think this was due to the anti depressants...I no longer take I got to a point when I no longer thought they were helping me....and now I can cope without them...

    I know just how hard FM affected me...I am older than you I will be 60 soon...I did have a rough few years...but with time and effort...things have gotten better...

    Take care and I hope things get better soon for you.


    My personal exchanges are Vitamin D and Pain and Wrath of the Dragon....if you care to visit..
    thenikki64 replied to dollbug's response:
    Thanks, Mimi. I cannot take NSAIDs like Advil, Alleve, etc. because I have a propensity for stomach ulcers. I take an opiate, Nucynta, and I take Tylenol. I do have wrist braces left over from the carpal tunnel days, so I'll have to try that. My main pain is where my pinkie joins my hand. It isn't so much a sharp pain as it is nauseating, really different from what I have dealt with in the past. I have been on antidepressants on and off through the years, and I have considered asking to go back on, but I would rather not. Like you, my emotions were very blunted on the meds. I didn't cry but I didn't get excited or happy about things, either. Right now I'm doing okay, just that pinkie pain, but if I have a string of really bad days, I will call the doc and get the antidepressants. Thanks for the support! Pam
    booch007 replied to thenikki64's response:
    Dear Pam,

    You can get a compounding pharmacy to make a cream of an NSAID to put on the joints directly. Also I know of quite a few patients on MTX and they work (in the public). This use for RA has been around since early 80's maybe even earlier.

    Maybe when you start you can take a vacation off to see your labs response (white counts) and then get back to your life.

    A knee jerk response to FEAR of change is a normal thing. No ONE wants to change and be something else other then what they are comfortable with. You will figure this out.

    Try not to melt down and let fear rule you though, it only gives the pain more room to hold on to you. There is always an "open window" around near that "shut door" for you to find. But I bet you can just keep being you..........

    Hope today is even better then yesterday! Hugs, Nancy B
    xperky replied to thenikki64's response:
    Pam, I know exactly what you mean about the nauseating pinky pain. How weird is that? Sorry you have that too, but it's of some comfort to hear I'm not the only one. When my pinky joints complain and I'm moving them, I get a direct ache/nausea response. At that point I know I have to rest a while. My pinky toe areas are similar.

    Stay strong.
    With Compassion,
    delora_anne replied to xperky's response:
    I too have the nauseating pain. It is more of a touch sensitivity, like using my fingers or having my butt sit on a chair makes me nauseous. It is unbearable and weird to say the least!
    thenikki64 replied to booch007's response:
    Thanks! What is MTX? I have tried Voltaren Gel (doesn't work) and a compounded topical with voltaren, another nsaid, xylocaine and flexeril, which works on my thumbs but not that damn pinkie. It is that nauseating deep pain. Ugh. I was trying to clean my dog's teeth with my left hand yesterday. Didn't work too well:) I will muddle through though. My stepson is visiting, and that is a wonderful diversion. I am sadly glad to see the funky pain thing is a more common issue than I thought:) Thanks y'all! Pam
    booch007 replied to thenikki64's response: is so much easier for us to write MTX.....

    This is chemotherapy med from years ago that they found does well for RA and stopping the joint damage.....Nancy B
    thenikki64 replied to booch007's response:
    Got it. Hopefully I won't have to start that too soon, because the rheumy says he'll disable me, doesn't want me catching any nasty bugs from work. Ridiculous and will likely go for a second opinion if this happens.

    Talked to my pain guy yesterday, and he said nothing else for the hands. I will ask him today for a splint for my pinkie and wrist. My carpal tunnel brace does help the wrist pain significantly. I am also going to find in my budget room to visit my acupuncturist.

    My stepson has been home the past couple of days. It has been wonderful having him in the house again. He leaves today but will be back for Thanksgiving. Off to work for me, and THANK YOU all so much!
    Pam in Savannah

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