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Confused, scared and weary
valp80 posted:
I am 30 yrs old and have been having pain in my right shoulder for the past couple of months. My mom who has severe RA (and has for 30+ yrs) suggested I go ahead and get the RH test done. It came back positive at a high level of 50.6, so my GP sent me to see a Rheumatolist. The Rheumatologist did some more testing, specifically the CCP which again came back high at 250.

My current situation is that I dont' "technically" have RA yet, since I only really have one problem joint with inflammation. He said he can't make the actual diagnosis, but that my genetics show that I am destined to get it and most likely a strong case of it. He wants to start aggressive treatment immediately. Just the word agressive scares me. I am still planning on having another child, so I can't do Methotrexate, so he wants to put me on either Enbrel or Remicade. The side effects of both scare me to death. Specically b/c of how the Enbrel affected my mom years ago when she was on it. She was in and out of the hospital with infections that lead to pneumonia etc...

Not actually having a disease but taking these lethal medicines is really scaring me. I know its probably what I need to do to prevent severe joint damage and dissability, but I'm having a hard time.

I need some feedback on people that have taken these drugs with a very early diagnosis and how their disease progressed or if it went into remission. I'm also having a hard time deciding on a self shot or IV treatment, not to mention what it might cost me.

Thanks in advance for your support, just really confused and scared.
Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear valp80,

Hello! First of all, your rheumatologist will be able to reassure you that much progress has been made in recent years in treating RA, so you may not have any of the problems your mother experienced with her treatment. I think you may like to take a look at these RAtv Videos . They're short and interesting, and address all kinds of RA issues, as well as interviews with real folks who have RA.

I have some articles for you that I think may help based upon what you have mentioned. I suggest looking through them a little at a time, so you have a chance to digest it.

Women and RA

Family Planning and RA

Experts Answer Top Questions about RA This has information about RA and pregnancy, too.

Top 8 Myths about RA You'll see the average age at diagnosis is 30-55, so it's not an "old person" disease.

Write back with an update--we care!

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. ~Will Rogers

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