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    RA? Side Effects? or just Plain Aches?
    singingbear posted:
    My question is how are you suppose to know the difference? I have only been diagnosed with RA for 2 mo. but started experiencing mild knee pain that progressed into barely being able to walk upon waking in less then a years time. My rheumy doesn't think that my knee pain is from the RA but from osteoarthritis instead. I know that my knees never hurt so bad until last spring and they got worse over the following year resulting in swelling of my entire lower legs. Now that I am on Pred and MTX I have significantly less pain in my knees and they really only hurt when I first stand from sitting at my desk for a long period or when climbing stairs. I have no idea how I am suppose to know the source of my pain.
    This week I have had a lot of back pain. As I look back over previous years I have had back pain like this from time to time. How am I to know if it is RA related or just pain from being out of shape, bad posture, or doing a little extra yard work the last few weeks? How do I know if the fatigue I am feeling is from RA, methatrexate, or because I work overnight. It seems like lately 3 - 4 hrs is my limit before I have trouble keeping my eyes open at work. Dozing off in front of the 4 cameras pointed on my work station is not good for my job. I really think it is the MTX but how do you really ever know? I take my MTX on Wednesday morning and feel like I could sleep through Friday (and have at least once).
    My arms, neck, shoulders, and back ache nearly every night at work but it is not actually joint pain just muscle ache. I have been having mild to moderate headaches and don't know if it is my neck, sinus, or MTX side effect. I am lucky that none of my pain is severe at this time but it does make for a terribly uncomfortable night at work. I worry that I won't be taken seriously if I point out every little thing but then again aren't we suppose to tell our Rheumys about our pain? What is the magic formula?
    Does anyone else struggle with these same questions? I could use some advise. HELP PLEASE!!
    calliegirl57 responded:
    I am on several meds including methotrexate, prednisone remicade, and a couple more. I still have pain. I have had a terrible time with fatigue, like you I was falling asleep in front of my clients, This is not good with my profession either. My RA specialist started me on plaqunell. It has helped some with the fatigue, but it never really goes away. I have to push myself constantly. I do tell my Rheumy everything. That is what he is there for, I am fortunate he listens. Good luck, I wish there was magis and answers. Sometimes it is a bear, a daily struggle.
    singingbear replied to calliegirl57's response:
    I have been on the methotrexate for 6 weeks now and have not noticed that it has helped much more then the prednisone alone did. I so miss the days when I could go to bed and sleep without waking repeatedly to adjust my knees. I am not as fatigued at work these last couple of weeks but the muscle aches and knee pain is still there.
    On my last Rheumy visit my blood pressure was slightly high. I am thinking now that my headaches are from blood pressure. The rheumy increased my methotrexate dose this week from 15 mg to 17.5mg. I had a horrible headache all day after taking my meds. Wish I had a blood pressure monitor at home to test my theory. I will take meds again this week and see what happens. If it happens again I guess I will have to call the doc.
    Seems sometimes like it is always something.

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