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    shoulder pain
    Pamzd posted:
    I may sound like a baby, but I started out with a swollen index finger on my right hand, and elbow pain in my left arm(which my Dr. first thought was tennis elbow until the blood test), but within a months time of taking Plaquenil/meloxacam and occasionally prednisone, now my left shoulder is also added in, which seems to be the worst pain yet. Does this sound typical? My job is very physical, doing display work for a department store, which entails a lot of heavy lifting, twisting weird on ladders etc. Would it be wise to find other work? I don't really have much pain at work, but at night I suffer. I am a small person and its hard to tell if its the R.A. or I'm actually injuring myself. Help!
    DIYSTER responded:
    The best way to find out whether or not you have RA (or other auto-immune disease) is to have your doctor do the complete blood labs. Then if he/she sees something indicating the possibility, you should get a referral to a Rheumatologist who can then fine tune the diagnosis and offer treatment options.

    Unlike most RA patients, I did not have equal problems on both sides (e.g., both wrists at the same time or both knees). So no one, including myself, was thinking RA. I have very small joints and was very active so I thought maybe repetitive stress. Goes to show ya, self-diagnosis is not usually very good. So please talk to your doc! Good luck!

    P.S. To answer your other question about physical work...until you know what you are dealing with, I would try to find less physical work. If you do have RA then putting extra strain on your joints is a BIG no-no! :-)
    Pamzd replied to DIYSTER's response:
    My Dr. did do complete blood labs and found R.A., but I am not set up to see a Rheumatologist until Oct. The shoulder thing is new and I have had really harsh pain at night for the last night. I may call my Doc tomorrow. Thanks for your help. Pam
    DIYSTER replied to Pamzd's response:
    Did I read that right, Pam? October?? :-o Can you do what you can to get in to see a Rheumatologist sooner? Maybe your doc can refer another Rheumatologist who can get you in sooner? I can't believe they're making you wait 6 months, that's not right.
    Pamzd replied to DIYSTER's response:
    Well. . .had to go into my Doc's office today with the shoulder. . .found out I may have tore my rotater cuff, ugh!!! what next? anyhow had to see his nurse practitioner. . .he said he had connections and might be able to get me in quicker.

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