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    Newly Diagnosed with RA
    HealthCoachwithRA posted:
    I have had RA for almost 10 years. I was diagnosed in 2007. If you can do your job without accommodation do not tell your boss. If you think you will need accommodation check out the Job Accommodation Network (goggle it). This is a web site supplied by the EEOC which show the types of accommodation you can ask for. It will depend on the size of the company you work for if they are required by law to provide the accommodation. If they can show it is a financial hardship they do not have to and if they have less than 15 employees(I think) they do not have to.
    With the first Hospital I tried to do accommodation I was retaliated against and eventually fired. This is illegal but you have to be proactive and take them to court if you want anything done about it. This hospital bet that I would not go to the trouble. They were wrong.
    There are a lot of medications out there that will help. Prednisone helps but is dangerous long term even in small amounts. If you take it in small amounts you still get the side effects it just takes longer.
    Most other medications for RA take 2-3 months before you see the change.
    Your Rheumatologist is very important. If they do not listen to you find a new doctor. It is too important that they address your concerns.
    One of the first things my new doctor check with me was my vitamin D level. If you have not had this check do it. Low vitamin D causes an increase in the symptoms of RA and fibromyalgia. I took a RX strength vitamin D and when I got up the next day I no long had fibromyalgia.
    Studies have shown that up to 80-90% of the population has low vitamin D and the medications we take for RA makes us at a higher risk.
    Most the the infusions are obtainable without insurance through the medication company programs. Your doctor will have to check into it for you or you can check on line.
    Try to be very clear with your family that you live with that your restrictions change from day to day. If you can do a thing you will and if you are not doing it you cannot that day.
    I have learned that I pay for what I do. I do not always feel the pain when I do something but I do feel it the next day. It help you to identify what you can and can not do. Some times it is just a matter of not doing it for so long a time.
    May the Lord Bless you with the knowledge you need to make it through.
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    lsomm responded:
    Thanks for your imput on RA. It seems that you have a great knowledge of this. I was diagnosed with RA in January and have been reading as much information as i can get my hands on. I am not going to let this get the best of me. They say knowldge is power. My Rheumatologist never said anything about vitamin D being important. I even told him on my last visit that my mother was just diagnosed with ostopidia. Didnt seem to interest him. I am doing very well he just took me off prednisone. I will be asking about the vitiame D on my next visit,. thanks and good luck to you.
    nielso responded:
    Thanks, I find pacing myself the hardest. Helps to hear someone else talk about it.
    40Shonna replied to lsomm's response:
    I was also diagnosed at the beginning of this year. I am coming off prdnisone now, and on methothrexate, but my wrist and ankle are hurting all the time, I am scared I have done something wrong, this is all new to me. I am 40 and never had anything really wrong with me or had to take serious medicine. What do you suggest next? How are you?
    SsuperSsara responded:
    I'm a 33-yr-old wife and mother to a very active 3-yr-old boy. I was just diagnosed with RA about a month or so ago. I'm feeling very overwhelmed right now and very ready for medication that works. Mine is mostly in my feet, although I have noticed my fingers being very stiff in the mornings, which makes work quite difficult for me, as I am at a computer ALL DAY and thus, using my hands ALL DAY. Luckily, fingers so far aren't sore, just very stiff. (This is also very inconvenient because my main hobby other than reading is needlework of all types: crochet, knitting, cross stitch,etc. I'll be devastated if I have to stop one day, as I get much enjoyment out of it.) I have not gone to a Rheumatologist, as there aren't many in this area. I'm going to try to make an appt soon to see the only one close to me. I tested negative for the rheumatoid factor but my GP said you can still have the disease without it. She diagnosed me based on symptoms and family history. I have had cervical neck problems since my 20s that I've had surgery for that never helped. What I've read now leads me to believe it was RA-related all along. How long until I find a medication that is effective at controlling the pain?? It is difficult to walk, and I'm becoming kind of depressed about the whole mess. I've always been fit and healthy and never imagined I'd deal with lifelong pain. Bummer.

    - Sara
    tia_d27 replied to SsuperSsara's response:

    hi my name is tia. i found out i had r.a. in 2006. i also have had problems w depression since i was a kid,so did my mom. ive always been a big tom boy, lifting what all the other girls couldnt. pushing myself to be tough. i was mortified when i knew i had this junk. i didnt really know what it was. just that i had a lot of meds and pain in my future. i ve continued working, now am having trouble since my job was changed. standing for 8hrs on my feet leave me limping by days end. if i over use my hands i usually have to call in the next day. tips i have for you. RESEARCH! knowing is half the battle. set limits to your activities. i do artwork and some days i feel if i tried tomorrow will be regretted. stretch! take hot showers, get a heating pad.. hand braces are good...have your partner massage you a couple times a week..stick w the meds,,take a while sometimes to find the right ones and then the right dosage. and educate those around you especially your partner. im always the youngest patient at my doc office. id love to make friends so we could go thru this with someone to talk to.. and on face book

    Helpful Tips

    Dry eyes and dry mouthExpert
    Patients with RA may develop dryness of the eyes and mouth due to a condition called secondary Sjogrens Syndrome. The dryness is due to ... More
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