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Arthritis Question???

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Jeffreyj:
My wrists and hands have been feeling week for the past few months. I first noticed when I'd try to get up off the floor, my wrists would give out really easy. They would not have the strength they used to. I thought nothing of it until last Monday.

I woke up, both of my hands and all ten fingers were swollen. I could not squeeze them together. And when I tried to, it felt like both my wrists were sprained. It did the same thing so Wednesday I saw the DR.

He took one look and thought it was some form of Arthritis. He did a blood test for the 4 major ones. He said even if the tests were negative, I may have "Negative Zero" arthritis. (It may have been Zero Negative, sorry not too sure).
Has ANYONE EVER HAD A SIMILAR PROBLEM?
I tried use a broom today, I could barley hold it. I can't write either.

April has been a bad month. I was dropped from by private LTD last week without warning. Now this. UGH!

Here is to a better May!

Matty the Damned:
Jeffrey,

Matty the Damned knows only too well the misery that is arthritis. It's a terrible, disabling, life-sapping pain and he empathises with you deeply.

Mine was a result of an auto-immune condition that since seems to be in remission. Nevertheless when I was in the worst of it the only thing that brought me any relief (other than cortico-steroids) was a combination of codeine and a non-sterioidal anti-inflammatory drug called indomethacin.

None of these are suitable long-term answers to the pain. Cortico-steroids work by suppressing immune function and so are problematic for HIVers. Indomethacin used for longer than a few weeks will cause ghastly stomach problems such as ulcers. That's a shame because it's very effective at relieve inflammatory pain.

Perhaps less pernicious anti-inflammatory pain killers like ibuprofen may help. Taken judiciously these can be used over longer periods of time with less likelihood of gastro-intestinal problems. Also topical salicylate ointments or linaments may bring some relief too.

MtD

ademas:
You have my sympathy as well, Jeffrey.

Mine is severe in my toes and the ligaments at my achilles tendons, and less severe on a couple of fingers.  It's almost perfectly bilateral in my case.  I tested positive for the RA factor, but the doctor is still unsure whether it's rheumatoid or psoriatic, and for the longest time he would tell me it had nothing to do with HIV.  (He's recently changed his tune on that one.)

Find yourself a good rheumatologist.  There are a lot of new treatments.  Most people have to jump through hoops before insurance will cover them (because they're wicked expensive--more than all my other meds combined), but it's really iimportant to catch it and get it under control before it does permanent damage to your joints.

I've been on Humira for about 10 weeks now.  It's resolved almost all of the swelling and pain, and it's helping a lot with my energy level as well.  I had to go through a six-month cycle of methotrexate (and fail) before my insurance would cover the Humira, but it was very much worth it for the results I'm seeing now.

aztecan:
Hey Jeff,

I'm right there with you. I can't clench my right hand without causing serious pain. My middle finger, the one best used in traffic (LOL)  ;)  is the worst culprit so far, but some of the others aren't far behind.

I am seeing the doc Wednesday and it is one of the problems we are going to discuss.

Putting my hands in very warm water (as warm as you can stand it) gives temporary relief. I also use about 2,400 mgs of ibuprofen a day.

Matty mentioned the creams. There is one I use called Sore No More (dreadful name) that contains capsaicin, the stuff that makes jalepeņos hot. It seems to offer some relief.

My pain seems to lessen if I exercise the joints affected. But that is temporary and as soon as I sit down and relax, the stiffness and pain returns big time.

Let me know what the doc says about yours and I'll let you know what my doc says about mine. Sounds kinky, doesn't it.  :D

HUGS,

Mark

Jeffreyj:
Matty, Ademas and Mark,
thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. It really does help to know that I'm no the only one with these crazy things happening to me. I will get the results next week, and I'll keep you posted. I have made some notes on what you all have said. Thanks again for the help.



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