16
   

It's all down hill after 40

 
 
Reyn
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Sep, 2008 08:54 pm
@martybarker,
martybarker wrote:
I've been in great health until pretty recently. What the hell? Don't you think 42 is too young?

I can certainly appreciate having health problems in one's 40s. I had cancer treatment at 45, so I can relate.

I had really good health up to that time, and then that happened. Generally speaking, I am in reasonable health at 57 now, but I sure feel aches and pains a lot more than I used to than when I was younger.
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Sep, 2008 09:06 pm
@martybarker,
martybarker wrote:

I think what has me bummed is that I need to start taking anti-inflamatories...


I had my first experiences with arthritis in my early 30s. Then I had problems with swelling and pain here and there (different place every day for several weeks, very puzzling) last spring. Turns out it was arthritis, too. I'm 53 now. The doctor prescribed Celebrex, 2x daily for 2 weeks, then 1x daily for another week. It got everything under control pretty quickly...the symptoms went away in about a week. The doctor said I would only need it in the future when I had a flare up. "Just keep the prescription," he said, "and take it as needed." I haven't needed it for about 4 months now.

So...you probably won't have to take medication all the time. Just when you need it. No big deal with that, right?

martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Sep, 2008 10:56 pm
@Eva,
Oh, silly me, I thought I had to be on it continuosly. I'm glad to hear that it flares up and goes away. I was a little freaked out because it's been constant for 3 months now.
0 Replies
 
martybarker
 
  2  
Reply Thu 11 Sep, 2008 10:58 pm
@Reyn,
Reyn, what scares me is that I feel that I've turned the corner now and things will start popping up. Just had my first experience with general anesthesia in May with having my gallbladder removed. I'm glad to hear that your health is better and that you got healthy after the cancer treatment.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 12:12 pm
@martybarker,
My wife had her gallbladder out while in her early 40s - can't remember exactly. I don't think this is too unusual.

I was lucky in regards to my cancer. It was found completely "by accident". I had no symptoms. I do feel fortunate that I have become a survivor.

Hang in there, Marty, as one slides towards ones 50s, you can sure notice your body changing.
0 Replies
 
martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 10:32 pm
@martybarker,
Went to see the Rheumatologist today. He thinks it's rheumatoid arthritis but I had a repeat blood draw with some additional tests to know for sure. ****
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:09 pm
@martybarker,
I'd be interested in the tests. Not that you should trust me, but I'd like to follow.
You shouldn't trust me, since I left the field in 1980.

I had two labs, one a starter lab for a rheumatology department, where the boss rarely came around though was available. That one was sort of mine. It was me who moved the refrigerator, etc. And another which was primarily a research lab in rheum/immunology with the boss at hand, v. smart. It was his lab and better for it, but I was fairly involved in the testing.
This was all a long time ago. I'd be interested in whatever showed up positive on your tests, as false positives or questionable positives used to occur fairly often back then. A 1+ at beginning dilutions might or might not mean something. A high titer is probably real.

I'll segue to another story, when I had my eyes tested at a university clinic because I figured my longtime nightblindness might mean RP.
I went to the clinic.
The resident didn't believe me, told me lots of people have trouble seeing at night. I explained how I differed from most..

He looked at my eyes for a long time, and thought I might have (what, I can't remember, but it was off the mark). Kept looking. Finally saw some dots (or, whatever) near the vessels.

He ran some blood tests. Among them was a test for syphilis, which can cause nightblindness. So I can't be pissed at him.
I went up to the desk after the appointment and asked for them to call me at home with any results, and please not at work.

So, naturally, a few days later, I get a call in a client meeting from the hospital.
Had to be terse in response, as my test was positive.

Well, hell, the test was a fluorescent antibody test and I'd done something like 10,000 of those myself. I know 1+ is iffy. I saw it, as a slide reader, as more meaningful if a person had an autoimmune problem and had been treated, thus the titer coming down. Not necessarily, as it could matter for a person just starting with a syndrome, but also could be artifact.
Thus physicians ordering repeat tests.

So, like you, Marty, I knew people at the hospital or people who knew people. I talked to the head of Infectious Disease. He agreed with my take on 1+ and suggested that I suggest to the resident another treponeme test, name I forget now.
Which I did and it came back negative.

Meantime, I'd been figuring on letters to write... Dear So and So, I have syphylis...



Ok, enough bushwa.

Maybe you do have beginning RA. If so, it seems you are in the right place.
Don't be shy... get all the info you can, ask for copies of stuff, research without panic, as there is a lot of foo foo out there.





martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:41 pm
@ossobuco,
Osso,
I wish I could remember the tests. One was for a RA factor which was negative. My sed rate was normal. The Dr explained that the test that showed a moderate increase was a newer test specifically for RA. 0-18 was normal, 19-39 moderate, 40-? moderately high and so on. I was a 38.
I asked him to draw for thyroid disorder and he's checking my liver and kidney function to better determine which medication to put me on.
It started out with my left thumb and right pointer finger back in June and by now I wake up with stiff, swollen, painful fingers and right wrist. It scares me that it has progressed so fast.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:42 pm
@martybarker,
martybarker wrote:

Osso,
I wish I could remember the tests. One was for a RA factor which was negative. My sed rate was normal. The Dr explained that the test that showed a moderate increase was a newer test specifically for RA. 0-18 was normal, 19-39 moderate, 40-? moderately high and so on. I was a 38.
I asked him to draw for thyroid disorder and he's checking my liver and kidney function to better determine which medication to put me on.
It started out with my left thumb and right pointer finger back in June and by now I wake up with stiff, swollen, painful fingers and right wrist. It scares me that it has progressed so fast.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:48 pm
@martybarker,
martybarker wrote:

Osso,
I wish I could remember the tests. One was for a RA factor which was negative. My sed rate was normal. The Dr explained that the test that showed a moderate increase was a newer test specifically for RA. 0-18 was normal, 19-39 moderate, 40-? moderately high and so on. I was a 38.
I asked him to draw for thyroid disorder and he's checking my liver and kidney function to better determine which medication to put me on.
It started out with my left thumb and right pointer finger back in June and by now I wake up with stiff, swollen, painful fingers and right wrist. It scares me that it has progressed so fast.


****, I don't know anything about that recent test.

What, I can't believe this is happening for you. Talk to all the smarties, whether or not you like them - find out what you can.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Ok, after hyperventilating, I'm wondering about the recent test.

I'll nose around. But your symptoms aren't nothing.
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 07:22 am
@ossobuco,
Sitting with you, Marty.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 07:34 am
@martybarker,
hey marty,

Sorry you're facing so much uncertainty right now. The easiest thing for me to do is cut and paste some diagnostics. Like osso, I can help explain some of the mumbo-jumbo as it applies to your specific results.

Quote:
A blood test alone won't prove that a person has RA, but it can give doctors some valuable information. Here's what they are looking for:

* When the body is being attacked, it responds by swelling and getting warmer in the areas being attacked. This is commonly known as inflammation. Doctors can measure the level of inflammation with two tests. Both of these tests can be done on a single blood sample, such as the one your doctor may draw for the complete blood count (CBC).
o The first test measures the amount of a substance in the blood called C-reactive protein (CRP). As the level of inflammation rises, so does the level of CRP. Studies have shown that people with high levels of CRP over a long period of time also have more severe joint damage.
o The second test is called the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Most people with RA have an elevated ESR. A person with severe RA will generally have a higher ESR than one with less severe RA.
* A person with RA has a very active immune system. The problem is that the immune system is attacking the body, not an infection. When the body attacks itself in this way, it often produces a substance known as rheumatoid factor (RF). About 75% of people with RA are RF positive, so it can be a helpful indicator in making a diagnosis.

Doctors can also use these blood tests to help diagnose RA:

* One test looks for cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP). A person with RA will have an unusually large amount of a substance called citrulline in their blood. CCP sees citrulline as a threat, and works to fight against it.
* The next test, human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27), measures the level of a normal substance in your body that helps identify what belongs to your body. In people with RA, HLA-B27 is seen in large amounts and the immune system starts to see it as foreign, and attacks it. This is often linked to swelling, pain and stiffness.
* The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test is usually given to people who are experiencing new symptoms of RA, in order to rule out other autoimmune diseases.

Although no single test can diagnose RA by itself, rheumatologists have become successful in using the tools they have to diagnose it. By looking at all of the information they collect, they can diagnose RA with confidence. More importantly, they can prescribe the right treatment. source
martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 01:42 pm
@JPB,
I think it was the CRP that was elevated but the RA factor was normal. I'll have to look at those results again to know for sure.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 08:27 am
@martybarker,
Hi marty,

I imagine the waiting for answers is adding to your stress in thinking that you may have a chronic autoimmune condition but if there's one thing that compounds a chronic autoimmune condition it's stress. There's no medical proof of that but strong anecdotal evidence shows that the more stressed someone with an autoimmune disorder is the more likely they are to be troubled by flare ups.

Autoimmune disorders by definition mean that your body has decided to take a whack at you from inside. As hard as it may be to let go of worry or anxiety, my personal opinion is that it's the best thing you can do for yourself. Meditation, breathing exercises, saunas, massage... whatever you can find to help you let go of stress will be your good friend.

Best wishes -- keep us posted.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 08:30 am
@martybarker,
Hey marty,

No advice here, but want to say I'm reading along and pulling for ya...
0 Replies
 
martybarker
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 03:24 pm
Thanks for the support everyone. I usually meet my friends for running twice a week and my left foot has been too sore to run. I'm just looking forward to getting this treated so I can get back to doing my thing.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 03:38 pm
@martybarker,
martybarker wrote:
It's all down hill after 40

Thanks for letting me know -- I'm turning 40 in January. (And somehow caught some evil lower back pain while working out in the gym yesterday.)
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 03:38 pm
@martybarker,
ask your doc about and check out online chondroitin and Glucosamine supplements. At Costco you can do the for about $10 a month. I had a knee injury, which was made much worse because I did not keep off of it for the first few days. A scan of my knee revealed permanent damage, the specialist said that it was only a matter of time before I would need to put in an artificial knee. I had a lot of problems for the first three month, days at a time I had loads of pain and had to stay mostly off of it. I started the supplements and with in two months had almost no problems. Now been 8 years since and I almost never have any problem unless I go a week or more without the supplement.

The way I figure it the longer you can stay off the heavy duty pain killers the better.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Oct, 2008 04:23 pm
@Thomas,
You're just a pup, Thomas.
 

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