Posted in rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome

RA is time-consuming


When I first received my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis a couple of years ago, my rheumatologist told me to let her know if I experienced dry eyes and dry mouth. Now that my second winter with RA is here, I have been forced to through another round of testing to rule out other conditions to confirm or rule out a Sjogren’s syndrome diagnosis.

When I was diagnosed with RA, I started to educate myself as many RA’ers do. When I started dealing with both dry eyes and dry mouth, I knew that something was up, but after repeated attempts to inform my rheumatologist, I never really got my point across. Well, I finally did when I started to deal with voice hoarseness, trouble swallowing, dry skin, red itchy eyes, swollen glands, and much, much more. Now, we are back to square one with testing that I believe isn’t necessary. In the meantime, and if there is accurate diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome, we treatment the symptoms.

I feel like screaming to my doctor that this is winter with rheumatoid arthritis and the precautionary testing is a waste of time. Basically, they will be testing my swallowing and chest x-rays that seem to be the focus of the testing. Not painful, but time-consuming – time that I do not necessarily have.

Making time for Rheumatology appointments and testing forces me to take time away from other health screenings that I feel are more necessary – dental, GYN, vision, etc. You get the point – RA is time consuming. I also have to take into consideration my children’s appointments, sick days for my children and myself, a job search, and my ordinarily busy life. Between the hustle and bustle of my life, I am lucky I remember to take my RA meds.

Now I know I shouldn’t complain. Despite my RA getting worse and forcing me to slow down and make lifestyle changes, I have a lot in my life to be grateful. For one, I am not alone. I have a family who loves me and needs me despite RA and as tough as that makes my condition, it also gives me a reason to fight. RA is time-consuming, but it is given me strength to move mountains and for that, I am grateful.

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4 thoughts on “RA is time-consuming

  1. (((hugs)))while I don't have RA I do have Endo so I know what you mean about added appointments on top of the already too many appointments.

  2. I understand your frustration, Lana. Going through time consuming tests for a condition you already believe you've identified is aggravating. And yet… what if it's not Sjogren's but something else? What if treating the Sjogren's symptoms, but not the real disease, allowed it to get worse for not being diagnosed correctly? I know … that's unlikely. But I'm sure it's why your rheumy would rather put you through the tests.In the meantime, you're doing just fine. You're handling it all with grace and courage, and you're giving yourself the time you need, as often as you can, to rest and refuel. Sometimes that's all we can do when we deal with RA and Fibro.Sending you strength and smiles through the ether,Wren

  3. Agreed on too many appointments. How many is too much? I have good insurance, but they're still co-paying me to death on top of the time lost.It sucks being responsible doesn't it. I wish I could go back to like it was when I was 25. The only time I went to the doctor was when I broke a bone racing motorcycles.

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