Today was my first appointment with the Endocrinologist (gland doctor). I talked to two doctors, one inspected my throat area and they looked at recent blood tests and previous ultrasound of my thyroid. They discussed the nodule as being vascular which has blood vessels in it and a biopsy could lead to bleeding. We discussed symptoms I have been having from feeling like my body is on fire to feeling extremely cold, weight loss at 10 lbs a week during “flares”. To trouble swallowing, choking when I drink or eat at times during flares. Trouble breathing usually during the evening hours.
They decided to start by ordering better imaging and seeing what the thyroid is doing from what I understood. They also ordered more blood tests which I did before we left. As we were pulling out of the parking lot I received a call from their office. The imaging appointment had been setup, it is a two day test and I must not eat any seafood for 7 days prior to the test.
Day one I will go in at 9:30 a.m. and take a pill around 10 then wait 4 hours and go in for the images. Then I will head home for the night probably around 4 p.m.. The next morning I go in at 9:30 for images again. Sounds fun right? I do this in about a week, then go back for results around mid August.
It seems pretty common to see other RA patients that have a long list of diseases and medications listed in their forum signature. Sometimes the symtoms of the multiple diseases commingle, making it hard to know what is causing the issues. Sometimes while talking to other RA patients we discover we have some of the same symptoms that we have not discussed or mentioned to anyone. That happened to me this past week on Twitter while discussing in direct messages some symptoms with another patient who is currently having thyroid test done as well. The symptom we discussed was the feeling of our tongues stiffening at times. We did not go into more details but I will explain how it happens with me.
At times I have felt like my body was on fire and during those times I usually lose weight quickly. But also during those times sometimes I get so cold that my body will not stop shaking (hard shivering) and it just seems to get worse until it feels like the back of my tongue is stiffening up or getting hard. I have found if I get myself under blankets I slowly start warming up and the coldness stops. Both being overheated and severely cold are very scary. These symptoms are usually happening during a hard flare, for me the last time was during a hard shoulder flare in January when I had trouble with the weight of my head causing increase pain (see Bad Week, Hard Lessons). But the feeling of being extremely cold happens less for me than the feeling of my body being on fire.
So here I will try to list the symptoms I have or have had since December of 2003. How many of these symptoms have you had? Continue reading
What are the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
There are many symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) including swollen joints, joint pain, fatigue and weight loss which are just a few. Many websites provide lists of RA symptoms, but what do these symptoms mean? Do you have them all? Do you just have a few symptoms? Do they happen all at the same time? Do some happen overtime? I want to come up with a complete list of symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. If you are a patient that suffers from RA, what would you list as a symptom? Can we go into detail on each symptom? I think we can, but my first task is trying to list out the symptoms. I would love to do a post discussing each symptom and what they mean to a person living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
The search for RA symptoms
I started by doing a search on Google for “Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms“. I want to find websites I trust, so I pick out a few that are medical centers or resources that I recognize like Mayo Clinic, WebMD, University of Maryland and the National Library of Medicine. Let’s see what they include as symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Mayo Clinic provides the following list of symptoms for RA:
Joint painJoint swellingJoints that are tender to the touchRed and puffy handsFirm bumps of tissue under the skin on your arms (rheumatoid nodules)FatigueMorning stiffness that may last for hoursFeverWeight loss
The website does go on to describe other symptoms like difficulty sleeping and weakness. They also have more in-depth details on dry eyes, inflammation of the eye, Glaucoma, Cataracts, painful breathing (pleurisy), shortness of breath, lung nodules, and scarring of the lungs. Continue reading