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Hi dear and welcome to RA club!;)

I get it, hard to put your mind together when you just had thyroid removed and now RA, but remember one thing, RA is not the end of the world, could be so much worse. The main thing is to keep it under control and you can live full long happy life.
I am not sure why are you waiting for app with your endocrinologist while you need to see Rheumatologist who specializes in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yes, this is very important. I have severe case of RA since I was 13 when I was diagnosed with JRA and by now I got a lot of damages done to my body/organs. So when I saw my first RA DR. he told me even though he is RA but specializes in psoriatic RA and because I am advanced in my condition I have to find RA Dr who specializes in RA.

You have to write down all symptoms you experiencing, make sure you mention your stiffness and pain, locations; your levels of tiredness, low grade fevers (if any; start taking your temperature every night and write it down, especially when you feel your pain and swelling is up).
Doctors love when patients come prepared and it will help him in helping you.
Take all your blood work, x-rays, whatever you may feel important. Take reports from your previous surgeries and tests.
Usually first app takes hour and longer, depends how much information he needs or you can provide or he may want to send you for blood work right there.
Treatments: most of us, RA patients, start from Metrotrixate (MTX). I also had Prednisone for a while to bring flair down. Some people tolerate it well and some not. MTX is a mild chemo therapy drug and can cause nausea, hair loss, loss of appetite. I lost 17 pounds in 3 weeks, I was very sick on it but the worse part it never helped my RA symptoms. So than I was moved to biologics, you can learn about them on Internet as well.

Some doctors don't put their patients on drugs if they have mild RA. I wouldn't go on any drugs if my case would be mild, but like I said RA done a lot of damage to my body and I have no choice.
Being on biologics since 2006 I went in remission only once; no drugs worked on me. Every case is different, most people get good help and live normal active life.

So for now, do your homework, try to find a good RA Dr, make sure he in practice for a while and has good knowledge and experience. Many of us had to interview many RA drs until we found the right one. Unfortunately some of them far from being good ; don't get disappointed if this will be the case and keep going until you find the right one.

My first RA DR was well known in this area, many years of experience and yet, told me during my first app that based on my hands I don't have any RA. I told him I was diagnosed with JRA at age 13 - he said this could be a mistake. You would think he would send me for blood work at least after I told him all my typical RA symptoms. Nope; he felt like a God.
When I met my wonderful doctor (had to go to NYC to do so) and told her my story, she asked why did I wait for such a long time to get help and even without blood work, at my first hour with her, she didn't have any doubts I do have severe RA. Blood work confirmed it.
I sent a copy of my blood work to the previous "God-doctor" with a short letter for the sake of other people who come to him for help and he dismisses them. No answer. This exactly what I expected...

Please, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask us. We all here in same boat and happy to help each other.

Best wishes
Moldova





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