Opinions and experiences

Hi! Backstory, I was recently pregnant. Gave birth three months ago. My ob realized my wbc was frequently elevated and no one had noticed but him. So he referred me to a hematologist. After I was referred I decided to go back and look at all my labs. Turns out my wbc was elevated the whole time and no one had mentioned anything to me. When I was in my early twenties I would do the stair master and my knees would hurt and I immediately thought it was because of the work out because after that it would stop. So no other symptoms after that. My hematologist did a bunch of tests, my fana staining pattern came back elevated 1:160, my crp came back as 1.80 and my esr at 69. He wanted to have me follow up with a rheumatologist but since I was so far along in my pregnancy, he wanted me to wait and see if it was my pregnancy causing this. I also started having joint knee pain and thought it was because of my pregnancy. Fast forward to now, I haven’t thought about having RA up until now. I have a new pcp and told her the whole ordeal. She said she would repeat the labs before sending me a referral to a rheumatologist. My labs haven’t come back yet. But this morning I woke up with painful joint pain, but this time my shoulder blades, elbows and knees. Is this gonna affect how I am with my newborn baby? How is living life with RA, when were you diagnosed, what symptoms did you get and is it manageable to do day to day tasks?
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Keep moving, stay positive and look toward getting the right treatment. Take as much help and self care as you need!! Taking care of you is taking care of baby

No, I mean the sooner the better, but many times autoimmune conditions like RA manifests during or after pregnancy. For others it goes into remission

@Laura would you say that I’m getting diagnosed late and that I have damage to my joints? I’m scared this will affect the way I am with my baby 😞

I was diagnosed in 2020 & got on the right treatment before conceiving my daughter - biologic were game changing for my RA. I had to stop while pregnant and ended up flaring so was out back on prednisone and hydroxychloroquine (plaquenil) which stopped the awful flare (much worse then side effects). My baby didn’t suffer any side effects and was born full term weighing 8lb 11oz. You can’t ignore pain symptoms during pregnancy and I’m so glad you’re getting to the bottom of this asap. My last flare affected new joints incl shoulders which if left untreated certainly would affect how I can look after baby now. Im back on my biologic med and off prednisone now, and have some symptoms that I also do my best to discourage with an anti inflammatory diet & lifestyle. You will find your groove, as long as you are getting seen and heard about the state of your condition. Sending lots of love and cheering you on, dear!

I also highly recommend the ‘Moms with Rheumatoid Arthritis’ Facebook group.

@Janna I just turned 28. I’m so terrified of all the medication side effects. Is it bad it spread to my other joints

I have had RA for almost 8 years. I was 27 when it started. I am seronegative so it took forever to get diagnosed and I was in rough shape for a few years. I say this because I have permanent damage from the delay which effects me now, but the fact that you are being seen now is good. It takes a while to find the right combo of meds, but once you do life is manageable. It’s definitely a different existence, but you will get the hang of things in learning what works for you. Please feel free to reach out if you want to chat more.

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