RA flare

Hello to everyone,

I was diagnosedwith RA in March this year and have been taking methotrexate and celebrex since then. I am now taking 8 tablets of MTX per week and I am seeing my Rheumatologist on Friday for check-up.

When diagnosed my knees, wrists and hands were very swollen and hot - typical of activity in joints I was told. The heat has now gone out of my joints and for a while I was feeling a little better, but this past 2 weeks I appear to be having a bad flare, my joints are incredibly painful and stiff, to the point that I can barely walk, but the heat is not in the joints now, just the pain and very bad stiffness.

Is this a flare-up - I would have thought so, but where’s the heat gone ?
I have been fighting off a virus during this last 2 weeks and I know that my immune system has been compromised. It seems I have now fought off the chest virus, but have got the severe pain pain in joints again. Has anyone else suffered problems like this ?

I have donequite well on MTX, suffering some quite severe tiredness with it but not much else in way of side effects, except for very bad sensitivity to sun, (came out in severe rash which lasted for approx. 3 weeks) so I have been advised to wear sun block and stay out of sun (a bit like Dracula !) - I have to hide away, and have had to cancel my holiday to Greece this year.

Maybe someone can advise

best wishes - Lynda

Hi Lynda,

It is common to have flare ups with out the heat. My knees and ankles often swell up like balloons but are cold. Pain, swelling and stiffness are constants for some.

I too have been on MTX and Celebrex(almost every medicatin going). The MTX worked for a few months for me, as do most medications, and then stopped working. The Celebrex worked great but I got a severe chest infection and ended up in the hospital. They had to drain the fluid from my lungs. This is a very common side effect so I caution you to never view chest infections lightly. Do your bst to stay away from predisone. It is a great miracle quick fix but the sde effects of long term are not worth it ( I was on it for for about 12 years at various doses).

Do your best to live life to the fullest. I am now housebound due to the physical limitations I have (diagnosed in 1984). But from what I have seen I am not the norm. Rest when you have to but keep active. I would try not to reschedule anymore holidays . There are some great strong sun blocks, light weight long sleave clothing, etc. You have to live for today because who knows what tomorrow will bring.

There are so many ladies who belong to this forum who have great advice to offer. I’m sure they will respond with more encouragement, experience and support.


Hi Linnie P.

I have had bouts of RA attacks over the years and never knew what they really were. All I knew was I felt rotten, achy and feverish. Finally after all these years I have been Dx’d with RA. I have been on quite a few different meds. Currently on MTX and now have been using Enbrel for the past 2 weeks and will have my next injection tomorrow.

I don’t know if your joints will always feel hot during a flare. I only had the warmth a few times that I can recall. Keep your chin up and keep fighting. I know now that’s what I have to do.

I’m sure there are more people out there that can help you too.


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to Joanne and Cindy,

thank you for your comments re. flare-up. I was under the impression that joints were hot during a flare, and I have now found out through yourselves this is not the case, so undoubtedly I am in the midst of a flare. My knees and ankles are very swollen, and I can barely walk at the moment. I am attending clinic on Friday so will let you know how I get on - meanwhile we have just sold our house as I need to move to single storey, so now we have the stress of looking for somewhere to move to, I am sure it will be so worth it though - no more stairs to climb !!

best wishes - Lynda

Fin5196 ra-cpt5490@lists.careplace.com wrote:

Hi Linnie P - I understand what you are going through. I am currently in a Bad Flair. I shoulders are in pain, and my fingers are swollen. I use a lot of Ice. I am also on Methotrexate. I do get sick thought. Best of luck!!

Hello Everyone. I have been in a big flair. For 3 years Minocin worked well but stopped doing so about 4 months ago and in a short time my right hand was hit by tendon damage, nodules and a disfigured knuckle. My left knee has sore tendons. Next week, I’ll change to Methotrexate which does have varying results with different people from years of remission to mere months. Something has got to tone down my immune system and stop the damage.