In the military with arthritis

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kittypants247, Sep 20, 2006.

  1. kittypants247

    kittypants247 New Member

    I have been in the Air Force for about 7 years now. I have been suffering with multiple joint problems for a few years now. Finally about a year ago they send me to a rheumatologist. I was on plaquneil for awhile and had really good results for my joints, but my skin started itching and they took me off the medication. Now I am on Methotextrate, Naprosyn and soon I will be starting Enbrel. My doctor has not given me a definite diagnosis of RA, I guess because I wasn't having any noticeable swelling at first. Did anyone else have this happen when they first got symptoms of RA? I did start having some swelling that started a few months ago. Right now I think I am having the worst "flare" I have experienced so far. The Metho helps with pain and some swelling, but I have been extremely stiff lately. I start Enbel on Friday, but I am a little nervous about injecting myself and what type of side effects it will have on me. I have also been under alot of stress with being in the military. Let’s just say my supervisors don't even want to try to understand what this is like for me. All they see or care about is that I can't do what alot of the other Airmen can do. I don't know how to make them understand and frankly I am tired of trying to explain the kind of pain I am in. I decided that the best thing for me is to get out of the military. They are doing a medical evaluation board (MEB) on me right now, and I asked to be medically discharged. Right now my future is pretty uncertain. Anyway, any advice or thought would be appreciated.
  2. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Hi Kitty,

    This message board is for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. You might get some helpful posts here as some member have RA as well as FMS and CFS.

    If you post on the Arthritis Message Board you will probably get more responses.

    Sorry you are going through such a difficult time and sorry I couldn't help you out.

    Lolalee
  3. findmind

    findmind New Member

    1. While still in, get a copy of your complete medical records: VITAL...they will "lose" them!

    2. Get every single symptom, rash, burp and hiccup into a record at once. Do not leave one tiny twinge out.

    3. Fight to the death for at least 70% disability; hire a lawyer if you need to.

    4. You can get 100% disability if you cannot function; if you are sick, go to sick call and document it to pieces.

    5. Stack up every single diagnosis, including IBS, heartburn, etc. Get as many as you can.

    6. Get Xrays of Back, uppper and lower; MRIs of head and spine; CT scans of entire body. GET COPIES OF EVERYTHING.

    7. Hold your head up high and let everyone you talk to know how you do NOT want to leave the service and it is your health making you do so.

    Bless you for serving your country. You will reap blessings for it from now on. I was in just under 6 years, got out on 30%; they paid ALL my tuition at private univ., all books, pencils, everything, PLUS monthly income. It took me 20 years for my illnesses to progress to 100%. I can't tell you what a difference the money made to my life.

    If I hadn't had ER records showing the beginnings of FM and CFS, I never would have gotten the 100%....there were classic symptoms documented there and in specialty clinics I'd gone to.

    Best of luck to you!

    findmind
  4. JenniferAnn539

    JenniferAnn539 New Member

    Kittyp,

    Findmind gave you some great information and recommendations.

    I was wondering if you had been tested for mycoplasma, which is sometimes implicated in RA, as well as CFIDS and FMS.

    If you are unfamiliar with mycoplasma you could google that and arthritis. Also google Dr. Garth Nicolson. He has information about mycoplasma and arthritis.

    In the event you test positive for mycoplasma, perhaps you could go out on short term disability while you treat it and maybe you would not have to leave the military for good.

    Best of luck.

    Jennifer
  5. findmind

    findmind New Member

    BTW, I was diagnosed with 3 mycoplasma infections!!!

    Check out Dr. Nicholson's (Garth) website: they test perfectly for them, and there is an antibiotic protocol which is very helpful.

    Best to you...

    findmind