Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Stories

Kindra’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Disease)

Kindras Story Rheumatoid Disease

I am 48 years young and was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Disease two years ago, but I have been living in pain for many years. In my mid 40s, the joint and body pain became unbearable, and I was having a hard time making it to work. At my request, my doctor finally sent me to a Rheumatologist where my journey to diagnosis and proper treatment began. I have always been a do-it-myself-er, a very strong and independent mother of four who did it all. Now, even with all the treatment meds I take, I can barely move some days. Many of my days are spent in bed now. I take close to 100 pills a week just to be able to move somewhat. Once a month, I go to the hospital for IV therapy where I get an infusion of a chemo grade biological medication and also take an oral chemo that I will likely be on for the rest of my life. Even though I am losing more of my mobility daily and need several joints replaced, I will not give up. I am finding that although I am losing some things I am gaining … [Read more...]

Mandi’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis )


I was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) ten years ago. As the years passed I was also told I had lupus, then Sjögren's syndrome, then neuropathy raynaud's, and a few others. Then was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma. It seems that every time I was attending the hospital I was given things (illnesses) it was never flowers and chocolates. :( I am awaiting my treatment but I will Fight Like a Girl :) Mandi Scotland Submitted 07/13/2014 The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice. … [Read more...]

Emily’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis)


My name is Emily, I'm 23 years old. :) I was first diagnosed with RA when I was just two years old. The only memory early on that I have is that I HATED doctors, so my story is mainly about my life with RA from school age on. School wasn't fun for me. I can remember tormenting myself because teachers didn't understand what was going on because I "looked fine." My first flare ups were in just one joint effecting one knee, it eventually progressed into both knees. I never wanted to admit to my battle because the reaction I usually would get is, "You're too young to have arthritis!" I would always wish that people could just understand that kids can have it too!! I could go on and on about the many flare ups, all of the missed school, the fatigue, and hours with my head on the pillow. But my biggest battle started after I gave birth to my son, James. I was warned by an OB/GYN specialist during my pregnancy that I could flare up after I had my son, but I didn't expect it to change my … [Read more...]

Sabina’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Sabina's Story RA LR

My name is Sabina and I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was 12, almost 13 years old. It has been about 17 years now. My journey has been very interesting, funny, full of life, painful sometimes (okay very often), and very eventful. It would be nice if I didn't have RA but I wouldn't want any other illness in exchange! In the course of my whole RA journey, with God’s help and a lot of support from my family, I managed to do quite a lot with my life. :) Somethings ordinary people only plan on. No, I’m not on steroids they somehow never suited me. Nowadays my activities include Wushu (kickboxing training) and Tai Chi. As for one of the FLAGC quotes, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I could not agree more. I’ll be writing several stories, stories of what helped me manage my pain, what didn't, alternate medicine, what I found was helpful to me, things that caused emotional pain, stress that … [Read more...]

Stephanie’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia)


My name is Stephanie, it took me almost three years to figure out that I had RA. I had such a struggle with doctors. I had several rounds of blood work. One rheumatolgist told me that I didn't have RA. I got lucky and found a doctor who was patient enough to run the blood work three times. Low and behold it came back positive for RA. I was relieved yet devastated. The RA in my hands has gone into my knees. I am also a gastric bypass patient since 2005. I don't metabolize medicine like everyone else. I take methotrexate, plaquenil, pain medication, and other medicine. My life as I know it has changed. I am lucky to have the support of my spouse. However, we all know that the pressure on the ones we love gets old real quick. Doctor appointments rule my life and that becomes the focal point of our lives. I dropped my seventeen pound dog last year. It is not good. I am constantly suffering. My hands hurt constantly. But, I will fight though. My family is my strength. I told my spouse … [Read more...]

Nicole’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Sarcoma and Rhuematoid Arthiritis)


My first fight started in 2002 when I was diagnosed with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis). I was unsure what was going on because the pain and stiffness was sometimes unbearable and I could barely get out of bed. It hit me like a ton of bricks, although my doctor stated that I may have lived with it for sometime. Being the mother of two active children at the time I did not want to accept this diagnosis because my mother has this and I witness the things she endured. After accepting the diagnosis and getting on the correct medication regimen, I came to term with my limitations but did not allow it to slow me down. It just taught me how to learn to deal with the situation and continue on. My biggest concern was would this limit me from participating in activities with my children, which it did slow me down, but I kept going. In 2011, when I was just getting used to my RA medications changing every other month and all the physical therapy, I was diagnosed with Sarcoma in my upper thigh and … [Read more...]

Jessica’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Jessica's Story (RA) LR

I am a 30 year old, mother/step-mother of six great children. I also have a wonderful husband! I was diagnosed with rheumatic fever on May 28, 2013. Thankfully, I didn't have a long struggle to find out what was wrong with me, but unfortunately that is where the easy part stopped. They put me on an extremely high dose of aspirin to fight the inflammation in my joints and organs. I have to take a high dose Penicillin shot once a month for the rest of my life and of course a high dose Prednisone. The first problem they found was my kidneys were bleeding.  Then I started to have internal bleeding from the aspirin eating away at my stomach, so they had to add four new medicines to protect my stomach, as well as Vicodin, Percocet and Dilaudid for the horrible pain. The inflammation in my brain caused a VERY annoying symptom to form called Chorea, causing me to lose control of my muscles at times, as well as some confusion and difficulty focusing, and I become overstimulated very … [Read more...]

Dana’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Dana's Story (RA) LR

I think it’s important to go over the entire medical history of my struggle to find the right diagnoses. Many people are going through the same thing everyday. It’s a terrible thing to go through. It takes forever…lots of pain and suffering before the right medications are prescribed. It’s a hard life to live with a chronic pain illness anyway, but getting to the diagnosis is half the battle. I have Psoriatic Arthritis, Sjogren’s, fibromyalgia, CFS, Hypermobility EDS, Osteonecrosis, Osteopenia, Avascular Necrosis, Osteoarthritis, Pseudotumor Cerebri, Endometriosis, and so much more. I was always a sickly child. I didn’t walk until I was over a year old. I couldn’t flush the toilet or turn the door knob until I was 5 years old. I was a dancer starting at a very young age, 2, because my mom thought it would help build up my muscles and strength. I've always had aches and pains, but doctors always thought it was because I danced. Also, the doctors said that my immune system was not … [Read more...]

Dawnique’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Dawnique's Story (RA) LR

My name is Dawnique and I battle rheumatoid arthritis, Raynaud’s syndrome, carpal and tarsal tunnel. My story began when I was little, around eight years old, and I started having pain. I remember it being really cold and the pain I had was excruciating. I had to be carried because walking was out of the question. I remember the pain coming and going and the doctors telling us it was growing pains. Fast forward to July 2012, I started having seizures (which they still aren't sure how they tie in with it) and had to put my last semester of school on pause. It was not long after this that I woke up with what I thought was the flu, and the joint pain came back with a vengeance. This whole time the doctors were constantly running tests and everything kept coming back negative. In the beginning of November I ended up in the ER. I explained everything to the doctor, he told me that there was something definitely going on and that it wasn't in my head, but that my case was complex and may … [Read more...]

Lauren’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia)

Lauren's Story (RA and Fibromyalgia) LR

I wasn’t even 21 when my dad passed away in 2008. Less than a month later I was battling crippling pain in my hip. I had surgery on it in 2009, without a definitive diagnosis to what was actually causing my pain. To this day I still only know it was an extra piece of bone sticking out and damaging my hip capsule. Less than 6 months after the surgery the same pain was back. I’ve been walking with a cane since 2008, but the pain got so bad at the end of 2009 that I was forced to use crutches. At the same time my back gave out. The doctors said I had two bulging discs and the spine of a 65 year old. I still had to finish school, because I promised my dad I would.  I kept working as a waitress, fighting through the pain, because I couldn’t use crutches at work. I didn’t (and still don’t) have health insurance because I couldn’t afford it) In 2010, I was faced with pain everywhere. Crippling, burning pain in my hands, feet, shoulders, almost every joint. It was as if someone had … [Read more...]