My story begins like many others. In July of 2008, I dislocated and broke my ankle. Needless to say, I was put on medical leave as I was working in a plastic molding company which included twelve hour shifts of walking around on a cement floor. After my so-called recovery from the break lingered on, I was “dismissed” from my job. Because (unbeknownst to me) my recovery WOULDN’T happen!! I had no clue on that fateful day in July that my life would be forever changed by a dreaded auto-immune disease, and that this nightmare was only beginning.
I was never one to go to the doctor much. But finally in 2011 after almost three years of nonstop pain, swelling of joints, fatigue, and over all discomfort, and at the encouragement of my husband, I went to my regular doctor. She proceeded to tell me “I’m going to run some simple tests and we will see what comes up”. I was then scheduled for an appointment the next month. To my surprise, she called me the following week saying I had to come in earlier.
When I went back in that week my normally jovial and fun doctor entered the exam room with a puzzled and worrisome look on her face. She told me “I have good news and bad news”. Me being my normal self said let’s hear the bad first, figuring it couldn’t be that bad. She then said “I’ve scheduled you an appointment with a rheumatologist”. I had NO clue what or who this doctor was. So I begin to tear up. She then told me those dreaded words “You tested positive for rheumatoid arthritis”. Thinking okay, it’s just arthritis, my nerves settled. Boy, was I in for a surprise as to all the changes coming in my life.
Being a mom to six wonderful kids and a wife, I had NO idea how this disease would literally overtake not only my life; but the lives of my children, step-children, and husband. I’m truly a lucky woman when it comes to those closest to my inner circle.
When I finally was able to see my wonderful rheumatoid specialist, I was very nervous because by this time, I had done my research as to what rheumatoid arthritis was and the effects of it. I was scared to death with thoughts of deformed hands and limited mobility. When I met my doctor, he put those fears aside, and to this day is keeping me optimistic. Mind you, we haven’t had the greatest trip down this rheumatoid arthritis road, but it has so far been very informative and he takes my fears and pain into consideration. The first of many tests was the blood test. He ran what’s known as an anti-CCP test, which he says 95% of patients that test positive have RA. Of course, I tested positive.
I have now been fighting this disease for about nine months. The road has been rough as I have been diagnosed with many other things that go with the rheumatoid arthritis; some physical and some mental. And through all the medicines, medicine changes, and daily struggles, I am still fighting. Last month I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, too. After this diagnosis, my rheumatologist and I had a heated discussion that lasted forty five minutes. He wanting me to take MTX and I did NOT want to. So now we are trying to fight both RA and fibromyalgia. I’m not sure that if the pain hasn’t slacked by my next appointment, he will let me win the methotrexate fight. But, if I do have to go that route, then I will deal like I have with all the other medications.
As of now I am on plaquenil, vitamin D, cymbalta and many others. I am not too worried about the hair loss because I’m already losing hair due to my vitamin D deficiency. It’s all the other side effects that scare me. All I know is I have to keep fighting. I thank God for such great kids and a wonderful husband. They almost have a sixth sense and can tell when mommy has a bad day. I can barely do any housework, cooking, laundry, and all of the simple tasks I took for granted for years. I know I have a long road ahead but, as long as I can, I will FIGHT!! I will post again when I have something new!! Hope everyone is having pain-free days and nights and if they aren’t just remember…… WE HAVE TO FIGHT!
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.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.