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 other abilities. I spend my time these days creating art in the form of paintings and wall art. I am hoping to be able to continue this in my retirement which unfortunately is imminent. I have worked for 20 years for the job I have and love but just can’t do anymore. This is a very hard and big change for me, but again, I will not give up. I have always taken care of myself, and it’s not easy to ask for help or depend on others, but I’m learning that it’s okay. My goal is to help spread awareness of this horrible disease in the hope that I may be able to help someone else to seek help before this disease causes damage to their body. RA is an autoimmune disease, not an old age disease, and is being diagnosed in children as young as 2 every day. There is no cure for RA, but I have hope and will keep fighting like a girl!
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.