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Can I keep active

Hi everyone, I was a national level swimmer and active person my whole life…until RA. As probably like many here I went through years of unexplainable pains and two surgeries before my symptoms sent me to a Rheumatologist for the diagnosis of RA. I am experiencing many levels of grief. I was in denial until my most recent flare (worst to date that left me at times unable to walk). I have been trying to be undefeated (using my skills as an ex athlete) but losing my ability to be active would be the last straw for me. Humera worked well for me for about a year then it stopped working. I tried Xeljanz and it did nothing and led me to the flare I am currently experiencing. I went back on Humera (80 percent better) until I start my first Inflectra infusion on Monday. I want to remain hopeful….is it realistic to think with the right medication I can still live an active life? I am also realistic that I will be at a modified level based on how I am feeling. I love to hike and swim. When Humera worked I was (for the first time in years) doing both of those with so much joy! Thank you for your time and input 🙂

  1. Having to give up some or all of the things you did before you got diagnosed with RA is a tough pill to swallow, no pun intended. It has happened to me many times in my 30 year doubt with RA. I have had to give up no fewer than five careers, as well as countless events, relationships, and activities. It stinks, there is no other way to say it but you have to understand it and, in essence, grieve your old life. Almost like a memorial service for the things you used to be and do, so that you can start to move forward and close the circle on the old you. Now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever be able to do those things again, it just means that may have to put some things aside for now, or do them in a modified capacity. It is important that you don’t base your happiness now on getting back to doing the things you used to do at the level you used to do them because that may be a train you never catch. Now, I know this isn’t the answer you wanted but all of this doesn’t mean your can’t find satisfaction and contentment. It takes a little bit but many of us who live with RA find a routine and a life that works for us, and, frankly, like in my case, the RA actually provided me with new opportunities I’d have never had - such as writing for this website! I know it’s difficult, though, so just remember, you are not alone and if there’s anything we can do to help, let us know. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

    1. Thank you for the perspective Daniel. I have rested on the thought of redefining who I am now with RA instead of reflecting on who I was. It is a tough pill to swallow but I like your perspective of new opportunities can emerge through our challenges. Thank you!

      1. every step or stroke matters with positive physical effects. adjusting time limits/distances + including breaks with our physical activities comes into play + changes daily but so important to keep joints moving best we can so they don't freeze up.

        1. Hi . Our patient leader Lisa wrote this article on things she wishes she knew when diagnosed: Under self-care she notes the need to "move your body as best you can." My wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here), was diagnosed with juvenile RA almost 45 years ago - before modern treatments, with the damage to show for it. She also exercises in various ways everyday to keep the function she has. The difference it makes is absolutely real. Best, Richard ( Team)

      2. Yes, I focus mostly on weight training. I workout as much as I did pre-diagnosis, but some exercises look different. I am focused on building muscle to help take pressure off of my joints.

        1. thank you Randi!

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