The Unanswerable Questions of RA

It’s probably no surprise that I want answers to every question. I love questions.

I probably ask way too many of them but I like to learn, and asking them is the best way to grow and evolve.

RA poses more questions than answers

As a scientist, I believe in asking a research question, collecting data, then interpreting to support or negate my thesis. That's simple. That makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is that my rheumatoid disease poses more questions than answers. Why is it I can observe but never interpret?

I have binders filled with notes that mean nothing in the grand scheme of my disease management.

Why, RA? Why??

How does methotrexate affect me?

I could answer that question once, but it definitely didn't predict how I would feel from instance to instance!

Yes, I feel nauseous and fatigued after my injection. But, I didn't expect to feel exaggerated symptoms after I changed my biologic. 

But, while I may feel a heightened effect from it now, that doesn't mean I can assume I will feel this way forever.

Maybe there is a new and exciting side effect I don't know about yet!

How long do I have to deal with RA?

A few years ago, I think I was in remission (at least, my version of it). I was still taking medications, but I felt amazing.

I was on the lowest dose of prednisone I’d ever been on. I had no pain, I had no stiffness. I had energy. Now, bear with me here - I kind of forgot I had RA!

Unfortunately, this spell did not last and I became symptomatic again after only a few months. For a hot minute, I thought...maybe, I’m done. Maybe I don’t have to deal with this RA anymore.

Answering this question was not as simple as it seemed.

Will this be the medication that works?

I am lucky that I was diagnosed when I had access to so many different medications. But, somehow I still play the lottery to find one that works!

Every time I try a new one, I ask myself, "Will this be the one? Have I found my lifelong partner?"

My love affairs only last for so long before I had to move on to other pastures. Just as I thought I had an answer, it slipped through my fingers like water.

How is my everyday life impacted?

There are, of course, many other questions that are more specific to my everyday:

  • Will I feel pain walking my dogs? How much fatigue do I feel? If I take X amount of prednisone will my flare go away like it did the last time?
  • Will I continue to experience side effects and if they do disappear, will they stay gone? How long will this medication last? How long can I put up with this disease? Will there ever be a cure? Will it work for me?

There is a new question every day

I could go on and on. It feels like there is a new question (or more) every day and I just can’t find the answers quick enough.
Rheumatoid arthritis, give me a break! Let me get through the backlog! Give me just a little bit to catch up!

To be honest, it’s not very pleasant for me to swim in a sea of uncertainty. I like my life neat and organized. But, maybe this is the universe telling me to chill the EFF out!

What are some of your RA unanswerable questions? LMK in the comments!

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