RA for over 20 years :)
I was diagnosed with RA at age 27, I am 49 now. I was very active, in fact I was in the middle of a softball game when it hit me the hardest. After several visits to regular docs one finally gave me an RA test and it was positive. Long story short, I tried NOT taking meds, other than over the counter anti-inflammatories, Aleve, Ibuprofen, and I was miserable. My RA doc told me if I didn't do something different I would be in a wheel chair by the time I was 40. I am SO hard-headed, thinking I could handle it myself. I went the natural holistic way for a minute, nothing worked. FINALLY, AFTER some deformities in my fingers I gave in and started on Methotrexate. I used the liquid instead of the pills and squirted it into juice and drank it. I have to say it worked pretty well. I had a bad habit of stopping meds when it got better. BIG MISTAKE.
After trying everything.... I found some relief
After endless counts of starting new meds for Plaquenil to Arava, to Humira (which I was allergic to) I finally found Enbrel. I have been on Enbrel with great success for over 15 years. In fact, My RA doc cannot believe it is still working for me after this long. But, it is. I was a surgical technologist for 15 years, surveillance agent and insurance agent before that. Five years ago, I was finally forced to quit work, I now am on disability. I am also a full time online student. I am getting my PhD in Addictions Psychology. I figure as long as I can talk, maybe I can help people. My back hurts bad after long periods of standing, or sitting, so I have to find a happy medium of both. I love to exercise but I pay for it every time. My hands and wrists are worse. I can't bend my wrists anymore, other than downward a little. And I have a couple crooked fingers, one looks like a hook! LOL, I find humor, I have too, I refuse to let this disease get me down. I can still do most things other people do, short of running a marathon, just with some limitations. Been dealing with this a LONG time, so, feel free to ask me any questions. While I am certainly NOT an expert, I have been through a lot.
My best to everyone fighting this disease. Mental attitude is half of the success of dealing with it! :)
When was your last flare?