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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! 🙂

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator
    1 year ago

    I agree with Erin, Jaymme68! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    I completely agree about our mentality. I still remember when I dealt with the grief from my dog passing away. Every single one of my meds stopped working. My rheumatologist sat me down and said “Look, you have to get past this. It might be time to see a therapist.” I agreed with him. Meds are not the be all end all. Mind over matter (in some capacity) exists!

    All the best with your PhD! I myself have been thinking about getting into psychology!

    ~Monica ( Team)

  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Jaymme68! Thank you for sharing! I think a fair amount of our members can relate to the urge to forgo standard treatments (and their scary potential side effects). While we never push one form of treatment, studies have shown that early disease control and management can help slow the deterioration of joints. I am so glad you found a treatment that works well for you and that it is still working!

    You bring up a good point about mental attitude and it’s importance in coping with conditions like RA. It can really make a positive difference!

    Thank you again for sharing and for being open to talking with other community members. Have a great night and a good week!

    Best, Erin, Team member.

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