21 with RA

I was diagnosed with severe RA on January 1, 2016. I think I was in a state of denial at first because I never got upset or acted like anything had happened, I just had a million thoughts taking over my mind that I didn’t know how to say out loud. I let my parents know what the doctor had said and all they could ask was how I felt about it, and honestly I had no answer.

I have shared my story with my really close friends and of course my family but no one else so this is a little weird to me to be posting my story but I need more people to relate to and who have had the same experiences as me.
This all started in October 2015 when my right knee randomly swelled up and I didn’t know why. I saw a doctor who told me I had a torn meniscus and ordered an MRI to get a better look. So after three weeks of being in a brace and waiting for results…it turned out that nothing was wrong just a lot of inflammation. The dr. gave me anti-inflammatories that I was on for over a month and a half. They worked a little. Next thing I knew I was having elbow, jaw, toe, knee, and ankle pain, the pain was on both sides. This went on for about a month and got worse and worse everyday. It’s now December 2015 and I got out of school for over a month, that entire month I spent at home I couldn’t do anything for myself. My mom or little sister had to help me take showers, put on all my clothes, use the bathroom because I wasn’t able to sit on my own, and even sometimes eat because of my elbow pain. I was not the type of person to ask help for anything or ask anyone to do anything for me I am very independent but this all changed so fast. I was miserable. I was so embarrassed to tell anyone what was going on and to even go in public that for a whole month I didn’t leave my house or talk to anyone but my family. I had myself convinced that I was never going to get better and if this is how the rest of my life would be then I don’t even want to live anymore. I finally saw a rheumatologist at the end of December who diagnosed me and put me on prednisone and methotrexate. I have been on this medication since then and I have seen major improvements with my mobility. Everyone around me has been very supportive of this so that helps me out a lot knowing I have people standing by me. I never show how I feel on the outside and rarely share my feelings but I am sad. I am not able to do many of the things I used to do before RA. I played four sports in high school and continued on in college playing random soccer or volleyball games, I cant do any of that now. I had a complete lifestyle change, I am 21 years old and it’s my senior year of college so I wanted to have all the fun I could have while I was still here. I have missed out on so many things over the past few months that if I start to think about it too much then I just want to run away from everything and everyone. I never would have dreamed that this would happen to me, I had a perfect life. Some days are better than others and I keep myself busy with school to keep my mind off of it. Sometimes it just gets difficult because the pain never goes away it’s always there and always will be. I know I don’t have it nearly as bad as most people do and I should be thankful that I am doing better, I just wanted to share my experience with people like me and I thank y’all for letting me do so!

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