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