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Age is just a number

I had my first and only son at the age of 24. He was healthy as could be. As the weeks went by my body started to hurt. First it was in my feet. My son would cry and I’d jump up so fast that I thought maybe I just went too fast and walked on my foot wrong. Day after day same pain.

Then I went to a wedding where a six inch heel met my foot and I about died. My husband had to carry me to the car, I thought it was broken. I could move my foot but it was in so much pain I couldn’t believe it. Never knowing what a broken bone has felt like, I assumed it was damaged enough to where we needed to see a dr. I went to an urgent care. They took X-rays, gave me a boot and crutches. They said I may have a hairline fracture. But they couldn’t tell and referred me to a foot joint specialist. This dr told me I needed to rest and keep off of it for weeks. Which I did but then the same pain came back but in the other foot. I asked him, “ Dr how can a fracture move from one foot to the other?” Without an explanation he told me he could give me a steroid shot directly into the joint. (OUCH!) pain went away for a little while but then I woke up with a frozen shoulder. Couldn’t even pick up my baby boy from his crib. It was stuck literally and so much pain if I tried to move it.

Went and saw a different dr an older male. He took X-rays and said to me, “ X-rays are normal, I don’t see anything. My advice to you is not to worry you’re YOUNG this will pass you’ll be fine!” I was so angry. As I’m working full time and now a single parent because my husband left. I’m unable to explain what’s going on, and now both knees feet elbows wrist and one shoulder are swollen. Finally I went back to my endocrinologist and thankfully this sweet PA listened to my issues, ran a full blood screen and found an RF FACTOR of 661 IU/mL sed rate was 30 and my TPO antibody was 1300. She referred me to a rheumatologist where I began my treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

My only request ever was that I be able to hold my son again. After four medicines (all self injections) and steroids. I’ve been in a livable state to where I can pick my son up, and take care of myself. You don’t know how much your body does until you can’t even put on your own clothes or walk. It’s crazy it took a long two years but I am grateful because I was mentally and physically drained. I am 27 years old and I have severe rheumatoid arthritis along with hypothyroidism and now seizures. Find a doctor you trust, which may take a few times to find. I’m grateful my dr helped me and dealt with my case. Yes I’m young, but autoimmune diseases can attack any ages, at any time. In this case my pregnancy may have triggered my autoimmune disease.

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.


  • Richard Faust moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi sfoster1gcf. Thanks for sharing your story, but sorry you had such a difficult diagnostic process. Unfortunately, that is all to common. Glad your current treatment is making a difference. You and 2mra are correct that often autoimmune conditions are prone to comorbidities. One of our contributors writes about this issue here: Also, you are so right about age not making a difference. My wife, Kelly Mack (a contributor here) was diagnosed at two. One of her original doctors tried to tell her parents she was faking it – but that’s another story. Wishing you and your son the best. Richard ( Team)

  • sfoster1gcf author
    1 year ago

    Thanks for the reference story Richard. Hope your wife is doing well.

  • 2mra
    1 year ago

    Hello sfoster:

    Alas, you are not alone my dear. The same thing happened to me and others.

    For me it was my first baby, also a boy, at age 23. What should have been a most joyous time in my life, turned out to be the worst. Yes, it must have been the stress of being pregnant. I
    had another baby afterwards, a girl, but happily I did not gain another disease due to being pregnant again. I did suffer a lot looking after 2 little ones while my hubby worked but I managed to get through it all. I finally agreed to accept the disability pension and help that goes with it when my daughter was 3. I am not sorry that I had our kids though. Now they help us.

    I am sorry about your hubby not staying to help. That’s not your fault. I hope that you and your son are doing okay and that your meds are working for you.

    After rereading your post, you had Hypothyroidism. An autoimmune disease. I’ve had Type 1 Diabetes since age 3. Also an autoimmune disease. Goes to show.

  • sfoster1gcf author
    1 year ago

    Yeah no matter what the gift of my son will always be worth everything I went through. My Rheumy actually said that once you have one autoimmune disease you’re prone to have one or two more to go along with it. I can admit I was close to giving up but every time I looked at my precious innocent baby boy he would give me strength to keep fighting. No matter what happened the devil was not going to win! I appreciate your kind words. I wish you’re family the best. Sounds like you have two perfect angels. The medicene is doing great so far I’ve been walking and off steroids for almost a year now. I have the strength to hold my son and care for him and that is the one thing I wanted. He’s of course now 3 and I had him tested for the same diseases and so far negative for RA and hypo. .

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