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You have all the signs of an alcoholic!

I’ve been drinking since I was 15/16, beer with my dad. One here and there. Then in high school a few after work with my friends. Switched to Jack and Coke as the beer was too filling. Got older and married, always seemed to get sick when I drank and ate food before bed. Next day sick as hell. Always seemed like the food. But I was drinking, so the joke was, IT WAS THE FOOD. My feet ballooned in size a few times, DR. said that’s a sign of alcoholism. So my wife coerced me into a camp and AA. I quit for 6 months.

Came home from work and straight to bed. Tired as hell. Can’t do anything before I get a nap. Things weren’t any better, probably worse.

We had a rental unit, I had to sell it, couldn’t keep up with my old life style, needed to sleep after work. No time for
rental unit or collecting rent all the time. Forced myself to clean and paint as the renters just moved out. First I was
breaking the square tiles off the floor and then painted with special garage floor paint. Well it felt like I broke both wrists, DR. said I broke all the cartilage in my wrists, how dumb of me! So the next week I was painting. After a while, I called my wife over, look at this, I can only paint the bottom half of the walls! My shoulders would not take the paint roller any higher. Hum, G-forces at work. So I painted the bottom, and my wife painted the top. We are equal partners – even after she made me quit drinking! Things are getting worse – not better, no nirvana at the end of my sober rainbow.

I had been to the DR. quite a few times for different issues, each time I told him I have Lyme disease – I live in the woods – and if not that I have Fibromyalgia. He gives me a strange look and says keep taking your anti-depression meds. How’s your sobriety, fine. I’m sober, but in more pain then ever before.

Then I went to my orthopedic surgeon, told him about breaking my wrists now I broke my shoulders! He laughed, cancelled my appointment and refunded my 30 dollar co-pay. I won the lottery! All my pain subsided.

He informed me that what I was describing was Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I needed to see a RA specialist right away. Fortunately I did, and she moved my wrists my knees and could hear the creaking in them. She said, I had it pretty bad. She got me started on weekly shots right away. Not going to tell you about being allergic to Methotrexate and how it gave me Pneumonia twice that winter until they realized Methotrexate wasn’t good for me.

I searched Google on the internet, could alcoholism give me RA? Ha, it said RA gives you alcoholism, anything to stop the constant pain and agitation of the constant annoyance of RA bugging away at eating all your joints and providing pins and needles for no apparent reason. I remember scratching my arm, but there was nothing there, and it itched like hell. What kind of bugs do I have living inside me. Mom always said, stop touching yourself, everyone will think you have bugs. Well with RA you have bugs, they’re eating you up one Joint at a time, no pot doesn’t help – good try!

So I take my Actemra now, have a Jack and Coke every so often. Developed diabetes from all the drugs I take, it doesn’t run in my family and my mom was hundreds of pounds over-weight and she didn’t have it. I tend to sleep the weekends away. I’m still tired all the time. Drugs! Blame it on the drugs!

Oh, gotta let you know, I was the happiest guy in the world when they told me I had RA! I wanted to run up and down the streets screaming and telling everyone! My curse was cured. No Lyme disease, no fibromyalgia, no alcoholic (maybe), I got RA and I’m as happy as Hell!. I finally know what’s wrong with me. Nothing was worse then not knowing…..all that ails you!

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.


  • Mike Long
    1 year ago

    My story was just like yours Elvis. I was a heavy drinker, and one day my feet swelled, very intense pain. I couldn’t walk. I went to a rheumy and was diagnosed with RA and was told I had to start taking meds right away or my life would be ruined. I was started on methotrexate, and over a two year period had gone from 4 pills a week to 10. Each time my dosage was increased I got sicker. No real joint pain, just a general feeling of sickness, body aches, no energy. Based on those symptoms my Rheumy kept increasing my dosage. Come to find out it was the methotrexate causing my illness. I stopped taking my meds, stopped going to Dr.’s, gave my healing to God, and 4 months later I am just fine. I was misdiagnosed and was basically poisoned for 2 years.

  • rockcandi
    1 year ago

    Thank you so much for sharing. I never thought about my past drinking being a result of JRA. I was diagnosed at 6 and started drinking on a regular basis with my dad at age 12. Stopped at age 21 when I found that pain pills helped so much more. Now at 36 I take neither but only bc I don’t like the way drinking or pills make me feel when combined with all my meds. And I think most of us would agree about actually being happy to find out we had RA. Although I was diagnosed the first time at age 6, my mom didn’t stay on top of it so I had to start all over when I was 20 and it took 10 years to be diagnosed again. I’m taking Actemra infusions now after my prescription insurance stopped paying for the at home shots. The shots were helping some. I hope they help you.

  • elvis author
    1 year ago

    Thank you for all your insight, you started very early, i’m sure that really put more pressure on you, your social life and livelihood. Actemra IV, my doctor told me if I didn’t take my drugs as prescribed she would do the IV, I spend enough time in doctors offices, last think I need is spending time with an IV instead of a 30 second shot!
    thank you and good luck, sounds like you have your live under control and are not letting drugs and alcohol control you!
    congratulations, keep up the positivity!

  • Alesandra Bevilacqua moderator
    1 year ago

    @rockcandi, thanks so much for sharing your story so openly with us. We also appreciate you sharing your support with fellow community members! I hope you’re doing well today. Please let us know how you new treatment plan is going if you’d like to share. I’m thinking of you! Warmly, Alesandra ( Team)

  • elvis author
    1 year ago

    The depression and fatigue keep me in bed most of the time. I now have pain and blood in my urine. Doctors have not found the problem besides enlarged/enraged prostate.
    Sounds like me when – Jo, the junk yard dog wanted to punch me in the face – for no good reason. I can’t fight my fists and wrists are weak, I told a friend how mad I was but just knew my limitations. He said take the hits and just say, ” Is that all you got!”. I’m not stupid so I just decided that bar and its clientele wasn’t for me. I need to remember my limitations and move on.
    Sorry to deviate but it had me depressed all weekend. i’m a nice guy, don’t want to hurt anyone, but ran into a wall, so to speak.
    Reminds me of a song,,,,
    can’t make everyone happy, so I have to make myself happy.
    I keep drugs and alcohol to a minimum but have been trying lots of vitamins…
    Turmeric/curcumin with ginger powder, D3 – the doctor insisted, and about 5 others.
    Can’t tell the difference yet, but giving them a try. Hands and Feet are numb, pain in all extremities. Everyday a new attack on a joint or the bottom of my feet. I can feel the little deviates eating away! I got termites!

  • Mike Long
    1 year ago

    Did you ever get thoroughly tested for lymes

  • elvis author
    1 year ago

    In the beginning before I new I had RA. I told the dr. I either had Lyme Disease or fibromyalgia. I Believe he took blood for tests and gave me 30 days of antibiotics. I am going to check with my RA doctor about the Lyme disease, because I do live in the woods and my dog sleeps between my wife and I.
    I always feel like bugs are biting me.
    thanks for the heads up and I will check.
    Why do you think Lyme disease?
    do you think Lyme disease is more prevalent than the govt is letting on?

  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    Thank you for sharing a part of your story with the community, elvis! I am sorry it was such a long and winding road to diagnosis for you. I do Actemra works for you and gives you some relief from your symptoms. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done for the overwhelming fatigue that you and many of our members experience in relation to RA. It’s one of the most annoying and elusive symptoms to manage!

    Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on life with RA! I am glad that your diagnosis offered you a sense of relief.

    While I am sorry for your diagnosis, I am glad to have you as a part of the community!

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

  • elvis author
    1 year ago

    Thank you for your insight.
    If any breakthroughs come along,
    please let us know.
    Still on Actemra.
    Still feel like a second class citizen, bed ridden, tired and lifeless.
    depressing is willing at this time.
    Waiting for the next epiphany, to cut me loose!
    My only concession at this point is…
    I have dreams of flying,
    Johnathan Livingston Seagull, a writer, apparently thought that was heavenly and a sign we are free! ?

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