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Broken at 42

It all started for me in my feet, I bought a few pair of new shoes to see if my shoes were just worn out but as it progressed it was obvious it was not my shoes. All my toes were swollen and I could barely stand or go down the stairs after sitting for a few minutes. If I walked too fast it would feel like a toe had just broken. I never knew which toe it would be and when it would happen. I went to the Dr and she said it was a viral infection and to come see her in two weeks if it did not improve. I walked out and made the appointment just in case thank goodness I did. By the time I went back my hands were not working well. My thumbs and index finger were always swollen and I could not open a sugar packet or put my hair up. I was determined for the Dr. to listen to me so I marked every joint that hurt on my hands and feet. She decided that since I had already had a ANA positive result in the past I better go see a rheumatologist. So 19 tubes of blood later there I sat waiting for answers. RA. Not a diagnosis I wanted to hear but there I was hearing it. He started me on prednisone for the pain and wanted to wait until other blood tests came back until he ruled out everything before it was a firm diagnosis. After three days I was so thankful for the prednisone, I could use my hands again and actually walk!! This was in late November and started my MTX two weeks later and started to wean off the steroid mid January. It was not easy and I am off of it now but started Humira to hopefully take care of the rest of the pain. I felt like a bum asking for meds for pain. I had had enough and when I had my first flare I was pretty sure I wanted my hands cut off. I now have my good meds for pain when I need it which I hate having but geez oh pete I don’t want to have pain like that again. I just took my second dose of Humira this week so I have a ways to go to see if it is working but am hopeful! The hardest part for me is realizing that I can’t do it all anymore. It is so very frustrating and I hope to get back to my real life soon!

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.


  • Nes author
    4 years ago

    Samantha, I am so sorry the one who should be the closest to you is not very accepting. I try to push on and not show that I hurt but every now and again I have a break down. I am so frustrated right now I just cry. I just want my meds to kick in and feel better…Will this daily pain challenge end?

  • Samantha Searle
    4 years ago

    My RA started exactly the same way at the age of 33! I’m 47 now. It’s a tough battle,be prepared for lots of tears and hard times..but find something to help you smile,I do.
    But I find the cruelest words spoken to me come from my dearest and how my mum will come over to help clean my home and then turn around and say..” I’m so glad my house is clean”?! That hurt..but I put it down to ignorance,even if its from my own..:(

  • Jenn Lebowitz
    4 years ago

    Hi Nes –

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Best of luck with the new treatment plan, please do feel free to keep us posted.

    Thinking of you – hope there is some solace in knowing you are not alone. We thank you for being part of this community.


    Jenn (Community Manager,

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