Catastrophic Injury, Repeat Surgeries, and RA.

I was yard-saling with my best friend, young kids in tow on a beautiful, sunny summer day. My husband had started a new job just a month ago and needed transportation. I found a bicycle for sale at a reasonable price and though it might do for his short commute until we could afford a car. I test-rode it and it rode great. I rode up to the person holding the sale, dismounted–and fell. I fell onto the bicycle and hit the concrete driveway while holding onto the bike. I knew immediately that I had broken my left arm but was not prepared for the extent of the damage. After emergency surgery to repair the arm, then surgery to replace the repair and more surgery to remove the repair and attempt to eradicate the infection that ensued, I developed rheumatoid arthritis. My children don’t remember a mom who was whole, without a “bad arm” and who didn’t regularly enter the hospital for surgery. The arm remains “bad” today but the need for surgery has decreased. Since then, I have broken the right arm and had elbow replacement on it, too, minus the infection. Because of the RA, the broken bones wouldn’t heal and have been replaced with prostheses. I can no longer lift heavy objects, rearrange furniture or even pick up my grandbabies for hugs or kisses. Fortunately, I still have both arms. Unfortunately, I have limited functionality and increasing debility. My goals now focus on living life as pain-free as I can and maintaining independence. The RA itself is now attacking other joints in my body and making itself known in various ways but the fight for control continues. I am on my 6th biologic, looking for relief. I am a warrior–I fight on!

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