Day by day, step by limping step
I was first diagnosed in 2013, after visiting an orthopedist for wrist pain. I worked in a surgery center at the time, so was familiar with the doctor and trusted her. The x-rays came back negative, so labs were done and my numbers were through the roof. She told me I almost certainly had Rheumatoid Arthritis, and sent in a referral to the only rheumatologist in town. Shortly after, my father passed away. Needless to say, the stress didn't help with the pain or the fear. All I could do was take things day by day.
It was a relief to finally know why I had been fighting mind numbing fatigue for the past year, and even though the medication was terrifying, I was thankful to have some answers.
Now I've been dealing with this disease for almost four years. I try to listen to my body, and rest when I need to, but I would be a great extra on any zombie movie. You need someone to shuffle slowly and groan a lot? That's me!
Some days I limp, but I always put one foot in front of the other. Life is not always easy, but I've found humor to be the best defense. I try to make fun of this disease and what it's doing, because it's either laugh at the monster under the bed or curl up in a ball and hide under the covers.
If I could give one piece of advice to people just being diagnosed, it would be this: don't give up. Life may have changed for you, but that doesn't mean it has ended. There is always hope.
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