What is RA Not Destroying?

My hand cramped up like I was holding a baseball. It hurt so bad I went straight to my doctor. He gave me a shot and did blood work and told me he’d call me next week.

Finding a rheumatologist

Two days later he called to tell me I had to see a rheumatologist ASAP because the numbers were off the chart. He gave me two names.

The first one I called didn’t have an appointment for six months, the second one I called saw me in three days.

More blood work, a complete history and a new appointment in two weeks. She told me my doctor was right and put me on hydroxychloroquine. I didn’t have any pain after my hand stopped hurting.

Combating multiple symptoms

Skip forward five years and things have gotten so much worse. In one year I had pneumonia and hospitalized four times. Then my kidneys started acting up. Hospitalized twice. Every time I get a cold it goes deeper into my body.

My doctor said it was COPD. I told him no! He sent me to a pulmonologist.

Two years go by and I have an answer to my lung questions. I have Interstitial Lung Disease! I was thrilled to have a name and a cause for my pneumonia. But that is just the tip of the disease.

It is “associated” with RA, but it causes more trouble in people with RA. The bronical sacks in the lower 1/3 of my lungs have become harden scar tissues. It means that the 1/3 portion of my lungs quit functioning totally.

I am now living with 2/3’s of my lungs. Not to mention my kidneys! You see, RA doesn’t just cause our joints to deteriorate, it can destroy our organs.

Living with rheumatoid arthritis isn't easy

I am 68 years old. I’ve had RA (that I know of) for seven years. It’s a disease that causes so much pain in so many people. Mostly you can’t see RA. Some have fingers that don’t look good, or feet, but most have pain no one knows you have.

It might make you cry it hurts so bad. But it is the hand I’ve been dealt! My brain gets foggy, I’m tired for no reason, or my ankle pop like balloons, I’ve had two spine surgeries, but I keep going. I get a frappe’, and come home or I start a new day of antique shopping. I’m going to take each day as it comes ...

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