RA Doesn’t Define Me

Hello. I was diagnosed in 2008, although I had symptoms long before. I remember having the worse case of vertigo and my doctor thought it was MS - thank God it wasn’t. I had a wonderful job, great partner, amazing friends - life was good.

My symptoms started with fever and fatigue

One day I just could not get off the couch. I had a fever and physically it took so much energy to lift my arm. My partner called me, heard that I sounded like I felt, and was in my apartment dressing me and taking me to my Doctor's. He drew bloods and I’ll never forget him saying, “Gi this is what we needed - you to be in full flare up. Hopefully I’ll have an answer.”

Getting a diagnosis was relieving

Within 2 weeks the tests came back he sat me down and showed me the results, I was elated lol, he said "Gi why are you happy? You have RA." I told him, "I’m not going crazy you gave me a diagnosis." I started an aggressive treatment, they tried everything in me from chemo to every new drug that was out, it was great for 6-7 precious months then my body would build immunities.

A lung scare and new diagnosis

In December 2014 they thought I had lymphoma. I had nodules on my upper right lobe of my lung. My Doctor was so sad. I said "No I don’t have lymphoma, I want a PET scan." They ordered one. I had a family friend who is an oncologist look at the scan and he said, “Nope this doesn’t impress me, let’s repeat in 3 months." I did have another oncologist look the scan and told me "I won’t give you a diagnosis until you’ve had a biopsy." I had it done. It turns out I have sarcoidosis of the lungs.

Reaching remission

It’s in remission. I no longer take RA meds, and although I would never recommend this to anyone, it’s worked for me. But my life did change forever with two little letters RA. Thank you for allowing me to share.

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