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.
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.
Have you shared tips on how to manage RA with anyone before?