I'm not really sure how to really put most of this into words, but I'll do my best. I'm 34 yrs old, and have had chronic daily migraines since I was about 21.
Long road to RA diagnosis
I also have autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) which started when I was about 11, and irritable bowel disease which also has an autoimmune aspect.
My dad also has RA, so I was already predisposed to having another autoimmune disease or two in the health lottery.
My health seemed to reach critical mass in 2015, and I ended up having a grand mal seizure and underwent about a million tests, including bloodwork for RA.
My levels were elevated enough to flag the attention of my doctor, especially since I was already having days with bad (what I considered bad at that time) hand pain.
They decided it wasn't RA, and treated me as though I had carpal tunnel for the next 2 years as my hands became more and more painful.
Eventually I demanded someone recheck it and went to a different rheumatologist who formally diagnosed me a little over 4 years ago with RA.
Trying many treatments
Since then, I've tried 12 different medications, plus methotrexate off & on with most of them, but I don't seem to tolerate any of them.
I'm supposed to go to my Rheumatologist this afternoon to discuss finding yet another (lucky #13!). Most all of them have given me body aches; increased my migraines in severity & frequency; or even caused HUGE canker sores in my mouth, including on my tongue & in my throat.
I'm at my wits end with this and am feeling pretty frustrated & hopeless that we'll ever have success.
A progression of RA symptoms
I now have joint pain & swelling in my feet, knees, shoulders and pain throughout my back.
Naturally, my hands have gotten progressively worse through all of this since I'm not on a consistent treatment regimen, until I have days I cannot grip a glass of water because it hurts too badly or they swell until my rings are stuck on (they're a size large & fall off on other days).
I'm an artist, and it has gotten to the point that I can't do most of my art, or if I push through the pain and create anyway, my hands will be stiff and swollen until I can't bend several fingers the next day, and making a fist is completely out of the question.
I'm not sure where this all will end or if there's light at the end of the tunnel, but I joined this community because it's helping so I don't feel alone in this, so thank you all for taking the time to read and commenting, if you do comment. Just knowing I'm not the only one dealing helps a lot.
Have you shared tips on how to manage RA with anyone before?