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At First I Was Happy

I had been battling severe pain in my foot, shoulders and wrist for over a year. I was sent to an orthopedist who did an MRI and Xrays and could find nothing wrong, but he immobilized my wrist in a cast for six weeks. That didn’t help. I was sent to a podiatrist who did surgery for a bunion. The pain in my foot was still there. I finally went to a different general practitioner who did the blood test to find out if I had RA, and the test was positive. I was initially thrilled to find out what was causing my pain. I thought it would be great – get some pills, eat well, do whatever I was told to do and all would be back to normal.

I found an excellent rheumatologist, and began a course of treatment for RA. And, although I’m doing everything I’ve been told to do I have suddenly realized that this is going to be my life from now on. I’m still going to hurt, I’m going to get depressed, and there will be things I can’t do anymore. I’m not so thrilled as I was when I first found out.

I think one of the hardest parts of the RA diagnosis is that although you can sometimes control aspects of it, it’s here to stay. I’m lucky I have a wonderful husband who goes above and beyond to make things easy for me. I have a boss who is very accommodating when I have a flare up and need to dial back a little. I appreciate stories and tips from others because I’m new at this.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Mariah Z. Leach moderator
    5 years ago

    Hi Dianne ~ Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. I think you are right that, in a way, having a diagnosis is a positive thing because it does give you a direction to work in towards feeling better. But you are also right that life with RA is an adjustment, one that, unfortunately, will take some time to get used to. I can say from experience that the time immediately following the diagnosis is the hardest – it WILL get easier! And I’m so glad that you have found this community. We all understand what you are going through and we are here to support you. Hang in there!

  • Carla Kienast
    5 years ago

    Dianne: There will be a cure. Really. It’s just not going to be today. But in the meantime, the right treatment program can either put you in remission or make you feel “normal” more days than not. I understand the good news/bad news aspect. But to your original point, at least you now know there are things you can do to feel better. And I hope you do (feel better …) Thanks for a post that all of us can relate to.

  • Dianne West author
    5 years ago

    Thanks Carla – some days are way better than others, and the one thing I’m trying to do is figure out what makes one day worse or better than another. . then do more of the good and less of the bad. It’s hard when I’ve never been sick to speak of over my entire life and now I find myself taking so many meds and so many blood draws and so on and so on. But your words made me smile, which is a good thing!

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