Getting real about my journey with RA.

The year is 2012. I had just put a runner in my kitchen to protect the pergo flooring we just had installed. The next morning I came down stairs and Bam I slipped on the runner. When you fall it is quite a shock however, add to the fact that after the fall I could not get up. I did not feel any broken bones, my knees were just locked up. My family helped me up and this is when the party started.

One week after the fall I got a terrible virus. Now mind you, besides a cold, I have never been sick, however, this took me by storm. I felt as if my body was being invaded by something not normal. Yea you could say that again!

At the insistence of my family, I got my blood drawn and sent to the Physicans where she works. My insurance was not the best. I did not have a Primary in place so I had a long wait for an appointment with a RA Doctor. With each passing day, my body became more achy. I had horrible spasms and just an overwhelming feeling of sickness. During my wait for a doctors appointment, I went to urgent care. The PA gave me a zpack and mumbles to himself “this woman has RA” and walks out shaking his head. Needless to say the steroids made things worse for me physically and emotionally.

My wife works in an Operating Room with some of the most awesome Doctors. She had told one of them what was going on with me and within days I was being seen. Within three weeks my diagnosis was RA.

I was put on a high dose of Methroxate. It suppressed my immune system and I got Bells Palsy. That was scarey but it happens.The Methroxate started working. It stopped the progression of the disease for a while until I noticed my shoulders, neck, jaw and hands were now being affected. No two people are alike with RA. It affected my hands early on but once treatment it stopped but now it was in my hands. They tell me I need to do injections now of Methroxate because the pills are no longer working. I am on them once a week. My wife gives me my injections. They were tough on me in the beginning. I threw up, was not hungry, had mouth sores and fatigue but that has subsided. It’s working slowly but it’s working.

If I would tell you one thing about my journey I would say it’s hard but not impossible. I am going to keep going no matter what. There are medicines that help slow the progression of the disease down. However, we need more advocates and more funding for new drugs. By sharing our stories I believe this will happen.

Thanks!

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