Long Painful Road Traveled

My name is Deena I’m 49 and have always been a very active person. I played sports in school, loved to run and work out at the gym. I’m also a Paramedic for 20yrs. So of course I’ve had injuries of all types. Everything from being thrown from my horse to tearing my hamstring skiing. So with that being said, I would hurt and then just blame it on an old injury or my OA since I was diagnosed with that in my early 30s. That was up until I was about 43. I could no longer work out or run from the pain in feet, knees, hips, neck, hands, wrist and my elbows. I made an appointment with my personal physician and simply told her I didn’t know what was wrong with me but something was. She listened, ran a gambit of blood test and told me my RA factor was elevated along with my ANA and referred me to a Rheumatologist who was too busy to listen to what I had to say but did refer me to have a nerve conduction test on my arms. I was then diagnosed with bilateral carpal syndrome. I was put on a few different meds that did nothing..I was in so much pain with my neck and back and then started suffering with a sharp constant pain in my left buttock that went all the way down my leg. My chiropractor ordered an MRI that diagnosed me with spinal stenosis degenerative disc disease arthritis, a few other problems from C1 all the down my vertibre. A new Rheumatologist started practicing in my town so I made an appointment with him and loved him right off the bat. He ordered every blood test imaginable; 12 viles to be exact..That was in 2012. I’ve tried several different meds, in fact, at one time, I took 20 pills a day. Some of my symptoms lessened but I still had flare ups that would last several days. I’ve been on MTX injections for over a year. I had a reaction to enbrel so I am now on Cemzia injections. I have to say I feel more like myself than I have in years. I don’t tell people about my RA because most people don’t have a clue what RA is and then I’m told “Well you look Fine” so it’s almost like a Dirty little secret. My job is very demanding both mentally and physically and so at times when it’s just too much I use my sick time. I’ve also had bilateral carpal surgery. I’m blessed to have a very supportive husband and family but unless you suffer with this, you have no idea what it’s like. I’m praying I’m on the upside of controlling this horrible disease. I still have pain and am slow to go in the mornings but I can handle that. Thank you for letting me Rant. Finally..

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