Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

My RA Story

Hello all! I’m new to this site so I thought I would take the time to discuss my RA diagnosis and the road that led me here. Back in November I started having extreme shoulder pain. It was so bad I could barely use my arm and the pain would bounce around from one shoulder to the next. I eventually had enough of the pain and went to the doctor. She took a few x-rays, but ultimately told me nothing was wrong. I had no blood work done at the time.

A couple months later my shoulders were still in pain and eventually I started to feel pain in my neck area. It was so bad I could hardly move my neck in the mornings and throughout the day. I started going to the chiropractor thinking the doctor could help fix whatever was wrong with my neck and shoulders. After I started going to the chiropractor I noticed that my joints in my fingers started swelling and were in pain (red and inflamed). I eventually started waking up every morning barely being able to walk or get out of bed. I felt crippled and trapped in my own body.

Eventually the pain got so bad in my hands and wrists that I couldn’t brush my hair, my teeth, open a bottle of water, or lift anything heavy. I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor who basically said I have RA. He sent me for blood work and he would refer me to a rheumatologist. I got the confirmed diagnosis today. I really want to start feeling better and wish my life would go back to normal even though I know that won’t happen. Does anyone have any suggestions about how they get through the day? I’m 26 so this is all very sudden to me. Thanks for listening and thanks for reading this long post!

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.


  • stayingactive52
    2 years ago

    I’m sorry to hear your story. But it sounds like the hundreds I’ve read about. And it is not unlike mine, although I was 51 when I got my diagnosis, almost a year ago. (I feel bad about your young age) You now have a “new” normal, but with the right medications, you should feel a lot better than you do now. I had a hard time washing my hair, wringing out a wash rag, starting my car, lifting a coffee cup to my mouth, you get what I’m saying. Fast forward to 6 months later and I can do all those things with only a little difficulty. Getting a lot of rest, knowing your limits, avoiding stress, eating well and taking the right supplements will help a great deal……Do I follow this advice? of course NOT all the time but I try, if I don’t, I will pay for it. You can have a good life, it will just be a different life. Best of luck. Soft Hugs.

  • TC3120
    2 years ago


    I just wanted to say, yours was one of the first reassuring posts I have read. I’m 43 and and a mom of two young children. They say it’s really early and I need to start the meds now to try and keep it at bay or potentially have it go int remission. We will see, I know it’s good they caught it early, but still does not make me feel all that much better. I read all these stories of people bed bound and disabled and I get so scared.

  • jlewis09 author
    2 years ago

    Yes I’m currently looking up supplements and vitamins to take so the pain will get better. I’m currently not on any strong medication, but I’m hoping that will help the most! It’s just so hard not being able to do a lot. I feel a little helpless, but I’m thankful for my husband who can pick up the slack for me until I can see the rhemutologist.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    2 years ago

    So sorry to hear about the diagnosis jlewis09, but glad you have come to a place where you can get information and support. There have been substantial advances in RA treatments in recent years. Your rheumatologist should work with you on developing a treatment regimen. This article from our editorial team gives treatment overviews, with links to more specifics:

    It is completely understandable to feel overwhelmed right now. Sometimes with a diagnosis for a condition like RA the emotional may take a backseat to the physical, but it is very important to take care of your mental well-being. This article from the editorial team looks at the emotional aspects, including discussing support:

    One thing to remember, is that while their may be some aspects of your life that will change, there is no reason to not live a happy fulfilling life. In this article one of our contributors writes about how what you do may change, but achieving happiness does not have to:

    Finally, to may want to also check out our Facebook page at to join conversations, as well as utilize the interactive features on the web site. Wishing you the best and please keep us posted on your progress. Best, Richard ( Team)

  • jlewis09 author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your article with me! Reading stories and knowing that I’m not alone helps a lot during the diagnosis process.

  • DesertStormTrooper
    2 years ago


    Sounds a lot like my story, except I’m 22 years older than you. I remember telling my wife that I could tell how the day was going to be by how much it hurt my wrist to brush my teeth.

    I’ll keep this simple. There is hope. I was in your exact shoes a year ago. Now, I’m back to running and working out.

    Here is my story:
    Here is what has helped the most:

    Hope that helps 🙂

  • Lauren Tucker moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the link to your story and for being such an active member of our community, we are glad to have you here!
    Just like your diclaimer says in your article we want to reiterate that different treatments do work differently for everyone. We are so glad you are doing better and working out and running, that is fantastic.
    Best of luck!
    Lauren ( Team)

  • Poll