Once you open the door, there is no turning back!

My story starts in January of 2013. I had noticed some swelling in my hands, which quickly spread up my arms, then my legs, ankles, and feet. In the course of 12 hours I had put on 20lbs of swelling. It was concerning enough that my family Dr. sent me to the E.D. where they had admitted for heart problems. After testing my heart, I was discharged, because they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I was still swollen, so back to my family Dr. and they sent me to a rheumatologist. The Dr. was 2 hours late, and when he finally got there, he didn’t look at me, just his computer, and said my blood work was fine, so there was no reason to see him again. At this point I was getting frustrated. Once again I went back to my family Dr. because I was in so much pain, I was in tears, and the Dr. said, there was nothing she could do. I didn’t know what to do. I could not see living the rest of my life in this much pain. I didn’t want to kill myself, but I couldn’t do this!

I went to my parent’s house for the last time, and after telling my mom what I had been going through, she got me in to see my dad’s rheumatologist he had been seeing for his polymyalgia rheumatica. I thought what could hurt! As soon as this new Dr. examined me, he said “well I have to do blood work, but I think you have Rheumatoid Arthritis.” I explained to him I had already saw another rheumy and he said I was fine. The new guy explained to me that you could have it without being ANA positive. So after the blood test and x-rays, it was RA. So this thing had a name, but things will never be the same again!

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