I miss the days of not planning. Planning for me is a priority. In the last month, I had six doctor appointments and if I don't space them out I would go insane. Explaining symptoms to my docs is not only exhausting, but it’s overwhelming at times. No matter how many times I talk about complications I get choked up. This is still all new for me.

I finally met with my new internist and am confident I will be much happier and healthier in her hands. Not only does she have a team of people assisting her, but she is always available or has someone on call. She also has a great relationship and works with both my rheumatologist and gastroenterologist - a huge plus. They are all at the same hospital and have access to all my information in the system.

I was annoyed I had to share my health history with my internists’ assistant, but quickly realized that the repetition would only help my new doctor pay better attention to me. I expressed everything I need in a doctor and everything I’m afraid of with having RA. She shed light on my situation and is proactive in having me complete some new tests at the end of October to ensure my heart is healthy and that things are functioning normally. She told me to expect to feel better as my body recovers from having bacteria overgrowth. In my experience, doctors often neglect to tell you what to expect - I’m thrilled I now have someone to guide me.

asbRA was diagnosed with RA in November 2012 at the age of 27 and fibromyalgia in 2013. Through therapy and MBSR meditation asbRA found her calling in journaling her experience and is writing a book on how to navigate an RA diagnosis in the prime of one’s life. As a strong advocate in the autoimmune community asbRA shares her wisdom in hopes of helping others. @AllisonSBerger

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