RA Sucker Punched !!!!!

I’m a 50 year old African American female. I’ve had Rheumatoid arthritis since 1997. The onset of the disease started when I had my daughter, and I was at home on maternity leave. One day, I went to pick my baby up and my hands, fingers, and arms were hurting so bad my arms gave out and I dropped my baby. I was devastated. Thinking that I was exhausted, I ignored it. Approximately a week later the same thing happened just as it had before. I was so scared, and I felt guilty for dropping my baby yet again. I had her examined and told the doctor he said, that maybe I had post pardum depression, so he put me on some medication. It was about a few days after that, that I went to get up out of the bed, and my legs were in excruciating pain. My legs gave out, and I fell on my face. I felt as if I had been Sucker punched because I couldn’t even stand up. I knew something was wrong so I went to see my doctor a General Practitioner again. He examined me, and referred me to an Orthopedic Specialist. The Orthopedic Specialist examined me and performed some test. He told me that I need to see a Rheumatologist. So he referred me to a Rheumatologist. The Rheumatologist examined me and performed some test. He told me I had Rheumatoid arthritis. I was devastated, because as a child, my great grandmother had Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. I knew that I had never seen my great grandmother sit up, stand, or walk. She was bed ridden as long as I could remember, and she moaned alot from the pain. It’s been 18 years since my diagnosis and I have been on every DMARD drug, biologic, pain medication to include loratab, tramadol, oxycotin, fentanayl patches, and hydrocodone. In 2005, I had a cervical spine fusion, and I have three titanium screws in my cervical spine. Also, I have Fibromyala as a result of damage to my spine. The worst part of this disease is the lost of my mobility and independence. I hurt all the time. I have no energy to do anything, and I never sleep. All I want to do is lye down. The fatigue coupled with the pain is ridiculous. I can no longer work.The disease has been progressing very quickly within the last two years. It should be noted that early detection, treatment, and prevention is important in managing this disease. However, my body now controls me, I’m not in control anymore. The pain is more intense, consistent, and chronic than it has been before. I know eventually I will have to go to a assistant living facility or a nursing home. I’m a realist, but until then I’ll take one day at a time. I’m just happy to be here to see another day in spite of my many challenges.

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