It's A Flare and I Am Not Nuts

Hi, I am a 53-year-old who was diagnosed 25 years ago.

My RA symptoms are not believed

I am the person who is always "ok" when asked, "how are you?"

I don't complain about pain or swelling, because it is "normal" for me to have daily pain and swelling.

I am the person who knows in her head she is having a flare, yet waits days to call for steroids because it might just get better on its own.

When I had my first flare, my PCP sent me to see a neurologist. He told me I should get more sleep. That my pain was due to just having my 2nd child (3 months earlier) and I needed to go to bed when I was tired and wake up when I wasn't.

I am a single mom of 2 and work full time. He made me feel horrible. Like I was nuts.

Self-advocacy makes a difference

I took it upon myself to see a rheumatologist.

I have a family history of RA, so I thought it was a good place to start.

While I was in his office, he asked questions about me and my symptoms. He described to a T how I felt and never once made me feel "nuts."

He ordered my lab work that was seropositive for having RA. I started on my cocktail of medications and felt better within weeks.

If you get anything out of my story here is to please be your own advocate for healthcare.

Do your research and question even the doctors you see if they make uneasy about your medical care.

I had a flare ... I wasn't nuts!

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