Tracie's story

I am 45 years young and was diagnosed at about the age of 2. The story goes that I had strep throat. Sounds simple, huh? My mother took me to the doctor and I was given the appropriate antibiotic. Then about a month later she noticed my ankles were swollen. So she took me back to the doctor and he fitted me with those hard plastic / leather high top white shoes. That seemed to fix the problem. Until the next month when my knees were swelling. Eventually all of my joints became red, swollen, and stiff. I was then sent to a rheumatologist who, over the years had me on aspirin, gold shots, and now methotrexate. I am married with two healthy boys. I worked as a registered nurse but had to stop in 2004. I have had both of my hips replaced. Until about 6 months ago I was maintaining fairly well. But now, the stiffness and pain is becoming unbearable. It's like my medicine just quit working. I always try and shake off the pain and tell my family that I'm "fine", but I can't much longer.

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