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The ups and downs of living with RA

I just turned 45. I have been diagnosed with RA 8 years now (got the diagnosis on my birthday). I probably had RA for at least 2 years before I went to my primary Dr. I was/am still am working a full time job 7 hrs a day driving a school bus. I was put on prednisone for 3 months. I was also put on and am still on methotrexate, plaquenil, and folic acid. I am now on Remicade every 6 weeks also.

RA has cost me a lot. My husband would not believe I was in pain. He told me I was “making it up” to get attention. He cheated on me several times because as he put it “wasn’t getting any at home” because I hurt too bad. He also was physically abusive. In Dec. 2012 I had had enough. I decided to leave my husband of 28 years. He was making my RA worse because I stayed so stressed out about everything. I was afraid to even mention I hurt, because he would start yelling at me to stop all my drama. I asked for a weekend away and went to a friend’s house. While I was gone he got online and researched RA. When I returned home that Sun. night he was all like “I’m so sorry I didn’t know”. Well it was to late. He didn’t believe me for 7+ years but he would believe the internet.

I started talking to a co-worker who actually listened. He was going through some stuff too. We started seeing each other. I am now divorced. Living with my new boyfriend.
I am just now coming to terms with the fact that RA is permanent it will not go away. I have to live with it and adapt. Yes that sucks, but I have learned with the help of my boyfriend that it’s ok to take a nap if I’m tired, it’s ok to leave the clothes, dishes and cleaning for later or him to do if I hurt. I don’t have to do it all and do it right now.

Pain-free is a thing of the past. now it’s just what level of pain I will be in each day. I don’t know how I will feel each morning when I wake up, but I do know that now I have support and love and understanding. That makes a huge difference on my outlook for the rest of my life.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • nora
    6 years ago

    Your story brought tears to eyes. It is so hard for people to understand the severity of this disease & how the simplest things are so hard. I was recently diagnosed w/RA, I’m still trying to deal w/the reality of it all.

    You’re very courageous to have walked away. We all deserve love & support especially from our loved ones. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mariah Z. Leach moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Denise- Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry to hear that your husband was so horribly unsupportive of your struggles. I am really glad that you had the strength to do what was best for you. Being kind to yourself is so important when you are dealing with RA. I am glad that you have found yourself support, and please remember that the RA community is here to support you too!! Hang in there!

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