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.

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