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My RA Story - I want to LIVE with RA not SUFFER from it!

Hi, my name is Teresa and I am 45 years old. Three years ago I decided to run a marathon for my daughter who survived leukemia. I was always an avid walker, my friends call me the "walking Nazi" so doing a marathon was really no big deal to me!

I started training and began to notice back pain all the time. The back pain then became shoulder, elbow and hand pain, but I continued to believe it was from the training. About a year after training and completing my marathon I was still walking, doing Pilates, yoga and other activities but the pain was still present. I finally broke down and went to the doctor - only because I noticed "knots" on my right fingers, who first diagnosed me with low Vitamin D, ran some more blood work and in February of 2013, I was diagnosed with low vitamin D, underactive thyroid and SURPRISE! Rheumatoid arthritis.

I started Mobic, Vitamin D and Synthroid and began my own research. I then found gluten free diet, so began eating glueten free. So far, I have felt well for one month out of 2013. I live in constant neck, back, shoulder, elbow and hand pain. All but four of my fingers are now "knot" free, but the pain is a 10/10 daily. There is no escaping it. I went to the doctor today, for more blood work, and hopefully a change in medication. I am also attending my sister's "gentle" yoga class which gives me at least, 20 minutes of being pain free.

I have no clue how to get comfortable in bed, no way to sit on my couch or in my chair at home because it doesn't give me the neck and back support I want and need. I am still walking, yet wake up stiff so much in the middle of the night I am afraid I will fall. Brushing my teeth in the morning is like stabbing my hands - I feel as if I can barely curl my hand around that brush! I feel pretty good every morning and evening AFTER I have had my hot, hot shower! I work with my hands at both my jobs, so I am very fearful of losing the dexterity I have now.

Living with RA and Suffering with RA to me are completely different...I would like to LIVE with it peacefully, not suffer with it as I feel I am now. I feel depressed and alone because I have an 18 year old daughter who doesn't understand and the only other people in my family who had RA are deceased. I try to look for the positive articles about RA so I can find the HOPE for the "Living with this" portion of how I feel. This site instills that hope.

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