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Why me?

I am now 56 years old, and feel 106, Lol. I guess I first noticed something was wrong when I was taking my one-year old granddaughter to the park. I would help her climb to the top of the baby slide and then catch her when she slid down, over and over. My hands started swelling and they hurt. I then noticed my right foot swelling too. I went to my doctor and had an  X-ray and blood tests done, and low and behold he said how sorry he was, but I had RA.

So I began researching this strange disease, and went to an RA doctor. He told me my quality of life would change and I needed to start taking meds. The first bottle made me sick to my stomach with severe pain and a trip to the ER. OK, try another med, no luck, diarrhea. Third bottle can cause blindness, so never even took those. Now I have suffered severe upper respiratory  infections for six months, and its not getting better.

I can no longer babysit my beloved grandchildren unless my husband is home and can do the bulk of the work, such as cooking, bath time, playing games, trips to the toy store or park, ect. I sit in my big cozy recliner, with my neck pillow and blanket.  I can no longer read for long periods of time, and I need new glasses. I use to get my haircut and colored every month, but in a fit of anger I chopped it all off. It was easier to take care of but did nothing for NY ego or looks. I also got a mani-pedi every two weeks. At the present time it’s been over six weeks and my nails and toes look like monsters. My hair is streaked with grey, and I feel ugly. I don’t go out much, unless it is to my doctor.

I feel sad, fat, and ugly. My husband of ten years married a skinny, vivacious, beautiful woman, who worked hard as an interior designer and ran with the mucky mucks of our small town. My grown children visited often and we went out to fancy dinners and shopping sprees. Vacations were often and fun. I just canceled our trip to Vegas because I feel so sick. But I am hoping we can cruise to Hawaii or Alaska next year for my birthday. I will be buying trip insurance in case I have to cancel. My family reunion is next month in Napa, California, and I pray I can stop coughing long enough to go. My daughter and grandkids are going and we usually all stay at the same hotel.

My husband is drinking more, and getting grouchy , so I guess I am getting on his nerves too. He loves me and adores me, but I am not the person he married. We sleep in separate rooms, for my comfort. He sleeps with the dog. We are both retired and had so many plans to travel, yet I can’t seem to leave the house.

Sleep is my best friend, as I feel no pain and dream of better times. I woke up at 4 am , just like everyday, and found a lump in my neck? What? Another doctor visit today. In my pajamas with my hat and no make up. I hope I can get my nails done this week, and a haircut. I know I sound hopeless, and like a big baby.  My kids were mad at me at first, thought I was being a drama queen. But I think after two years, they are finally realizing I am really sick.

Anyway, sorry to bore you, hope this helps anyone that feels like crap everyday to know they are not alone.

Pugs and kisses,

kari sue.

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.


  • Cynthia Smith
    6 years ago

    I read your story and just wanted to say that we have many things in common with our RA symptoms and how this disease has impacted our lives. Thanks for sharing your story Kari Sue. It made me feel less alone in tnis struggle somehow. Sometimes I feel friends and family don’t understand and get annoyed with me and my complaints of aches and pains. I am a shell of my former self. I too was active, hardworking, fit and slim. I was independant, upbeat and social. Now I’m more dependant and fearful at times. I miss that independant streak I had. I had to give up my 30 year nursing career because of RA and go on disabilty. Pain and fatigue often rule my days. My self esteem suffers. So I really take comfort in hearing that I’m not alone in this. Others are out there goimg through similar or worse problems than me and find ways of getting through it day by day. That is such an inspiration to me. When people like you share their stories, it is such a gift and gives me comfort and I realize I’m not so alone afterall. Being part of the RA community keeps hope alive for me. Take care and be safe.

  • Mariah Z. Leach moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Kari Sue – Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling so much. First of all I want to tell you that while you probably will need to take meds to keep your RA under control, that does not mean your quality of life needs to change! Your doctor should not have said that to you. If you feel like your doctor isn’t listening to your concerns or being supportive, it may be time to consider getting a new doctor! Unfortunately one of the more frustrating things about RA is that sometimes it can take some time to find a treatment that works for you. But I can tell you that when you do find a medication that works it can really improve your quality of life. In the meantime, we are here to support you! I’m so glad you found our community. Hang in there!

  • Sharon
    6 years ago

    Dear Kari sue,
    I have just read your post and my heart goes out to you as I too have RA. I have lived with this illness for six years with relative ease until this year my life began to change, I too had to let go of many things that were a big part of my life. I agonized over the decision to leave my profession because I could not keep up with the fast pace at work. I began to isolate my self because I could no longer enjoy the social activities that I was accustomed to. I then had to relocate from the city that I loved to be closer to my family as I need the physical and emotional support. After a year of participating in my own pity party I’ve decided that I’m tired of existing, I need to live my life and meet the aches, pains, depression and fatigue head on. Life gave me a big lemon and I will make tons of lemonade!


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