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Recently diagnosed
odessa81 posted:
Hi all,

I just turned 30 and was diagnosed with RA in the same month. I don't know a lot about RA yet... I mostly think of my grandmother's gnarled hands and limited mobility and wonder what my future is like. Am I going to be able to have a family? Am I going to be able to continue running and climbing? Will the medication work? So many questions...

Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Odessa,

I really hope that others will respond and share their thoughts on this. In the meantime, I wanted to welcome you here. I'm sorry for your need to be here but glad you found us.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
alsdeb responded:
Good news and bad news. There shouldn't be any reason for you not to have a family. Let me back up a little bit. When you think of your grandmother's gnarled hands, you also need to remember that there wasn't medication available back then like there is now. I too thought about my grandmother and my mother. As for running and climbing; sometimes yes and sometimes no. For the most part, you will gradually lose the ability to do a lot of the things you do now. However, do what you can, when you can. I wake up every morning thinking about all the things I want to get done that day, then I step on the floor and go......Oh, no, not today! That's almost every morning. I hate to say this, but you will eventually lose the life you have now, but RA opens up a whole 'nother scenario for you. I look at it as just another chapter in my book. Good luck and do what your doctor tells you to do.....even if you don't want to.
marzipana replied to alsdeb's response:
The really good news for you is that today there are many, many options to slow down or even halt the progression of the disease. These are called DMARDs---disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and they have helped many people. And new drugs will continue to be it's highly likely that you will not suffer from the same limitations or have the same severity of the illness as your grandmother.

The medications seem to work differently for different people, so you may have to go through some trial and error to find what works for you.

If you are a runner, you must be in good physical condition, so that's a real plus...staying in shape and keeping your joints flexible and moving is very important. If you can't run, there are lots of alternatives, including water aerobics, that you can try.

My other advice is to keep a positive attitude and find a good doctor to work with. Don't be scared by the sometimes complicated and treatment-resistant cases you may read about on the Internet; many people are doing very well managing their RA and so they don't feel the need to post about it!
Scott Zashin, MD responded:
The good news is that medical science has advanced significantly in the treatment of RA.

Three advances include:

1.Earlier diagnosis due to improved blood testing and awareness

2. Earlier treatment that significantly decreases the risk of damage, deformity and disability

3. Emergence of a new class of medications, the biologics-such as Humira,Orencia, Actemra etc which specifically target the proteins involved in RA damage.

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