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    Who'd a thunk it? Eye opener.
    singingbear posted:
    Just wanted to share a thought that is turning over and over in my mind tonight. I am still new to RA and I have many many things yet to learn but my first lesson blows my mind. Before I was diagnosed and even long before my pain started I knew that RA was not like "regular" arthritis but I had no idea just how different it was. Even with my limited knowledge I still thought that RA effected older people and that it took years to effect mobility. Tonight my mind it stuck on how my physical abilities have changed in such a short time. I look at a picture of myself less then one year ago, legs crossed on the floor, baby niece on one knee and toddler nephew on the other. I distinctly remember being able to hold my niece on one shoulder while lifting myself from my position on the floor. Only days ago while holding my 8 mo old niece (different niece) in my recliner I was struck with the reality that I had to put her on the floor simply to lift myself out of the chair. I could not support her and myself at the same time. It is quite sobering to realize just how quickly RA hits and the hold it has on your body. Today just the thought of sitting on the floor is painful and sitting cross legged is out of the question. It is moments like this that I can understand how hard it is for friends and family to understand what I am going through. If it is hard for me to accept how quickly I have changed how can they possibly understand. While I want them to instantly understand when I say "I can't" I realize I have to be patient with them as well.

    Does anyone else have a eye opening moment to share? I would love to hear them.
    jaclee08 responded:
    I was just recently diagnosed with RA after 3 months of pain,
    and not knowing what was wrong with me? I too am amazed
    at how fast this disease has taken control of my body? I used to be very flexible, now I can hardly walk, and simple things like getting dressed and undressed are very difficult. I am very
    depressed about all of this.
    singingbear replied to jaclee08's response:
    Jaclee08, I am very sorry that you are so depressed but I understand. I have been told numerous times "well at least you know what it is and it can be treated". While I know that in a sense that is right it is hard for others to understand that even if we are able to manage our pains our lives have been changed forever. There will always be medications with possible side effects, blood test, and Rheumatologist visits. There will always be the anticipation of pain returning. RA is not something you can treat for a week or two and forget about. I am hopeful that I will be able to find a reasonable amount of relief and return to many of my previous activities but I also realize that my life will never be quite the same.

    I also hate to ask for help or letting others see me hurt. That is another lesson that I have had to learn over the last few months. I can not completely blame others when they don't understand my situation because I try so hard to hide the pain. I am lucky enough to work alone in an office so I can take the extra time to stand from my chair or take those first few oh so painful steps without anyone seeing. How could they possibly know?

    All that said, I just want to let you know that this is a wonderful site to share your concerns, questions, or just vent when you need to be heard. I find that telling someone else how you really feel (whether it is in person or just posting my thoughts here) helps me when I am really down. The contributers to this community do understand what you are going through. Hang in there. I strongly believe there will be better days to come!

    calliegirl57 replied to jaclee08's response:
    I came home from work one evening and was not able to put any pressure on my left leg. I went to the ER of course they ruled out blood clot ect. but there was no reason for the pain or discomfort. this was just the beginning. I awakened one morning and wasn't able to raise my arms at all. I had been to the doctor complaining and usually got a steroid pack, but still didn't check for RA. I finally began to have visual joint damage and was tested for RA. It is moderate to severe, more on the severe side. I am on a host of meds. Methotrexate, Remicade, folic acid. plaqunell, celebrex, and prednisone, I can tell about two weeks before it is time for a treatment. I am still working but it becomes a struggle. Sometimes I feel so tired, I just want to sit down in the floor. RA is not fun and is a daily struggle. But I thank God I am still functioning even with a struggle.
    calliegirl57 replied to calliegirl57's response:
    Sorry about the spelling!
    Pcat1 replied to calliegirl57's response:
    I'd like to provide a different perspective on this discussion. I woke up with my hands swollen up like mittens about 5 months ago. I went to the doctor the next day and she immediately referred me to a rheumatologist. He put me on Methotrexate right away -- and I am perfectly fine! I have no real side effects, other than being a little tired the day after the drugs. I was very flexible to start (I'm a former ballerina who exercises 5 days a week - weights, yoga, and pilates) and have not lost anything. If anything, I'm better than before. I've improved in both yoga and Pilates, because things that I didn't realize were hurting (like my wrists in handstand) no longer are. My skin looks clearer - perhaps because I drink more water or because MX actually is helping it. The most important thing, though, is that I try to stay away from negative people and negative thoughts. I have RA -- and I'm treating my RA, so what? I'm sure that many folks feel like I do, and that forums like this are good places for folks to complain. But instead of complaining, go take an exercise class and revel in what makes you feel better -- not what you can't do.
    yarter responded:
    Curious to know, have you ever been tested for Lyme disease.? It can mimmic RA. What are you taking for meds.
    I have had RA for 16 year, diagnoised when I was 26 and pregnant for my first child.. Its been a rollercoaster for myself husband and kids, especially kids cause they always see you sick, tired and in pain. Now I have to wonder do I really have RA. along with fibromyalgia etc.
    yarter replied to Pcat1's response:
    Yes, Its true you need to stay moving and eat healthy and most importantly be your own advocate. Keep a journal on a daily basics so you can track your symptoms and pain, and certain foods that cause flare ups. You can never know to much, but don't consume yourself with it... Get the book "The Secret" its all about staying positive . Remember what you give, is what you get back.
    ibahma responded:
    Hello! I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 2 yrs. ago. It hit me like a ton of bricks!...I was started on prednisone, which I stayed on for 1 year. I began to feel better, but I had gained
    40 lbs and I still had pain in my joints. My Rheumatologist pre-scribed methotrexate which I've been on for 5 mths.. I feel
    so much better...I've been off of prednisone for 6 mths, and
    I've lost 10 lbs. I still have some weight to lose, but at least
    I feel so much better...Two yrs.. ago, I thought that I would be
    with pain for the rest of my life!...So, with the right meds, you
    can get better.
    ejsworld responded:
    Yes, RA is an eye opener! Your RA seem to be progressing at a fast pase. Ask your doctor about more options.
    I am 58 and was diagnosed with RA about 13 years ago now after being stressed out over my now deceased husbands long illness.
    I not only get tired after a short walk around the house but, I notice my fingers are starting to deform even though I am on all these medications. I get depressed just thinking about what I have to look forward to and that is when I start praying.
    I have limitations but, I have to try to keep mobile. It is when I stop moving I get weaker and feel more pain.
    Maybe you need to start giving hugs on your not so good days and do the lap when you can.
    We are on this road together!

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