Sure, when I was first diagnosed, I had days that I couldn't walk, couldn't change a diaper, couldn't even snap snaps. When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, my doctor told me that my RA factor was over 1400. No wonder I was in such pain. But then about 6-8 months later, I noticed that my pain "free" days were more and more. And now, I have more days that I feel "normal" and less days of "I can't do that..."
Why is that? Why does RA effect all of us so differently? I know I have it, my blood work proves it.
Maybe having birthed 8 children, I have a higher tolerance for pain ?? Maybe I am hurting but I just don't show it or am not honest with myself? During a conversation this week, a dear friend of mine said, "She always says she is fine, but we can tell she's not. She lies." And I thought, yes I do, but can they really tell when I am in pain?
Anyway, I thought I would go ahead and be honest here, in this meme. At least I think I will be honest. LOL
This RA meme is about the things we might ask each other over coffee the first time. Together, the responses to the questions create a kind of snapshot of our lives with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Hopefully, it will be fun and we can get to know more about each other.
- How many other diagnoses (co-morbidities) do you have?
I have not gotten a specific diagnosis and no one seems to think it is important to find out. But in addition to destroying my joints, my immune system is also destroying my white blood cells. I have a white blood count of less than 1.5 usually. It isn't felty's or lupus but we don't know what it is. I see a cancer/blood specialist every 6 months or so just so that they can keep an eye on it.
- When were you diagnosed?
I was diagnosed October 2008. Symptoms came on right after the birth of my 8th child. Although looking back on it, I can see where some of the pains I was feeling over the years were probably early indications of RA.
- How many Rheumatoid Arthritis treatments have you tried?
I took prednisone at the beginning (for about 6 months) and started plaquinel. Truth be told, I still have a prescription for the plaquinel but I do not take it at all. It was causing migraines but when I told my doctor, he said that he didn't know that to be a side effect. I stopped taking it, migraines went away. So I am taking nothing.
- What kind of a reward do you give yourself after taking any medicine that you hate?
Don't take my meds.
- Who helps you open doors or jars when you need it?
About 15 yrs ago, my husband worked at a retirement village. He would often come home with odds and ends from the residents there. One day he came home with this gadget that has a handle and gears. It adjusts to jar lids to help you get a better grip on them. I held on to it because I thought it was really neat. I am SO glad I have it now. It sometimes doesn't help but most of the time I can open jars with it.
- What would your ultimate good rheum doc do?
Dig a little deeper into my immune system and not tell me the same joke everytime I go to see him. LOL
- What’s your favorite comfort for RA?
PJs, a good movie, and just not moving.
- What was the hardest think you have done since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Realizing that I cannot do everything. I need to set limits for myself and stick to them. Doing too much leads to exhaustion and usually a flare.
- What’s your biggest RA-related fear?
That I will pass this on to one of my children or that I will develop some serious complications from it.
- How many pills do you swallow every day?
For my RA, none.
- Something surprising that you wish insurance would cover for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients?
I don't have insurance so I guess I don't care.
- What do you wish people knew about Rheumatoid Arthritis?
That my RA isn't like their aches and pains. That the weather doesn't bother me. That sometimes just touching my joints is painful.
- What would you like to say to your RA? Thanks for dropping by, you can leave now. LOL