The Beginning of a Life With RA. Part 2


The chaos begins!

So far, I’m not impressed with the Rheumatologist I see back then.  He’s arrogant and makes me feel like I might as well jump off the plank.   From “The Beginning of a Life With RA.  Part 1” (The first Rheumatologist I saw said I wouldn’t be able to walk by the time I was 30).  I have to make it a point to say that I’m going to be 30 this year, and if nothing drastic happens, I’ll still be walking.  Mind you, in all fairness, he was just trying to tell a young girl that she needs to be vigilant in the fight for her body’s mobility.  However, I think a different approach could’ve been used. 

I was tried on this drug and that one.  My mom’s insurance wouldn’t cover the good stuff.  The Gold.  Thankfully, since I was attempting college, I was still covered on her insurance.  Yes, I say attempted, because that’s what I did.  Due to a car accident that totalled my car and gave me a concussion, my newfound fatigue and pain, not to mention a school that was an hour drive each way…I failed.  I only made it a month into my freshman year.  Guess what happens when I’m not in college anymore?  Right, no insurance.  Then the doctor bills start to pour in.  What do you think that caused me to do?  Yes, I stopped making my RA appointments.  By the way, for all of you newly diagnosed RA patients…Find a good doctor, that you like and trust.  Go to them.  Do what they tell you.  If something isn’t working, let them know.  They are they for you..because of you.  I say this because, I did the opposite and looking back now and at my crippled fingers, fused wrists, swollen ankles, swollen knees, and constant stiff neck…I was stupid!!! 

Things are a little blurry from those days.  I know at some point, I switched doctors.  I found one I liked quite a bit and had a new approach with me.  As well as, payment options I could afford.  He’s the one that put me on Vioxx.  That didn’t turn out so well though.  One day, I went with my mom to get glasses.  I had been experiencing hives but we weren’t sure what was causing them.  As I walked around the store looking at pairs of glasses, I felt the hives coming on.  Well, if you’ve been in an eyeglass store, you know there are mirrors everywhere.  So, I find one to see the extent of the damage.  I screamed, WHOA!  Holding my head down, I feverishly searched for my mom.  I looked like the beast from the Disney tale.  I was also suddenly not able to see as well.  Ok, ok..I know.  How strange, right?  I’m in an eyeglass store and I can’t see well.  Hahaha.  I finally find my mom and not much longer after I find her, I straight up went blind for what felt like forever, but it was more like 2 minutes.  I could hear.  I could smell.  I was coherent.  I just couldn’t see.  The lady that was helping my mom looked at me, freaked out, and said, “get her to an ER NOW!”  Long story short.  After hours of ekg’s and numerous other tests.  They decided I was probably allergic to Vioxx.  Then the doctor put me on this thing called Prednisone for the reaction.  Go ahead, moan and groan..sigh, boo.  Whatever you wish.  This was the beginning of a love affair for me.  I’ve seen the Prednisone love affair simply put as a love/hate relationship.  To me, it describes Prednsione perfectly.    ….Then the moon was rising and so was my jean size.  See part 3 for further details.

Click below to find Part 3

The Beginning of a Life With RA. Part 1


At the age of 18, I should’ve been heading off to college.  I should’ve been on the brink of an exciting adventure, but I wasn’t.  I had a strange knot and a lot of pain on the side of my foot.  I worked on my feet a lot.   I thought for sure, worse case scenario, it was a bunion.  That actually makes me laugh now.  My mom urges me to see a doctor and insists that she’ll go with me.  I’m thinking, c’mon mom.  I’m 18 now.  Seriously.  Cut the cord.  The doctor walks in.  Asks how I’m doing, so I proceed to tell him and show him.  He’s just doing his usual.  Mmmhmm, yes I see, ok.  He leaves the room, stating he’ll be back in a few minutes.  I then go on again to my mom about the bunion idea.  Then when he comes back, he says he wants to run some blood tests.  Things flipped upside down for me for a few minutes as he mutters things about Rheumatoid Factors and a whole bunch of other things I didn’t understand.  At this moment, I’m glad my mom is there with me.  She happens to be a nurse as well.  I start asking her questions when he leaves the room again and she’s hesitant to say anything at all.  It felt like forever, but he came back.  He says my Rheumatoid Factor is high.  I’m shaking my head, not understanding what’s going on.  Then he hands me a script and says you need to see a Rheumatologist.  I’m thinking, isn’t that for people with arthritis.  Like older people with deformed hands and bad backs.  I just couldn’t wrap my head around the whole thing.  Well, that was the beginning.  It was rough.  It got a lot worse than that silly pain in my foot.  The first Rheumatologist I saw said I wouldn’t be able to walk by the time I was 30.  Way to wipe away a young woman’s dreams.  It just about did too.  That’s more the ..meat of my story.

Click below to find Part 2