Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Little Bit About Me....I have Rheumatoid Arthritis...Does It Have Me?

Rheumatoid Arthritis has been a part of my life from the very beginning. I didn't get diagnosed with RA until my early 20's, but it still affected me.

You see, my mom has RA and first started showing signs of it in her early 20's. Growing up, I would ask if I was going to get it too. She didn't know and neither did I. I had to help her get dressed and undressed, wash her hair, and when she was still working, I cooked dinner for our family most nights. I saw first-hand what my mom went through with surgeries and the everyday task of just getting out of bed.

My RA progressed faster than hers did. I think it's because she had my brothers and I in her 20's and that slowed her RA down. She always said that she felt better when she was pregnant (and I've heard that from other people with RA), but the pain would come back at about the time that extra strength was needed to open baby food jars. My mom tried many "remedies", but her RA would always return to rear its ugly head.

I write this today, from a hospital bed in the middle of the family room of the house that I share with my fiance, our Merle Great Dane, Charlie, and our Norwegian Dwarf rabbit, Jake. I've had total knee replacements on both knees and spent eighteen months in a nursing home.

Oh yeah, I'm just 32 (33 in July) years old.

In the next few months, I will be visiting doctors to see about getting my right ankle fused because my foot has turned in (due to the RA) and I am no longer able to walk. Once my ankle surgery is done, I will hopefully start trying to walk again. Then, I can focus on getting my hips replaced, because the RA has destroyed them.

I am wheelchair bound, but I still like to get around. In fact, in a few weeks, we're heading to Walt Disney World.

Me & Yoda On One of Our Past Trips to Disney World!

With the help of MANY medications (my pharmacy loves me), I am able to get the pain of RA to where it is tolerable. Thank goodness for the advances in medicines that have been made just in the last few years!

I wish that more people knew what RA was and how it affects people. I get looks from people when we're out in public, because I don't look sick. I'm sure they're wondering why I am in a wheelchair.

So, yes, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and some days it DOES have me, but I am working on changing that!

And That's What Sarah Says!!!


  1. Yes, it's time to own the disease! Not the other way around. You go girl.

    1. Thanks for being part of my great support team! I love you!

  2. Your doctor may ask you to return regularly to have your feet examined and your corns and calluses shaved, if necessary.