I have been in pain over the last 5 to 6 years. I have had been going through all types of test and seeing all types of specialist. Getting up in the morning is the hardest but the most frustrating thing is not knowing what is going on and feeling like you are crazy because doctors can't find anything wrong or put a label on the things that are not right. I have had a consistently high platelet count (no cancer) and all the test for inflammatory makers are high but exactly what is going on was still a mystery. My primary doctor suspected Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis but test did not confirm either. A good friend of mine, who has lupus, would often tell me that my symptoms were the same as hers. I finally got an appointment to see a rheumatologist. This doctor was awful. She looked at the report from my doctor and basically said I did not need to see a rheumatologist. She did not even bother to examine me. Well I decided to just stop trying to figure out what was wrong and just live with it. Until recently, the pain because worse. The pain in my fingers was so bad that it was hard to open things with my hands. So a year later, my primary doctor decides to send me to another rheumatologist. Dr B. provided the answers and my journey began. I was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am going share my journey with the intention of educating those who may be going through a RA journey.
First, a little information about what RA is - Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease. A chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints. In severe cases, it attacks internal organs. Treatment can help, but this condition can't be cured. Over long periods of time, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity. Severe rheumatoid arthritis can still cause physical disabilities. About 40 percent of the people who have rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms that don't involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many nonjoint structures, including:
My next blog I will discuss my treatment and where I am today on my RA Journey.