Here is the story of one of our members that is inviting you to take a walk in her shoes:
Q: Current Age?
Q: Age of Onset or start of symptoms?
A: 34, concurrent with my first ever bout with the flu and pneumonia
Q: Age of Diagnosis?
A: 35, six months after onset of symptoms
Q: Where are you located?
A: Jackson, New Jersey
Q: What is your profession?
A: On disability for over 12 years, after running a home daycare business for seven years
Q: What are your Medical Conditions or diagnoses?
A: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Osteoporosis, GERD
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Family Time, Cooking & Baking, Word Puzzles, Crafting, Facebook & Words With Friends
Q: What is one thing your doctor didn’t tell you about your Autoimmune Arthritis that you wish they had?
A: I wish I had known that most of the medicines I would try would not help me at all and I wish I had been cautioned more about the possible side effects. As time has gone on, I have become so much more wary of trying any new medicines and have come off the ones where I felt the harm outweighed the good, such as Methotrexate and Prednisone. As a patient, only YOU can decide what is best for YOU! I also wish I had a preview of the over 20 surgeries I would end up having :/
Q: If you could tell your past self something before diagnosis, what would it be?
A: Your life will be drastically different than you had imagined, but you will be incredibly fortunate and blessed in so many ways. It is when you feel at your weakest that you will really be at your strongest…and it really WILL all be okay!
Q: What would you like to tell others newly diagnosed with Autoimmune Arthritis?
A: Although your life will be different, there is so much hope. New treatments are always on the horizon. Only you will know what is best for you, so stay educated, stay positive, and take each day as it comes. Planning a day, or week, or month ahead may become hard to do, so be flexible in your expectations and ask others to be flexible with you. Be happy and count your blessings, because even in the darkest moments, someone else’s life sucks much worse than yours!
Q: How would you describe your personal style?
A: I’m a pretty “down-to-earth, no make-up, comfortable clothes woman”, but I love to play “dress-up” once in awhile And I LOVE to laugh 😀
Q: What part of dealing with your Autoimmune Arthritis has made the biggest impact on you?
A: I would say, letting go of the guilt. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. My three daughters have grown up with a disabled mom and not being able to do what other moms can do has been very hard at times. But I know I have also been a better mom than so many others. There has been the same guilt with my wonderful husband … feeling like he got the “short end of the stick”, but then I remind myself that this is the path we were all given and as long as they are healthy and happy, then I am okay. I love them with all my heart.
Q: Favorite quote?
A: Theodore Roosevelt: “Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” I have always told my three fabulous daughters this. I encourage them to shoot for the stars, but always stay humble, be kind, and remember the truly important things in life, because you never know what will happen next.
Q: What are three random things about yourself that others may not know?.
A: My favorite place in the world is the beach (specifically Hawaii), I LOVE music and wish I could get up and dance (sometimes I do, but I just don’t move my feet), and I am proud to have a Master’s Degree, even if I didn’t get to put it to use.
Check here to see all the blogs in this series.
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1 comment… add one
Thank you for your story. I can relate to so much of it I think I must be about twenty years older. I am seventy and was diagnosed in 1967. There were very few medicines then and what there was did not slow the intractable damage. I have had at least twenty surgeries and revisions for RA. I also have diabetes 2 and am a breast cancer survivor. Thanks to the fine physicians and much progress made in meds in the ’80’s I am walking and active even though I’ve certainly done my time in wheelchairs. You and I know all too well how strong this disease makes us. I have two daughters who are all the stronger and more compassionate for having had a disabled mom. Again Thank you for writing so I for one can relate to another person.