Though I am used to life’s ups and downs, I was surprised once again. Last week my doctor diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which my family and I had already suspected. Last summer when I met my new doctor, she ordered blood work which did NOT show whatever they look for in your blood that “proves” you have it.
Ten years ago my doctor in Pennsylvania diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia (which I call Fibro) after I reported almost all of the symptoms you could possibly have with this dreaded ailment. I’m not sure if I still have Fibro now, and haven’t decided if I want to know the answer.
My doctor prescribed Prednisone as an experiment. It is a steroid that is used to treat arthritis among other things. If I felt better, than although it doesn’t show up in my blood work, it means that I have RA. At first I didn’t notice a difference and thought that the answer was a firm no, but I forgot to take it Friday afternoon, and woke up in terrible pain. My fingers and toes throbbed and were so stiff it hurt to bend them. I also forgot that I’m supposed to take it with food. Oops! About two hours after taking my pill, my pain lessened significantly.
At first I was upset and couldn’t sleep, imagining all sorts of terrible things. I even remembered that my great-grandmother had arthritis for years and years, and RA often runs in the family. So I pictured my fingers eventually falling off, or my toes, etc. Then I remembered that life presents us challenges that I CAN control how I cope with: do I research everything I can to help with my pain, or do I give up and spend my life in bed.
There’s no doubt it will be tough, but I plan to eat much better than I have been and exercise a lot more. It’s time for me to treat my body like the miracle I know it to be. Because my family needs me and wants me around, and pray for my body to heal so that I can get out of the house more.
Wish me luck!