My journey with Ra

My journey with Ra

Hello.. My name is Kim church. I am 47 years old and I live in Jonesborough, Tennessee. I'm married with three daughters and one grandson. I was diagnoised with Ra when I was 41. I was in bad shape before for years but just could not get my dr's to believe me. They just kept saying I wanted pain med. I finally got a dr who cared enough to to run a ra panel after I had went to him several times in severe pain and very swollen joints. My ra panel come back extremely high and he got me into a ra dr quick. I have ra, sjorens syndrome and now Im in beginning stages of vasculitis. My ra is extremely aggressive and everytime my dr puts me on a strong ra med I end up in the hospital with pneumonia so my ra meds help but not to the full extent I would want them to. I had to quit my job about four years ago which killed me cause I'm very social. Now I stay home and sometimes I have good days, bad days and very bad days. 

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  • This is so sad to me. I have been in treatment for RA for 5 years and I only got worse. I went from walking 2 hours a day to not being able to walk across the street. I had one thumb joint replaced and tried Enbrol and Humira with no results. I gained 75 pounds and have not stopped gaining in 2 years.

    I was just hospitalized for reorganizing pneumonia and am now in 9th week of having it. I walk with a walker and get winded just exerting any effort. 

    I sleep 2-3 hours nightly and walk with a walker for now  But I do feel better about one thing. I now know all the symptoms I deal with because of the RA. And I have been researching every thing I possibly can and I take an active role with my rheumatologist. We have to advocate for ourselves and if something isn't working speak up. The steroids I am on help treat the pain too but eventually we will have to try infusions so I can function. I do water therapy at the pool 10 hours a week which I love but once out of the pool the pain can be worse.

    I limit physical when I have to or the pain is unbearable. I work on my computerbut did have to limit that too. I may not be able to do as much right now but I feel better knowing everything I can about my RA and will make sure my doctor listens to me and we decide together, the next course of action.

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