RA veteran

HI There! I'm 61'years old and diagnosed with RA in 1965. I guess you could call me a veteran. My left wrist was fused at age 15. My metacarpal joints in both hands were replaced in 1986 & 1987. I had thumbs fused as well. I've taken most available medications except for the biologics. Although I'm disabled I do still walk i only use wheelchair for longer journeys. I have one daughter, 32 and have been married 33 years. I have very supportive people around me which helps strengthen and encourage me to keep living the best life possible.

5 Replies

  • I am a veteran also. I have had RA since the age of 3 and now 53. I have had total of 12 surgeries 8 on one leg I'm recuperating from a fall right now. My femur broke and went through my knee! But recovery is a lot shorter because he replaced my femur with a metal one!

  • Hi Baileysmom and huggs3591,

    I am in remission now. Doctor said will slowly reduce my medication if my condition continue to be stable for another 1/2 year down the road. My joints are okay right now. May I know under what situation your left wrist was fused? I like to know to avoid similar situation in future. Was it because you were too young to take the medication accordingly? Or you just had flare up again causing the wrist joint being damaged?

  • Hi Amy Lee, I was 10 yrs. old when dx in 1965. The only treatments available at the time were aspirin in high doses n prednisone. I took both...24 aspirin per day developing 2 bleeding ulcers😔. The RA attacked my left wrist w fury n destroyed the joint within 5 years. JRA (juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) usually attacks aggressively and calms down when patient enters adulthood.

  • Grateful to hear another veteran share her journey. Dx in 1965 at age 10 was not a good era to receive such ominous news. Only a handful of treatment options were available at the time. To the newly diagnosed patient it is very important to find and develop an ongoing relationship with a rheumatoligist. Find one who listens and is experienced in treating JRA. Adopting both orthodox and nutritional treatments is vitally important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Weighing the pros and cons of medication and weighing their side effects is important. Significant others in your life need to be educated as well so you can continue to be supported and encouraged by them through the good times and the bad times. Pain takes away objectivity. JRA patients who have lived the majority of their lives challenged by this disease should never be allowed to feel isolated, alone and hopeless. The dx of JRA is very difficult indeed! However on the flip side this is probably the best time due to all the medical advances/support systems that have been made. Thousands of people are now able to live active normal lives. Keep the faith and push on! I'm happy to be connected to all of you..

  • Baileysmom,

    Those days there are not that many choices the physician could use. At least from now on you have to take good care of yourself to avoid further damage. Take the medicines accordingly and also to look into some natural ways to reduce pain and inflammation to maintain a good remission.

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