At the end of 2015 I was finally diagnosed with RA. I started feeling pain and fatigue just after my 40th birthday in 2012, my feet would hurt continuously, my hands and wrists hurt just as often but I summed it up to working so much and turning 40. I was diagnosed with migraines as well and until I started a Botox treatment for the migraines and cut back on tylenol and advil meds did I realize how much everything else hurt. My eyes became so dry that that my eyelids were stuck to my my eyeballs in the morning and the knee pain...oh the knee pain. I finally went to the dr in 2015 a few times at the urging of my husband to get to the root cause as he hated seeing me get up in the morning in so much pain. I probably went to about six appts before the dr finally decided to do the RF test.
My RF came back at 124 and I got into see a rheumatologist within two weeks, with her physical assessment and the anti ccp test of over 1000, I was confirmed with moderate RA. At the time of visit I had obvious joint swelling and tenderness but ESR and CRP was normal.
I was started initially on methotrexate, discontinued after three months, then plaquenil and sulfasalazine, which I am still currently on. I did try Arava but discontinued after 5 months. Right now I am in the process of getting prepared for biologics which I am hopeful.
I have continued to work full time shift work, just finishing up schooling to be a power engineer, work out 5-6 times a week. If I can offer one piece of advise to anyone is to self love and adapt. Take the time to take care of yourself, give yourself extra sleep, get a massage, go to the gym, walk or do what you can but you must do something. I have just learned that I have a limited window in the day, not too early in the am and not too late as I'm exhausted. It is also ok to say no...if you find some task overwhelming or some request to much just say no. Ask for help, don't be afraid that you will lose your independence by asking for help, that help may be the very think that helps you become as independent as you are (such as modified work space, physiotherapy), allowing your partner to assist sometimes. It's humbling but there is no sense on the further frustration. Accept yourself for what you can do and offer and be ok with that. Love yourself💗 My mother told me she hates seeing me in pain, I told her that it was a way for my body to tell myself to slow down and take better care of myself. I have to draw the positive out.