Before you were diagnosed, did you go the doctor and was told the aches and pains you were feeling was from being overworked or just achy joints or even arthritis then told to take it easy and to take over the counter medicines. Of course that did not work so very soon you’re back at the doctor’s office again maybe they’re asking a few more questions and more examining but this time you’re given prescription medication in hopes that this time your issue will be fixed. No that doesn’t work for you either because what’s going on with you has yet to be diagnosed.
Another visit to the doctor only this time they’re thinking all of this is in your head since they cannot find anything wrong with you. Are they making you feel at fault for feeling they way you do! You know without a doubt there is something wrong but you have no idea what it is and you are much more confused than the doctors are. How could you know, after all you are the one who is looking for the answers you don’t have. All you know is you are not feeling good and it is not in your head. What is my diagnosis you’re wondering.
I remember before I was diagnosed I was always anemic and that was for a few years. My doctor could not figure it out because I was no longer having my cycle so there was no other reason why I should be anemic. She considered sending me to a Hematologist but that didn’t happen and I continued to be anemic. Coincidentally I’d had 4 surgeries for carpal tunnel never knowing I might have early stages of RA. The odd thing is I suffered from other injuries that took a long time to heal if it did totally and even had 2 more surgeries and somewhere in all of that I was told I had the RA Factor and that was that. Nothing more was done with it or about it so I never thought about it anymore.
Years later I end up with excruciating pain in my right thumb and that started my journey to being diagnosed. I was sent to a Rheumatologist who did not diagnose me at the time but gave me medicine that helped but did not totally rid me of the pain. So next came the pain to my right hand and my feet and I was finally able to be diagnosed. Thanks to my Rheumatologist who knew what to look for and how to conclude that I indeed had active rheumatoid arthritis. By the way, I am no longer anemic which was a tell tell sign into my future with RA. The journey to being diagnosed was a long one but in the end I did get my answer.
There are so many who face the same struggle trying to figure out what is going on with them. Suffering from day to day knowing there is something wrong and all they’re going through is not in their head but getting people to understand that is not always easy. The pain, the fatigue, fevers and emotional mess is all a part of a vicious disease that’s not always easy to diagnose. Once diagnosed comes the long journey of finding a way to make life bearable in all of the uncharted territories that will be entered with Rheumatoid Arthritis. We have all learned finding the right fix is as difficult if not more difficult than being diagnosed. Finding the answer to one thing may leave so many things unanswered.
The struggle to learn what has us all broken down is just a prelude to what Rheumatoid Arthritis has in store for us. The battle is hard but the key is to never give-up on ourselves because we are our own best advocates. This disease teaches us from the start how to fight even though the battle beats us at times. Giving up is not an option because if it was, we would still be searching for an answer to what is wrong with us. Though our quest for answers has only just began, we will keep going in hopes of a better day tomorrow .