I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, a horrible, debilitating and life altering disease. One that has changed my life in so many ways but I have to say not in ways that I’m sure is as bad as some other sufferers lives have been changed. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a devastating disease that can take years to be diagnosed for so many of us. Thus the long journey began.
I was first diagnosed in 2011 but I can’t say that’s when it was first active. There were years of different issues that puzzled me but I never in a million years would have attributed it to RA even though I was known to have the gene in 1996. I was naive and didn’t know exactly what that meant and was never told what it meant. Neither did any of the doctors I saw over the years had a clue, so why would I but looking back maybe precious time was missed. Lucky for me though, I didn’t suffer any disfiguring joints but I did suffer lots of other problems along the way.
I remember the ankle injury that would never heal to the point the doctors told me the pain was in my head. It was so bad I actually start to question myself but I pulled it together and fought against the system but later found that due to the long term suffering I had suffered a tear. So in the end I had surgery to repair the tear and to this day I am still suffering from the years without a diagnosis. The pain is still there though it did get better but there’s always the constant reminder of what happens when things are unfounded and diagnosis are hard to confirm. This all sounds like what RA is and does.
Then there were the 4 surgeries I had for carpal tunnel which can be some of your first signs that something is wrong. The first surgery which was on my left hand and arm was a disaster for many reasons. The surgery to my ulna nerve in my elbow is a constant reminder of how a surgery can go wrong. Being younger I didn’t know it wasn’t right and I didn’t know what to expect but still to this day there is numbness to my elbow and a horrible scar that remains and the pain is still a constant reminder during flares. Sure that’s no excuse but the damage had been done.
My second set of surgeries which was on my right hand and arm took place a couple years later but went much smoother and doesn’t give me as many problems today. Even though the scars aren’t as visible they are there to remind me of the pain that I have and had to endure for those years. This is what makes me wonder if my RA began long before I was diagnosed. It is a mystery and one that won’t be answered because of the time passed. It is unfortunate that no one chose to check me for it during that time even though I was diagnosed with the gene so early on and I myself never knew to put the coincidences together. Would it have made a difference I wonder!
I guess that is the mystery of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is hard to diagnose for some of us. I have Seronegative RA: it is the diagnosis of RA without the presence of antibodies in the blood. It is one of the two main types of rheumatoid arthritis. This is one reason why so many sufferers have a hard time being diagnosed and are being told their pain is in their head and/or there is something else wrong with them. This is exactly how I felt all of those years ago when I was suffering. I know it should have been up to the doctors to diagnose me when I was having problems but they didn’t, I had to fight. Luckily for me, I was finally able to get a doctor who figured it out and let me know what was wrong with me and why I was having so much pain but years later, 15 years later.
Well this is all for now and thank you for taking the to visit my blog. I will continue with my walk down this difficult and trying path with Rheumatoid Arthritis-a chronic life time condition. More updates on my life.