What Untreated Rheumatoid Arthritis Feels LikeWhen I wake up in the morning, my knees are swollen to almost twice their normal size. The first few steps are agonizing, more of a shuffle than actual steps. My shoulders ache constantly, as does my neck. Not an ache, really, more of a sense of someone grinding a hot poker into them. Both knees and both shoulders feel like wet bags of sand, and when I am lying flat it is difficult to raise my arms at all. My hands do not open or close all the way. Sometimes I can't hold onto things because they start shaking. I tried to pick-up a cupcake the other day and if my husband hadn't grabbed it I would have tossed it onto the floor. My neck cracks when and if I can move it. The burning pain goes from my shoulders across and up into the back of my head. I have bumps on the 2nd joints of my fingers, and lumps on the back of my wrists. I have huge rheumatoid nodules behind each ankle and on each elbow. The one on my right elbow is the size of a ba
I know it makes it worse to go up and down the stairs from my apartment, but sometimes there is no choice. Yesterday, a wonderful woman from the SSA called and helped me fill out disability papers over the phone. However I had to go in there and sign them, which meant a trip up and down the stairs when my legs were in no shape for it. But this lady was the first person since I lost my job to actually give me some hope of getting help, and I could not express my gratitude for her enough. I said that I understood most people get denied for SSDI the first time, but she said this is not true. If you do everything the way you are supposed to and follow the guidelines, there is no reason not to be approved. I guess it is up to the doctors now, and how they respond to the SSA regarding my conditions. I probably won't hear anything until February, but at least the process is started, and done the right way with her help. She was definitely an angel in disguise when I needed it most.
Two months ago before I lost my job, my RA was under control, and had been for many years. It is scary how fast it can take over your life when there is nothing fighting it. My family is watching me slowly die from this, and becoming basically helpless and useless. This is especially hard because I am the "strong" one, the one everyone comes to for answers, for support, and they are now having to do everything for me. I am putting my faith in God to get us all through this. He has never let us down before.