We Are Stronger Than Our Bodies

I read these stories in here and i feel humbled to even "share my story." This is a bastardly disease for which 99% of the world does not give a second thought (or a first). I first want to recognize all of you out there who are struggling to get through each day each task at a time - you inspire others. One of the things i have learned about my r/a is that w/o it i do not know i would be who i am...through our suffering comes meaining in life. the price is way to high if you ask me most days, but can't change that so why bother talking about it. I can't remember the last day i had no pain. Every day is a struggle between maintaining hope and taking actions to increase my odds of being healthier in the futre and being beaten down by pain and limitation to the point that i have to fight just to do what needs to be done. I have had 8 or 9 surgeries now...most of them helped. I am an active man...i run, kayack, work out at the gym, play basketball, hike, play with my 2 sons, play with my wife, and whatever else i want to do. When i was 18 - i had to call my parents over to my apartment to help me get out of bed to go to the bathroom - i had my father carry me to the room b/c my joints were so swollen i could not use my legs or arms. that was a horrbile day for me...but i can't imagine for my parents - to see thier son so crippled by this. it took the rheumatoligist and lots of different drugs to get me stable. my ankle was the size of a softball. other joints were stiff as rocks. hurt so bad. started working out in a gym - would make me feel better - mabey gave me sense of control where i felt i lost it. struggle back and forth with going the disability route or fighting the fight for normalcy. i did not go the disability route. i stuck to what was working with meds...although 8 years of prednisone wrecks havoc on your skeleton density. Eventually - disease modifiyers came out - metho and enbril...and lastly humera...that one has been the best so far. i stick to what works - outside of weak immunity - not bad - so i take extra precautions - should do that anyway. R/A has a way of making you do all the things you should do anyway (exercise, not drink to much, eat right, sleep right, etc.). so this list surgery was on my elbow...i was hopeful it would fix the deformity and pain that has evolved over the years to what it is. for the past 5 years or so i have been pretty stable - no signifcant flareups - some here and there, but quickly managed by experience and steroids....so this was overdue. everyday i wake from a night full of pain and waking to deal with this gimp limb that is wrecked in the middle. the pain erodes my sense of happiness everymoment it gets. I have adjusted my expectations as much as i can and i know this is not how i will life the rest of my lift. i have scheduled with another orthopedist - the last one told me that i would have to deal with not having cartilage in there and that this would be how i will have to live. i am sure if it was his elbow instead of mine he would be racking his brain to figure out how to improve qulity of life. i am not young, but i am not old either. plenty of good years left here. need to have the quality enough to do what i want to do. not asking that much. i know i am fortunate to be able to do all i can considering the level of deformity i read about and have seen from this bastardly disease. i have made choices along the way to do all i can do ...to aggressivly stop this disease form taking away my life choices...kicking it out of my joints so i can still use them. it kills me when i am at the gym and i see the other guys looking buff - sculpted...and i know i put in the effort - but i will never see those results because my jionts cant take the weight, the connective tissue cannot hold it...the muscels cannot get ripped hard enough to produce the desired results. but i adjust my expecations - i remember a woman friend who recently passed - rod in her back, fingers knarled, other health issues...and i know how lucky i am to be able to push through the pain and do what i have to. i hope and pray that all of you suffering with this disease are able to find meaning in your pain - to use it to move you toward better things. people who do not have R/A do not know pain the way we do...they life lives aloof to the suffering and the strength that comes from this that does not kill us. we are determined. we are stonger than our bodies.
hopefulfighter hopefulfighter
2 Responses Nov 25, 2012

I enjoyed reading your story. I am so thankful that I have been able to address my symptoms from the get go. But I can say that the experience of an auto accident at the age of 51, changed my life at the snap of your finger. I was never willing to give up, and it has been six and 1/2 years of going forward each day to get to where I am today. I was forced to retire from my career as a dog groomer, of nineteen years, and being self employed, I was not eligible for Social Security until I am 62. I am so blessed to of found the Plexus Products and become an Ambassador for Plexus Worldwide, to share my testimony with others. These fast relief products have given me pain free status, and my quality of life back, without prescription medications. I have been 100% pain free for 25 consecutive weeks now. I am truly blessed for this. You may want to check out my website: www.plexusslim.com/judyyork #143664.

Hi there,

Thank you for sharing your story on the forum.

I am a researcher starting to work in healthcare industry since last year. Slowly through the project that we work with RA, I have learned so much about how people with RA have suffered.

Now, I work for a consultant company called DeltaMV Knowledge Solutions (www. deltamv.com). We are working on a project called RA patient journey. To finish the project well, we need to talk to people who have been diagnosed with RA to understand what they have gone through. The result from the project will help us to write up recommendation on how to build a better support program for RA patients in Australia.

We are very much interested in your experiences if you live in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth or suburbs near these cities . This is a paid research. We will compensate your time for $100 in cash for an hour interview.

If you are interested please email me at 043 101 5330.

Thank you,

Trang Tran