Who Am I?

I am 19 years old and was diagnosed with RA about a month or two ago. Before I was diagnosed I had come out of a terrible break up and was finally feeling great, and that I could conquer the world. When I was diagnosed with RA though, I felt so lost. I was in excrutiating pain and could bairly move. I was depressed all the time and although I am on medication, my life still feels at a stand still. My ankle is swollen up because of the arthrits and when i walk i limp. It hurts more than anything and the dr says i just need to wait for it to get better on its own. People stare and others even ask if im ok. It all just is so embarassing and I feel like a different person. I have absolutely no control over my body or the pain. There is noone in my family or even friends that understand the physical or emotional toll that RA is taking on me. People say they know how i feel because theyre hands hurt for a day or theyre feet hurt. They have NO IDEA and it makes me so angry that they think they have the type of pain I have. My whole body was in complete pain before my meds and now its slowly gone down. I just feel like ive lost faith not only in myself but in God. RA has made me bitter and I just wish I could be normal. I cant accept the fact I have RA and trust me, I have tried. I just feel like i have no idea who I am anymore.
Alyxxlafs Alyxxlafs
18-21, F
3 Responses Dec 11, 2012

Never loose sense of who you are. It is our identities that make whole and human. Contact me if you ever feel alone. But honestly your not. I suffer like you do. I had to wait an entire month to see a specialist because I couldn't get an appt sooner. I am reaching out to you because I believe in you and all I can offer is not feeling alone or loosing touch with who you are.

Hi Alyxxlafs, I was diagnosed with RA in 2008. I agree with RATrucker, the first year is the hardest, but be your own advocate. My first rheumatologist was overloaded and wasn't very responsive, so I went and sought out another one who was much better. Even so, my treatment wasn't controlling my pain very well (Plaquenil, Methotrexate, & Meloxicam). I had to ask him for a disability parking tag because I couldn't make it across the parking lot. One day while I was in his office I noticed a flyer for a clinical trial. I mentioned it to him and he said he'd get back to me, but he forgot so I called them directly - best thing I ever did. I was on the clinical trial for Tofacitinib (now approved under the trade name Xeljanz). It was a very good year, now I am waiting to get in to see my rheumy to see if I can get on a regular RX. As for the whole horrific emotional aspect I feel for you. I really do. The people who say they understand are trying to be nice, so I give them points for trying - crazy-making as they are. Let yourself be mad. RA sucks, it isn't fair. But remember that RA isn't you, it's a sucky disease that has sucker-punched you, but when I read your post I hear a fighter. RA hasn't got you beat by a long shot.

Hi Alyxxlafs, I was diagnosed with RA in April 2010. The first year is very hard but it does get better. My rheum doc started me on methotrexate but after two and a half months I was only getting worse and she added Humira which was a miracle drug. After a year it began to stop working and I was on Enbrel until a few weeks ago when it lost it's fizz a bit too. I just started Actemra and am hoping this will last a few years. The treatment for RA is much better than it was 20 years ago- but the first line drugs often take a few months to kick in. Can your doc give you a prednisone taper to help bridge you until your med kicks in? Wish you the best:)