Im in dire need of social support. It shatters me that theres hardly anyone out there whos facing this at a young age. I feel like im an anomaly
My symptoms began in my twenties, and I was diagnosed at 31 (I'm 36 now). My symptoms were very severe and affected almost every major joint in my body and several tendons. Many of the medications I tried also made me ill. I went from riding my bike 40-60 miles every Saturday morning and being on track to achieve my career goals to needing handicap parking and having to go on a reduced work schedule and, eventually, medical leave. It took over 1.5 years to find the right medication and get my symptoms under control. I thought my career and active lifestyle were over, and I spent a lot of time mourning my illness.
It took longer and was harder than I planned, but, since getting my symptoms under control, I have advanced in my career and I have reclaimed my active lifestyle. I've hiked several mountains since my diagnosis, and I'm running a half marathon next month. I still get flares, and life is harder with RA, but I've made so much more progress than I ever imagined I would. I have also spoken to others who had a severe onset of RA in college and were ultimately able to get enough control over the disease to pursue their professions and raise a family. Hang in there.
Mari I have had RA for 38 years. I have taken MANY drugs. I have no visible deformities (and you WILL have them if you do not take the drugs). I have had a close to normal life. I have worked, raised 2 kids and travelled the world. My fervent advice: TRUST YOUR DOC, TRY THE MEDS.
I was diagnosed at 24. 34 now and RA has always been extremely aggressive with me. Affects from my jaw joints down to my toes. Every single joint. When I was first diagnosed it was debilitating. But it's gotten better over the years. I've tried many different drugs throughout the years. Now I just try to control the inflammation with my diet which helps (gluten free, dairy free, red ,meat free) (Drink anti inflammatory smoothie daily) Most Rheaumy say diet doesn't affect RA which is ridiculous...cut out inflammatory foods and inflammation will decrease duh, it's science lol it wont cure it obviously but it helps a lot. I hate being on meds (to each their own) People shouldn't be bullied into taking them and in my experience you get that a lot, I don't disagree with taking meds if that is right for them. I have dealt with side affects but not too serious ones, the main reasons I don't take them is because they cause me a lot of anxiety, constantly worrying about what they are doing to me body etc. etc. I am in quite a bit of pain daily, I take aleve when needed. Which helps take the edge off. When I was first diagnosed I was devastated. I didn't know what to expect but knew that it would be a hard life. In some ways it's been harder than I imagined an in other ways it has been more manageable than I could have imagined. We are strong, we figure it out, we manage! because we have no choice but to keep going. I go to the gym, I roller skate, I hike when I feel good, cause I know that those days where I need to lay in bed and do nothing are right around the corner. So the days I feel good I live them to the fullest. I have been greatly humbled by this disease, I would not be the person of gratitude I am today without it.
🥰You'll be ok. We manage.
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