One More (Male!) Rheumatoid Arthritis Blog

My Life And New Fight With RA

So here I am, diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 40 years old. Although my body has been dealing with pain and stiffness, lately it pales in comparison to what my mind has been going through. What will be in store for me in the future? Will I be able to pass my annual physical fitness test to remain employed as a firefighter next year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now? Why does my wife not seem the least bit concerned about this diagnosis? I know my current physical condition and workout routines helps with my condition and will certainly assist me long term with this disease. My fear physically, is the medication(s) I have been taking as well as MTX, which I started last night. I wish I had the ability to look ahead, find the answers to these questions as well as many more, and breathe a collective sigh of relief with what I see, good or bad.

9 Comments
9 comments
  1. Barbarella says:

    You got valid points to think about there. You are a firefighter, wow, that is an amazingly physically active job for an RA guy (I´m jealous hahah!), so no wonder you are worried about the future. However, worrying is a negative way to live every day. I have fibromyalgia on top of RA, and I don´t know how I will feel one day or the next, so I *have* to do it “one day at a time”, otherwise I would just go crazy with worry about the future. So I´m simply hoping for tomorrow being a “good” day RA and fibro-wise. Oh, don´t get me wrong, I DO worry too, but I am consciously trying not to, which is a start… :)

    Methotrexate?! Don´t want to worry you there, but after 6 months of taking that evil sh*t, my hair was falling out so much and getting thinner that I asked my rheum to put me back on Dolquine, and 3-4 months later all my hair was back to normal. Another reason why I wanted to go back on Dolquine was also because MTX did not help more or less than Dolquine, but Dolquine has fewer side effects. Anyways, I hope you get on with it and it helps you, but I would love to hear how you are getting on with it…

    I never wish I had the ability to look forward into the future because life would be so much less exciting, knowing what´s to come. And besides, I don´t want to see the bad things, and take away the surprise of the good things happening in my future life. :)

  2. Connie says:

    The what if’s and the how’s will really add up and bring you down. I go through it still everyonce in awhile, my days of tears and the why me’s and tired of being tired and what if I passed this to my children, what if the medication quits working. I am an LPN and currently in school finishing up my RN. I wonder everyday, what if the medication quits working. How will I work 12 hour shifts on the floor. Of course the medications wreck havoc on your immune system, and who do I work with. Sick people. Right now I work with geriatrics while I am in school and I see the future every time I go to work. I see their pain and agony just to function. We can’t spend every day worrying. We can’t be afraid to move because it may hurt. All we can do is go on. And pray. I don’t know if you havea faith, but if you do, give it to God and know that one day our bodies will be new and whole!
    And know that you are not alone. There are so many of us out there who suffer with this but “we don’t look sick”
    God bless you! And thank you for your work as a firefighter and the lives you save.

  3. Lorna says:

    Hey sorry to read about you RA. Dont worry though everyone is different. I was diagnosed with RA myself 2 years ago. One of the 5% really bad cases: hands were decoration (didn’t work) on 14 painkillers a day and still in pain. Every joint in my body hurt, couldn’t turn my head or my right arm. After 3 steroid injections, then beginning the triple therapy drugs for RA. MY Head was all over the place at so many tablets. But I said to myself “you have 2 choices lie down to it or deal with it” I dealt with it, I kept a diary of how I was and any affects of the tablets. 2 years later my drugs are halved. Im as good as I was before I was diagnosed,I have to watch not to get overtired or I ache a bit. On the hole I keep exceptionally well. I get regular blood tests to check all is ok. The drugs kick in big time after 12 weeks. I am a very positive person and my family are great. I to worry about the future but I dont let it get me down. I work in schools doing supply helping special needs children. It can be tiring, but rest when you feel tired and hopefully you will be fine. If buy any reason your drugs dont agree with you, there are plenty more out there to help. The RA team are great they are there to help you. Chin up its not the end of the world, although it feels like it to begin with. I had someone who was a great help to me when I was first diagnosed who has RA also. I hope I have been a help to you.

  4. Sarah Keturah says:

    Hi! So sorry to hear you have RA! Your wife probably doesn’t worry in front of you but does when she’s alone in her own head or talking to other family members. Or perhaps she’s in denial.

    As far as the drugs you take and your future… I did take MTX and other drugs for quite some time. I eventually went off of them and went another path. I now take supplements. It’s not exactly fun to take a bunch of pills but the results have been far more amazing (for myself) than the results were of conventional treatments. Plus, I have the comfort of knowing I’m taking things that lower my cholesterol and blood pressure, along with fight cancer.

    If your curious to learn more, I’ve written a lot of information down on my blog and I continue to learn about new things to try as time moves forward. You could always do a combo method and see what works for you. Look up Fibrin. Some doctors do fibrinogen tests. I fight Fibrin with Serracor-NK. It really works. Also look up Low Dose Naltrexone.

    Good luck to you!
    hugs,
    Sarah

  5. Brian Twohig says:

    I can relate to your fears, your pain and uncertainty. I was very much crippled – I couldn’t hold a piece of chalk ( I was a teacher) and had extreme difficulty walking. For the past six years I have been symptom free and very active. ( I have a Group site on Facebook – Rheumatoid Arthritis Stories )I was very reluctant to take any medications but eventually when I could barely move – I did. For the past 6 years I have been on Methotrexate and Humira. I don’t have any problems with these medications – thankfully. I am not trying to offer a prescription for you but I just want to say don’t give up and don’t be discouraged by others horror stories – we all have had them. Now I’m riding big mountains, lifting weights and leading a fitness class at the YMCA. I don’t say this as a boast but only as encouragement – don’t give in!!!

  6. Carla Anderson says:

    I know how you feel. When I was diagnosed I thought my life would end. Softball and volleyball were my life and I wasn’t able to play those any more. I have been on all forms of MTX(14 yrs) as well as prednisone for 18 yrs. The side effects were terrible. I am a doctors night mare. I would only take meds if I absoluetly had to. Thankfully I was abe to get off of 5 prescription drugs using a natural supplement. My only presccription now is Orencia Infusions….. I feel so Blessed to have almost no pain anymore…..
    Life can go on and you can do all the things you do now. A positive attitude will be a huge part of keeping you well. People are amazed I have only had surgery on my feet any no where else. I have found that when I live my life like I don’t have RA I feel so much better. “The power of a positive attitude” goes a long way!
    Keep the faith. I have found that have RA has turned out to be a blessing. Who knows whats in store for you. Maybe God plans on using it in your job. Keep your eyes and ears opeBlessings on your day,

    Carla

  7. Terry says:

    Mike, I was diagnosed 6 years ago and still work a pretty physical job as well plus I workout with weights and do cardio. Reading this brought me back to my diagnosis and what I was feeling and worried about, pretty much everything you are. I live with mild pain and the occasional flare ups where your pain level spikes, but in the last 6 years have only missed one day of work due to my RA. Your life is not over, it just changes and if you are willing to change with it, you can still enjoy life. I raced motorcycles for 15 + years, but now ride dual sport rides instead. It’s not as exciting, but I’m still on my dirt bike.

  8. Tom says:

    My RA is certainly nothing compared to what I’ve read about in this thread so I definitely sympathize with you. I’d been having on and off joint pain in my fingers for over a decade and about 5 years ago, it was mostly on rather than off. In that 5 year period two joints in my hands started looking like what I remember my grandmother’s hands looking like. They would hurt if I even looked at them. Other finger joints also hurt also but there didn’t seem to be any visible joint damage yet.

    6 months ago I started taking an OTC nutraceutical and was surprised that the daily pain in my hands went away. I’ve had no flare-ups since that time and the only pain that I have left is in the finger joints already damaged and only when I bend them too far or twist them.

    You’re much younger than I, I’m 63, but you’re right, physical activity will definitely help. I wish you good luck.

    One thing that I noticed in reading through this blog and others is that most posts and comments are from women. Is the rate of RA really that much higher in women than in men or is it that men just don’t want to talk about it?

  9. zena says:

    Hi, Im also 40 and was diagnosed just after christmas, it was a terrible time for me and my family as i looked horrific was constantly in pain, could hardly walk, couldnt open my christmas presents! im a teacher and ex athlete so im very active. it was a massive shock to be told i had RA! i started on steroids and dolqu, then added in methro aswell. I have to try and come off the steroids gradually which i have done and im having twinges already! i worry about side effects, liver damage etc etc but i have no idea what to do really, i just listen to the doctor and obey him! i go again in may for tests and then to the hospital to see the specialist. lets see what happens. by the way i look and feel loads better so far and dont seem to have side effects apart from a cloudy left eye!! hope you are ok

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