Healing My Rheumatoid Arthritis with Functional Medicine
I am a 32-year-old mother of three children (ages 12, 9, and 7). I am happily married and a teacher by profession, although I don’t work in the system currently because I am educating my own children at home. My mother and my paternal grandmother both have or have had rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
My symptoms began when I was nine years old but were largely dismissed as “growing pains” by doctors. By seventh grade, I was wrapping my joints in bandages and forging notes from home to get out of PE because I was in pain. By 15 I was self medicating with prescription pain killers intended for menstrual cramps. My mother suspected juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, but the doctors continued to just dismiss it. I took a lot of pills, missed a lot of school, but was able to pretty much get by. Honestly, I thought I was normal. Besides, if I hurt, I could just pop some pills, sleep it off, and be fresh in the morning. This was how I managed until one fateful day when I was 26. While lifting chicken out of the oven, my wrist popped. At the time, it was no big deal; I was used to my joints popping and causing pain. This time however, the pain did not go away no matter what I did.