Real Profiles of Rheumatoid ArthritisPhotos © Annie
Plainfield, Indiana, United States
How long have you lived with RA?
I had gotten very sick with RA around 7 years ago and finally got diagnosed 6 years ago.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?
I would advise people no matter what age they may be is not to be scared. This is just a “speed bump” in life. By having this disease, I believe it only makes us stronger. Also, don’t let people degrade you for it. This makes you special.
Do you use any mobility aids?
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
I’ve had numerous people came up to me and telling me that they never knew arthritis can happen in younger people. I’m ready to be an advocate for those my age to tell people that I’m not even half the population with people my age that has a form of Arthritis.
Do you have any visible signs of RA?
As of right now my fingers are turning to the side, but I have “ring straighteners” that veer them back to being straight. My fingers and toes are like normally very swollen. Thankfully, I have no more visible deformities. Unfortunately, the RA had gotten into my joints such as my shoulders and hips.
Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?
I absolutely love to cry. I believe it can be the best way to let out frustration. When I am stressed because my doctor’s appointments are not going the way that I want to go, or I just feel like a blob, I just sit in my bed and listen to music.
Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?
Currently, I am taking plaquenil, along with B-12 injections. Other than that, I like to be on less medication as possible.
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?
Along with RA I was diagnosed with multiple other health problems. I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, Lupus (yay for Rupus!), and Crohn’s disease. Thankfully I was diagnosed with RA so I can handle all these other “speed bumps”! I love to joke around about my diseases’, but I will never let them tear me down.