I really am in my mid-30′s. I really am a guy. I really do live with rheumatoid arthritis.
That said, a real superhero never reveals his true identity.
My rheumatoid arthritis started when I was in my 20′s, although I had no idea back then that I was dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. My heels hurt, my knees creaked, and I slowly began to realize that these and other symptoms became more prominent during winter. I thought this was the normal aging process and that my body was just a little more achy because of the cold weather. (Ahh, the innocence of youth.)
As soon as I reached my 30′s, my body went haywire. The pain never went away. I lost the use of my knees. During my odyssey from doctor to doctor, I stumbled upon a rheumatologist, who confirmed that I did indeed have rheumatoid arthritis. I really did not know much about rheumatoid arthritis up until the time I was diagnosed.
In the five year since my diagnosis, I have learned a lot about rheumatoid arthritis.
I learned what TENS means. I gained weight. I regained the use of my knees. I got on meds. I got off meds. I got back on meds. I started doing yoga. I lost a lot of weight. I started taking hot baths. I started sleeping with wool socks. I started taking lots of NSAIDs. I started having stomach problems. I got depressed. I started wearing ankle braces. I started wearing wrist braces. I got happy. I started meditating. I started writing positive affirmations. I started pacing myself through my day-to-day activities. I went into remission. I came out of remission. I had lots of flares. I started therapy. I started getting early joint damage. I started this blog.
Most importantly, I started to learn how to LIVE with rheumatoid arthritis.
I have no doubt that I still have a lot to learn. I wish to share some of my ups and downs as I continue my journey through chronic pain and debilitating inflammation. I hope to use humor to try to lighten the situation. To my fellow superheros, when your joints start signaling with pulsating pain and red inflammation, please know – Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy is there!