I just turned 40. It wasn't a big deal to me. I am not the type of person to focus on that. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at age 18. However, looking back at my life, I think I had symptoms as a child. I think I was misdiagnosed with flat feet. I certainly don't have flat feet now. But I was told that was the reason my knees ached horribly after a day of walking in flat sandals. Since my diagnosis, I have lost full range of motion in my elbows. That is minor though, my arms just don't extend fully and I have nodules on the elbow. The most affected areas are my wrists, hands and feet. My arthritis likes to eat away at my tendons. The first one was my thumb tendon that ruptured in 2000 when my daughter was 15 months old. It was a rainy day and my thumb was aching. I thought if I could just keep flexing it, the tension would ease up. Instead I felt a pop that made my eyes water and then my thumb didn't function quite right. I have since had multiple ruptures that had to be repaired. I have had the heads of all of my wrist bones on both hands removed. My wrist bones fused in place years ago. So I can't flex my hands back like most people. So no push ups for me! I tried to work a part time kitchen job as a lunch lady while my kids were younger. The 4 hours a day on my feet killed me. I used to have to slide out of my truck and brace myself on the door so I didn't fall from the pain in my feet after a day at work. Since then, I had to have the bones in my one foot fused. Now I have a nodule that formed on the bottom of the other foot and it likes to pronate out on the nodule because of fusion in the ankle bone. That makes finding part time employment to supplement my current job a challenge. I was thinking of trying to put some extra hours in somewhere to help pay down my school loans quicker and save for my kids college fund. I don't know where to start to find a job that could accomodate these issues. I will not go on disability if I can help it. I am strong and I will do this on my own.
So this is me...I know that sounds like a lot to take in but I am a happy person and I try to make the best of everything. I hope I am a good role model for my kids in perseverence. I wish I was also a good role model for being successful at taking back control of my weight. And I hope to have a successful career someday to show everyone that I can take care of myself.
Living With It in Rheumatoid Arthritis