My name is Cathy. I also respond to" Mom", "Momma", "Cateepoo"," Cath", and "Teacher". I am many things to many people. I am a wife of 22 years to Steve, I am a child led homeschooling mom to Alexander, 14 and Sophia, 12. I am a sister to five siblings. I am an adult ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. I am a friend. I am the owner of a four year old border collie and I am a life learner. I also have rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis has been active in my life for the last seven years. I began experiencing symptoms in early January of 2004 when I was 36 years old. At first I woke up with sore stiff fingers. Within a few months my knees were stiff and swollen and I was taking each step on the stairs one at a time. My shoulders would freeze up and I would need assistance undressing. Based on the results of my RA Factor, symptoms, x-rays, and more, I am now considered to have "severe" rheumatoid arthritis.
In the seven years that rheumatoid arthritis and I have shared together, we have had many experiences. Early on I tried a combination of Methotrexate and Plaquenil. The results were increased symptoms. Then I started work with a naturopath who put me on an elimination diet and with the combination of diet and drugs, I went into remission for several years. In 2008 I decided to give up drugs and unfortunately added back some inflammatory foods and spent the next two years playing around with various alternative methods. Finally in July of 2010 I found a winning combination that is allowing me to live life pretty much as I want with a few flares here and there. I am currently taking a combination of Methotrexate and Enbrel. I also follow the guidelines of a Paleo Diet.
How have I survived rheumatoid arthritis? I have two very important things going for me. First, I have an enormously supportive family that encourages me to try new things and makes the best of the bad days. Second, I was either given the wonderful gift of optimism from my parent's genes or from my upbringing. Either way, I tend to always look for the positive in any situation. With this attitude I have found rheumatoid arthritis to be something that has given my life many great things. I hope to share these great things and more with you here.
Published On: February 18, 2011