Welcome! I am Cathy. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis!

Cathy Health Guide
  • 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.

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    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