Receiving a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis instantly changed my life.
Nothing can prepare you for the feeling that your body is failing you. A few months ago, my shoulder began to ache, a deep burning pain that wouldn’t subside no matter how much rest I gave it. Then, my other shoulder followed suit. I didn’t give it much thought initially because shoulder pain and surgeries run in my family, but then my hands and feet started to feel numb and tingly. One night my knees swelled up and felt warm to the touch. So, I did what almost everyone does when mysterious symptoms manifest and consulted Dr. Google. That is where I first began to delve into the complicated world of autoimmune diseases.
At first, I was convinced I was experiencing hypothyroidism, a disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue and joint and muscle pain. I met with my primary care doctor and we discussed having some blood work done. As the appointment drew to a close a thought crossed my mind. In truth, it was something I kept coming across online but was afraid to even voice because the idea of facing this disease terrified me. “Is there any way it could be rheumatoid arthritis?” I asked the doctor. “Absolutely,” he responded and added additional tests.
|Read on: Being Diagnosis with Rheumatoid Arthritis Changes Your Life|