Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Almost a Year Later

07.24.11

People ask me about my Rheumatoid Arthritis. Most days I smile and say something to make them feel better, because really that’s why they’re asking.

I went from 60 to zero in a matter of days. I went from running, loping really, long distances to needing naps twice daily and being unable to uncurl my hands. I was fit and trim, and then inactivity and medicines left me bloated and queasy. The uncontrollable parts of it all makes me uncomfortable, and I sense it does the same for the people around me.

I’m almost back to being me. I’m a little stiff in the mornings, and I can’t exercise for more than two hours. I’d like to play a proper tennis match, but if I stop exercise after 90 minutes I seldom ache in my joints, when I pass 90 minutes my hands, hips, knees and ankles ache for 24 hours. I’m confident that this will change and I will return to proper tennis.

The Simponi saved my life. It didn’t cure me of Rheumatoid Arthritis, yet, but the results have been so fabulous that if this is as good as it gets I’m really happy. I’m still taking hydroxychloroquine and we may add back the methotrexeate or some other chemo, but for now the two medicines seem to be knocking things out nicely.

I exercise every day. I exercise partly because I’m a person that needs to move and it makes me happy, and partly because it’s an important part of living with Arthritis. I don’t take my motion for granted as I once did, and I’ve added yoga back into the mix. I also spend at least 30 minutes every afternoon floating in the pool. The absence of gravity is wonderful.

When it was clear that I had RA I felt my world crashing in on me. I thought it was the end of everything. Now it’s just a bump in the road.