How has your condition affected you? My condition has affected me in several ways. The worst part of all of this for me was waiting for a diagnosis. I feared that I had a deadly disease that would rob me of my opportunity to live a long and full life with the man that I love and our beautiful children. I have resolved to never take my time with them for granted. I have also become more aware of toxins in our homes. I have tried to shift towards buying organic food and green cleaning products, though the strain on our budget is difficult. I am truly less energetic than I used to be, which is far more frustrating than the constant pain in my hands and feet. I feel that despite great ambitions for my life, I am somewhat limited by the constant and overwhelming fatigue. This makes me sad or angry more often than I would like to admit.
What would you like for other people to know about Rheumatoid Arthritis? People should know that having Rheumatoid Arthritis is more than pain in your joints. It is experiencing all of the feelings that I described and more. It is nearly invisible to an outsider, but the pain and fatigue are real and intense.
What would you like to tell someone who was recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis? If someone was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, I would tell them to always look for the silver lining in any bad situation. Although it is hard to believe, having RA has had a positive effect on my life in some ways. My husband and I have grown closer after my diagnosis. I feel overwhelming love and gratitude when he steps up to the plate, when I am too tired to handle something. I cherish every moment with him and our children. I have become a better mother by being very aware of my children's nutrition, with the hope of preventing them from developing an autoimmune disease. I have been a better friend by providing support to my other friends with similar conditions. When I am sad, I try to focus on these things and spoil myself with my favorite coffee, of course!
Thank you so much Katy!