Name: RA Guy
Location: United States and Bolivia, South America
Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at age 32. (Symptoms started at age 29.)
How has your condition affected you? I'm at a good place right now, and can definitely say that my condition has changed me for the better...although this hasn't always been the case. I've learned the beauty of slowing down, of going out to breathe fresh air, and of taking nothing for granted. I've also learned that so many people are there to help me and support me when I need it, and that counts for a lot. I'm in no way trying to underestimate the effect that the pain and disability has had on my life, which has been serious indeed...but as with anything else, it comes down to staying positive, and focusing on what I can control. I used to yearn for the life I might have had, had it not been for my rheumatoid arthritis...but I've since learned to appreciate the stronger person that I've become due to the health challenges that I face on a regular basis, and wouldn't change a thing.
What would you like for other people to know about your condition? I'm not a patient who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. I'm a person who LIVES with rheumatoid arthritis.
What would you like to tell someone who is recently diagnosed with your condition? Things will definitely change more than you can imagine, and the pain will always be there...but with the right mindset and continued movement, there is a way to continue to live a happy and productive life. Use every challenge you encounter as an opportunity to learn something new about yourself. And always, always, always look on the bright side of things. It may not be easy, but it will be possible.
RA Guy’s Favorite Quote: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Thoreau
RA Guy’s Blog: www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com