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13 Responses to “10 Ways I Know RA Is Not Your Fault”

    1. Pamela Timson says:

      Thank you for reminding me that my disease is not caused or cured by what I eat/don’t eat or what I do/don’t do. I sometimes let people guilt me into thinking that I can do more to get myself better, when I truly am doing all that I can.

    2. Sandra Porter says:

      One of the nicest things that happened to me after I received my rheumatoid diagnosis was a visit to my primary care physician. She looked right at me and said “This is not your fault.” She went on to explain that it was not anything I did or did not do that caused this to happen to me.

      It was such a relief!

      She had already saved my life by insisting I follow up with a gynecologist when the symptoms I had reported suggested cancer. She was right, and prompt surgery removed the cancer. Ironically, I did not need chemo at that time, but now I have regular infusions to treat rheumatoid and overlapping conditions.

      I love my internist!

    3. Tony Kitchell says:

      Thank you For all your information. I found your site shortly after being told I had rd in 2015. Other than being told that my condition was incurable from my doctor, all of my early knowledge came from you. Besides knowledge also encouragement the things that were happening to me were part of the disease.
      Thank you

    4. Catherine says:

      Oh Kelly – how I needed this – it isn’t my fault – thank you – as always your words always make me feel included not excluded as I feel with a lot of people. Its such a lonely life with this disease.

    5. Shona says:

      Please believe me, I know that getting RA is not our fault. In fact, if there’s any fault at all I would say it is in the standard American diet. I was diagnosed in 2009. I am anti-ccp positive. I was on Methotrexate, Humira and Plaquenil for 8 years. In March of 2016 I started eating a plant based diet. A plant based diet is a very low inflammatory diet. I removed all processed food, milk, wheat, and meat. My diet consist of vegetables, fruit, whole grains like quinoa, nuts and seeds. By March of 2017 I came off all my meds with no symptoms. My doctor says I’m in remission. I am not one in a million, but one of thousands that have found relief with this type of diet. Inflammation is at the heart of all disease, especially ours! I have kept up with this blog since I was diagnosed, and I realize that some will say diet has no effect,and I thought that as well, until I committed to eating this way. It has changed my life! Read Dr. Joel Fuhrmans book “Eat to LIVE!” This is not an advertisement, I have never paid for anything except the book and my own foods from the grocery store. In whatever way anyone finds relief I wish them well.

    6. Cathy says:

      Hi Kelly,
      I truly appreciate having a source for real information about RD from someone who lives the reality of this terrible unforgiving disease. I was recently diagnosed With Seronegative RA and the first thing I said to the Rheumatologist was my labs were normal and I was too old (67) to have RA. LOL Sometimes denial is the only ally you can find. I went home totally stunned and started an online search for RD/RA info and found your blog. I got your book and read it. It makes so much more sense to look st this as a whole body disease and not just a “hand disease”. In retrospect I believe mine started 10 years ago with the periodic loss of my voice along with wrist and thumb pain. I was diagnosed as having Fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel. I had cortisone shots in my wrists for a couple years and things quieted down. I lost my insurance and ignored my pinky fingers deforming. I am an artist and this last year has been devastating for me. My hands and ankles swelled up and the pain sent me to a doctor. But it took a whole year before I was referred to a rheumatologist. I finally asked for tests and X-rays. It was not easy journey. I’m now on Methotrexate and hoping I’ll be back in my studio soon. Again thank you Kelly from the bottom of my heart. You made me understand the need to self advocate.

    7. Jennifer Tucker says:

      Hi Kelly,
      Loved this post. For the past four days my RD has been nearly unbearable. I was diagnosed at 15, went into remission after gold treatments for 3 years and stayed in remission until my dad died in 2015. I have been through methotrexate, Humira, and now am taking Enbrel. Honestly, I can’t tell I’m taking anything.

      Thursday night I woke up from a dead sleep with my shoulders screaming and my hands and wrists burning. (I wear compression gloves at night to help with morning stiffness and pain), My stomach was sick and I felt like I had a fever. (I didn’t.) Since Thursday, my activity has been severly limited. Holding a plate of food is too heavy. Being somewhere other than my house, is too tiring. I lasted an hour at my in-laws Thanksgiving yesterday and then asked my son to bring me home. They were somewhat irritated with me until my husband told them I wasn’t feeling well. (That whole invisible disease thing really causes issues.)

      So now that my small vent session is over, I have a question. I have been doing PT for the past two weeks. I go three times a week. The PT is for my neck and shoulders. Sometimes I feel really sore from the PT and sometimes I feel better. Sometimes I swear what they have me do aggravates my shoulder joints, and gripping bands and hand bikes certainly do. So what am I supposed to do about my hands and wrists in therapy? They hurt when I do doorway stretches. They hurt when I grip the handle for the bands. They hurt when I grip the hand bike. They hurt so much for the littlest things. Any advice?

      Also, would you go to a doctor that didn’t treat fibromyalgia and who does not prescribe pain medication, and instead outsources you to a pain management doctor for it? I’m still not happy with the doctor I have. I want an accessible doctor. Is that too much to ask? I sometimes wonder if they know the type of patients they see everyday.

      Anyway… I love this site. It has kept me going. Sometimes it is hard not to just fall into despair. I know that sounds dramatic, but this disease is dramatic. It steals things away from you. Slowly and painfully, and although it may not sound like it, I DO have a positive attitude. I go to therapy because I am hopeful, I take Enbrel because I am hopeful. I go to appointments because I am hopeful. But I’m let down again and again.


    8. Melinda says:

      Thank you so much for this article. For many years I have blamed myself for having RA. People have shamed me for having RA. I blamed myself for not handling my abusive marriage better. It created a tremendous amount of stress which may have led to the RA surfacing. My fraternal Uncle had RA so it’s already in my genes. That certainly isn’t my fault.

    9. Our body does work in strange ways. People, who have never had a smoke in their lives, suddenly get diagnosed with lung cancer. Genetics have a part to play in rheumatoid arthritis. This autoimmune disorder, sometimes get triggered due to certain genes associated with chronic inflammation or immune system, present in our body. You are right to say, that RA is nobody’s fault.

    10. Dottie Donadson says:

      Hi Kelly,
      I’ve been in here all day! Here being RAW blogs/links.
      I am 52 dx’d @ 28. Heavy sigh.
      Currently, I am peeling back some layers in the emotion/mental health area. It’s a mess! I do believe I caused my RA·RD. Although ..(always the what about ·isms begin!😊😄) I did get very very flu sick before I was dx’d and had always read some strep-b connection to RA. I’m not really into all the research..bc I get very overwhelmed and I tend to just “neg” things as a natural response.
      Another reason why ‘peeling the onion’.
      So, I end at the conclusion that there is no real cause or fix for RA and it cannot be known to us.NOTE: I am kinda in the ‘looking at life from 20 billion miles away’ perspective -another onion layer!
      I had a relationship end/marraige proposal withdrawn-i still have the brand new 2K$ dress- and got sick, very badly, and my thinking at the time (well maybe a couple years distant) was that stuffing my emotional pain inside and not dealing with it was to blame. At 52, today, I imagine there were a lot of contributing factors and I may never know them at all! I have to be ok with that bc the issue now is is getting very hard on my own. I am very frightened by the future. I have no friends-self isolated for many years-anxiety/depression and..😄😊😋? Meaning maybe other mental health conditions- which are also impossible- or nearly-to isolate and pinpoint. My parents are aged and in end stage so support from them (besides financial!) is not really available. I am in therapy – YAY! and working with buddhist mindfulness to attempt to change /shift thought processes. Create a new brain open to love and life. I am considering radical diet change-vegan- which I have also always resisted bc I said to self ‘ Im already miserable, I can’t take away my one joy in life-Food. Even writing this gives me good perspective of where my head was and still is. [The joy in my life isn’t a thing like food. Joy is my LIFE. IM alive! ]
      So, thanks for helping me peel and examine the onion. It’ll all work out in the end- one way or another. I’m gonna be more open to my life, my joy. Peace to you and yours and all reading this!

    11. Pam says:

      Hello. Your post was very honest, and I appreciate it. I was diagnosed with ra a little over a year ago. Having flare ups often now, leaving me unable to go to work. Not taking any meds, but fear that is in my future. Scary. Unknown. Hit me out of the blue. Please know you are not alone. I empathize. Take care.

    12. David Lloyd says:

      Thanks Kelly for another good article. I was diagnosed in 1999 with RA and am grateful to still be here. This disease takes no prisoners! This british doctor was writing in the press (I live in Manchester), that RA patients should exercise more and stop being lazy. I was furious and wrote to him “How can you exercise if you can hardly walk? Thanks Kelly for encouraging us all to keep +ve and warring on.

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