For me, a Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis was a very long process. From the teen years on, sudden painful flares attacked my hands, feet, hips, and shoulders – only I had no idea they were called flares.
The whole process seemed rather comical, like a scene from a Dick Van Dyke episode: healthy girl falls down as hip goes out from under. There would be raised eyebrows as I limped for a few days, and then I’d feel fine. I was tired a lot, but I was a busy mom with thyroid disease, so that was easy to ignore.
The flares in the shoulders and feet were more painful. But they were considered no more serious to doctors or others to whom I confided. As a matter of fact, the worse the flares, the less I confessed. It can feel humiliating to have doctors accuse you exaggerating. A normal sed rate assured the doctors that my problem was psychological.
Finally, a Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis
About four years ago, that all changed. One joint after another flared, but it did not get better. The joints fell like dominoes until every one of them had fallen. There was also the fever, the weight loss, the flushing and rashes. The mystery for me is now solved: somehow, the birth of my last child triggered a case of Palindromic Rheumatism or mild Rheumatoid Arthritis to become “full blown” severe RA.
The years of my mystifying complaints of painful flares with no diagnosis taught people around me to ignore my mysterious illness. However, the flare that came over four years ago and never subsided forced me to solve this mystery. Several humiliating doctor visits later, my mystery was solved with a Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis.
I had no idea what that meant or what to do next. Into the trash went piles of printouts from the internet – my research trying to solve the mystery of my non-RA that turned out to be RA. Being a newly diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis patient was a whole new mystery.
Newly diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis Mall Map
For the last few weeks, in between blog posts and homeschooling, I’ve worked on this project. You can have a look at the New RA Map here. I know nothing can make an RA diagnosis easy, but I hope this helps someone erase some of the mystery. One more section will be added soon, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.
Postblog: Have a blessed Easter.
- Do I Have RA: Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis
- Can I Delay Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis, part 1 (a thyroid story)
- Blood Tests for Rheumatoid Arthritis, part 2