Same, Same But Different | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Same, Same But Different

Symptoms are like snowflakes: the same, but different.

We see patterns in Rheumatoid disease and say, “See, I’m not alone.” Yet, we also see that no two people are exactly alike because of what I call the immune fingerprint.

Google Images same but different screenshot

Explore both our similarities and our differences with eighteen newly added RA onset stories! Your stories of how the disease started, in your own words. Same as others, but different. There are almost 150 posted now. And, yes, I still have a few more in my laptop that I hope to post soon.

Did you ever post a comment asking whether anyone else experienced the same thing as you?

Here are some recent comments requesting your input:

  • Worried about side effects: “Will the big ‘D’ and tummy issues ever go away? Am I going to need a wig?” Click here to answer Kris
  • “I would like some feedback from any of you that have large inflamed lumps in the back of my head. They itch and hurt terribly.” Linda
  • “At my last Rheumy appt., my doc suggested that I don’t have RA, because he doesn’t see swelling in my hands. I said they are still very painful. He said, ‘But there’s no swelling.’” Marti

Blog carnival topic: How do YOU keep the disease from taking over?

Have a blog of your own? It’s easy to participate: just write a post this week and send me an email. Click here for Carnival details. If you don’t have a blog, please share your ideas in comments!

Let’s inspire each other to keep fighting!

Recommended reading

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/

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5 thoughts on “Same, Same But Different

  • April 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I finally got an appointment with a rheum doc! It has been such a long road! He said I actually don’t have RA; I have a very aggressive form of psoriatic arthritis. But the treatment is the same. He says I can choose enbril, humera, or rheumacaid. Is any one better than another?

    • April 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      You can go to the manufacturers’ websites and read more. But since they are all TNF inhibitors, they are similar in mechanism. But it is not possible to determine ahead of time which one will work. I can only tell you the differences in administration: Enbrel is a once a week shot. Humira is a once every 14 days shot. Remicade is a monthly IV, but it can be adjusted (dose or timing) by the doc. There is a lot more on the biologics here:

  • April 5, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I believe my RA started with a huge amount of stress I was going through with my dog who was ill for 3 months and passed away in Nov. 2011. I went to the dr. with painful hands in Dec. 2011 and she took xrays and saw erosions and sent me to the Rheumy. I was diagnosed Jan. 13 2012 with RA. I could have had if before, but the stress actually activated it, I believe. Stress is a really awful thing, especially with an ill family member.

  • April 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I have to agree that stress can be a huge factor with RA having lived with my husbands unknown disability for six years with doctors having no clue what was causing his condition or how to treat it my pain started to get worse and worse until it was affecting my lifestyle went to the rheumy and was started on methotrexate and started to maintain the pain at least but then we had problems with my husbands benefits been suspended and having to appeal for them to be reinstated and our special needs 19 year old started having issues and bang stress was huge and RA was just a nightmare I’m now on so many different drugs I rattle when I walk and that doesn’t include the two morphine patches I wear 🙂 so seriously need to look into a way to deal with the stress in my life then perhaps my RA would be more manageable.

  • May 29, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I believe mine started about 6 years ago with strange numbness and tingling in my legs, then shingles followed 2 years later by painful achy knees and morning stiffness. Blood work was positive saw a Rheumatologist who said I was ok and to try gluten free. I did this and was reasonably symptom free apart from occasional ankle pain and swelling until this summer when a dramatic change happened. Now on Mtx and Enbrel waiting for improvement.


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