Things are going great for me. My hands & feet are fabulous. I'm still elated.
But I found a post on another RA bloggers site that makes me realize I am not out of the woods. This is working for me NOW and I intend on continuing with this journey for the rest of my life. Hmm...wouldn't it be nice if RA left my body as abruptly as it started. Has that ever happened?
Here is a link to that post http://warmsocks.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/understanding-not/ Below is a copy. It gives a very real depiction of what having RA feels like.
Imagine getting sick, pampering yourself so your body can recover, but staying sick despite your best efforts. Finally you go to the doctor. Usually the doctor figures out what’s wrong and provides a treatment plan, so you figure that in a few weeks you’ll be back to your old self, healthy again.
Now imagine that you didn’t recover. Instead of returning to health, you return to your doctor. Your doctor tells you that you have an incurable disease. Untreated, your illness can result in kidney damage, heart disease, lung disease, and deformity. Having this disease means that your life-expectancy is ten years less than it otherwise would have been. Within five years you’ll probably be unable to walk.
“Fortunately,” your doctor adds, “in the past ten years, some new drugs have been developed. They will not cure you, but for many people, these medications will postpone the deformity and organ damage. If you’re one of the lucky ones who are helped by these medications, you might not need a wheelchair for another fifteen or twenty years.”
Unfortunately, you can’t take the new wonder drugs. They’re extremely expensive, and you have to try the less expensive medications (the ones that result in the aforementioned debilitation) before insurance will pay to try the medications that have been shown to help.
Stunned, you try to deal with this tragic news.
You’d like a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. As you come to grips with your new reality, friends call. They ask if you’re feeling better, or inquire how it went at the doctor’s office. You’d like some sympathy and understanding. Instead, people respond with:
•Just take some ibuprofen; you’ll be fine.
•You should take glucosamine.
•Oh, I have that in my neck. You should see my chiropractor.
•Oh, I have that in my little finger. I take tylenol when it hurts too bad.
•Oh, I have that in my left knee. I just take motrin.
•Oh, I have that in my shoulder. It’s not that bad.
The average person has never heard of autoimmune diseases. They don’t realize that an immune system gone postal is nothing like the wear-and-tear that some people experience.