How I live with rheumatoid arthritis at 29

This text was written in the Community, it retains the author’s style and spelling.

Hello, I am 29 years old, now I am a mother on maternity leave, I am engaged in digital drawing. I wanted to talk about my chronic disease – Rheumatoid arthritis. I wanted to talk about this disease, because I myself faced this horror. After all, as it seemed to me, arthritis happens only in old people. And in general, they often write that this means an emergency disability, crutches, a stroller. But this is not always the case.

How did the first symptoms appear?

The first symptoms appeared in 2016, when I was 23 years old and I just graduated from the institute, having received the profession of a cameraman (which I soon had to forget about due to illness). Before graduation, my hands began to hurt, every day a terrible ache. I chalked it up to stress. When I flew to rest, subcutaneous balls appeared on my hands. Many said that it was just swelling, but upon arrival I immediately went to the clinic to see a general practitioner. And he immediately, as he saw, sent to a rheumatologist.

How was I diagnosed

The diagnosis was made immediately and prescribed pills that aroused my suspicions. Just an inner voice did not trust this course of treatment. I remember I left the clinic and cried for a long time, they didn’t really explain anything to me, I just understood that it was very serious. Why me? Why at such a young age? And then I was brought to a wonderful doctor (she’s just a great woman) who examined not only my hands (as in a clinic), but also ordered additional tests to see the whole picture. At each of our meetings, she charged me with confidence that everything would be fine. I did the tests myself in private laboratories, methotrexate injections, I also bought it myself, since another company was issued according to the quota. But it is possible to be treated and completely free of charge.

How the disease affected work and personal life

I was self-employed at the time, so I didn’t take sick leave. Just in exacerbation tried to rest more. The first six months were very difficult. I felt really handicapped. In the morning I could not get a mug with my hand. The fingers did not bend, and the pain accompanies all the time. Every joint hurts from time to time. I remember how I was walking from the store with a bag and the joint in the pelvis suddenly ached, you can only walk limping. Both funny and sad. A 23-year-old girl cannot make tea for herself or go to the store. I didn’t tell many friends for a long time, why? To regret? I would cry even more then. When the treatment began to help, I explained to my friends what I encountered. Many, I think, did not understand how serious it was). They said: oh, my grandmother also has arthritis, try this and that. I explained that this is different. The support was very strong from my mother and future husband. They kept me afloat.

How do I feel now

You cannot recover from rheumatoid arthritis. But after a few years of injections, I just felt that there was almost no pain. That’s how I realized: I’m in remission. My husband and I just wanted to have a baby and began to cancel the drug with the doctor. This must be done in advance so that it is completely out of the body before pregnancy. True, after giving birth, I had a relapse. But I was told that this is highly likely possible. So I was mentally prepared. This disease is for life and you can’t forget about it, but you can also fight for life without pain. Now they also found autoimmune thyroiditis in me, so the struggle continues.

After the discovery of the disease, I realized: you can’t sit and feel sorry for yourself and think for what exactly with me. Yes, for nothing. Life just happened that way. It’s nobody’s fault. Bad things happen to good people too. I think I have become more dry to look at everything. Something broke inside. I am trying to change this in myself. But now I constantly check my health. I want to live life to the fullest, and not to die, and for this I need to be treated.

Doctors are extraordinary people. I am still amazed at how you can know so much and be so devoted to your work. It is hard to imagine that without their knowledge I would be sitting in a wheelchair.

Take care of yourself! And listen to your body.

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