How did you discover you had Rheumatoid Arthritis? Let us know in the Comments on the Blog!
Since I was a child, I’ve had my share of problems relating to health. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and I had to take birth control in order to control rupturing cysts. When I was 26, I had to have a complete hysterectomy and I’ve also had my gallbladder removed due to gallstones.
However, none of these compare to what I now have to live with. In February of 2016, I underwent a surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor growing in my abdomen. During the surgery, my large intestine was accidentally perforated, which resulted in 2 days of bacteria spilling out into my abdominal cavity. This is the event that my doctor believes triggered my Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Read more: Subtle Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Within a few days of my corrective surgery, I noticed sharp pains in my hands and hip while running a low-grade fever when the pain spiked. This continued for months. My doctor felt that something was wrong and sent me to a list of specialists, from Neurology to Orthopedics. I received the same answer each time: lose weight, eat better and exercise more. This advice was despite the fact that I was already on a modified diet, walking 10,000 steps per day and had lost 50 pounds prior to my surgery.
A year later, I finally gave up and accepted that the pain and fever were just in my head. I finally hit my breaking point in December when my joints in my wrist and hands were so swollen that the water running over my hands was too painful to bear. I decided to call a Rheumatologist that my cousin (who is a nurse) recommended.
Read more: One Day At a Time
What seemed to be a million vials of blood and imaging tests later, my rheumatologist had the answer that no other doctor could give me: she said I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. At first, I was a bit surprised but then, I was relieved. I still have a long road ahead of me filled with uncertainty but at least now I know that I am not crazy or lazy.