Friday, July 2, 2010


My sister and I are very different.  In a recent conversation, she told me she just didn't understand how I felt so comfortable putting so much of myself out there on this blog.  I guess I couldn't really explain it other than to say that I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and something about being able to write on this blog feels cathartic.  So often, if I am struggling with something and I write about it here, I get feedback from people that helps me in many ways.

That being said, I have some news to share.  Earlier this week, I was officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  If you remember, I first started noticing something was wrong with my joints when I was about 6 months pregnant with Micah and things just continued to worsen from there.  I went to see my NP in April and she was the one who suggested I see a rheumatologist.  After that visit, I found out that my blood indeed was positive for the rheumatoid factor and my pain continued to worsen.  There are mornings when it is excruciating to get out of bed because stepping down on my feet feels like I am jumping onto a bed of hot coals.  I have had stiffness, pain, and limited movement strike nearly every joint in my body.  It becomes very difficult to go through my daily routine of parenting my boys and especially hard to perform my duties as a waitress when the pain and stiffness in my fingers stops me from being able to hold things, twist off covers, or button clasps. 

After an initial visit with my rheumatologist, I had more detailed blood work done and xrays were taken of my hands and wrists.  At my follow-up appointment, he concluded that I definitely have RA based on an analysis of my lab results.  The CCP number (don't ask because I don't know) will be positive in about 70% of RA patients and mine was an extremely high positive.  Using that information in combination with my symptoms, it was a fairly straight forward diagnosis that was still kind of difficult for me to hear.

At this point in the game, I don't really know a whole lot about RA other than what my rheumatologist has told me and what I have read on WebMD.  I'm still kind of processing the diagnosis and there are some further ramifications that RA and its treatment are going to have on our family that Evan and I are still discussing and working through that I will share when we're ready, but for the moment we are just grateful and praising God that my ailment has been identified and that it is treatable. 

It is my goal to be able to learn more about RA and to share more about it on the blog so that all of you wonderful people who read it learn about it as I do.  Thanks for listening!

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