My journey with rheumatoid disease began in 2009.  I had not been feeling well for a couple of months, but believed it was due to some overwhelming assignments I was handling.  Throughout my life I have been involved in sports and fitness, so as an athlete I was always ‘in tune’ with my body.  I knew how hard I could push myself and just as important, I knew my limits.  Something just did not seem right, but I didn’t know what it was.

It started to unfold one day when I doing something as simple as working in the yard.  That evening I was really sore and stiff in a couple of joints.  I treated it like I would an athletic injury, but two weeks later there was no improvement.

What did happen at that point was the pain and stiffness spread to every joint in my body.  I felt terrible.  My activity was confined to a recliner.  I rapidly lost muscle strength and had difficulty attempting to handle routine tasks.  Suddenly I could not hold my camera.  Opening a jar was impossible.  I could no longer train or show dogs or participate in dog sports.  All I could do was sit, very still.

I finally met with the doctor and a couple days later received a call that said “you have rheumatoid arthritis, you need to see a rheumatologist.”  I knew nothing about this disease.  I remember how numb and lost I felt after that phone call.  I admit I was scared.

While this incident led to my diagnosis, I strongly believe my immune system had been faulty for at least ten years.  There were other symptoms, debilitating fatigue and illness that went unexplained.  At least now, I had a diagnosis and the journey began.

Millie and Nick sm 1699

This blog is a step of faith for me.  For a long time I didn’t want anyone to know I was “sick.”  It was difficult enough for me to accept it.  I refused to tell anyone.  It took me a couple of years before I opened up and shared my diagnosis.  However, what I have discovered is most people know nothing about this disease.

I hope my stories will encourage.  I hope people who are unfamiliar with rheumatoid disease may learn something.  I hope to meet others who share this journey.  I want to make a difference in the lives of those who share this diagnosis, if only to encourage and listen.

There have been a lot of changes in my life since my diagnosis.  I am learning to make adjustments, deal with the frustrations and understand new limitations.  I’m learning to live a new normal.

Thanks for stopping by …..



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